Brain research Brain research

Jazz legend Billie Holiday at a recording session in 1957. Holiday's pioneering vocal style played with tempo, phrasing and pitch to stir hearts. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Poliovirus, long a scourge, has been modified by Duke University researchers for experimental use as a brain cancer treatment. Juan Gaertner/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
Juan Gaertner/Science Source

Several circular herpes virus particles are seen near a cell membrane. Roseola herpes virus causes a childhood illness marked by skin rashes and now has been found in brains with Alzheimer's disease. NCI/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
NCI/Science Source

Researchers Find Herpes Viruses In Brains Marked By Alzheimer's Disease

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/621908340/622362013" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Scientists placed two clusters of cultured forebrain cells side by side (each cluster the size of a head of a pin) in the lab. Within days, the minibrains had fused and particular neurons (in green) migrated from the left side to the right side, as groups of cells do in a real brain. Courtesy of Pasca lab/Stanford University hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Pasca lab/Stanford University

Tiny Lab-Grown 'Brains' Raise Big Ethical Questions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/605331749/605839638" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A hippocampal neuron seen in culture. Dendrites are green, dendritic spines are red and DNA is blue. Science Source/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Science Source/Getty Images

Sorry, Adults, No New Neurons For Your Aging Brains

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/591305604/591681191" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

This light micrograph of a part of a brain affected by Alzheimer's disease shows an accumulation of darkened plaques, which have molecules called amyloid-beta at their core. Once dismissed as all bad, amyloid-beta might actually be a useful part of the immune system, some scientists now suspect — until the brain starts making too much. Martin M. Rotker/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
Martin M. Rotker/Science Source

Scientists Explore Ties Between Alzheimer's And Brain's Ancient Immune System

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/580475245/596647551" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Scientists zeroed in on specific neurons in the brains of mice to gain insights into how anxiety is triggered and suppressed. SPL/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
SPL/Science Source

Researchers Discover 'Anxiety Cells' In The Brain

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/582112597/582338703" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Neuroscientist Joseph Jebelli says that while a certain amount of memory loss is a natural part of aging, what Alzheimer's patients experience is different. Roy Scott/Ikon Images/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Roy Scott/Ikon Images/Getty Images

Neuroscientist Predicts 'Much Better Treatment' For Alzheimer's Is 10 Years Away

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/575055148/575127296" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

About 180,000 babies develop hydrocephalus each year in sub-Saharan Africa. Baby Faridah received treatment for the deadly condition this year at the CURE Children's Hospital of Uganda in Mbale, Uganda. Christopher Mullen, CURE International hide caption

toggle caption
Christopher Mullen, CURE International
Hiroshi Watanabe/Getty Images

Brain Scientists Look Beyond Opioids To Conquer Pain

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/563281808/563692146" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Darren Pryce/Getty Images/Imagezoo

Sleepless Night Leaves Some Brain Cells As Sluggish As You Feel

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/562354635/562619881" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Want to get smarter? Brain training games don't seem to help with that. Maskot/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Maskot/Getty Images

In Memory Training Smackdown, One Method Dominates

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/558767704/559454603" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Alzheimer's disease causes atrophy of brain tissue. The discovery that lymph vessels near the brain's surface help remove waste suggests glitches in the lymph system might be involved in Alzheimer's and a variety of other brain diseases. Alfred Pasieka/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
Alfred Pasieka/Science Source

Brain's Link To Immune System Might Help Explain Alzheimer's

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/555353033/555425864" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

After surgeons removed a tumor from Dan Fabbio's brain, they gave him his saxophone — to see whether he'd retained his ability to play. A year after his surgery, Fabbio is back to work full time as a music teacher. YouTube/Screenshot by NPR hide caption

toggle caption
YouTube/Screenshot by NPR

This Music Teacher Played His Saxophone While In Brain Surgery

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/545710598/546186348" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Simply going up in pitch at the end of a sentence can transform a statement into a question. Lizzie Roberts/Ikon Images/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Lizzie Roberts/Ikon Images/Getty Images

Really? Really. How Our Brains Figure Out What Words Mean Based On How They're Said

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/545711940/545901949" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Professional fighter Gina Mazany practices during a training session at Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts in Las Vegas. She well remembers her first concussion — which came in her first fight. "I was throwing up that night," Mazany says. Bridget Bennett for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Bridget Bennett for NPR

Female Athletes Are Closing The Gender Gap When It Comes To Concussions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/538294331/538970970" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A psychologist argues people experience emotions differently. For instance, fear might make some people cry while for others, it could elicit laughter. Sara Wong for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Sara Wong for NPR

Cabinet-card portrait of brain-injury survivor Phineas Gage (1823–1860), shown holding the tamping iron that injured him. Wikimedia hide caption

toggle caption
Wikimedia

Why Brain Scientists Are Still Obsessed With The Curious Case Of Phineas Gage

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/528966102/529364560" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Scientists placed two clusters of cultured forebrain cells side by side (each cluster the size of a head of a pin). Within days, the "minibrains" had fused and particular neurons (in green) migrated from the left side to the right side, as subsets of cells do in a real brain. Courtesy of Pasca lab/Stanford University hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Pasca lab/Stanford University

'Minibrains' In A Dish Shed A Little Light On Autism And Epilepsy

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/525705550/525833282" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Lisa, a client at the AAC Needle Exchange and Overdose Prevention Program in Cambridge, Mass. Nearly five years after an opioid overdose she still limps — possibly because of damage the drug cocktail did to her nerves or muscles. Robin Lubbock/WBUR hide caption

toggle caption
Robin Lubbock/WBUR

What Doesn't Kill You Can Maim: Unexpected Injuries From Opioids

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/523452905/525110198" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript