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What Is the Nature of Consciousness?
Consciousness, our experience of being in the world, is one of the mind’s greatest mysteries, but as the neuroscientist Anil Seth explains to Steven Strogatz, research is making progress in understanding this elusive phenomenon.
Is It Real or Imagined? How Your Brain Tells the Difference.
New experiments show that the brain distinguishes between perceived and imagined mental images by checking whether they cross a “reality threshold.”
Memories Help Brains Recognize New Events Worth Remembering
Memories may affect how well the brain will learn about future events by shifting our perceptions of the world.
How a Human Smell Receptor Works Is Finally Revealed
After decades of frustration, researchers have determined how an airborne scent molecule links to a human smell receptor.
How Loneliness Reshapes the Brain
Feelings of loneliness prompt changes in the brain that further isolate people from social contact.
The Year in Biology
Momentum for new ideas in Alzheimer’s research joined advances in neuroscience, developmental biology and origin-of-life studies to make 2022 a memorable year of biological insights.
How the Brain Distinguishes Memories From Perceptions
The neural representations of a perceived image and the memory of it are almost the same. New work shows how and why they are different.
Machine Learning Highlights a Hidden Order in Scents
Efforts to build a better digital “nose” suggest that our perception of scents reflects both the structure of aromatic molecules and the metabolic processes that make them.
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.