Solving the Mystery of Memory
The word “memory” is derived from the ancient Greek myth of Mnemosyne, the mother of the Muses, who was “said to know everything, past, present, and future.” Memory is essential to our existence, and one of neuroscience’s primary missions is to understand how the brain processes memory and to improve treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, drug addiction, and the many other afflictions associated with disrupted memory. Our article traces scientists’ progress in understanding memory over the last 15 years.
Updating the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
How the foremost clinical manual for psychiatric disorders guides doctors to diagnoses has long been controversial. Now, during the early stages of the manual’s revision, complementary articles—one by four scientists involved in the process, the other by a psychiatrist looking in from the outside—address how to make psychiatric diagnosis both more certain and more flexible.
ConnectomicsTracing the Wires of the Brain
With the help of high-tech computers and electron microscopes, scientists are working toward mapping the connections of the human brain. Through descriptions of the where the technology is now and where it could go, Sebastian Seung illustrates how it might later be used to answer some of the most puzzling questions about the brain.
Cognitive Fitness for the Older and Wiser
Scientists have assumed the relationship between the dominant and non-dominant hemispheres of our brain is fixed. Not so, argues Goldberg: Mentally active people continue to develop their dominant hemisphere throughout their lives, strengthening reasoning, memory, and emotional control.