10 Unsolved Questions In Neuroscience

The mind still holds many mysteries today. Here, we uncover what we know about ten of them.

9. How do specialized parts of the brain integrate with one another?

To the untrained eye, the brain looks like a wrinkly, pink blob. Flip open any medical textbook, however, and you will probably find a color-coded map of the different regions of the brain, with each area responsible for functions such as speech (pre-frontal cortex), sight (occipital lobe), long-term memory (temporal lobe) and so on.

This sub-division of labor within the brain is a rough guide at best, and many functions actually require rapid communication between multiple brain regions. However, no one part of the brain acts as a control center that integrates signals from various regions. Instead, multiple parallel connections seem to form a dense and overlapping network between the different regions. Teasing out the pathways linked to specific processes is likely to occupy neuroscientists for decades to come.

Mind 9 Neuron brain synapse shutterstock_230013553

Ying Ying completed her PhD in neurobiology at the University of Basel, where she studied the role of bone morphogenetic protein in structural plasticity of neurons.

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