Human Health

Perception Inception: Exploring How the Brain Makes Up the World with New Faculty Rishidev Chaudhuri

November 19, 2019
The world is made of matter, but between those particles are empty spaces, which paradoxically account for the majority of our perceived, concrete universe.

“This table feels hard,” said Assistant Professor Rishidev Chaudhuri, who sat in his office at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience. “That’s something that emerges at the collective population level.”

How individual particles come together to spontaneously create new structures is a question pondered by many physicists. The concept underlying that question—collective behavior—also intrigues neuroscientists.

Maternal infection may accelerate expression of autism genes

October 21, 2019

Exposure to infection in utero may speed up the expression of many genes linked to autism — and hasten changes in brain anatomy.

The results are in mice but hint at how infections during pregnancy may contribute to autism.

Discovering Curiosity: Brain Puzzles with UC Davis Center for Neuroscience Director Kimberley McAllister

August 19, 2019

Puzzles always fascinated UC Davis Center for Neuroscience Director Kimberley McAllister. They’re initially what attracted her to science.

Raised in rural northern Virginia, McAllister enjoyed exploring the woods with her sister and dogs. She developed an avid interest in botany and ornithology, intrigued by the complexities of the natural world. She wanted to figure out answers to nature’s mysteries.  Eventually, McAllister’s ambition drew her to one of the most complex puzzles in the universe: the human brain.

CNS Affiliate Wilsaan Joiner: Exploring sensory inputs and motor actions

January 11, 2019

Wilsaan Joiner, PhD, recently joined the UC Davis neuroscience community as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology. Joiner is particularly interested in how sensory inputs guide our motor actions and vice versa; for example, how ballet dancers possess a precise sense of where their bodies are in space and how they make very fine body movements.

How Experience Changes Basics of Memory Formation

July 23, 2018

We know instinctively that our experiences shape the way we learn. If we are highly familiar with a particular task, like cooking for example, learning a new recipe is much easier than it was when we were a novice. New research from the University of California, Davis, shows that experience also changes the way our neurons become plastic and form new memories.  

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Discovering Curiosity: Age-Related Hearing Loss

June 06, 2018

As our bodies age, we all face some decline in our senses, and among the senses most susceptible to deterioration is hearing.

Hearing loss is a substantial problem for society. It’s the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease and about 30 percent of adults between ages 65 and 74 and nearly half of people over 75 experience some difficulty hearing.  It’s a social problem, one that can lead to isolation and depression.

Jennifer Whistler: On the Search for Safer Opioids

March 08, 2018

The opioid epidemic has been called the “deadliest drug crisis in American history” by the New York Times. Overdoses claim the lives of more than 90 Americans each day, and about two million people battle substance abuse disorders stemming from prescription opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Advocating a Computational Shift in Neuroscience Training

December 04, 2017

How can universities best prepare students for a career in neuroscience? Ask Professor Mark Goldman, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and the Center for Neuroscience, and he’ll tell you it’s time to rethink the traditional biology curriculum. To unravel complex systems like the brain, students need advanced training in quantitative and computational techniques.

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