Berkeley Science Review | May 19th, 2018

Sizing Up Awe

Imagine standing on the beach, looking out at the vast ocean. There is no land in sight on the horizon. The depth of the water seems immeasurable. When confronted with a scene like this, many people feel a powerful emotion: awe. Berkeley psychologists have found that the causes of awe depend on culture, but its […]

Berkeley Science Review | May 19th, 2018

Guardians of the Brain Galaxy

As we develop in the womb, billions of neurons come together to build the complex network that will become our brain. But what organizes and protects these neurons as they shape our future self? Neuron formation and maintenance results in a lot of cellular waste that requires rapid clearance from the brain to avoid tissue […]

Berkeley Science Review | May 19th, 2018

Book Review – Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

Lying awake at three o’clock in the morning, I began silently cursing the pillow, the blankets, the streetlight filtering in through my window. I had never had trouble sleeping before, but a perfect storm of deadlines and responsibilities had made for several miserable nights in the past week. It was around this time that I […]

Berkeley Science Review | May 19th, 2018

Jose M. Carmena

The brain—or as Dr. Jose Carmena calls it, “the ultimate frontier”—has immense capabilities. It regulates our biological processes, initiates our actions, harbors our conscience, and stores the knowledge we use to understand the world. To expand our understanding of this ultimate frontier, UC Berkeley professor and co-director of the Center for Neural Engineering and Prostheses […]

Berkeley News | May 14th, 2018

New structure of tau protein, a key player in Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease develops when proteins in the brain form abnormal tangles, and a key player is tau protein, which normally stabilizes the cytoskeleton of neurons. Though the structure of tau tangles is known, scientists have understood less about how normal tau interacts with the structural components of the cytoskeleton, the so-called microtubules. A team led […]

Berkeley Neuroscience News | May 8th, 2018

Working side by side: PhD Program alum Ariel Rokem is a data scientist for academia

“Once we figure out how to collaborate, there are a lot of things we can do that we couldn’t do otherwise.” Ariel Rokem, PhD Program alum (entering class of 2005)   Ariel Rokem is a Data Scientist at the University of Washington eScience Institute, where he collaborates with researchers from diverse fields to develop and […]

Berkeley News | May 7th, 2018

Top graduating senior champions neurodiversity

Scientifically gifted, agile and charmingly quirky, Freja Ekman knows firsthand how it feels to win the genetic lottery. But UC Berkeley’s top graduating senior is also painfully aware of how a single gene mutation can drastically alter the trajectory of one’s life. As a preteen, she witnessed her oldest brother Felix – who has epilepsy, […]

Alzforum | May 5th, 2018

A Little Amyloid, A Lot of Trouble?

Two new longitudinal analyses suggest that even small elevations in brain amyloid, far below the threshold of brain-wide amyloid positivity, can be associated with subtle memory decline and cortical tau deposition. In people with low but detectable amyloid, the rate of accumulation, more than their absolute Aβ level, predicted worsening memory and upped the chance […]

The Next Web | May 3rd, 2018

Researchers are developing a device that can edit brain activity

Neuroscientists at the University of California Berkely are building a device that’ll hack our brains so we can ‘edit’ what we feel and remember. It looks like we’ve drawn “Total Recall” in the ‘which horrifying Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi movie will scientists recreate today’ lottery. The researchers successfully activated and deactivated specific groups of neurons in […]