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Anil Seth Finds Consciousness in Life’s Push Against Entropy
How does consciousness arise in mere flesh and blood? To the neuroscientist Anil Seth, our organic bodies are the key to the experience.
To Learn More Quickly, Brain Cells Break Their DNA
New work shows that neurons and other brain cells use DNA double-strand breaks, often associated with cancer, neurodegeneration and aging, to quickly express genes related to learning and memory.
The Brain Doesn’t Think the Way You Think It Does
Familiar categories of mental functions such as perception, memory and attention reflect our experience of ourselves, but they are misleading about how the brain works. More revealing approaches are emerging.
Neurons Unexpectedly Encode Information in the Timing of Their Firing
A temporal pattern of activity observed in human brains may explain how we can learn so quickly.
Sleep Evolved Before Brains. Hydras Are Living Proof.
Studies of sleep are usually neurological. But some of nature’s simplest animals suggest that sleep evolved for metabolic reasons, long before brains even existed.
Can Machines Control Our Brains?
Advances in brain-computer interface technology are impressive, but we’re not close to anything resembling mind control.
Artificial Neural Nets Finally Yield Clues to How Brains Learn
The learning algorithm that enables the runaway success of deep neural networks doesn’t work in biological brains, but researchers are finding alternatives that could.
Brain’s ‘Background Noise’ May Hold Clues to Persistent Mysteries
By digging out signals hidden within the brain’s electrical chatter, scientists are getting new insights into sleep, aging and more.
The Year in Biology
While the study of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was the most urgent priority, biologists also learned more about how brains process information, how to define individuality and why sleep deprivation kills.