Daily Mail | April 6th, 2016

Mind-control MICROSCOPE changes the behaviour of mice in an instant

In a breakthrough that wouldn’t look out of place in a science fiction film, researchers said they have been able to control the minds of living animals by tweaking the activity of their brain cells. Using a specialised microscope to tweak activity of brain circuits, they were able to control the behaviour of mice, leading […]

Berkeley Neuroscience News | March 24th, 2016

Michael Yartsev and international collaborators receive HFSP award to develop first mammalian model for vocal learning

Michael Yartsev, Sonja Vernes (Max-Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics), Uwe Firzlaff (Technische Universität München), and Lutz Wiegrebe (University of Munich, Planegg-Martinsried) were awarded a $1.2M program grant from the Human Frontier Science Program. Together, they will use a molecular, neural and comparative approach to study vocal learning in bats. >> Learn more about the 2016 awardees >> Yartsev Lab […]

Wall Street Journal | March 23rd, 2016

Young Mice, Like Children, Can Grow Up Too Fast

Is it good to grow up? We often act as if children should develop into adults as quickly as possible. More and more we urge our children to race to the next level, leap over the next hurdle, make it to the next grade as fast as they can. But new brain studies suggest that […]

Psychology Today | March 7th, 2016

How Does Your Brain Learn Through Trial and Error? Problem-solving and critical thinking can rewire the orbitofrontal cortex

In a groundbreaking discovery, neurocientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have captured brain images of active learning in real-time by photographing the brains of mice as they learn how-to problem solve through trial and error. Using advanced microscopy techniques, the researchers made time-lapse movies that illustrate how a mouse actively learns a new strategy for finding […]

Berkeley News | March 7th, 2016

Scientists tap the smarts of mice, capture problem-solving in action

UC Berkeley scientists have captured unique images of problem-solving in action by tapping into the minds of mice. The study shows rapid rewiring in the rodents’ frontal brains after they learn by trial and error. Using advanced microscopy techniques, researchers found that when mice used new strategies to find hidden treats during a foraging task, they […]

Berkeley News | March 3rd, 2016

Bromances may be good for men’s health

Male friendships, portrayed and often winked at in bromance movies, could have healthful effects similar to those seen in romantic relationships, especially when dealing with stress, according to a new study of male rats by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. Human studies show that social interactions increase the level of the hormone oxytocin […]

Nature Outlook | March 2nd, 2016

Neurobiology: Rise of resilience

Stress can have a negative influence on the human brain, but increasingly it is the ability to withstand severe stress that is the focus of research. Daniela Kaufer has a personal interest in the effects of stress. “My mum’s family had a very traumatic experience when their mother died in childbirth,” she explains. The three […]

Berkeley News | March 2nd, 2016

PET scans reveal key details of Alzheimer’s protein growth in aging brains

New research led by scientists at UC Berkeley shows for the first time that PET scans can track the progressive stages of Alzheimer’s disease in cognitively normal adults, a key advance in the early diagnosis and staging of the neurodegenerative disorder. In the process, the scientists also obtained important clues about two Alzheimer’s-linked proteins – […]

The Scientist | March 1st, 2016

Sleep Circuit: A web of cell types in one of the brain’s chief wake centers keeps animals up—but also puts them to sleep

Early studies attempting to untangle the neurological basis of sleep typically removed or injured part of an animal’s brain to measure the effects. The results implicated a region called the basal forebrain in inducing sleep, yet some studies indicated that it was important for arousal. “The impression is that maybe in that region there’s a […]