In mammals, the controlling clock component that generates a 24-hour rhythm is the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), located in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The SCN produces a signal that can keep the rest of the body on an approximately 24-hour schedule. This animation illustrates...
Neurons in the cortical area 5 are active when a cat is straddling an obstacle.
Electrical and chemical signals are used by neurons to communicate with one another at contact points called synapses.
Long-term memory requires the activation of CREB, turning on specific genes that support new synaptic growth.
Short-term memory relies on serotonin activating a protein kinase to modify existing synaptic strength.
The fetal brain grows enormously during pregnancy, both in terms of its size and the number of neurons it has.
Early LTP (short-term memory) depends on a calcium-dependent protein kinase to strengthen an existing synapse.
A 3-D animation that shows the location of the hypothalamus in a mouse's brain.
Late LTP (long-term memory) involves dopamine activation of CREB to support new synaptic growth.
Illustrates how providing leptin to an obese mouse rapidly rewires its hypothalamus neurons.
Even though Clive Wearing cannot remember people or events, his piano-playing skills are intact.
Clive Wearing has lost his ability to remember and lives in a perpetual state of having just awoken.
What is mind? Can molecular biology help us understand mental function?
The history of localization of function in the brain, and research that led to the understanding of localization of memory.
How a nerve cell gets its identity, sends axons, and makes connections with other cells.
The cellular and molecular nature of learning and memory, investigated in simpler sea slugs and more-complex mice.
The lecturers, joined by Dr. Kay Jamison of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Dr. Gerald Fischbach of the Simons Foundation, answer questions concerning autism, manic depression, and other mental illnesses.
Mutations in key genes can lay waste to the nervous system. By studying large families predisposed to developing these genetic disorders, scientists can identify the responsible altered gene.
Girls with Rett syndrome develop normally for about 18 months and then begin to regress. With the help of affected girls and their families, Dr. Zoghbi and her collaborators searched for the gene responsible for this neurological disorder.
Dr. Friedman shows how leptin rewires neural circuits, and how population studies may identify obesity genes.
Dr. Joseph Takahashi takes us on an exciting journey into a very special region of the brain—the biological clock that governs our physiology and certain behaviors.
To accompany the lecture series Making Your Mind: Molecules, Motion, and Memory.
In the 2013 Holiday Lectures on Science, leading medical researchers explain how advances in genomics are revolutionizing their work, leading to a better understanding of disease and to improved treatments.
A brochure from the 2013 Holiday Lectures on Science.
The poster for the 2013 Holiday Lectures on Science, Medicine in the Genomic Era, illustrates the difference between germline and somatic cell mutations.
Dr. Walsh is an HHMI investigator whose research focuses on understanding the genes involved in the development and function of the human brain.
One approach to understanding the brain is to reconstruct the shapes and connections of individual neurons.
The developing brain needs a constant source of new cells as it builds the circuits that will control behavior.
Recent advances in DNA sequencing technology have led to a better understanding of the many genes that play a role in brain development.
Over the past decade, the application of advanced DNA sequencing techniques has greatly increased our understanding of the genetic basis of autism.
A student discussion with the lecturers of the 2013 Holiday Lectures on Science.
Dr. Walsh recalls his childhood as one of eight siblings, discovering science in college, and the role of genomics in studying autism.
Ms. Yang describes what it was like growing up in a family filled with medical doctors, discusses her MD-PhD program, and provides advice to high school students interested in science.
Most of the neurons of the cerebral cortex arise from progenitor cells that undergo repeated cell division.
Genes associated with autism affect the structure and function of neuronal synapses.
A new technique for making the brain transparent provides extremely detailed views of groups of neurons.
Dante is a healthy 10-year-old boy who has had half his cerebral cortex surgically removed to treat his seizures.
Dr. Christopher Walsh discusses how genomic science has made enormous contributions to our understanding of the genetic causes of autism.
Dante is a 10-year-old boy born with hemimegalencephaly—an enlargement of half his brain.
A unique group of cells in the eye’s retina specifically detects the upward motion of objects, such as a ball thrown in the air or…fireworks.