Through neural connections, called synapses, the brain can process and store enormous amounts of information. Neuroscientist Gary Lynch at the University of California-Irvine explains how this incredibly complex communication process allows animals to learn and remember.
NSF And The BRAIN Initiative
Responding to the need for a comprehensive understanding of the brain, President Obama launched the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative on April 2, 2013. Led by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, BRAIN is a bold new research effort. Click Here for more information.
Neuroengineer Rajesh Rao of the University of Washington is developing brain-computer interfaces or devices that can monitor and extract brain activity to enable a machine or computer to accomplish tasks, from playing video games to controlling a prosthetic arm.
Sabine Kastner, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at Princeton University, is studying how the brain weeds out important information from everyday scenes. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, Kastner is able to peek inside the brain and see what areas are active when a person sees a face, place or object.
Carlos Aizenman, a neuroscientist at Brown University, is studying the brains of tadpoles to understand how neural circuits develop and absorb information from the surrounding environment.
Neurobiologist Orie Shafer at the University of Michigan is trying to understand how the brain's cells communicate in order to control sleep patterns. To help solve this mystery, Shafer is teaming up with mathematician Victoria Booth to study a tiny and unlikely specimen: the fruit fly.
For years, researchers have struggled to understand how emotions are formed and processed by the brain. Now, neuroscientist Kevin LaBar and his graduate students at Duke University are using a virtual reality room to study how the brain reacts to both negative and positive emotions.
Using amazing new technologies, evolutionary neuroscientist Melina Hale and her graduate students at the University of Chicago are discovering that the basic movements in one tiny fish can teach us big ideas about how the brain's circuitry works.
For centuries, scientists and engineers have studied the brain and yet, how it works largely remains a mystery. Understanding the brain means knowing the fundamental principles underlying brain structure and function. Explore the mysteries of the brain with investigators who span the spectrum of scientific and engineering disciplines. "Mysteries of the Brain" is produced by NBC Learn in partnership with the National Science Foundation. For more information, please visit: http://www.nsf.gov/brain/.
How two unlikely microbes (that don't even have brains) led to the development of one of today's most promising brain research techniques: optigenetics, which is being used to study many diseases including schizophrenia and Parkinson's.
Explore the latest discoveries in neuroscience, including those resulting from the BRAIN Initiative
Scientists: The connectivity of the brain exhibits a more grid-like structure
Playing a musical instrument can do wonders for our brain. But how does it affect our hearing later on in life? Dr. Nina Kraus of Northwestern University is studying just that.
Excerpts from President Obama's April 2, 2013 announcement of the BRAIN Initiative, wherein he names NSF as one of three government agencies with a key role in the effort.
John Wingfield of the National Science Foundation discusses potential ways to follow-up to the BRAIN Initiative and other related issues in this interview.
During the week of May 6th, 2013, scientists from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and DARPA, met for the first meeting on the BRAIN Initiative. Fleming Crim of the NSF, and Tom Insel of the NIMH discuss BRAIN.
Brain researchers funded by the National Science Foundation are using flexible materials to transform the way we study the brain
Biomedical engineer Bin He talks about advances in brain-machine interface technology and the big challenges in brain research
Ed Boyden is a pioneering optogenetics researcher who may help us understand and treat brain disorders
Partha Mitra is contributing to the construction of the first 3-D map of the mouse brain
Clifton Ragsdale is researching the nervous system of the octopus, which is a successful predator partly because it has excellent eyesight--the best of any invertebrate
Melina Hale is studying neuronal circuits in zebrafish that generate startle responses
Walter Wilczynski describes how the responses of non-mammals to communication signals during mating competitions may impact future behavior
Walter Wilczynski is researching how non-mammals signal one another in mating competitions, and how these signals influence the behavior of individual males and females
Hans Hofmann discusses his research on the influences of environment and genetics on the brains and behavior of cichlid fish
Hans Hofmann is using the diversity of cichlid species to help identify which genes regulate various behaviors and evaluate how different social environments affect brain function and behavior
Theoretical biophysicist William Bialek discusses how our brain interprets information in a continuous way.
How all of the parts in our brain work together to produce all of the simple and complex thoughts that humans have.
Theoretical biophysicist William Bialek discusses the BRAIN Initiative and how his team plans to study neuron activity.