Researchers report they’ve pinpointed the precise location in the human brain, called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, that controls belief and doubt, and which explains why some of us are more gullible than others.
By watching individual neurons at work, a group of psychologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has revealed just how stress can addle the mind, as well as how neurons in the brain's prefrontal cortex help remember information in the first place.
A study shows social isolation during early life prevents the cells that make up the brain's white matter from maturing and producing the right amount of myelin, the fatty "insulation" on nerve fibers that helps them transmit long-distance messages within the brain.
Scientists used an electronic prosthetic system to tap into existing circuitry in the brain at the cellular level and record the firing patterns of multiple neurons in the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in decision-making. They then “played” that recording back to the same brain area to electrically stimulate decision-based neural activity. Not only did it restore function, in some cases, it also improved it.
If only there were a way to forget that humiliating faux pas at last night's dinner party. It turns out there's not one, but two opposite ways in which the brain allows us to voluntarily forget unwanted memories, according to research.
Working with patients with electrodes implanted in their brains, researchers show that areas of the brain work simultaneously to recall memories. The approach promises new insights into how we remember details of time and place.
When the hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with memory and learning, is damaged, the prefrontal cortex takes over. This demonstration of neuroplasticity could give rise to new treatment options for Alzheimer's disease and other conditions associated with damage to the brain.