George F. Will: Obama’s brainy idea

Fifty years from now, when Malia and Sasha are grandmothers, their father’s presidency might seem most consequential because of a small sum — $100 million — devoted to studying something small. “As humans,”

PNI graduate students awarded prestigious 3-year Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research Fellowships

Ann Duan is a third-year student conducting research in Carlos Brody's laboratory, investigating the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive control and rule-switching. Yao Lu is a second-year student conducting research in David Tank's laboratory, using multimodal (olfactory and visual) stimuli to investigate how neural activity sequences are affected by learning and task manipulations.

Michael Graziano's new book "Consciousness and the Social Brain" released

What is consciousness and how can a brain, a mere collection of neurons, create it? Michael Graziano, on the neuroscience faculty at Princeton University, is developing a theoretical and experimental approach to these questions. The theory begins with the ability to attribute awareness to others. The human brain has a complex circuitry that allows it to be socially intelligent. One function of this circuitry is to attribute a state of awareness to others: to build the intuition that person Y is aware of thing X.

Subconscious mental categories help brain sort through everyday experiences

Our experience of the world seems to divide naturally into discrete, temporally extended events, yet the mechanisms underlying the learning and identification of events are poorly understood. Research on event perception has focused on transient elevations in predictive uncertainty or surprise as the primary signal driving event segmentation.

NSF graduate research fellowships

Congratulations to graduate students Nathan Parker (PNI) and Joel Finkelstein (joint degree in Psychology & PNI) for being awarded prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowships for 2013, as well as to Adrianna Loback (PNI) for receiving an honorable mention. First year Psychology & Neuroscience graduate student, Jeremy Borjon, was awarded an NSF grad fellowship.

Researchers discover workings of brain’s ‘GPS system’

The study, pub­lished in the jour­nal Nature, indi­cates that cer­tain position-tracking neu­rons — called grid cells — ramp their activ­ity up and down by work­ing together in a col­lec­tive way to deter­mine loca­tion, rather than each cell act­ing on its own as was pro­posed by a com­pet­ing theory. Full Story.

Asif Ghazanfar honored by National Academy of Sciences for outstanding research

Asif Ghazanfar, an associate professor of psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, received one of two 2013 Troland Research Awards presented to outstanding young investigators in experimental psychology. Ghazanfar was recognized for advancing the understanding of human communication by exploring the evolution, development and neural basis for primate communication.