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Animals With More Neurons in their Cerebral Cortex Have Longer Lifespans

News   Oct 31, 2018 | Original Press Release from Vanderbilt University

Cerebral Cortex Neuron Number, Not Body Size, Predicts Longevity

The African Elephant's long lifespan may be influenced more by its beefy cerebral cortex (5.6 billion neurons) than its large body size.



The Cerebellum Makes Moves and Memories


The cerebellum, a structure found in the back of the skull, is known to be important for the control of movement, while the frontal cortex is responsible for cognitive functions such as short-term memory and decision making. However, as researchers continue to unlock the mystery of how billions of neurons in the brain interact, it is becoming more apparent that it is not that black and white.


Brainstem Circuit Helps Us Get Away From Pain


Exposure to uncomfortable sensations elicits a wide range of appropriate and quick reactions, from reflexive withdrawal to more complex feelings and behaviors. To better understand the body’s innate response to harmful activity, researchers at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), part of the National Institutes of Health, have identified activity in the brain that governs these reactions.


A Single Season of High School Football Causes Changes in the Teenage Brain


Researchers using a new type of magnetic resonance imaging to take brain scans of teenage football players suggest that just one season of playing might be enough to cause microscopic changes in the structure of the brain, even whilst wearing helmets and not sustaining concussions.



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