A new machine-learning algorithm is able to teach itself to smell within a few minutes of training. As it learns, the system builds an artificial network that mimics the brain's olfactory system.
A majority of Parkinson's patients report a diminished sense of smell, which starts to occur a number of years before the onset of other symptoms. Researchers are exploring whether scent-processing neurons which connect the nose to the brain may play a role in the development of Parkinson's disease.
Female mice exposed to PBDEs, a type of flame-retardant found on everyday household items, pass on the chemicals to their developing offspring. In female offspring, this can cause alterations in social memories and behaviors which are reminiscent of human compulsive behaviors associated with autism.
Hexadecanal, a molecule excreted by humans, found in abundance on the scalps of babies, sparks behavioral changes in adults who are exposed to it. In women, the molecule decreases connectivity in parts of the brain associated with social decision making, but increases connectivity in males.