Berkeley News | March 15, 2019

With single gene insertion, blind mice regain sight

It was surprisingly simple. University of California, Berkeley, scientists inserted a gene for a green-light receptor into the eyes of blind mice and, a month later, they were navigating around obstacles as easily as mice with no vision problems. They were able to see motion, brightness changes over a thousandfold range and fine detail on […]

Berkeley Neuroscience News | March 5, 2019

PhD program alum Liberty Hamilton eavesdrops on how the human brain processes natural sounds

“Something we can really add to the field is being able to understand at a much higher level how sounds become meaningful words and concepts.” Liberty Hamilton, PhD program alum (entering class of 2008) Because natural sounds such as music and language are so fast and complex, it can be challenging to study how they […]

Berkeley Neuroscience News | March 5, 2019

Letting the data speak for itself: PhD alum Alex Huth models language representation in the brain

As an Assistant Professor at UT Austin, PhD alum Alex Huth uses large sets of fMRI data to discover how language and meaning is represented in the brain.

Nature Neuroscience | March 1, 2019

Discovering drivers in hippocampal circuits

Hippocampal circuitry enables the emergence of activity patterns that are crucial for spatial learning and memory. Davoudi and Foster used acute optogenetic silencing to reveal the dominant role of hippocampal area CA3 in driving place cell activity in hippocampal area CA1 at the single-cell and neural population levels. The cover image represents CA3 neurons activating […]

Berkeley News | March 1, 2019

Understanding a dog’s superhero snout

Dogs are thousands of times better than humans at picking up scents, which is why they’re often the heroes of search-and-rescue missions. UC Berkeley neuroscientist Lucia Jacobs has long been studying animals’ smell-navigation skills and is a key member of a National Science Foundation brain initiative known as the Odor Navigation Project. Lately, Judy Jinn, a graduate […]

The Scientist | February 26, 2019

Four Sets of Mice Call Popular Autism Theory into Question

An analysis of four mouse models negates certain assumptions underlying the “signaling imbalance theory,” a popular hypothesis about autism’s origins in the brain. The findings suggest that the imbalance is a compensatory response to other problems in the brain, rather than the underlying cause of autism. The signaling imbalance theory holds that the brains of […]

Berkeley News | February 25, 2019

Face it, the face is not enough to perceive emotion

Actor James Franco looks sort of happy as he records a video diary in the movie “127 Hours.” It’s not until the camera zooms out, revealing his arm is crushed under a boulder, that it becomes clear his goofy smile belies his agony. That’s because when it comes to reading a person’s state of mind, […]

Simons Foundation | February 22, 2019

Wilbrecht Lab wins a SFARI Pilot Award

The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) is pleased to announce that it intends to fund 15 grants in response to the Winter 2019 Pilot Award request for applications (RFA). Pilot Awards aim to support novel, high-risk, exploratory ideas in autism research that have the potential to yield transformative results. The funded grants will address […]

Science at Cal

Vision+Light: Processing Perception

This exhibition at the intersection of art and science features works by a Berkeley Neuroscience faculty member and a PhD Program student.