Weekly Neuroscience Update

With the aid of this detailed brain map, researchers were able to identify previously unknown cell types, including six different types of oligodendrocytes and a nerve cell. This image of an oligodendrocyte is for illustrative purposes only. Image credit: Jurjen Broeke.

With the aid of this detailed brain map, researchers were able to identify previously unknown cell types, including six different types of oligodendrocytes and a nerve cell. This image of an oligodendrocyte is for illustrative purposes only. Image credit: Jurjen Broeke.

Using a process known as single cell sequencing, scientists at Karolinska Institutet have produced a detailed map of cortical cell types and the genes active within them. The study, which is published in the journal ‘Science’, marks the first time this method of analysis has been used on such a large scale on such complex tissue.

Researchers have identified five genetic variants that influence the size of structures within the brain, a discovery that could help determine the genetic processes that underlie neuropsychiatric diseases.

A new study sheds light on the brain cells that function in establishing one’s location and direction. The findings contribute to our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying our abilities to successfully navigate our environment, which may be crucial to dealing with brain damage due to trauma or a stroke and the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Meditation over many years is tied to smaller age-related decreases in brain volume, according to a new study.

In the social world, people constantly gather information through visual cues that are used to evaluate others and interact. A new study has determined that babies can make sense of complex social situations, and that they expect people to behave appropriately.

According to a new study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, clinical depression is associated with a 30 percent increase of inflammation in the brain. The study set out to investigate whether inflammation is a driver of clinical depression independent of other physical illness.

Finally this week, the brain’s speech area, named after 19th century French physician Pierre Paul Broca, shuts down when we talk out loud, according to a new study that challenges the long-held assumption that ‘Broca’s area’ governs all aspects of speech production.

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