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How Loneliness Reshapes the Brain
Feelings of loneliness prompt changes in the brain that further isolate people from social contact.
Why and How Do We Dream?
Dreams are subjective, but there are ways to peer into the minds of people while they are dreaming. Steven Strogatz speaks with sleep researcher Antonio Zadra about how new experimental methods have changed our understanding of dreams.
Self-Taught AI Shows Similarities to How the Brain Works
Self-supervised learning allows a neural network to figure out for itself what matters. The process might be what makes our own brains so successful.
The Computer Scientist Challenging AI to Learn Better
Christopher Kanan is building algorithms that can continuously learn over time — the way we do.
By Exploring Virtual Worlds, AI Learns in New Ways
Intelligent beings learn by interacting with the world. Artificial intelligence researchers have adopted a similar strategy to teach their virtual agents new tricks.
The Year in Biology
The detailed understanding of brains and multicellular bodies reached new heights this year, while the genomes of the COVID-19 virus and various organisms yielded more surprises.
To Be Energy-Efficient, Brains Predict Their Perceptions
Results from neural networks support the idea that brains are “prediction machines” — and that they work that way to conserve energy.
The Brain Processes Speech in Parallel With Other Sounds
Scientists thought that the brain’s hearing centers might just process speech along with other sounds. But new work suggests that speech gets some special treatment very early on.
How Animals Map 3D Spaces Surprises Brain Researchers
When animals move through 3D spaces, the neat system of grid cell activity they use for navigating on flat surfaces gets more disorderly. That has implications for some ideas about memory and other processes.