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Neuroscientist Receives Grant to Advance Understanding of Brain Structure

Neuroscientist Receives Grant to Advance Understanding of Brain Structure

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Kristen Harris, a professor in the Department of Neuroscience at The University of Texas at Austin, a $9 million grant to explore the brain in microscopic detail and understand the cell biology of the nervous system. Harris plans to image and map synapses, the tiny points of contact between neurons throughout the brain, in detail and to model synapse function and share the data publically for use by colleagues throughout the world.

Brain image from an electron micrograph through a single section plane illustrating spiny dendrites (yellow), nonspiny dendrites (orange), excitatory axons (green), excitatory synapses (red), astroglia (light blue), microglia (dark brown). Image credit: Kristen Harris
Unlocking the Mind's Mysteries

Unlocking the Mind's Mysteries

It's been called the most complicated object in the known universe. But, as UT scientists are learning, the human brain offers five important clues for understanding its wonders.

UT Austin Researchers Map Neurological Process of Learning, Deciding

UT Austin Researchers Map Neurological Process of Learning, Deciding

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin can now map what happens neurologically when new information influences a person to change his or her mind, a finding that offers more insight into the mechanics of learning.

Neuroscientist Weighs How Realistic Bourne Character's Memory Loss Is

Neuroscientist Weighs How Realistic Bourne Character's Memory Loss Is

This week, Matt Damon returns to the big screen as Jason Bourne, a secret agent who has forgotten his entire life and is piecing it back together while confronting political and economic conflicts. We wondered how realistically the series depicts brain science.

Scientists Estimate Memory Capacity Based on Sizes of Brain Synapses

Scientists Estimate Memory Capacity Based on Sizes of Brain Synapses

Neuroscientists from The University of Texas at Austin and the Salk Institute have discovered that connections between brain cells, called synapses, can be grouped into more discrete sizes than was previously thought, and these discrete sizes are thought to predict different functional states.

Scientists Discover How We Play Memories in Fast Forward

Scientists Discover How We Play Memories in Fast Forward

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered a mechanism that may explain how the brain can recall nearly all of what happened on a recent afternoon — or make a thorough plan for how to spend an upcoming afternoon — in a fraction of the time it takes to live out the experience. The breakthrough in understanding a previously unknown function in the brain has implications for research into schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, Alzheimer's disease and other disorders where real experiences and ones that exist only in the mind can become distorted.

When we think about past or future events, we use a special brain wave frequency that allows us to play them in fast forward, although at a lower resolution. Illustration by Juliette Pepperell
Graduate Students’ Class Project Produces New Tool for Neuroscience

Graduate Students’ Class Project Produces New Tool for Neuroscience

As new graduate students in the neuroscience department, Kenneth Latimer and Jacob Yates did a class project in a business class that eventually resulted in a prestigious publication in the journal Science, as well as a new tool for neuroscience.

2015 Summer Blockbusters: Meet Our Science Truth Detector

2015 Summer Blockbusters: Meet Our Science Truth Detector

With summer movie season in full swing, cinema-goers are leaving theaters with one big question in mind: “Wait, could that really happen?”

6 Tips for Staying Sharp

6 Tips for Staying Sharp

Staying Sharp

This time of year, students cram information into the dark, neglected corners of their brains just long enough to survive those dreaded final exams and later in life, many of us come up against similar challenges with learning and memory. I asked experts across The University of Texas at Austin—including neuroscientists, psychologists, a nutritionist and a physical education expert—for their best, research-based advice for staying mentally sharp throughout life.

Crowdfunding Science

Crowdfunding Science

Scientists reportedly are up against one of the toughest environments for research support in generations.