Key brain region was “recycled” as humans developed the ability to read

Part of the visual cortex dedicated to recognizing objects appears predisposed to identifying words and letters, a study finds.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
Aug. 4, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: neuroscience learning research school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences center-for-brains-minds-and-machines mcgovern-institute

Mapping the brain’s sensory gatekeeper

New analysis could help uncover potential drug targets for attention deficits and sensory hypersensitivity.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
July 22, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: neuroscience mental-health autism broad-institute research school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences national-institutes-of-health-nih mcgovern-institute

A new way to control experimentation with dreams

Device not only helps record dream reports, but also guides dreams toward particular themes.

Sarah Beckmann | MIT Media Lab • mit
July 21, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: neuroscience memory sleep research media-lab school-of-architecture-and-planning brain-and-cognitive-sciences undergraduate-research-opportunities-program-urop

Neural vulnerability in Huntington’s disease tied to release of mitochondrial RNA

Unique survey of gene expression by cell type in humans and mice reveals several deficits affecting the most vulnerable neurons.

David Orenstein | Picower Institute for Learning and Memory • mit
July 21, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: neuroscience rna immunology broad-institute research cells school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences computer-science-and-artificial-intelligence-laboratory-csail picower-institute huntingtons

A mechanical way to stimulate neurons

Magnetic nanodiscs can be activated by an external magnetic field, providing a research tool for studying neural responses.

David L. Chandler | MIT News Office • mit
July 19, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: neuroscience research school-of-engineering school-of-science research-laboratory-of-electronics nanoscience-and-nanotechnology materials-science-and-engineering dmse mcgovern-institute defense-advanced-research-projects-agency-darpa department-of-defense-dod

Findings weaken notion that size equals strength for neural connections

Among study’s many surprises may be a new way to address Fragile X syndrome — by finding a “protein X.”

David Orenstein | Picower Institute for Learning and Memory • mit
July 14, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: neuroscience autism research school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences synapses picower-institute

COMMANDing drug delivery

A new computational method fine-tunes delivery of therapeutics to specific brain regions.

Sabbi Lall | McGovern Institute for Brain Research • mit
July 10, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: medicine neuroscience research school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences materials-science-and-engineering dmse koch-institute mcgovern-institute drug-delivery

Flatworms muscle new eyes' wiring into their brains

Peter Reddien's lab at the Whitehead Institute takes a step forward in understanding how neural circuits could be regenerated in adults.

Eva Frederick | Whitehead Institute • mit
July 8, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: neuroscience development biology animals research school-of-science whitehead-institute

How worms move: Dopamine helps nematodes coordinate motor behaviors

To spy on worms for days on end, Picower Institute scientists invent a new open-source microscopy platform.

David Orenstein | Picower Institute for Learning and Memory • mit
June 30, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: neuroscience microscopy animals research school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences national-science-foundation-nsf national-institutes-of-health-nih picower-institute

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