Research news

  • MIT study sheds light on what causes compulsive behavior, could improve OCD treatments. Photo:

    Compulsive no more

    Study sheds light on causes of compulsive behavior, could improve OCD treatments.
  • Graybiel in her lab with research scientist Jill Crittenden. Photo: Justin Knight

    Breaking down the Parkinson’s pathway

    New study is first to analyze how affected brain cells respond during different behavioral tasks.
  • Structure of a TAL effector protein wrapped around a DNA double helix. Image based on data from Mak et al., Science 2012.

    Editing the genome with high precision

    New method allows scientists to insert, delete genes with greater specificity.
  • Image: Marcia Williams Medical Illustrations

    Precisely engineering 3-D brain tissues

    New design technique could enable personalized medicine, studies of brain wiring.
  • Optogenetics is a technique that allows researchers to control brain cell activity using light.

    How the brain controls our habits

    Habits are behaviors wired so deeply in our brains that we perform them automatically. This allows you to follow the same route to work every day without thinking about it, liberating your brain to ponder other things, such as what to make for…

  • calcium-qianchen

    Calcium reveals connections between neurons

    A team led by MIT neuroscientists has developed a way to monitor how brain cells coordinate with each other to control specific behaviors, such as initiating movement or detecting an odor.

    The researchers’ new imaging technique, …

  • Language-selective (red) and domain-general (blue) subregions of Broca's area shown in a few sample subjects. Image: Evelina Fedorenko, Nancy Kanwisher

    Brain’s language center has multiple roles

    A century and a half ago, French physician Pierre Paul Broca found that patients with damage to part of the brain’s frontal lobe were unable to speak more than a few words. Later dubbed Broca’s area, this region is believed to …

  • Mehrdad Jazayeri

    Mehrdad Jazayeri to join McGovern Institute faculty

    We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mehrdad Jazayeri as an Investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. He will join the institute in January 2013, with a faculty appointment as assistant professor in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
  • Brain scans of patients with social anxiety disorder can predict which patients will benefit most from cognitive-behavioral therapy. Left, patterns of activity in patients with better outcomes; right, patients with worse outcomes. Images: Satrajit Ghosh, Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli, John Gabrieli

    Predicting how patients respond to therapy

    Social anxiety is usually treated with either cognitive behavioral therapy or medications. However, it is currently impossible to predict which treatment will work best for a particular patient. The team of researchers from MIT, Boston…

  • Photo: Kent Dayton

    Stroke disrupts how brain controls muscle synergies

    The simple act of picking up a pencil requires the coordination of dozens of muscles: The eyes and head must turn toward the object as the hand reaches forward and the fingers grasp it. To make this job more manageable, the brain’s motor…

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