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. […]

Berkeley News | December 22nd, 2015

White House to honor Alivisatos, Hu with National Medals of Science, Technology

Paul Alivisatos, director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of chemistry, and Chenming Hu, a professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer sciences, have been selected to receive the nation’s top honors in science and technology, the White House announced today. Alivisatos is among nine chosen to receive the National Medal of Science, […]

The Daily Beast | December 17th, 2015

What We Learned About Alzheimer’s in 2015

Alzheimer’s continues to be one of the deadliest, costliest, and most complicated diseases—but science might be getting closer to finding its cause. The first mention of Alzheimer’s disease was by German doctor Aloysius Alzheimer in 1906. A patient, whom Alzheimer referred to as “Auguste,” was presenting with a “peculiar disease.” He knew little about it, […]

Berkeley News | November 24, 2015

‘Connector hubs’ are the champions of brain coordination

Swinging a bat at a 90-mph fastball requires keen visual, cognitive and motor skills. But how do diverse brain networks coordinate well enough to hit the ball? A new UC Berkeley study suggests the human brain’s aptitude and versatility can be credited in large part to “connector hubs,” which filter and route information. They coordinate and […]

Berkeley Neuroscience News | November 23, 2015

PhD student Christine Liu is studying how nicotine affects the brain and promoting science through art

Christine Liu is a second year Neuroscience PhD Student in the Lammel Lab at UC Berkeley. She has recently combined her scientific and artistic talents to produce a zine about the 2015 UC Berkeley Neuroscience Research Conference. Her “Neuro Retreat” zine highlights some exciting research being done by neuroscience graduate students and postdocs at UC Berkeley, […]

Neurodata Without Borders Blog | November 20, 2015

To Accelerate Pace of Discovery, Neuroscientists and Funders Launch Resource Aimed at Breaking Data Barriers in Brain Research

With scientists storing data in scores of different ways, Neurodata Without Borders provides a common format or “language” for brain data, beginning with neurophysiology An alliance of brain researchers and funders has announced a common data format to facilitate the free and open exchange of complex information about the brain—information that scientists can then use […]

Quartz | November 19, 2015

To get ahead in your career, disrupt yourself first

In her new book, Disrupt Yourself, Whitney Johnson argues that the principles from Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen’stheory of disruptive innovation can also be applied on an individual level. Just as companies like Netflix created a new market before competing directly with (and ultimately disrupting) Blockbuster, individuals stand a better chance of achieving high […]

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