Einstein’s brilliance might have been due to strong brain hemisphere connection

Mere hours after his death in 1955, Albert Einstein‘s brain was removed, weighed and analyzed in a lab at Princeton Hospital by pathologist Thomas Stoltz Harvey. Bits of his brains were then sent to other pathologists around the country for analysis in hope that a connection between its physical attributes and the remarkable genius of Albert Einstein might be discovered.

Scientists discover on/off switch for eating

After they identified precise groups of cells in mice brain that induce eating and others that curb it, a team of researchers caused full mice to continue eating and hungry mice to stop eating simply by stimulating one of these areas. Their findings could aid in the development of novel drugs that target eating disorders such as anorexia or obesity.

Are dolphins that smart? Scientist plays down dolphin ‘genius’ myth

Alongside ourselves and great apes, dolphins are often portrayed as ‘geniuses’ of the animal kingdom. Since the 1950’s, a lot of papers seemingly attest to dolphins’ superior intelligence underlying great problem-solving capabilities and advanced communication capabilities. The latter is a widely launched argument: dolphins can communicate with their peers through sequences of whistles and sounds, and it’s even been found that

Startling alien hand syndrome: when the hand has a mind of its own

In one of Stanley Kubrick’s weirdest movies (even by Kubrick standards), “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)“, one of the characters played by Peter Sellers is tormented by the irresistible and convulsive urge of lifting his right arm in a Nazi salute. He can’t control it, it’s like it has a mind

Brain circuit that silences the voice inside your head discovered

Every time we’re engaged in a certain action, the sounds we produce while walking, eating, even playing music are tuned down a notch in volume by the brain. For instance, during a conversation your voice will be perceived as quieter than it actually is in reality, since our brain want to receive clearer  the information relayed by the other person.

Scientists grow brain-like tissue in petri dish

Most medical research looking to identify the mechanisms of a disease or test treatments rely on animal models. While very useful, mice for instance (a favorite lab pet for researchers) do not have nearly the same brain structure or genes as humans. Even if some genes and proteins scientists target are the same both in mice and humans, it will

Brain-to-brain interface allows first telepathic exchange of information between two humans

In a mind-boggling and, frankly, a bit frightening breakthrough, researchers at University of Washington have devised a brain-to-brain interface that for the first time has allowed the remote exchange of information between two human brains. The test that demonstrated the technology, although simple in nature, shows of a powerful display of force. One researcher (human brain #1), connected through a brain

New generation eco-friendly pesticide might work by shutting down insect reproductive system

Farmers, with the help of researchers in the field, have been desperately trying to develop new insecticides that can ward off pests looking to claim their crops. These products work with a varying degree of effectiveness. For one, the insect pests tend to develop tolerance and new solutions have to be developed, and of course there’s always the issue of

Human activity drives evolution of bigger brains in animals

It’s clear that humans are now, more than ever, a driving force in evolutionary biology. Early domestication efforts through breeding and training have changed some species to the point that they’ve grown to be as we wanted them to become. The effects of climate change, a great part of which is anthropogenic, actually influence animals all over the world in

3D map of brain 50 times more detailed than previous versions released

Scientists have striven for years to comprehend the complicated neurological mechanisms that underline the human brain and consciousness. Besides the philosophical aspects of such a quest (how we do think? what is consciousness born?), a better understanding of the human brain will help solve a number of medical issues that currently plague the human brain. A new step forward in

In 1950, a researcher discovered the “pleasure center” of the brain, giving a woman a 30 minute orgasm

It’s the early 1950s, and some strange experiments are going on at Tulane University in Louisiana. Well, maybe not weird, but definitely pushing the limits of neurophysiological knowledge one step further. Dr. Robert G. Heath is at the forefront of these experiments, and he found that he can manipulate both the pleasure and pain centers of the brain, just by

Flipping a single “molecular switch” makes an old mouse brain young

A single molecular switch can make the transition between the active, malleable brain of an adolescent and the mature, stable brain of an adult; yep, a single gene can turn us back to the childlike curiosity we exhibit as adolescents. Researchers have known for quite a while that adolescent brains are typically more malleable (or plastic) than adult ones, allowing

Rats’ brains connect to form an organic computer

In an incredible feat of neuroscience and communications, researchers at Duke University School of Medicine formed a link between pairs of rats by electronically linking their brains. As such, the rats could exchange motor and tactile information between each other. In one particular case, the experiment showed that a pair of linked rats – one rat on a continent, the other

Going inside the unconscious brain

A new study published by MIT revealed, for the first time, what happens inside the brain when you go unconscious. By monitoring the patients’ brain as they were given anesthetics, the researchers were able to identify a distinctive brain activity pattern that occurred as unconsciousness settles in. The pattern can be characterized by a breakdown between different regions in the

Evolution dictated by brawn instead of brain

For scientists, the most common method of assessing an animal’s intelligence is by looking at its relative brain size, with respect to its body size. The human brain, for instance, is small compared to other animal’s brain, however it’s exceptionally large when considering our body mass. A new study, which analyzed the relative brain size of a myriad of species

Slime can navigate using external memory, despite having no brain – a precursor to the nervous system?

Scientists at University of Sydney have been studying for the past few years one of the most peculiar events in nature. It seems that a living slime, no less, no more, is capable of reading information and remembering its past “steps” acting on some sort of external memory, this despite the fact that it has no brain, not even one single

Psychopaths can be spotted through a smell test, study says

Australian scientists say that persons with psychopathic tendencies could be spotted through a smell test, correlated with a psychological questionnaire. The link doesn’t lye in the actual odor emanated by a potentially psychopathic person, though, but rather in their sense of smell. The study conducted by Mehmet Mahmut and Richard Stevenson, from Macquarie University, is based on findings which show that people

Einstein’s brain: now available on iPad

After the most recognized physics figure in the world, Albert Einstein, past away on April 18, 1955, the whole world was left in shock, seeing how he was even by then considered the most famous physicist in history. His dying wish was that of being cremated, however an eccentric physician by the name of Thomas Harvey, a Princeton Hospital pathologist, removed Einstein’s

Loud Music Can Stimulate Your Brain

 Music is LIFE Music makes the world go round, but in recent years youngsters have been warned about listening to too much music at high volumes, advising that it may cause hearing loss in later life. Contrary to this, research in the last few years into the positive reactions of listening to loud music has taken place, and offers an

We make mistakes more often and learn harder when rules change

Someone whose been driving for 20 years, let’s say, in the United States and somehow ends up driving a car in the UK will be in a lot of trouble. Going from right side driving to left side driving, or vice versa, will bewilder just about anyone, and if you’ve gone through such an experience maybe you can relate to