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Brain Scan Cover Image: Spring 2012

To win at cards, players must understand the beliefs and intentions of their opponents, an ability known as “Theory of Mind.” Rebecca Saxe studies the brain mechanisms that underlie this quintessentially human ability.


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.


Martha Constantine-Paton wins lifetime achievement award

Constantine-Paton, a leading figure in the field of developmental neuroscience, has been awarded the Society for Neuroscience’s Mika Salpeter Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes individuals with outstanding career achievements in neuroscience who have also actively promoted the professional advancement of women in neuroscience. Constantine-Paton will be recognized for her achievements during the Society for […]


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 University (BU) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) found that the effectiveness of therapy could be predicted by measuring patients’ brain […]


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 cortex has implemented a system of shortcuts. Instead of controlling each muscle […]


Thinking about others is not child’s play

When you try to read other people’s thoughts, or guess why they are behaving a certain way, you employ a skill known as theory of mind. This skill, as measured by false-belief tests, takes time to develop: In children, it doesn’t start appearing until the age of 4 or 5. Several years ago, MIT neuroscientist […]


Video Profile: H. Robert Horvitz

H. Robert Horvitz has devoted much of his career to studying the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. Only 1 mm long and containing fewer than 1000 cells, C. elegans has proved to be remarkably informative for studying many biological problems, including the genetic control of development and behavior and the mechanisms that underlie neurodegenerative disease.


Ann Graybiel wins Kavli Prize in Neuroscience

Three MIT researchers including Ann Graybiel  are among seven pioneering scientists worldwide named today as this year’s recipients of the Kavli Prizes. These prizes recognize scientists for their seminal advances in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience, and include a cash award of $1 million in each field. This year’s laureates were selected for their fundamental contributions […]


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