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In ‘minibrains,’ hindering key enzyme by different amounts has opposite growth effects

Surprising findings can help improve organoid cultures, explain role of GSK3-beta in brain development.

Team ‘reads minds’ to understand human tool use

Researchers have made an astonishing new discovery about how our brains control our hands. The team used MRI data to study which parts of the brain are used when we handle tools. The findings could help shed light on the regions of the brain that evolv…

Diagramming the brain with colorful connections

BARseq2 is a new brain mapping technique that can identify cells by the unique sets of genes they use. Neuroscientists can use this tool to understand how brain cells are organized and connected.

Meaningful movies help people cope with life’s difficulties

Watching meaningful films – those that we find moving and poignant – can make us feel more prepared to deal with life’s challenges and want to be a better person, a new study found. The findings point to one reason why people may choose to see movies t…

Managing children’s weight, blood pressure and cholesterol protects brain function mid-life

Having high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or obesity from childhood through middle age were linked to poorer brain function by middle age. These cardiovascular risk factors were linked with low memory, learning, visual processing, attention span…

Serotonin transporters increase when depression fades

Low levels of serotonin in the brain are seen as a possible cause of depression and many antidepressants act by blocking a protein that transports serotonin away from the nerve cells. A brain imaging study now shows that the average level of the seroto…

Damage to white matter is linked to worse cognitive outcomes after brain injury

A new study challenges the idea that gray matter (the neurons that form the cerebral cortex) is more important than white matter (the myelin covered axons that physically connect neuronal regions) when it comes to cognitive health and function. The fin…

How we retrieve our knowledge about the world

In order to find our way in the world, we classify it into concepts, such as ‘telephone’. Until now, it was unclear how the brain retrieves these when we only encounter the word and don’t perceive the objects directly. Scientists have now developed a m…

The cerebellum may have played an important role in the evolution of the human brain

The cerebellum — a part of the brain once recognized mainly for its role in coordinating movement — underwent evolutionary changes that may have contributed to human culture, language and tool use, according to a new study.

Exercise aids the cognitive development of children born preterm

A premature start in life can cause problems even into teenage years. A study indicates that training motor skills in these children helps even when they are older.