Post Tagged with: "Neuron"

 
  • Suzana Herculano-Houzel: What is so special about the human brain?

    Suzana Herculano-Houzel: What is so special about the human brain? The human brain is puzzling — it is curiously large given the size of our bodies, uses a tremendous amount of energy for its weight and has a bizarrely dense cerebral cortex. But: why? Neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel puts on her detective’s cap and leads us through this mystery. By making “brain soup,” she arrives at a startling conclusion. Suzana Herculano-Houzel shrunk the human brain by 14 billion neurons — by developing a new way to count them.   WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HER?   How many neurons make a human brain? For years, the answer has been (give or take) 100 billion. But neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel decided to count them herself. Her research approach involved dissolving four human brains (donated to science) into a homogeneous mixture — in her lab at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences in Rio de Janeiro, they call it “brain soup.” She then took a sample of the mix, counted the number of cell nuclei belonging to neurons, and scaled that up. Result: the human brain has about 86 billion neurons, 14 billion fewer than assumed — but intriguingly, far more than other animals, relative to brain size.   She suggests that it was the invention of cooking by our ancestors — which makes food yield much more metabolic energy — that allowed humans to develop the largest primate brain. She’s now working on elephant and whale brains to test her hypothesis.  

     
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  • Study Identifies Brain Circuits Involved in Learning and Decision Making

    A new study has identified neural circuits in mice which are involved in the learning and altering of behaviors. The findings could have implications for alcoholism and other addictive behaviors. Study Identifies Brain Circuits Involved in Learning and Decision Making  

     
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  • BRAIN POWER: From Neurons to Networks

    BRAIN POWER: From Neurons to Networks is a 10-minute film and accompanying TED Book (ted.com/tedbooks) from award-winning Director Tiffany Shlain and her team at The Moxie Institute. Based on new research on how to best nurture children’s brains from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child and University of Washington‘s I-LABS, the film explores the parallels between a child’s brain development and the development of the global brain of Internet, offering insights into the best ways to shape both. Made through a new crowd-sourcing creativity process the Moxie team calls “Cloud Filmmaking,” Brain Power was created by putting into action the very ideas that the film is exploring: the connections between neurons, networks, and people around the world.  

     
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