Jonathan Keleher talks with a colleague, Rafael Wainhaus, at work. Keleher was born without a cerebellum, but his brain has developed work-arounds for solving problems of balance and abstract thought.
Ellen Webber for NPR
Prion protein can be infectious, spreading from cell to cell in the brain. Here four nerve cells in a mouse illustrate how infectious prion protein moves within cells along neurites — wire-like connections the nerve cells use for communicating with adjacent cells.
Fingertips, David Linden explains, are filled with different sorts of sensors for detecting different types of touch, including one that notes texture and fine little bumps. Another type perks up at vibration.
In sighted people, the part of the brain that recognizes faces is linked to the brain's visual system. But in blind people it seems wired to circuits that process sound.
Tina Zellmer/Ikon Images/Corbis
A tangle of protein (green) in this scanning electron micrograph of a brain cell of an Alzheimer's patient lies within the cytoplasm (blue) of the cell. The tangle consists of clumps of a toxic form of tau.
Thomas J. Deerinck/Corbis
A screen presents the winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, U.S.-British scientist John O'Keefe and Norwegian husband and wife Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser, for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.
TT News Agency/Reuters/Landov