Scientists identify specific brain region and circuits controlling attention

Norepinephrine-producing neurons in the locus coeruleus produce attention focus, impulse control via two distinct connections to prefrontal cortex.

David Orenstein | Picower Institute for Learning and Memory • mit
Nov. 3, 2020 ~8 min

neuroscience anxiety biology optogenetics research behavior school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences picower-institute

Study helps explain why motivation to learn declines with age

Research on mice suggests aging affects a brain circuit critical for learning to make some types of decisions.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
Oct. 27, 2020 ~8 min

neuroscience aging research behavior school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences mcgovern-institute

Study suggests animals think probabilistically to distinguish contexts

New statistical model may help scientists understand how animals infer whether surroundings are novel or haven’t changed enough to be a new context.

David Orenstein | Picower Institute for Learning and Memory • mit
Aug. 12, 2020 ~6 min

biology memory research behavior school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences center-for-brains-minds-and-machines picower-institute

“She” goes missing from presidential language

Even when people believed Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 election, they did not use “she” to refer to the next president.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
Jan. 8, 2020 ~10 min

linguistics politics language women research behavior school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences national-institutes-of-health-nih

Controlling attention with brain waves

Study shows that people can boost attention by manipulating their own alpha brain waves.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
Dec. 4, 2019 ~7 min

neuroscience research behavior school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences mcgovern-institute

Predicting people's driving personalities

System from MIT CSAIL sizes up drivers as selfish or selfless. Could this help self-driving cars navigate in traffic?

Adam Conner-Simons | Rachel Gordon | MIT CSAIL • mit
Nov. 18, 2019 ~7 min

robotics machine-learning artificial-intelligence robots research autonomous-vehicles transportation automobiles behavior school-of-engineering computer-science-and-artificial-intelligence-laboratory-csail computer-vision electrical-engineering-and-computer-science-eecs

Investigating the power of group think

Political science doctoral student Clara Vandeweerdt studies how identity shapes beliefs on complex political topics such as climate change.

Leda Zimmerman | MIT Political Science • mit
Nov. 7, 2019 ~7 min

politics media graduate social-sciences research behavior students media-lab school-of-architecture-and-planning school-of-humanities-arts-and-social-sciences political-science science-communications postdoctoral

Study finds hub linking movement and motivation in the brain

Detailed observations in the lateral septum indicate region processes movement and reward information to help direct behavior.

David Orenstein | Picower Institute for Learning and Memory • mit
Sept. 19, 2019 ~6 min

neuroscience biology research behavior school-of-science alumniae brain-and-cognitive-sciences picower-institute