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Similarity between schizophrenia and dementia discovered for the first time

Researchers for the first time compared schizophrenia and frontotemporal dementia, disorders that are both located in the frontal and temporal lobe regions of the brain. The idea can be traced back to Emil Kraepelin, who coined the term "dementia praecox" in 1899 to describe the progressive mental and emotional decline of young patients. His approach was quickly challenged, as only about 25 percent of those affected showed this form of disease progression. But now, with the help of imaging and machine learning, scientists have actually found the first valid indications of neuroanatomical patterns in the brain that resemble the signature of patients with frontotemporal dementia. Kraepelin was probably right in parts after all. more

Some suffer from depression even before a stroke

Depression is indeed a common problem among people who have suffered a stroke. However, some of them may show symptoms of depression years before their stroke. This is according to a study now published in the journal Neurology. The researchers found that in people who suffered a stroke, the stroke was preceded by various symptoms of depression, which subsequently worsened. more

How self-control develops in the brain

Sometimes we just can't resist, the temptation is too great. Before we know it, the family-size pack of gummy bears is empty or our shopping cart is full to bursting. Young children find it even more difficult than adults to resist this impulse. Between the ages of three and four this ability for self-control makes a decisive developmental leap. Until now it was unclear why that happens. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences have now discovered: During this time, a central brain network matures. more

"Psychological time shapes our memories"

Do you remember the last time your mother called? Something like that, probably - it is often difficult for us to say the exact time when an event happened in the past. Jacob Bellmund and Christian Doeller from MPI CBS wanted to find out exactly how our brains estimate such times. They have now published their results in the journal Nature Communications, showing that psychologically constructed time shapes our memories.

Chimpanzees combine calls to form numerous vocal sequences

Evidence of structured vocal sequences in wild chimpanzee communication provides insights into human language evolution more

The fading of negative experiences

A natural disaster, a dented car, an injured person - memories of traumatic experiences can be controlled by deliberately suppressing the images that arise. Until now, however, it was unclear what happens to the memory in the process and how the process is reflected in the brain. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) have now shown: The memories of the experiences fade and their traces in the brain are less strongly reactivated when we try to remember them. more

Highly detailed 3D brain reconstructions

A comprehensive map of the human brain is a long-held goal of neuroanatomists. Noninvasive imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) do allow scientists to study the healthy living human brain. However, they provide only limited anatomical detail. A higher level of detail can be obtained by microscopy on the brains of deceased donors. But that, in turn, usually focuses on small brain structures imaged in 2D. Now, a team of scientists from the University of Amsterdam and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences has combined MRI and microscopy. This has produced 3D images of two complete brains with an unprecedented level of detail.

Non-invasive brain stimulation shows clear beneficial effects for motor deficits following stroke

Persistent paralysis and coordination problems are among the most common consequences of a stroke. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig (MPI CBS), the University Medical Center Halle, and the Charité-Universitätsmedizin in Berlin have discovered that brain stimulation helps. Direct current, applied via electrodes attached to the head, led to significant improvement of patients’ impaired movements. In addition to showing pronounced effects after a single application, the study suggests that the therapy may need to be individually tailored to specific patients for optimal benefit.


Offering doctoral students a first-class education and attracting the most brilliant minds from across the world — these are goals of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) in Leipzig. In close cooperation with Leipzig University, the Institute is launching the International Max Planck Research School on Cognitive NeuroImaging (IMPRS CoNI) next year. The programme will give particularly talented students the opportunity to complete their doctorate in the field of "cognitive neuroscience" with a focus on imaging methods such as magnetic resonance imaging. What is special about this is that each doctoral student will follow an individually adapted training plan, through which each can further his or her education according to individual their professional needs.

Getting in the Groove: Why samba makes everyone want to dance 

Year after year, carnival in Rio makes one thing perfectly clear: samba moves people. The pounding drums elicit exuberant movement and ecstatic displays of emotion. But what is it that makes this music so special? What is the secret of these mesmerizing drum groups? Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) and the D'OR Institute for Research and Education in Rio de Janeiro now believe it has to do with synchrony. Greater synchrony between beats of the drums leads to stronger emotion and greater activation of brain areas responsible for rhythm, movement, and prediction in listeners. more

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