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Neuroscience News

Hanna Damasio and Antonio Damasio receive Doctor Honoris Causa degrees at a formal ceremony held at the Sorbonne in Paris on Sept. 17. Photos by Julien Hay.

French Honors

October 22, 2015

Two USC Dornsife professors have received honorary degrees from the Université Paris Descartes — more widely known as the Sorbonne — for their pioneering work in psychology. University Professor Antonio…

The emotion of gratitude is important in social behavior, according to the study’s senior author. Photo courtesy of iStock.

Tracking Gratitude

October 20, 2015

Neuroscientists have mapped how the human brain experiences gratitude with help from an unexpected resource: the testimonies of Holocaust survivors. “In the midst of this awful tragedy, there were many acts of bravery…

Failure can be a rewarding experience if the brain is allowed to learn from mistakes. Photo by istock.

Rewards of Failure

August 26, 2015

Many political leaders, scientists, educators and parents believe that failure is the best teacher. Scientists have long understood that the brain has two ways of learning. One is avoidance learning, which is a punishing,…

USC researchers have discovered that a rat’s brain has local area networks of neurons. Illustration by Holly Wilder.

Internet-like Networks Revealed

April 7, 2015

Researchers sketching out a wiring diagram for rat brains — a field known as “connectomics” — have discovered that its structure is organized like the Internet.

 For years, scientists looking for…

Brain synapses are tiny structures only a hundredth the diameter of a human hair. Photo by Don Arnold.

The Waiting Is Over

March 18, 2015

Synapses, the links between neurons that allow them to pass information to one another, are central to all the brain’s functions. These key building blocks are believed to be where memories are stored, yet researchers…

John Monterubio, who earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from USC Dornsife in 2006, is general counsel and chief operations officer at ReefCam LLC. Photos courtesy of John Monterubio.

Hero of the Reefs

March 9, 2015

When USC Dornsife alumnus John Monterubio was six years old, his parents gave him a book about fish. “There were pictures of all these different types of fish and I still remember how the barracuda always stood out to…

Interactive Maps for the Brain

Golgi Your Brain

October 20, 2014

What’s the route between smell and memory? Where’s the connection between habits and Parkinson’s disease? How does habit detour into addiction? To answer these and other complex scientific and medical…

USC Dornsife’s Richard F. Thompson was the first neuroscientist to identify and map the neural circuits responsible for classical conditioning — a form of learning. Photo by Philip Channing.

In Memoriam: Richard F. Thompson, 84

September 20, 2014

University Professor Emeritus Richard F. Thompson, William M. Keck Chair Emeritus in Psychology and Biological Sciences at USC Dornsife, a pioneer in the field of neuroscience, has died. He was 84. Thompson of Nipomo,…

University Professor Larry Swanson draws on 15 years of research for his new book, a comprehensive parts list that will aid researchers in their goal of mapping the human brain. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

A Lexicon of the Brain

September 2, 2014

In April 2013, University Professor Larry Swanson visited the White House in Washington, D.C., to hear President Barack Obama unveil his Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.…

Jason Zevin, associate professor of psychology and linguistics at USC Dornsife, is a co-author on a recent study in <em>The Journal of Neuroscience</em>, which finds that the predictive power of our brains might play an important role in human communication. Photo by Michelle Boston.

The Brain Is a ‘Prediction Machine’

April 30, 2014

Our brain activity is more similar to that of speakers we are listening to when we can predict what they are going to say, a team of neuroscientists has found. The study, which appears in The Journal of Neuroscience, provides…