To See or Not to See

Motor-Neurons

The brain is a complicated network of small units called neurons, all working to carry information from the outside world, create an internal model, and generate a response. Neurons sense a signal through branching dendrites, carry this signal to the cell body, and send it onwards through a long axon to signal the next neuron. However, neurons can function in many different ways; some of which researchers are still exploring. Read More →

When Neurons Have Less to Say, They Speak Up

Even when neurons in the visual cortex are cut off from their main source of information, within 48 hours their activity returns to a level similar to that prior to the disruption. Under the microscope the currently active cells light up thanks to the addition of a calcium indicator. Credit: MPI of Neurobiology/Hübener

Even when neurons in the visual cortex are cut off from their main source of information, within 48 hours their activity returns to a level similar to that prior to the disruption. Under the microscope the currently active cells light up thanks to the addition of a calcium indicator. Credit: MPI of Neurobiology/Hübener

The brain is an extremely adaptable organ – but it is also quite conservative. That’s in short, what scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried and their colleagues from the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel and the Ruhr-Universität Bochum were now able to show. The researchers found that neurons in the brain regulate their own activity in such a way that the overall activity level in the network remains as constant as possible. Read More →

Track Your Concentration with Innovative Headband

Melon comes in black or white.

Melon comes in black or white.

Are you on a quest for greater self-awareness or simply a productivity junkie seeking to frugally extort every second out of the day?  The Melon headband quantifies the brain’s focus during any activity of your choosing to better understand your working habits. Together with its proprietary mobile app, Melon gives insight into the brain’s response to various stimuli: action, environments, emotions, or whatever behavior you decide to measure, and visually records the data. Read More →

Study Finds Brain System for Emotional Self-Control

Human Brain

Different brain areas are activated when we choose to suppress an emotion, compared to when we are instructed to inhibit an emotion, according a new study from the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Ghent University. Read More →

Human Brain vs. Supercomputer

Blue Gene:Q Sequoia

The Blue Gene/Q Sequoia. (Image via IBM)

Last November, IBM revealed that its lightning speed, Blue Gene/Q Sequoia supercomputer achieved a record simulation of more than 530 billion neurons. The Blue Gene/ Q Sequoia can perform over 16 quadrillion calculations per second, ranking as the second-fastest supercomputer in the world. (The number one spot is held by Cray’s Titan, built by the Oak Ridge Laboratory in Tennessee.) Read More →

Navigation on the Brain

Before GPS and cellular devices gave drivers directions, Long Range Navigation (LORAN) beacons helped sailors and pilots to find their way during their travels. Powerful radio pulses emanate from radio transmitter sites. Skilled operators are able to determine latitude and longitude if they’ve received at least three different beacons. Signals from close transmitters arrive earlier than those from far away sites, because radio energy constantly travels at the speed of light. Read More →