The fractal brain, from a single neuron’s perspective

The fractal brain, from a single neuron’s perspective

Physicists studying the brain at Washington University in St. Louis have shown how measuring signals from a single neuron may be as good as capturing information from many neurons at once using big, expensive arrays of electrodes. The new work continues the discussion about how the brain seems to function in a “critical” state. The research was reported in the Journal of Neuroscience.
How team sports change a child’s brain

How team sports change a child’s brain

Adult depression has long been associated with shrinkage of the hippocampus, a brain region that plays an important role in memory and response to stress. Now, new research from Washington University in St. Louis has linked participation in team sports to larger hippocampal volumes in children and less depression in boys ages 9 to 11.
New maps hint at how electric fish got their big brains

New maps hint at how electric fish got their big brains

Washington University researchers have mapped the regions of the brain in mormyrid fish in extremely high detail. In a study published in the Nov. 15 issue of Current Biology, they report that the part of the brain called the cerebellum is bigger in members of this fish family compared to related fish — and this may be associated with their use of weak electric discharges to locate prey and to communicate with one another.
Overlooked signal in MRI scans reflects amount, kind of brain cells

Overlooked signal in MRI scans reflects amount, kind of brain cells

An MRI scan often generates an ocean of data, most of which is never used. When overlooked data is analyzed using a new technique developed at the School of Medicine, they surprisingly reveal how many and which brain cells are present – and show where cells have been lost through injury or disease. The findings could lead to new treatments for a variety of brain diseases.
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