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From dino brains to thought control--10 fascinating brain findings

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Illustration showing surfaces of the mouse and human brains

The human brain is relatively large and very wrinkled. Wrinkles increase the surface available for neurons.

Credit: Elizabeth Atkinson, Washington University in St. Louis


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Illustration showing three types of dinosaurs

A new map of a generalized dinosaur brain suggests the existence of a cerebrum, which could mean dinosaurs behaved in more complex ways that we have thought.

Credit: Thinkstock

 

Albert Einstein

Einstein had an unusually large number of a specialized type of brain cell known as glia. New evidence suggests glia may promote learning.

Credit: Prints and Photographs, Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-60242)


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Students and flying robot

University of Minnesota researchers demonstrate a noninvasive system that allows a person to control a flying robot using their thoughts.

Credit: University of Minnesota


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octopus

If studies show that nervous system processes in octopi are significantly different from those of vertebrates, the results could point the way to new applications for robotics and image detection technologies.

Credit: Thinkstock

 

A pied-flycatcher on a branch

Because day length is unaffected by climate change, some long-distance migrators such as the pied-flycatcher, whose main migratory cue is day length, have maintained fairly consistent arrival times at spring breeding grounds. Yet, spring temperatures are arriving earlier in the year. So these migrators are missing insect population peaks upon which they previously feasted. With less to eat, these migrators are producing fewer chicks.

Credit: Mark Medcalf, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license


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A nerve cell in the human brain (a neuron)

A nerve cell in the human brain (a neuron). To standardize the naming of neurons and create a universally accepted inventory of neuron types, Edward Boyden of MIT and others are working with the Allen Institute for Brain Science to create the first comprehensive database of types of brain cells.

Credit: Thinkstock

 



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