LLNL develops 3D ‘brain-on-a-chip’ device capable of long-term recording of neural activity

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory engineers and biologists have developed a “brain-on-a-chip” device capable of recording the neural activity of living brain cell cultures in three-dimensions, a significant advancement in the realistic modeling of the human brain outside of the body.

Read more

Researchers Discover Method to Detect Motor-Related Brain Activity

Motor-related brain activity is of great interest to researchers looking for a better way to improve neurorehabilitation, and one factor to consider is the suppression of the specific rhythmic activity of neurons within the sensorimotor cortex of the brain. Studies indicate this feature suffers from variability when using traditional methods to explore it. In the journal Chaos, scientists in Russia are approaching the problem from a different angle to search for a more robust feature of brain activity associated with accomplishing motor tasks.

Read more

Brain links to embryonic immunity, guiding response of the “troops” that battle infection

Researchers have discovered that the brains of developing embryos provide signals to a nascent immune system that help it ward off infections and significantly improve the embryo’s ability to survive a bacterial challenge. Viable brainless frog embryos can survive for some time, but exhibit chaotic and ineffective responses.

Read more

Opioid Dependence Found to Permanently Change Brains of Rats

Approximately one-quarter of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them, with five to 10 percent developing an opioid use disorder or addiction. In a new study, UC San Diego researchers found that opioid dependence produced permanent changes in the brains of rats.

Read more

Calculated Surprise Leads to Groundbreaking Discovery in Cognitive Control Research

To better understand how motivational control processes help maximize performance when faced with task challenges, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and provide fascinating insights into the role of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) as a component network of brain regions that support motivated behavior. They have unified conflicting findings by discovering that the single mechanism of surprise best accounts for activity in dACC during a task requiring motivated control.

Read more

Some Learning is A Whole-Brain Affair, Study Shows

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have successfully used a laser-assisted imaging tool to “see” what happens in brain cells of mice learning to reach out and grab a pellet of food. Their experiments, they say, add to evidence that such motor-based learning can occur in multiple areas of the brain, even ones not typically associated with motor control.

Read more