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From the College of Natural Sciences
Audio: Cocktail Party Effect

Audio: Cocktail Party Effect

How do we manage to follow a conversation with a friend in the middle of a noisy room? Neuroscientists, like Nace Golding, are still working out the details—but what they've learned so far is pretty amazing.

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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.

Medication May Help Stop Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Medication May Help Stop Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have successfully stopped cocaine and alcohol addiction in experiments using a drug already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat high blood pressure. If the treatment is proven effective in humans, it would be the first of its kind — one that could help prevent relapses by erasing the unconscious memories that underlie addiction.

Researchers Discover First Sensor of Earth’s Magnetic Field in an Animal

Researchers Discover First Sensor of Earth’s Magnetic Field in an Animal

A team of scientists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin has identified the first sensor of the Earth’s magnetic field in an animal, finding in the brain of a tiny worm a big clue to a long-held mystery about how animals’ internal compasses work.

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.

Neuroscientists Receive $1M Grant to Study Sensory Adaptation

Neuroscientists Receive $1M Grant to Study Sensory Adaptation

Nicholas Priebe, an associate professor of neuroscience in The University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences, and three colleagues have been awarded a Human Frontier Science Program research grant worth $1.05 million over three years to study how our sensory systems change as the environment changes.

Understanding the Prefrontal Cortex

Understanding the Prefrontal Cortex

ZemelmanDendrites.jpgEvery time you need to make plans for the future, like what to do over spring break or which SXSW shows to catch, you're using the prefrontal cortex of your brain.

Alcohol Abuse Linked to Newly Identified Gene Network

Alcohol Abuse Linked to Newly Identified Gene Network

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have identified a network of genes that appear to work together in determining alcohol dependence. The findings, which could lead to future treatments and therapies for alcoholics and possibly help doctors screen for alcoholism, are being published this week in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Mental Rest and Reflection Boost Learning, Study Suggests

Mental Rest and Reflection Boost Learning, Study Suggests

A new study, which may have implications for approaches to education, finds that brain mechanisms engaged when people allow their minds to rest and reflect on things they've learned before may boost later learning.

Staying on the Grid: Placing a Nobel-prize Winning Neuroscience Discovery in a UT Austin Context

Staying on the Grid: Placing a Nobel-prize Winning Neuroscience Discovery in a UT Austin Context

Yesterday, three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of two types of brain cells involved in keeping track of where we are when moving around. Called place cells and grid cells, they may hold the key to understanding aspects of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's. Laura Colgin, who did research with two of the prize-winning scientists awarded this year’s Nobel Prize, is now an associate professor of neuroscience in the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Natural Sciences who continues to investigate the role of place cells in spacial memory tasks and more.

Mutation Stops Worms From Getting Drunk

Mutation Stops Worms From Getting Drunk

drunk-sober-worms-humans.jpgNeuroscientists at The University of Texas at Austin have generated mutant worms that do not get intoxicated by alcohol, a result that could lead to new drugs to treat the symptoms of people going through alcohol withdrawal.

Neurons in the Brain Tune into Different Frequencies for Different Spatial Memory Tasks

Neurons in the Brain Tune into Different Frequencies for Different Spatial Memory Tasks

The hippocampus. Image courtesy of the Colgin lab.

Your brain transmits information about your current location and memories of past locations over the same neural pathways using different frequencies of a rhythmic electrical activity called gamma waves, report neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Austin.

Brain Scans Show We Take Risks Because We Can't Stop Ourselves

Brain Scans Show We Take Risks Because We Can't Stop Ourselves

brains-control-systems-700x306.jpg

A new study correlating brain activity with how people make decisions suggests that when individuals engage in risky behavior, such as drunk driving or unsafe sex, it's probably not because their brains' desire systems are too active, but because their self-control systems are not active enough.

Grasshopper Mice Are Numb to the Pain of the Bark Scorpion Sting

Grasshopper Mice Are Numb to the Pain of the Bark Scorpion Sting

The painful, potentially deadly stings of bark scorpions are nothing more than a slight nuisance to grasshopper mice, which voraciously kill and consume their prey with ease. When stung, the mice briefly lick their paws and move in again for the kill.

Neuroscientist Studying Monkeys in Ecuador Finds His Field Site Under Threat

Neuroscientist Studying Monkeys in Ecuador Finds His Field Site Under Threat

Yasuní National Park in Ecuador, which is one of the most biodiverse places on this planet, has been opened up for oil exploration.