A comprehensive three-dimensional atlas of the developing human brain that incorporates gene activity along with anatomical reference atlases and neuroimaging data has released its first … Read more
New brain-scanning technique allows scientists to see when and where the brain processes visual information. Every time you open your eyes, visual information flows into … Read more
Whales, bats, and even praying mantises use ultrasound as a sensory guidance system — and now a new study has found that ultrasound can modulate … Read more
Humans have specific brain mechanisms involved in face processing, which focuses attention to faces and recognizes the identity of faces remarkably quickly and accurately. So … Read more
It’s hard to fully understand a mental disease like schizophrenia without peering into the human brain. Now, a study by University of Iowa psychiatry professor … Read more
Do the brains of different people listening to the same piece of music actually respond in the same way? An imaging study by Stanford University … Read more
The irony of getting away to a remote place is you usually have to fight traffic to get there. After hours of dodging dangerous drivers, … Read more
An essential question confronting neuroscientists and computer vision researchers alike is how objects can be identified by simply “looking” at an image. Introspectively, we know … Read more
New research results strongly suggest that cocaine bites the hand that feeds it, in essence, by harming or even killing the very brain cells that trigger the “high” that cocaine users feel. This most comprehensive description yet of cocaine-induced damage to key cells in the human brain’s dopamine “pleasure center” may help explain many aspects of cocaine addiction, and perhaps aid the development of anti-addiction drugs. It also could help scientists understand other disorders involving the same brain cells, including depression.
A new study by a University of Arkansas psychologist proposes that beliefs about the afterlife may amount to more than a cultural construct. They may in fact have a biological basis ? arising from the human brain’s unique ability to comprehend the mental states of other people. “The vast majority of cultures, if not all of them, have developed some theory about what happens to personal consciousness after death. Even in our own culture, 82 percent of Americans believe in some form of personal continuation after death,” said the study’s lead author. “There are superficial differences in religious beliefs between cultures, but those all arise out of the same question. Beliefs in an afterlife ? or at least thoughts about life after death ? are both universal and natural.”
When the human brain is presented with conflicting information about an object from different senses, it finds a remarkably efficient way to sort out the discrepancies, according to new research conducted at the University of California, Berkeley. The researchers found that when sensory cues from the hands and eyes differ from one another, the brain effectively splits the difference to produce a single mental image. The researchers describe the middle ground as a “weighted average” because in any given individual, one sense may have more influence than the other. When the discrepancy is too large, however, the brain reverts to information from a single cue – from the eyes, for instance – to make a judgment about what is true.