The visual system is probably the best understood part of the brain. Over the past 75 years, neuroscientists have assembled a detailed account of how light waves entering your eyes allow you to recognize your grandmother's face, to track a hawk in flight, or to read this sentence. But a new study by UC San Francisco researchers is calling a fundamental aspect of vision science into question, showing that even the best-studied parts of the brain can still hold plenty of surprises.
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The visual system is probably the best understood part of the brain. Over the past 75 years, neuroscientists have assembled a detailed account of how light waves entering your eyes allow you to recognize your grandmother's face, to track to hawk in flight, or to read this sentence. But a new study by UC San Francisco is calling a fundamental aspect of vision science question, showing that even the best-studied parts of the brain can still hold plenty of surprises.
Until now, it was unclear how this DNA packing affected development in early embryos. Researchers found that in mouse embryos – only eight days after fertilization – compacted regions along the genome increase at protein-coding genes.
Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, in collaboration with research groups in Finland, Canada, and Slovenia, have discovered a novel and unexpected function of nestin, the best known marker of neural stem cells.
Researchers have identified a group of genes that induces differences in the developing brains of male and female roundworms and trigger the initiation of puberty, a genetic pathway that may have the same function in controlling the timing of sexual maturation in humans.
Neuroscientists at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, previously showed that synaptic learning mechanisms in the brain's cortex are dependent on feedback from deeper brain regions. They have now precisely deciphered how this feedback gates synaptic strengthening by switching on and off particular inhibitory neurons.
This study, which can be read in Neuron, not only constitutes an important milestone in our understanding of the mechanisms for perceptual learning but may also offer insight into computerized learning systems and artificial intelligence.
A team has unlocked a old mystery about how a critical cellular process called DNA replication is regulated. A team of Florida State University has unlocked a century-old mystery about how a critical cellular process is regulated and what that could mean for the future study of genetics.
While long-term memory (LTM) is known to be encoded in specific neural cells, engram neurons, it has been unclear how these engram neurons are formed during training. In Drosophila, aversive olfactory LTM is formed by repetitive training trials with rest intervals between training trial, spaced training.
Autophagy is a cellular degradation process that can cause the death of a cell in certain conditions. Autophagy is necessary to maintain cellular homeostasis by clearing out damaged cellular organelles and proteins through certain pathways. Mitochondria are cell organelles responsible for the constant supply of energy to maintain cellular physiology and energy metabolism.
The fundamental process of information transfer from neuron to neuron occurs through a relay of electrical and chemical signaling at the synapse, the junction between neurons. Electrical signals, called action potentials, cause voltage-gated calcium channels on the presynaptic neuron to open. The influence of calcium through the channels triggers the release of neurotransmitters (the chemical messengers), which travels across the synapse to the next neuron in the relay, passing along the information.
Researchers report new findings of an experimental evolutionary project that ran for 30 years on the genomic mechanisms of sex determination in swordtail fish.
The brain's support cells, the so-called glial cells, play a main role in the development of the genetic brain disorder Huntington's disease, for which there is currently no treatment. In a new study, an international group of researchers from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, among others, has now mapped important, hitherto unknown mechanisms in glial cells in a brain suffering from Huntington's disease. The new research results have been published in the prestigious journal Cell Stem Cell.