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Speaking many languages

Ev Fedorenko studies the cognitive processes and brain regions underlying language, a signature cognitive skill that is uniquely and universally human. She investigates both people with linguistic impairments, and those that have exceptional language skills: hyperpolyglots, or people that are fluent in over a dozen languages. Indeed, she was recently interviewed for a BBC documentary […]

Ev Fedorenko

Building Language Fedorenko seeks to understand the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underpin language. This quintessentially human ability allows us to both gain knowledge of the world and to share it with others. Building on Wernicke and Broca’s seminal work, Fedorenko has implicated specific brain regions, together comprising the language network, in linguistic processing. She […]

Bridging the gap between research and the classroom

In a moment more reminiscent of a Comic-Con event than a typical MIT symposium, Shawn Robinson, senior research associate at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, helped kick off the first-ever MIT Science of Reading event dressed in full superhero attire as Doctor Dyslexia Dude — the star of a graphic novel series he co-created […]

Mark Harnett receives a 2019 McKnight Scholar Award

McGovern Institute investigator Mark Harnett is one of six young researchers selected to receive a prestigious 2019 McKnight Scholar Award. The award supports his research “studying how dendrites, the antenna-like input structures of neurons, contribute to computation in neural networks.” Harnett examines the biophysical properties of single neurons, ultimately aiming to understand how these relate […]

A chemical approach to imaging cells from the inside

A team of researchers at the McGovern Institute and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have developed a new technique for mapping cells. The approach, called DNA microscopy, shows how biomolecules such as DNA and RNA are organized in cells and tissues, revealing spatial and molecular information that is not easily accessible through other microscopy […]

McGovern neuroscientists develop a new model for autism

Using the genome-editing system CRISPR, researchers at MIT and in China have engineered macaque monkeys to express a gene mutation linked to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders in humans. These monkeys show some behavioral traits and brain connectivity patterns similar to those seen in humans with these conditions. Mouse studies of autism and other neurodevelopmental […]

How we tune out distractions

Imagine trying to focus on a friend’s voice at a noisy party, or blocking out the phone conversation of the person sitting next to you on the bus while you try to read. Both of these tasks require your brain to somehow suppress the distracting signal so you can focus on your chosen input. MIT […]

Postcards from the Brain

Postcards from the brain “Postcards from the Brain” is an illustrative journey, inspired by NASA and the National Park Service featuring brain regions studied by McGovern researchers and created by NYC artist Joseph Laney. Order and Share To order your own McGovern brain postcards, contact our colleagues at the MIT Museum, where proceeds will support […]

New gene-editing system precisely inserts large DNA sequences into cellular DNA

A team led by researchers from Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, has characterized and engineered a new gene-editing system that can precisely and efficiently insert large DNA sequences into a genome. The system, harnessed from cyanobacteria and called CRISPR-associated transposase (CAST), allows efficient introduction of DNA while […]

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