• Educators & Researchers

Briefing Papers

Briefing Papers and Primers take an in-depth look at basic and timely brain-related topics, like traumatic brain injury and obesity. 

 

Grants 

The Foundation’s current area of research emphasis is in neuroscience. Selected proposals have the potential to improve human health or functioning. Grants also support improvement in K-12 education.

 Lessons and Activities

Science history, lessons, and activities, and news are covered at these sites.

Reports on Progress

Reviews by eminent neuroscientists of specific areas of research, including normal function, disease, and new technologies. 

Neuroeducation 

News, events, and commentary on bridging neuroscience and education.

Neuroethics 

News and analysis on the implications of brain research.

Lending Library 

The Dana Alliance provides brain and neuron models, posters, and related educational materials to neuroscience departments to be used for educational outreach programming at local schools, community centers, museums, summer camps, etc.

Q&As with Neuroscientists 

Interviews with Dana-funded researchers.


Recent Articles 

 

Early Life Experience, Critical Periods, and Brain Development

Researchers describe links between the presence of a caregiver, the absence of severe prenatal stress, and changes in brain structure and function in childhood and adolescence.



Why Inspiring Stories Make Us React: The Neuroscience of Narrative

The man behind the discovery of the behavioral effect of a neurochemical in the brain called oxytocin wondered if the molecule might motivate people to engage in cooperative behaviors. In a series of tests using videos, his lab discovered that compelling narratives cause oxytocin release and have the power to affect our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.



The Enduring Mystery of Migraine

People who get migraines could soon have some new therapeutic options, but a deep understanding of the disorder continues to elude researchers.



Unraveling the Complexity of Schizophrenia Genetics

Our understanding of the biological mechanisms of schizophrenia risk has steadily evolved over the past few decades, attributable largely to advances in human genetics and to genomic technologies. One of our series of Reports on Progress.



When the Myth is the Message: Neuromyths and Education

A recent survey suggests that neuromyths are more pervasive in the educational community than we might think, and this may work against academic achievement. We investigate some of the most common myths, explaining their scientific origins and realities. One of our series of briefing papers.



How to Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Without Taking Drugs

While most cases of dementia may be unavoidable, a great many may be prevented or delayed via simple changes in diet and other habits. In principle, the earlier in life a person starts making these changes, the better the preventive effect would be.



Swiss Neuroscientists Induce Spooky ‘Feeling of a Presence’ in Healthy Volunteers

The researchers expect that such investigations ultimately could offer insights into related neuroscientific issues such as the neural origins of hallucinated voices in schizophrenia and the delusional sense of being controlled by someone else.



The Brain–Gut Axis and Neuropsychiatric Disease: A Paradigm Shift

“As our understanding of the microbiome grows, we see a new opportunity for new questions and new understanding of brain disorders ranging from autism and depression,” says one researcher at the recent Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. Others agree.



Tracking Neuroinflammation in Development, Neurodegenerative Disease

Researchers use new techniques and drugs to see if inflammation is a cause or an effect of brain illnesses.



Beyond Insulin: Regulating Blood Sugar

Research on diet, exercise, and using gene-spliced mice lead scientists to suspect that brain mechanisms may contribute up to half the control we have over glucose.



Environmental Influence on the Developing Brain

A panel at the recent Aspen Brain Forum discussed how certain social and psychological aspects of environment influence biology and behavior.



Nutrition and Brain Development

Speakers on an Aspen Brain Forum panel about nutrition focused on iron deficiency—the most common single nutrient deficiency in the world—and its effects on neurodevelopment.



You Say You Want a Revolution?

From the frontlines of spinal cord research, Wise Young and Patricia Morton lean on lessons from the past, their own experience, and events still unfolding as they raise questions about the future of all scientific research.



The Brain-Games Conundrum: Does Cognitive Training Really Sharpen the Mind?

Do you misplace your keys regularly? Forget appointments? Have trouble remembering names? No worries. A host of companies promise to “train” your brain with games designed to stave off mental decline. Regardless of their effectiveness, their advertising has convinced tens of thousands of people to open their wallets. As our authors review the research on cognitive-training products, they expose the science surrounding the benefits of brain games as sketchy at best.



Fear and the Brain, an Introduction

Researchers are teasing out brain areas and networks that respond to threats, real and imagined.



What Does it Mean to be ‘Amyloid Positive?’

Studies suggest amyloid accumulates for 3 decades or more before dementia symptoms show.



Probing Synaptic Pruning

Dana grantee Beth Stevens, Ph.D., discusses the unexpected roles immune cells play in normal brain development and disease. One of our series of Scientist Q&As.



With A Little Help from Our Friends: How the Brain Processes Empathy

Why are certain individuals born with a brain that is wired to help others? What daily habits or life experiences reinforce compassion but also selfishness, narcissism, and psychopathy? Social neuroscience models have assumed that people simply rely on their own emotions as a reference for empathy, but recent studies suggest neurobiological underpinnings for how the brain processes empathy. A better understanding of these processes, says the author, could lead to more social cohesion and less antisocial harm in society.



Truth, Lies, and False Memories: Neuroscience in the Courtroom

Truth, Lies, and False Memories: Neuroscience in the Courtroom Craig Stark, Ph.D., Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine 2014-10-15 Craig Stark, Ph.D. View Article a



The Neurobiology of Resilience

Most drug development for depression has focused on undoing the bad effects of stress, but new research suggests that finding ways to induce resilience could lead to new treatments. One of our series of briefing papers.



Being Mindful about Novel Brain Research

We’ve heard a lot lately about brain-to-machine communication, and now there are first steps toward brain-to-brain communication. How do we prevent news of incremental  discoveries from transporting our imaginations way too far?