The touch of a fly

Our sense of touch has an innate connection with our emotions. Gentle touches are soothing for not only us but also other animals. For example, classic experiments by psychologist Harry Harlow in the 1950s found that an infant monkey raised with two robots, one providing food and the other wearing soft cloth, spends more time cuddling with the cloth robot1. When scared, the infant monkey also goes to the cloth robot for protection. Clearly, there is a special pathway that guides touch sensation to the depths of animal instincts. Working out this pathway requires knowledge about the neural circuitry processing touch sensation.

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Zero degrees of separation

How connectomics is revealing the intricacies of neural networks, an interview with Josh Morgan

 

3D-EM

Complete scan of a volume of mouse cortex, and complete reconstruction of a few neurons within it (Berning et al., 2015).

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