Berkeley News | February 12th, 2016

Berkeley psychologist tapped to foster a kinder Twittersphere

UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner’s expertise on the science of emotions has been used to enhance the Pixar movie “Inside Out,” as well as Facebook’s selection of emoticonsand messaging tools. Now his emotional intelligence is being tapped to create a kinder and gentler Twittersphere. Keltner, a psychology professor at Berkeley for 20 years, has been […]

Berkeley News | February 10th, 2016

Peering inside the minds of Raiders fans

A couple of professors at the Berkeley-Haas School of Business who are pioneering the use of neuroscience to sort out how consumers think and feel about companies and products were recently drafted to help the Oakland Raiders assess what happens in the minds of the team’s loyal fans, and how that might be duplicated among […]

Berkeley News | February 1st, 2016

Yes, you can tell if your audience is bored

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton may want to take note. If a quick scan of the crowd tells you your audience looks riveted, bored or angry, trust your eyes. New research from UC Berkeley shows that we average out expressions in a sea of faces to get a reliable mood reading. […]

Scientific American | January 31st, 2016

Deciphering the Language of the Brain

Understanding how brains work is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our times, but despite the impression sometimes given in the popular press, researchers are still a long way from some basic levels of understanding. A project recently funded by the Obama administration’s BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative is one of […]

World Economic Forum | January 23rd, 2016

Davos 2016 – What If: Your Brain Confesses?

Long the preserve of stage show performers and confidence tricksters, the ability to read minds has always fascinated humans. The possibility that our inner thoughts and feelings could be accessed by another is both thrilling and terrifying. We are already at the point where some thoughts can be identified externally. So as neuroscientists decipher the […]

Berkeley News | January 21st, 2016

Outgoing Berkeley Lab director to take research helm at UC Berkeley

Paul Alivisatos, an internationally renowned chemist who has run the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the past seven years, has been tapped to lead the research enterprise at UC Berkeley. Alivisatos, who has been a UC Berkeley professor of chemistry since 1988, will assume the position of vice chancellor for research on […]

eLife Digest on Medium | January 15th, 2016

Time to make a decision: Researchers have studied how brain activity changes throughout the process of choosing between different options

In 1848, a railroad worker named Phineas Gage suffered an accident that was to secure him a place in neuroscience lore. While constructing a new railway line, a mistimed explosion propelled an iron bar into the base of his skull, where it passed behind his left eye before exiting through the top of his head. […]

Berkeley News | January 11th, 2016

Will computers ever truly understand what we’re saying?

From Apple’s Siri to Honda’s robot Asimo, machines seem to be getting better and better at communicating with humans. But some neuroscientists caution that today’s computers will never truly understand what we’re saying because they do not take into account the context of a conversation the way people do. Specifically, say University of California, Berkeley, […]

NIH BRAIN Update | December 29th, 2015

Family of light-sensitive inhibitory receptors enables precise control of neural activity

Researchers have genetically modified the entire family of GABAA receptor subtypes, which mediate inhibitory synaptic transmission in the brain, to make them controllable with pulses of light with high spatial, temporal, and biochemical precision. GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, providing a counterpoint to glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter. […]

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