Retrieving Lost Memories

HHMI Bulletin | November 2007

“Every morning we took a short walk to the local market for groceries. One day, on the way back, there was a thunderstorm, so we took shelter in a little shed. After the rain, I said, ‘Let’s go home now.’ I looked at my grandmother’s face and it was completely without expression. ‘Home?’ she asked. ‘Where is home?'”  read in full issue (pdf)

From the corner of the eye: Paying attention to attention

Salk Institute | July 5, 2007

Every kid knows that moms have “eyes in the back of their heads.” We are adept at fixing our gaze on one object while independently directing attention to others. Salk Institute neurobiologists are beginning to tease apart the complex brain networks that enable humans and other higher mammals to achieve this feat.  read story

Sculpting Brain Connections

HHMI Bulletin | May 2007

Unlike your computer’s memory chips, whose circuits are etched into a solid slab of silicon, real brain circuits change shape as they learn. HHMI investigator Michael D. Ehlers and his colleagues at Duke University are themselves learning how neurons remold their connections, and they may have identified the brain’s favored sculpting tool.
read in full issue (pdf)

Toddler Hits Its Stride

HHMI Bulletin | March 2005

Meet Toddler, a walking robot that mimics the human gait.  Created by computer engineer Russ Tedrake in the lab of computational neuroscientist and HHMI investigator H. Sebastian Seung at MIT, Toddler uses customized learning software to teach itself to walk in less than 20 minutes.  The robot “doesn’t walk too much like a human, but we think it learns like a human,” Tedrake says. read in full issue (pdf)