Stunning Details of Brain Connections Revealed

Visual reconstruction of synapses in the mouse somatosensory cortex

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, applying a state-of-the-art imaging system to brain-tissue samples from mice, have been able to quickly and accurately locate and count the myriad connections between nerve cells in unprecedented detail, as well as to capture and catalog those connections’ surprising variety.

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Delicate Balance in the Way Your Brain Controls Fear

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Fear begins in your brain

The eerie music in the movie theater swells; the roller coaster crests and begins its descent; something goes bump in the night. Suddenly, you’re scared: your heart thumps, your stomach clenches, your throat tightens, your muscles freeze you in place.

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Phantom Images Stored in Flexible Network Throughout Brain

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The brain can compensate for some memory loss

Brain research over the past 30 years has shown that if a part of the brain controlling movement or sensation or language is lost because of a stroke or injury, other parts of the brain can take over the lost function — often as well as the region that was lost.

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Babies Brain’s Crazy Unconscious Activity

If only this were the case in America

Full-term babies are born with a key collection of networks already formed in their brains, according to new research that challenges some previous theories about the brain’s activity and how the brain develops.

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In Breakthrough, Nerve Connections Are Regenerated After Spinal Cord Injury

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New research points the way toward a potential therapy to induce regeneration of nerve connections following spinal cord injury.

Researchers for the first time have induced robust regeneration of nerve connections that control voluntary movement after spinal cord injury, showing the potential for new therapeutic approaches to paralysis and other motor function impairments.

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Prosthesis With Information at Its Fingertips: Hand Prosthesis That Eases Phantom Pain

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Pressure sensors between thumb and index finger regulate the power of the artificial hand.

The pain of losing a body part is twofold, as patients not only suffer from wound pain. Often they are also affected by so called phantom pain. Unlike bodily wounds which will eventually heal, phantom pain often lasts for years and sometimes a lifetime.

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Bright Stars of the Brain Regulate Breathing

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This image of brainstem astrocytes was taken using a confocal microscope.

Astrocytes — brain cells named after their characteristic star-shape and previously thought to act only as the ‘glue’ between neurons, have a central role in the regulation of breathing, according to scientists.

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Part of the Brain That Tracks Limbs in Space Discovered

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New research shows that the brain’s parietal cortex tracks the position of your limbs as you move through space by combining tactile information from your skin with “proprioceptive” information about the position of your hand relative to your body

Scientists have discovered the part of the brain that tracks the position of our limbs as we move through space.

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Baby Brain Growth Mirrors Changes from Apes to Humans

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Areas of expansion in the human cortex during infancy and childhood, top, closely match areas of change in the human brain when compared to the brains of apes and monkeys. Yellow areas expanded the most, followed by orange, red, blue and light blue areas.

A study undertaken to help scientists concerned with abnormal brain development in premature babies has serendipitously revealed evolution’s imprint on the human brain.

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Whisker Stimulation Prevents Strokes in Rats; Stimulating Fingers, Lips and Face May Also Work in Humans

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UCI researchers found that mechanically stroking a single whisker activated a rat’s cerebral cortex – seen lighting up in magenta and blue – and prompted obstructed blood to take other routes to the brain.

Talk about surviving by a whisker. The most common type of stroke can be completely prevented in rats by stimulating a single whisker, according to a new study by UC Irvine researchers.

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Brain Naturally Follows Scientific Method? Less Effort to Register ‘Predictable’ Images

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The brain does not predict the unpredictable: The sight of bars apparently moving from bottom left to top right (dotted line) evokes activity in the primary visual cortex (V1).

It turns out that there is a striking similarity between how the human brain determines what is going on in the outside world and the job of scientists. Good science involves formulating a hypothesis and testing whether this hypothesis is compatible with the scientist’s observations. Researchers in the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt together with the University of Glasgow have shown that this is what the brain does as well. A study shows that it takes less effort for the brain to register predictable as compared to unpredictable images.

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