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Nuts and Bolts: The Neuron

Neurons are highly specialised cells that conduct and process information in animals, enabling thought, perception and control of movement. Problems with neuronal function underpin a range of...

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Cranial Nerves

In perhaps the first catchy tune about cranial nerves, a graduate student explains why these 12 pairs of nerves are important.

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Neil Burgess: How Your Brain Tells You Where You Are

Neuroscientist Neil Burgess studies the neural mechanisms that map the space around us, and how they link to memory and imagination.

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Introduction

Every thought and action is controlled by the brain — the body’s most complex organ. The brain is divided into functional units with particular tasks, like processing visual information or responding to fearful experiences. Each of these units is made up of brain cells that work together. These cells also form connections with cells in other functional units, creating communication routes for brain signals. Using new tools to tag and trace brain circuits, scientists are working to better understand how the human brain is organized to perform its many functions. Ongoing studies in animals and people are helping scientists recognize the many different types of brain cells and the roles they play. In addition, imaging technology is helping map brain regions responsible for specific functions and behaviors.

Discoveries

Does practice make perfect?

Source: Society for Neuroscience
While experts debate the type and length of practice that is optimal for success, one thing is clear: training improves performance and changes the brain.

Neurons: A Curious Collection of Shapes and Sizes

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Neurons — the nerve cells that make up the brain and nervous system — look different from all other cells in the body. And from one another.

Mapping the Brain

Source: Society for Neuroscience
The cerebrum, the largest part of the human brain, is associated with higher order functioning, including the control of voluntary behavior. Thinking, perceiving, planning, and understanding language all lie within the cerebrum’s control.

Brain, Brain, The Magical Fruit

Source: Society for Neuroscience

Neuroscience terminology flows better in rap form. Learn about neuroscience from the second place winner of the 2011 Brain Awareness Video Contest.


Mirror Neurons

Source: Society for Neuroscience

The ability to instinctively and immediately understand what other people are experiencing has long baffled neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers alike. Research now suggests a fascinating explanation: brain cells called mirror neurons.

Neuroanatomy in the News

Brain Mapping

Source: MIT Technology Review
Date: 23 April 2014
A new map, a decade in the works, shows structures of the brain in far greater detail than ever before, providing neuroscientists with a guide to its immense complexity.

Artists 'Have Structurally Different Brains'

Source: BBC
Date: 17 April 2014
Artists have structurally different brains compared with non-artists, a study has found.

Watch Proteins Do the Jitterbug

Source: New York Times
Date: 10 April 2014
The animators who produced the video hit “The Inner Life of a Cell” are back with a look at the messy, chaotic dance performed by molecules in a neuron. Carl Zimmer.