The brain never processes the same information in the same way. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) have found out why this is the case and how it works. A decisive role plays a critical state of the neuronal networks. more

Areas in the visual cortex of the brain, which process the same part of the visual field, are also more strongly interconnected more

Three questions to...

April 08, 2020

Each year the Max Planck Society honours young scientists and researchers  with the Otto Hahn Medal for outstanding scientific achievements. This year, Leon Kroczek, former PhD student of IMPRS NeuroCom at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS), won one of the prestigious awards. more

Why is it that people find songs such as James Taylor’s “Country Roads,” UB40’s “Red, Red Wine,” or The Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” so irresistibly enjoyable? In a study reported in the journal Current Biology on November 7, researchers analyze 80,000 chords in 745 classic U.S. Billboard pop songs—including those three—and find that musical pleasure comes from the right combination of uncertainty and surprise. more

Oxytocin is an extremely important hormone, involved in social interaction and bonding in mammals, including humans. It helps us relate to others. It strengthens trust, closeness in relationships, and can be triggered by eye contact, empathy, or pleasant touch. It's well known that a new mother's oxytocin levels can influence her behavior and as a result, the bond she makes with her baby. A new epigenetic study by Kathleen Krol and Jessica Connelly from the University of Virginia and Tobias Grossmann from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences now suggests that mothers' behavior can also have a substantial impact on their children's developing oxytocin systems. more

"Whoa, I didn't expect that"

October 14, 2019

Babies seek to understand the world around them and learn many new things every day. Unexpected events – for example when a ball falls through a table – provide researchers with the unique opportunity to understand infants’ learning processes. What happens in their brains as they learn and integrate new information? Miriam Langeloh from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Moritz Köster from the Freie Universität Berlin, and Stefanie Höhl from the University of Vienna address that question in a new study with nine-month-old babies, published in Psychological Science. more

Telomeres are the protective caps of our chromosomes and play a central role in the ageing process. Shorter telomeres are associated with chronic diseases and high stress levels can contribute to their shortening. A new study now shows that if telomeres change in their length, that change is also reflected in our brain structure. This association was identified by a team of scientists including Lara Puhlmann and Pascal Vrtička from the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive Brain Sciences in Leipzig together with Elissa Epel from the University of California and Tania Singer from the Social Neuroscience Lab in Berlin as part of Singer’s ReSource Project. more

Rachel Zsido and Julia Sacher found that oestradiol plays a crucial role in keeping the structure of networks in the female brain structurally intact and the memory healthy, especially in mid-life. more

Roland Benoit and Philipp Paulus together with Daniel Schacter from Harvard University have examined the question, how neutral places suddenly become valuable to us, in a study published in the journal Nature Communications. They show that our attitudes can be influenced not only by what we actually experience but also by what we imagine. more

 For people in their 20s and 30s, having blood pressure above normal but below the level considered to be high blood pressure, may be linked to loss of brain more

At a mere five months of age, babies seemingly have the ability to recognize very complex grammatical structures. more

Infants’ attention to fearful faces predicts later altruism more

... Sofie Valk and Emiliano Zaccarella more

The equivalent of Broca’s area plays a similar role but for the processing of music instead of language. more

The brain activity of jazz pianists differs from those of classical pianists, even when playing the same piece of music. more

Our personal assistant for voice recognition uses a convolution in the right temporal lobe. more

Meditation entails a variety of mental training techniques which, in principal, can be trained by anyone. more

With the help of brain activity and gene analyses, it could be predicted in time whether a child could be affected by dyslexia. more

Three days of discussions, freethinking and broadening horizons more

What makes us human?

April 22, 2016

That is what international experts from various scientific disciplines – whether linguists, philosophists, anthropologists or neurobiologists – are eager to discuss at the 2016 Summer School more

Go to Editor View