Poorly insulated nerve cells promote Alzheimer’s disease in old age

Researchers have shown that defective myelin actively promotes disease-related changes in Alzheimer’s disease. more

Reconstruction of a blue CT1 neuron on a black background

A neuronal microcircuit leverages the same type of signal for multiple purposes more

Illustration Anatomically Constrained Model to estimate skelettal kinematics

 A new tracking method to quantify skeletal kinematics in freely moving rodents

Maintaining the brain’s maturity

Researchers identify neuronal granules as guards of the adult nervous system more

An eye looks at eight circles of different colors. Those colors activate the retinal cones to the same extent and create equally strong gamma oscillations in the brain.

Red has a signaling and warning effect. How is this color specificity reflected in the brain? more

The Australian bearded dragon Pogona vitticeps.

A molecular atlas of an Australian dragon’s brain sheds new light on over 300 million years of brain evolution more

Different flavors of inhibition save the day

Scientists gain insights on how deprivation-induced synaptic changes affect excitatory and inhibitory firing rates in the sensory cortex more

Prediction games in the brain

ESI-researchers investigate how the brain responds to the predictability of natural images more

Coherence turned upside down

Communication does not require coherence more

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Poorly insulated nerve cells promote Alzheimer’s disease in old age

Researchers have shown that defective myelin actively promotes disease-related changes in Alzheimer’s disease. more

How the brain helps us focus our attention

A tiny brain structure, the Locus coeruleus, is thought to regulate our brain's sensitivity to relevant information more

Prestigious award for the pioneers of optogenetics

Dieter Oesterhelt, Emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, is being honoured with the Lasker Basic Medical Research Award 2021 together with Peter Hegemann and Karl Deisseroth more

Top address for life science research

Bavaria invests up to 500 million euros in the competitive development of the Martinsried Max Planck Campus into an outstanding international research hub more

Simplifying our world

Mice master complex thinking with a remarkable capacity for abstraction more

Myelin optimizes information processing in the brain

Myelin-forming glial cells are crucial for the temporal processing of acoustic signals more

Thicker nerve fibres enable faster reactions in mice

Researchers increase the speed of signal transmission along nerve fibres in mice by switching off a protein more

Neandertals may have had a lower threshold for pain

People who inherited a special ion channel from Neandertals experience more pain more

The facial expressions of mice

The face of a mouse reveals its emotions more

Brain region for close-up exploration

A mouse’s brain creates a multi-sensory impression of the nearby environment more

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Life with light and colour: a biochemical conversation

Mathias Grote, science historian and Heisenberg Fellow at Humboldt University, talks with Dieter Oesterhelt about his research more

Scientific highlights 2020

Many publications by Max Planck scientists in 2020 were of great social relevance or met with a great media response. We have selected 13 articles to present you with an overview of some noteworthy research of the year more

Helping damaged nerves to re-grow

Severed nerve tracts are very difficult to treat. If at all, the damage so far can only be repaired through complex operations. At the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, we have developed materials that stimulate damaged nerves into growth. Results from initial tests on mice show that nerve tracts can regenerate this way. more

Thalamus helps the cerebrum with learning

Contrary to previous belief, learning processes do not occur exclusively in the cerebral cortex more

Life in the city: Living near a forest keeps your amygdala healthier

MRI study analyzes stress-processing brain regions in older city dwellers more

Parkinson's disease involves degeneration of the olfactory system

Scientists discover anatomical link for the loss of smell in Parkinson’s disease more

Highly precise wiring in the cerebral cortex

Scientists discover fundamental connectivity pattern in the brain more

Intestinal flora from twins is able to initiate multiple sclerosis

Genetically modified mice deliver first indication that human intestinal bacteria can trigger multiple sclerosis more

Brain region mediates pleasure of eating

Neurons in the amygdala link food consumption to reward more

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How synapses spark

Learning and Memory leave behind anatomically visible traces. Tobias Bonhoeffer was the first to observe them. Together with his team, he examines the contact points between nerves, so-called dendrical thorns, and synapses. The researcher discovered that during learning some thorns newly develop and others dissappear. more

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