The Top 5 Neuroscience Breakthroughs of 2014

The year-end roundup has become an annual tradition here at The Connectome. In 2012 and 2013, we broke down the top five most fascinating, transformative, implication-riddled neuroscience discoveries of the year. And now we’re back to do the same for 2014. This year has seen a lot of steps forward in many of the areas we predicted – including optogenetics, connectomics, and brain-to-brain interfaces. It’s also brought some discoveries that seemed to come utterly out of the blue, and that may change the way we look at some of neuroscience’s most central questions. So here – in countdown order – … Continue reading The Top 5 Neuroscience Breakthroughs of 2014

Vampire Science: Young Blood Recharges Old Brains

In this article for Discover Magazine, I dig my teeth into a new set of experiments that seems almost supernatural: Injecting aging mice with blood from younger mice can reverse the aging process in their brains. Sounds like something straight out of a horror movie, doesn’t it? But its real, and it’s scientifically proven to work. Join me and find out how. After the parabiont mouse pairs had spent five weeks sharing blood, the experimenters examined the genes in each mouse’s hippocampus – a brain structure crucial for learning and memory. They found that older mice which had gotten young … Continue reading Vampire Science: Young Blood Recharges Old Brains

Brain-Wide Map of “Neural Highways” Is First of Its Kind

In this article for Scientific American, I report on a new map of neural connections among just about every area of the cerebrum. What does this map mean, exactly? Where does the data come from? What does it tell us about how the brain works? And how can we use it to help treat brain disorders? Dig in and find out the answers for yourself! This white-matter map not only charts the geography of these neural highways – it also plots out which of them interact with the most other paths, which are most crucial for supporting key brain functions, … Continue reading Brain-Wide Map of “Neural Highways” Is First of Its Kind