Pinpointing how cells regulate long-lasting memories

The brain has a knack for safekeeping our most treasured memories, from a first kiss to a child’s birth. In a new study in mouse cells, Columbia neuroscientists have mapped some of the molecular machinery that helps the brain maintain these kinds of long-term memories. By observing the activity of nerve cells of the brain, called neurons, that were extracted […]

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Perception and working memory are deeply entangled, study finds

Many people have an intuitive, though incorrect, understanding of how the brain works: Our senses perceive objectively factual data, and our higher-level thought processes interpret that data, pull some levers and shape our conclusions and behavior accordingly. But perception and thought are fundamentally linked, according to research published in Nature Human Behavior last week by Dwight Kravitz, an assistant professor […]

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AI software reveals the inner workings of short-term memory

Research by neuroscientists at the University of Chicago shows how short-term, working memory uses networks of neurons differently depending on the complexity of the task at hand. The researchers used modern artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to train computational neural networks to solve a range of complex behavioral tasks that required storing information in short term memory. The AI networks were […]

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What we think we know — but might not — pushes us to learn more: New findings challenge the popular assumption that curiosity in general is the prime driver of learning

Spoiler alert if you haven’t watched the “Game of Thrones” season finale. If you think you know the farm animal most closely related to T-Rex, or the American president who inspired the creation of blue jelly beans — but aren’t entirely sure — you’re more likely to bone up on the chicken-dinosaur connection or Ronald Reagan’s predilection for glazed, gel-filled […]

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Neuron and synapse-mimetic spintronics devices developed

A research group from Tohoku University has developed spintronics devices which are promising for future energy-efficient and adoptive computing systems, as they behave like neurons and synapses in the human brain. Today’s information society is built on digital computers that have evolved drastically for half a century and are capable of executing complicated tasks reliably. The human brain, by contrast, […]

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Can We Get Better at Forgetting?

Whatever its other properties, memory is a reliable troublemaker, especially when navigating its stockpile of embarrassments and moral stumbles. Ten minutes into an important job interview and here come screenshots from a past disaster: the spilled latte, the painful attempt at humor. Two dates into a warming relationship and up come flashbacks of an earlier, abusive partner. The bad timing […]

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What makes people willing to sacrifice their own self-interest for another person? Study’s findings may have troubling implications for ethical behavior

In a new Northwestern University study, researchers show that people are more willing to sacrifice for a collaborator than for someone working just as hard but working independently. “This suggests we’re more likely to share our resources with others when we feel like our lives and work are interdependent with the lives and work of those other people,” said lead […]

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Scientists shed light on processes behind age-related decline in brain structures important for memory

Ageing can cause damage to support cells in the white matter, which in turn may lead to damage in the grey matter of the hippocampus, finds a new study by Cardiff University. The discovery gives researchers a new area to focus on in the search for treatments that can protect cognitive function. Claudia Metzler-Baddeley, from Cardiff University’s Brain Imaging Research […]

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