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How our gray matter tackles gray areas

When Katie O’Nell’s high school biology teacher showed a NOVA video on epigenetics after the AP exam, he was mostly trying to fill time. But for O’Nell, the video sparked a whole new area of curiosity. She was fascinated by the idea that certain genes could be turned on and off, controlling what traits or […]


3Q: The interface between art and neuroscience

Computational neuroscientist Sarah Schwettmann, who works in the Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines at the McGovern Institute, is one of three instructors behind the cross-disciplinary course 9.S52/9.S916 (Vision in Art and Neuroscience), which introduces students to core concepts in visual perception through the lenses of art and neuroscience. Supported by a faculty grant from […]


Guoping Feng elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences for 2019

Four MIT faculty members are among more than 200 leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities, and the arts elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the academy announced today. One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to […]


McGovern Institute Retreat

Our retreat is fast approaching! We are excited to announce we will be returning to beautiful Cape Cod. Registration is now open please keep the following in mind: Retreat attendance is limited to McGovern Institute only.  (This is not a combined retreat) We will provide round-trip bus transportation from MIT to the Sea Crest Beach […]


Halassa named Max Planck Fellow

Michael Halassa was just appointed as one of the newest Max Planck Fellows. His appointment comes through the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI), which aims to forge collaborations between exceptional neuroscientists from around the world to answer fundamental questions about brain development and function. The Max Planck Society selects cutting edge, active researchers […]


How the brain decodes familiar faces

Our brains are incredibly good at processing faces, and even have specific regions specialized for this function. But what face dimensions are we observing? Do we observe general properties first, then look at the details? Or are dimensions such as gender or other identity details decoded interdependently? In a study published today in Nature Communications, […]


Ask the Brain: How does the brain focus?

This is a very interesting question, and one that researchers at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research are actively pursuing. It’s also important for understanding what happens in conditions such as ADHD. There are constant distractions in the world, a cacophony of noise and visual stimulation. How and where we focus our attention, and what […]


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