Synthetic odors created by activating brain cells help neuroscientists understand how smell works

Brains recognize a smell based on which cells fire, in what order – the same way you recognize a song based on its pattern of notes. How much can you change the 'tune' and still know the smell?

Edmund Chong, Ph.D. Student in Neuroscience, New York University • conversation
July 8, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: brain neuroscience neurons brain-cells optogenetics smell senses olfactory sense-of-smell odor olfaction scents sensory-perception brain-circuitry brain-circuits olfactory-system

How the brain builds a sense of self from the people around us – new research

How does the brain distinguish between the "self" and the "other"? A new study gives a clue.

Sam Ereira, Postdoctoral researcher of Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL • conversation
July 3, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: neuroscience social-psychology fmri cognitive-psychology self human-brain

Blindsight: a strange neurological condition that could help explain consciousness

Some blind people seem to be able to see without being conscious of it.

Henry Taylor, Birmingham Fellow in Philosophy, University of Birmingham • conversation
July 2, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: brain neuroscience perception consicousness

Blindsight: a strange neurological condition that could help us explain consciousness

Some blind people seem to be able to see without being conscious of it.

Henry Taylor, Birmingham Fellow in Philosophy, University of Birmingham • conversation
July 2, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: brain neuroscience perception consicousness

Want to stop the COVID-19 stress meltdown? Train your brain

With the county facing a crisis in emotional health, we may need two vaccines: one for COVID-19 and another for toxic stress. Here's a technique for dealing with all that stress.

Laurel Mellin, Associate Professor Emeritus of Family & Community Medicine and Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco • conversation
June 10, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: health brain neuroscience mental-health brain-training emotion psychology stress therapy

Coronavirus: techniques from physics promise better COVID-19 models – can they deliver?

Neuroscientist Karl Friston claims generative modelling techniques produce more valid predictions than conventional models, but the evidence so far is limited.

Derek Groen, Lecturer in Simulation and Modelling, Brunel University London • conversation
June 4, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: neuroscience dark-matter covid-19 coronavirus modelling coronavirus-insights

Napping helps preschoolers unlock their full potential for learning

Research shows napping helps young children learn, as well as enhancing their emotional well-being.

Rebecca Spencer, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst • conversation
May 20, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: children brain neuroscience memory sleep learning vocabulary hippocampus preschool preschoolers school-readiness early-education academic-performance health-outcomes naps cognitive-neuroscience

Lockdown singing: the science of why music helps us connect in isolation

When we sing together, our social brains are activated to produce oxytocin, which makes us feel more connected.

Ilanit Gordon, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Social Neuroscience Lab at the Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University • conversation
May 1, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: neuroscience covid-19 coronavirus music psychology social-distancing isolation

The neuroscience of loneliness – and how technology is helping us

Brain regions associated with threat and aversion, are activated when we feel lonely and rejected.

Anna Henschel, PhD Candidate in Psychology & Neuroscience, University of Glasgow • conversation
April 17, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: neuroscience psychology loneliness coronavirus-2020 brain-scans

Do people become more selfless as they age?

Brain science suggests that seniors care more about the welfare of others than younger folks do.

Ulrich Mayr, Lewis Professor and Department Head of Psychology, University of Oregon • conversation
April 14, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: neuroscience psychology altruism volunteering giving generosity philanthropy-and-nonprofits philanthropy-and-nonprofit-research

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