Why are babies cute? A group of researchers at the University of Oxford have found the answer to this question. According to them, the appealing sight and smell of babies is a protective mechanism that ensures their survival at a time when they are completely dependent. Read more about their research here.

A team of researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center led by Dr. Linda Buck, a biologist and a Nobel Prize winner, has discovered a small area of the mouse brain that plays an important role in fear. They studied the scent-induced fear response in mice by exposing them to the smell of bobcat’s urine, who is their natural predator. Read more about their research here.

Typical sleep patterns in mammals are composed of two phases: non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep or dreaming sleep. Researchers from Bern wanted to understand the mechanisms that help the brain switch between the two patterns. They identified a new neural circuit between hypothalamus and thalamus that have been associated with electroencephalogram rhythms during sleep. Read more about their research here.

Although reseatchers have known about the phenomenon of 'inattentional deafness,' the exact reasons behind it were not known. A team of researchers from University College London conducted a study on how concentrating on a visual task renders people temporarily deaf to the surrounding sounds. Read more about their research here.

Researchers from McGill University and the Montreal Neurological Institute discovered that the first language we are exposed to has a lasting influence on the way the brain processes the other languages even when the first language is no longer spoken. They studied how the children from diverse linguistic backgrounds processed pseudo-French words and used the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to observe the parts of their brains that got activated. Read more about their research here.

A study conducted on the brain by researchers at the Northwestern University suggests that the long-held belief that Wernicke’s area is the prime area of language comprehension might not be accurate. Read more about their research here.

The exact cause of schizophrenia, a complex psychiatric disorder, has baffled researchers. However, a team of researchers led by Andrew Pocklington from Cardiff University’s Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics has made headway into understanding its root cause. Read more about their research here.

Researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) published a study which shows that the brain learns new words faster by recognizing them as complete words rather than in parts, and remembered them as pictures for future reference. Read more about their research here.

It is known that neurons called grid cells to form a network known as the brain’s “inner GPS” that help humans and animals to navigate. Researchers at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire studied rats and discovered that these neurons receive spatial information from head direction cells in the thalamus. Read on to find out more.

A team of researchers from Columbia University Medical Center led by Yuki Oka discovered two groups of neurons in the hypothalamus that control the feeling of thirst in mice. In an attempt to understand how the brain controls the desire for water, the team used optogenetic experiments to stimulate specific neurons with a laser. Read on to find out what the team discovered.