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.
Princeton University researchers have created “souped up” versions of the calcium-sensitive proteins that for the past decade or so have given scientists an unparalleled view and understanding of brain-cell communication.
Physical activity reorganizes the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function, according to a research team based at Princeton University.
Princeton University neuroscientists are poised to play a leading role in revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain as outlined in President Barack Obama's BRAIN Initiative. Full Story.
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.
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.
What are MHC class I proteins (here in green), which are famous for their role in the immune system, doing in newly-born neurons (purple) in the prenatal brain, well before the maturation of the immune response? Hints at as-yet-unknown functions for these immune proteins in the earliest stages of brain development. Full Story.
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, 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.