Neuroscientists map the activity of sensorimotor cortex for speech articulation.

A new study published in Nature reveals some of the dynamics of neural activity when people articulate syllables commonly used in English1. The researchers have taken advantage of a therapy that patients were about to follow for epilepsy. In some cases of epilepsy, doctors need to locate the region of the brain that induces seizures. To do so they place a series of electrodes right on the surface of the brain, under the cranium. The technique is called Electrocorticography. Since the patients were to wear that device for some time, they were asked if they would be willing to make some articulation exercises while the electrical activity on the surface of their brain was recorded through this device. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Diseases & Disorders, Epilepsy, Language, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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Dualism, Descartes

Can science explain consciousness?

In a book published last fall1, Thomas Nagel defends the idea that science cannot explain consciousness – that the mind is a natural phenomenon which cannot be reduced to physical states of the brain. He also argues that evolutionary theory, or its current materialist version, is not sufficient to explain the appearance of the mind. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Awareness and Attention, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Evolution, In Society, Language, Neural Network Function, Neuroethics, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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Chimpanzee, Gombe

Chimpanzees persist until others get it.

– “It’s there on the table.” … – “Where, here ?”
– “No no, to the left.” … – “I don’t see it.”
– “Right there under the napkin.” … – “Ahhhhh I got it.”

The situations in which one individual communicates an information to another and persists until the other shows signs of having acquired the information are referred to as communicative persistence. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Awareness and Attention, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Evolution, Language, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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Happy Brain Awareness Week!

March 11 – 17, 2013 marks the 17th year for this annual week that promotes awareness and appreciation of brain research, founded and coordinated by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and European Dana Alliance for the Brain.

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Posted in Brain Basics, by Leanne Boucher, Caregivers, Diseases & Disorders, Educators, Policymakers, Uncategorized
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“Brainy” Mice with Human Brain Cells: Chimeras of Mice and Men

Human brain cell transplantation makes mice smart.  The transplanted cells are not neurons and the cells communicate without using electricity. Continue reading

Posted in Animal Research, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Cell Communication, Evolution, Learning and Memory, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Uncategorized
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You never forget your first time

I was nervous, not knowing what to expect. I walked into the room, inhaled deeply and got a bit dizzy. The lighting was harsh and bright, but I was thankful because I wanted to see it all. I moved toward the table where I would be doing it. The table was stainless steel, sterile, and cold. And there at one end was the object of my affection: a human brain.

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Posted in Brain Basics, by Leanne Boucher, Neuroanatomy, Neuroeducation
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The nucleus accumbens

Brain stimulation restores normal activity in obsessive-compulsive disorder

A new study published in Nature Neuroscience by a large group of researchers from The Netherlands has identified the modifications of brain activities of patients as they were receiving treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)1. OCD is an anxiety disorder in which patients adopt repetitive behaviors such as hoarding, washing, or cleaning to address excessive worries or fears. Continue reading

Posted in Across the Lifespan, Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Diseases & Disorders, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety
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