Feb 132006
 

Rat

Neuroscientists from the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT have discovered that after completing a task, a rat’s brain will mentally replay recent events, but in reverse order. They believe this process plays a key role in learning and memory and may explain why taking frequent breaks when studying is more effective for learning new material than cramming for extended periods of time. Their work could yield a better understanding of amnesia, Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders and lead to more efficient methods for learning and memorization.

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Feb 022006
 

LiveScience.com is reporting today that a new study by neuroscientists at the University of California, Irvine has confirmed the long held belief that different pieces of a single memory are stored in separate locations in the brain. This is the first time solid evidence has been collected verifying that what we recognize as a single experience is actually saved in our brains as multiple memory fragments. The researchers believe their work will lead to insights into understanding and ultimately treating neurological disorders that affect memory storage, retention, and recall.

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Dec 042005
 

LiveScience.com is reporting that researchers from the University of Washington have discovered neurons in the brainstems of rats whose sole function is to identify new sounds while ignoring ongoing and predictable background noises. The scientists believe these specialized neurons are present in all vertebrates, including humans in whom they probably play a significant role in speech processing.

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Nov 252005
 
AMouse - A robot mouse with whiskers

source: M. Fend

As part of the Artificial Mouse (AMOUSE) Project, researchers from the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Zurich have developed a robotic mouse, the AMouse, that navigates by means of an omnidirectional camera, several light sensors, and two active artificial whisker arrays. In nature, vibrissae, better known as whiskers, are important sensors for short-range navigation and environmental exploration. The goal of the research is to learn more about the biology and neurology of rodent behavior and to study the way that the input from long and medium range sensors like the camera and light detectors function with and compliment the short range, somatosensory input provided by the whiskers.

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