Neurobiology

Category archives for Neurobiology

Blurring, chopping and blocking. Three online items this week all deal with some pretty dynamic phenomena. The blurring is in our perceptions. It turns out that if you even think you have lost money in an experiment, your ability to distinguish between musical notes will be hampered. What’s the connection? Dr. Rony Paz has been…

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…

This week’s new Weizmann science stories are on ants and bats. Two different models for investigating human behavior? Yes, but not exactly in the ways you might imagine, and so much more than that. Dr. Ofer Feinerman, the “ant scientist,” is a new member of the Physics Faculty. In his graduate research under Prof. Elisha…

Every Smell Has Its Place

The olfactory membranes in your nose are densely packed with smell receptors. These receptors come in some 400 different subtypes; complex odors like that of rose petals can waft around 175 distinct kinds of odor molecules in the direction of your nose. In other words, the number of discrete odors we can perceive runs to…

Bat Maps

Dr. Nachum Ulanovsky of the Weizmann Institute and Prof. Ran Nathan and Asaf Tsoar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have captured live fruit bats and glued tiny GPS transmitters to their backs, then driven the bats overnight to a site some 80 kilometers away and rappelled into the bats’ caves to retrieve the transmitters…

What does a tiny patch of salamander retina see when it watches a movie? Weizmann Institute scientists, together with Dr. Ronen Segev at Ben-Gurion University, performed this experiment – literally showing film sequences to snippets of live retina tissue and recording the interactions between their 100 or so active neurons. Seeing, as we know, is…

Today’s science news from the Weizmann Institute covers research in neurobiology, environmental science and cancer immunology. • In the first, scientists identified a likely biological marker for autism that shows up even in very young children. Diagnoses of autism are generally not possible so early, as the signs typically appear gradually throughout the first 3-4…

Do you ever doubt your own memory? New research at the Institute suggests that some of the things we think we remember could be wrong. It seems that our brains are surprisingly willing to exchange a true memory for a false one, just on the basis of friends’ claims. The scientists not only demonstrated just…

Disturbing experiences don’t actually heighten our perceptions. In fact, according to new Weizmann research, in adverse conditions we’re more likely to experience slightly different sights or sounds as being the same. The scientists think that this lumping together of similar sensory stimuli may be behind post-traumatic stress syndrome. The experiments showed that volunteers learning to…

Today’s Weizmann Institute news stories include two new papers from the prolific lab of Prof. Yadin Dudai. The first is on a protein that boosts memory in rats. Dudai and his group have been investigating this protein for several years. Previously, they had managed to show that blocking the protein, even for a very short…