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Neurobiology

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The Lego bricks of the brain

A supercomputer is made up of millions of repeating modules. Our recent study found that the brain is made up of repeating microcircuits. This intriguing similarity may explain how brains are built to efficiently handle diverse tasks, with "microcolumns" that act like the Lego bricks... click to read more

  • Toshihiko Hosoya | Laboratory Head at RIKEN Brain Science Institute and RIKEN Center for Brain Science, Japan
Views 511
Reading time 2.5 min
published on Aug 3, 2018
Our internal fight against loneliness

"A guy needs somebody -- to be near him... A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody."
Of Mice & Men, John Steinbeck. As social creatures, all aspects of our daily lives are powerfully shaped by our social experiences. The social bonds that we... click to read more

  • Gillian Matthews | Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Simons Center for the Social Brain, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston, USA
Views 752
Reading time 4 min
published on Mar 9, 2017
The lifetime of memories

"Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future." Elie Wiesel

Memory is essential for animal survival and gives human beings the extraordinary ability to develop consciousness and ultimately the self. The brain mechanisms that allow us... click to read more

  • Thomas Stefanelli | PhD student at Department of Basic Neurosciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • Pablo Mendez | Senior Lecturer at Department of Basic Neurosciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Views 775
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Jun 22, 2016
Where is the Engram?

The author Tonegawa won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1987.

The human brain is composed of over 100 billion electrically-active brain cells (called neurons), and what makes the neuron a special cell type is that it sends out extensions (known as axons) that... click to read more

  • Tomás Ryan | Research Scientist at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Susumu Tonegawa | Professor at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Views 2111
Reading time 4 min
published on Dec 14, 2015