Artistic representation of a brain depicted as a clock on a background with one half in dark blue with yellow stars and one half in light blue with clouds.
Which Neurons Go to Sleep First in Humans? fMRI Can Tell
By linking blood flow patterns to bioelectric signals in the brains of sleeping volunteers, scientists are studying the order in which brain regions fall asleep and wake up.
Which Neurons Go to Sleep First in Humans? fMRI Can Tell
Which Neurons Go to Sleep First in Humans? fMRI Can Tell

By linking blood flow patterns to bioelectric signals in the brains of sleeping volunteers, scientists are studying the order in which brain regions fall asleep and wake up.

By linking blood flow patterns to bioelectric signals in the brains of sleeping volunteers, scientists are studying the order in which brain regions fall asleep and wake up.

brain imaging
Illustration of brain activity
Same Parts of the Brain Control Processing of Dozens of Languages
Andy Carstens | Jul 21, 2022
While much is known about how the brains of English speakers process language, research has neglected people who speak other languages. The Scientist spoke with one of the authors of a study that seeks to change that.
Grey and white stones on a wooden plank
Eight Weeks of Meditation Doesn’t Change the Brain, Study Finds
Natalia Mesa | May 20, 2022
Study finds that, contrary to what other research has found, a popular meditation course does not appear to alter brain structure.
octopus blue
What Scientists Learned by Putting Octopuses in MRI Machines
Chloe Tenn | Jan 20, 2022
The size and complexity of cephalopod brain structures differ depending on the habitats the creatures occupy, a study finds.
A series of brain scans on a black background
How Scientists Are Tackling Brain Imaging’s Replication Problem
Angie Voyles Askham, Spectrum | Jul 9, 2021
Researchers who spoke with Spectrum say that while brain imaging tools have their limitations, they still hold promise in helping to unlock the brain’s secrets. 
Alternate Activation of Two Brain Systems Tied to Consciousness
Ruth Williams | Mar 12, 2020
Imaging reveals how cyclical patterns of brain activity differ between conscious and unresponsive individuals.
Scientists Predict Fish Behavior from Real-Time Brain Monitoring
Abby Olena | Jan 22, 2020
Researchers could anticipate which way an eight-day-old zebrafish will flick its tail based on brain activity 10 seconds earlier.
APOE Mutation Linked to Protection From Alzheimer’s: Case Study
Catherine Offord | Nov 5, 2019
A woman whose DNA suggested she’d develop early-onset dementia staved off cognitive decline for decades.
Secrets in the Brains of People Who Have Committed Murder
Nicoletta Lanese | Nov 1, 2019
MRI scans from more than 800 incarcerated men pinpoint distinct structural features of people who have committed homicide, compared with those who carried out other crimes.
Genetic Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease Linked to Highly Active Brains
Diana Kwon | Oct 1, 2019
A growing body of evidence supports the theory that neural hyperactivity and hyperconnectivity precede the pathological changes that lead to neurodegeneration.
New Tissue Clearing Methods Offer a Window into the Brain
Andy Tay | Oct 1, 2019
Researchers are developing a variety of approaches for clearing neural tissue to get a better view of the brain’s circuitry.
PET Scans Reveal Elevated Tau in NFL Players’ Brains
Jef Akst | Apr 12, 2019
A study hints that it might be possible to diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease associated with frequent head injuries, while patients are still living.
Caught on Camera
The Scientist Staff | Nov 1, 2018
Selected Images of the Day from the-scientist.com
Image of the Day: Inner Glow
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Feb 26, 2018
Researchers engineered a system for bioluminescent imaging that is as much as 1,000 times stronger than existing methods.
Brain Activity Reveals Which Songs People Are Listening To
Jim Daley | Feb 4, 2018
Researchers create a program that can use fMRI data to identify which musical pieces are in participants' heads.  
Behavior Circuits Mapped in Whole Fruit Fly Brain
Anna Azvolinsky | Jul 13, 2017
Using machine learning, researchers have created extensive maps of the neuronal circuits associated with social and locomotion behaviors in the fruit fly. 
Image of the Day: Gold Matter
The Scientist Staff | Jun 30, 2017
The white matter tracts that wind throughout this microetching are based on diffusion spectrum imaging data from a human brain, realistically portraying the circuits found within a sagittal brain section.
CDC Recommends Brain Imaging for Zika-Affected Babies
Tracy Vence | Apr 6, 2017
Infants born to mothers who were infected with the virus during pregnancy—including babies who do not show signs of microcephaly—may experience other birth defects.
Added Neurons Are Functionally Integrated into Mouse Brain Circuits
Jenny Rood | Oct 26, 2016
In vivo imaging reveals how grafted embryonic brain cells grow, connect, and mature into contributing members of damaged visual pathways in adult mice.
Faulty Statistics Muddy fMRI Results
Tanya Lewis | Jul 6, 2016
An analysis of the widely used technique calls into question the validity of 40,000 studies.