Brightly colored intersecting lines, creating a chaotic pattern that resembles a subway map.
Monkeys Look for Patterns that Aren’t There—Just Like Humans Do
Macaques continued to search for answers to an unsolvable laboratory task, seemingly refusing to believe that the correct answers were random and inconsistent.
Monkeys Look for Patterns that Aren’t There—Just Like Humans Do
Monkeys Look for Patterns that Aren’t There—Just Like Humans Do

Macaques continued to search for answers to an unsolvable laboratory task, seemingly refusing to believe that the correct answers were random and inconsistent.

Macaques continued to search for answers to an unsolvable laboratory task, seemingly refusing to believe that the correct answers were random and inconsistent.

learning
Cartoon of a silhouetted person’s bright pink brain being shocked by jumper cables
Electrically Zapping Specific Brain Regions Can Boost Memory
Dan Robitzski | Aug 22, 2022
Low-intensity electrical stimulation allows older adults to better recall a list of words for at least a month following the treatment, a study finds, providing further evidence for the debated idea that electrical stimulation can enhance cognitive performance.
GFP highlighting mouse neurons
Science Snapshot: How Brains Handle Surprise Parties
Lisa Winter | Jun 3, 2022
When unexpected events occur, norepinephrine signals mouse brains to pay attention to key details.
Two adult bottlenose dolphins and one calf swim close to a sandy seafloor that’s dotted with coral.
Study Suggests Dolphins Use Coral Mucus as Medicine
Dan Robitzski | May 19, 2022
Researchers observe that dolphins in a pod in the Red Sea regularly rub against certain corals and sponges, perhaps to sooth their skin by prompting the invertebrates to release mucus that contains antimicrobial compounds.
Bee on purple flower
Dopamine Drives Bee Desires: Study
Natalia Mesa | Apr 28, 2022
Like in humans, the neurotransmitter appears to play a role in generating wanting-like behavior and, perhaps, happy memories in honeybees.
Photo of wooden block letters
Distracted Brains Better at Parsing Unfamiliar Languages: Study
Catherine Offord | Apr 4, 2022
People who had cognitive functions depleted by noninvasive brain stimulation or a mentally demanding task could subconsciously recognize individual words in a made-up language more easily than controls, researchers find.
collage of images related to favorite stories, including black and white photo of flowers, illustration of two rats, human body with floating coronaviruses
The Scientist Editors’ Favorite Stories of 2021
The Scientist Staff | Dec 28, 2021
A look back at some of the articles we most enjoyed reading, writing, and editing this year
Collage of images including sperm, bacteria, coral, and an illustration of a researcher
Our Favorite Cell and Molecular Biology Stories of 2021
Jef Akst | Dec 2, 2021
Beyond The Scientist’s coverage of COVID-19’s molecular underpinnings were many other stories highlighting the advances made in scientists’ understanding of the biology of cells.
Old man stands in front of tree, smiling at camera.
Neuroscientist Mortimer Mishkin Dies at 94
Lisa Winter | Oct 12, 2021
His work bridged the gap between psychology and neurobiology.
Can Single Cells Learn?
Catherine Offord | May 1, 2021
A controversial idea from the mid-20th century is attracting renewed attention from researchers developing theories for how cognition arises with or without a brain.
Infographic: Investigating Whether Single Cells Learn
Catherine Offord | May 1, 2021
Historical and modern experiments have hinted that unicelluar organisms can learn from their experiences, but the idea still has its critics.
Dietary Spermidine Boosts Cognition in Insects and Rodents
Ruth Williams | Apr 15, 2021
Mice and flies given the polyamine in their diet have increased brain cell metabolism and cognitive function, and epidemiological data hints at a similar benefit in humans.
MIT Unveils Program to Help Grad Students Find a New Adviser
Lisa Winter | Mar 9, 2021
Graduate student advocacy groups were central to designing the program, which provides a semester of funding if a trainee needs time to find a new mentor.
Once Is Enough For Long-Term Memory Formation in Bees
Ruth Williams | May 1, 2020
Honeybees can remember reward-associated odors three days after a single learning experience.
What Do New Neurons in the Brains of Adults Actually Do?
Ashley Yeager | May 1, 2020
Adult neurogenesis, already appreciated for its role in learning and memory, also participates in mental health and possibly even attention, new research suggests.
Infographic: How Adult-Born Neurons Integrate into the Brain
Ashley Yeager | May 1, 2020
Cutting-edge microscopy is revealing how new neurons made in adult mice’s brains tap into existing neuronal connections.
Infographic: Quick Learners
Ruth Williams | May 1, 2020
Honeybees can remember reward-associated odors three days after a single learning experience.
Light Enables Long-Term Memory Maintenance in Fruit Flies
Diana Kwon | May 1, 2020
Under constant darkness, Drosophila’s ability to form lasting memories is impaired.
How Manipulating Rodent Memories Can Elucidate Neurological Function
Amber Dance | May 1, 2020
Strategies to make lab animals forget, remember, or experience false recollections probe how memory works, and may inspire treatments for neurological diseases.
How Mice Forget to Be Afraid
Kerry Grens | May 1, 2020
The animals develop a new memory that overrides the fearful one by inhibiting the cells that encode the original memory.