Brain and mind

Category archives for Brain and mind

Mice on Camera

Take a bunch of peculiar individuals, put them all together in one setting; film their every move, every second of the day. Sound familiar? Dr. Tali Kimchi is explicit about the resemblance of her experiments to a well-known reality TV show. The difference, of course, is that Kimchi’s subjects are mice. She places large groups…

To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day. Lao Tsu Apparently our nervous systems develop according to the Chinese philosopher’s principle of being and not being. As our nerve cells grow, they send out long extensions – axons – throughout the developing tissues. And as they reach out, some…

What’s that Smell?

Weizmann Institute scientists have created a “white smell.” Think about white light or white noise: Each mixes a bunch of different waves together from various parts of the visual or audible spectrum. Those wavelengths combine such that we perceive that unobtrusive light or sound we call “white.” How do smells fit into this scenario? Prof.…

The idea of “seeing the world through the eyes of a child” takes on new meaning when the observer is a computer. Institute scientists in the Lab for Vision and Robotics Research took their computer right back to babyhood and used it to ask how infants first learn to identify objects in their visual field.…

What a Rat Feels

We have been told what it’s like to be a bat or a bird; now Prof. Ehud Ahissar and Dr. Avi Saig are getting people to experience what it’s like to be a rat. Specifically, they want the participants in their studies to learn what it’s like to locate things in the dark by twitching…

The actors on the stage work their magic, turning a few disparate phrases – “challenge, giving birth, infinity, chaos, visiting a new country” – into a brief but charming improvised sketch, to the delight of the audience. But the viewers, filling a large auditorium at the Weizmann Institute of Science, expect more than to be…