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Neuroscience

Decoding hidden dreams

The brain connects sensory information from the environment to our subjective experiences, resulting in our perceptions, emotions, and memories. However, our brains need to disconnect — i.e., sleep — from the noisy sensory world that we’re…

Seeing RNA at the nanoscale

Cells contain thousands of messenger RNA molecules, which carry copies of DNA’s genetic instructions to the rest of the cell. MIT engineers have now developed a way to visualize these molecules in higher resolution than previously possible…

How the brain processes emotions

Some mental illnesses may stem, in part, from the brain’s inability to correctly assign emotional associations to events. For example, people who are depressed often do not feel happy even when experiencing something that they normally…

Singing in the brain

Male zebra finches, small songbirds native to central Australia, learn their songs by copying what they hear from their fathers. These songs, often used as mating calls, develop early in life as juvenile birds experiment with mimicking the…

Music in the brain

Scientists have long wondered if the human brain contains neural mechanisms specific to music perception. Now, for the first time, MIT neuroscientists have identified a neural population in the human auditory cortex that responds…