Sleep evolved before brains did, study finds

Our brains need sleep to work properly. But it turns out you don’t need a brain to sleep. In a new study, researchers identified a sleep-like state in a tiny, freshwater animal called a hydra, which has a simple anatomy and lacks a brain. “We now have strong evidence that animals must have acquired the […]

How PTSD messes with your brain’s memory centers

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized, in part, by unwanted recollections and vivid emotional responses. This means PTSD subjects often suffer from intrusive and distressing memories that go hand in hand with confusing emotional states to unexpected stimuli. These are known as flashbacks in most instances. Additionally, people with PTSD often report difficulty responding to […]

Scientists discover how our brains track where we and others go

IMAGE: Scientists used a special backpack to study for the first time how a person’s brain navigates space and tracks the location of others. The study was funded by the NIH’s… view more  Credit: Courtesy of Suthana lab, UCLA. For the first time, scientists have recorded how our brains navigate physical space and keep track of […]

How our brains track where we and others go

As COVID cases rise, physically distancing yourself from other people has never been more important. Now a new UCLA study reveals how your brain navigates places and monitors someone else in the same location. Published Dec. 23 in Nature, the findings suggest that our brains generate a common code to mark where other people are […]

Astrocytes eat connections to maintain plasticity in adult brains — ScienceDaily

Developing brains constantly sprout new neuronal connections called synapses as they learn and remember. Important connections — the ones that are repeatedly introduced, such as how to avoid danger — are nurtured and reinforced, while connections deemed unnecessary are pruned away. Adult brains undergo similar pruning, but it was unclear how or why synapses in […]

Astrocytes eat connections to maintain plasticity in adult brains

IMAGE: A 3-D animated image showing our synapse phagocytosis reporter in mouse hippocampus. Presynapses in green, astrocytes in white, and microglia in blue. Phagocytosed presynapses by glia were shown in red…. view more  Credit: KAIST Developing brains constantly sprout new neuronal connections called synapses as they learn and remember. Important connections — the ones that are […]

Survival of the thickest: Big brains make mammal populations less dense

IMAGE: A Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus) in Gibraltar view more  Credit: Manuela Gonzalez-Suarez/University of Reading Mammals with big brains tend to be less abundant in local areas than those with smaller brains, new research has shown. The University of Reading led an international team of scientists in considering the effect of brain size for the first […]

Researchers reveal how our brains know when something’s different

IMAGE: NIH scientists discovered how a set of high frequency brain waves may help us unconsciously set expectations of the world around us and know when something’s different by comparing memories… view more  Credit: Courtesy of Zaghloul lab, NIH/NINDS. Imagine you are sitting on the couch in your living room reading. You do it almost every […]