IT ALL STARTED WITH A MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS.
What is the self? The answer to the question, often explained away by religious thinkers and philosophers as “spirit” or “soul,” has long been science’s “big blind spot,” says Terrence Deacon, neuroscientist and professor at UC Berkeley.
Posted on October 26, 2017 - 4:04pm
Got a lousy night’s sleep? Feeling kinda grouchy? Turns out waking up on the wrong side of the bed won’t just make you cranky. It will make others seem that way, too. A 2015 study from the UC Berkeley Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory found that a single sleepless night can fundamentally alter the way we perceive others—making even the mellowest of fellows seem like the strangest of dangers.
Scientists have long believed that the cortex, the outer layer of the brain, was responsible for figuring out the meaning in a sentence. But a new study out of UC Berkeley shows that the hippocampus, a brain structure long believed to act as a center for linking memories together, plays an active role in extracting meaning from language.
“This gives us a new insight into how memory works in humans, and how memory interacts with the rest of the brain to produce behavior,” says study co-author and Berkeley psychology professor Robert Knight.
Posted on November 3, 2016 - 10:57am
1. You’re a psychologist who uses mathematical models and “big data” to understand how people think. Why not use traditional methods, such as lab experiments?
Dacher Keltner is a huge fan of Pixar’s Inside Out. The UC Berkeley psychologist and co-director of the Greater Good Science Center had already seen the quirky animated flick several times before its official release in theaters this weekend. “I think it’s amazing,” he says. “I really was astounded at how much truth they reveal about emotion.”
Posted on June 16, 2015 - 2:34pm
It turns out that a sleepless night may cost you more than a morning of grogginess—it could be giving the proteins believed to cause dementia easier access to your brain.
Scientists at UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab have discovered evidence that missing out on deep non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep may leave the brain more vulnerable to the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Posted on June 2, 2015 - 12:11pm
In Star Trek: The Next Generation, a blind character wore a visor that helped him to see the world. With any luck, that won’t be science fiction for long.
UC Berkeley Professor Richard Kramer and his colleagues, including graduate student Ivan Tochitsky, have engineered a molecule that, when injected into the eyes of blind mice, causes them to react to light. With a little extra hardware, Kramer says, this molecule could help humans suffering from diseases like macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.