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.

Mysteries of the brain: thinking brain

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.

Mysteries of the brain: brain-computer interface

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.

Mysteries of the brain: perceiving brain

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.

Mysteries of the brain: Building a brain

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.

Mysteries of the brain: brain states and consciousness

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.

Mysteries of the brain: emotional brain

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.

Mysteries of the brain: evolving brain

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.

Mysteries of the brain

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/.

Biodiversity: A boon for brain research

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.

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