New evidence in animals suggests that theories about how the brain processes sight, sound and touch may need updating. Researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and colleagues report their findings in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Using electrodes smaller than a human hair, researchers from Wake Forest Baptist and the University of California at San Francisco recorded individual cell activity in the brains of 31 adult rats. Their goal was to test two conflicting ideas about brain organization.
"One theory is that individual senses have separate areas of the brain dedicated to them," said Mark Wallace, Ph.D., the studys lead investigator. "In this view, information is processed initially on a sense-by-sense basis and doesnt come together until much later. However, this view has recently been challenged by studies showing that processing in the visual area of the brain, for example, can be influenced by hearing and touch."
Robert Conn | EurekAlert!
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Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications.
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Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
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Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
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Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
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