By Anil Seth (ed.)

Are all of us on the mercy of our mind chemistry? Do you're thinking that the amygdala and the hippocampus are fantastical sea monsters? What can an MRI test let us know? may perhaps you clarify to dinner-party site visitors why we do not snort once we tickle ourselves? 30-Second mind is right here to fill your brain with the technology of precisely what is occurring inside of your head. utilizing not more that pages, three hundred phrases, and a unmarried photo, this can be the fastest approach to comprehend the wiring and serve as of the main advanced and complex mechanism within the human physique. become aware of how the networks of ninety billion nerve cells interact to supply notion, motion, cognition, and emotion. discover how your mind defines your character, and what it will get as much as while you're asleep. Illustrated with mind-bending photographs and supported by means of biographies of pioneers within the box of neuroscience, it is the publication to get your grey topic considering your grey matter.

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Extra resources for 30-Second Brain: The 50 most mind-blowing ideas in neuroscience, each explained in half a minute

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Synapses The junctions between neurons, linking the axon of one to a dendrite of another. Synapses ensure that neurons are physically separate from each other so that the brain is not one continuous mesh. Communication across synapses can happen either chemically via neurotransmitters, or electrically. synchrony Applied to neuroscience, synchrony describes the correlated activity of individual neurons. Neurons in synchrony fire spikes (action potentials) at the same time, which can increase their impact on other neurons that they both project to.

Alpha waves are relatively slow oscillations at about 10 Hz (10 cycles per second), which are observed predominantly across the back of the brain and are most pronounced during relaxed wakefulness with the eyes closed. This has led some researchers to suggest that the alpha rhythm reflects cortical ‘idling’, though this view is now being challenged. Other prominent brain oscillations include the delta (1–4 Hz), theta (4–8 Hz), beta (12–25 Hz) and gamma (25–70 Hz or higher) rhythms, however, these categories are a little arbitrary.

3-MINUTE BRAINSTORM The question is not where in the brain a cognitive function sits, but what are the underlying mechanisms and key interacting networks supporting it. Neuroscientists have discovered that, while there is clear functional specialization in the brain, these dedicated areas do not work alone – they are better thought of as hubs within complex interconnected networks. For example, fear in the brain depends on the amygdala. If this area is removed, a person becomes fearless, but it is the amygdala’s connections and extended network that allow us to really feel fear.

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