Gather and synthesize information that sensory receptors respond to stimuli by sending messages to the brain for immediate behavior or storage as memories.

  1. Brain

    Scientists Say: Synapse

    When brain cells need to pass messages, they do it without touching, across a space called a synapse.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Speaking Mandarin may offer kids a musical edge

    Scientists have linked a type of musical ability with the knowledge of Mandarin, the primary language of China.

  3. Science & Society

    Heartbeat can affect racial perception of threat

    Links between nerves in the heart and the brain shed light on why some police may be more likely to shoot an unarmed person who’s black than one who is white.

  4. Animals

    How birds know what not to tweet

    How do birds perfect their pitches? The chemical dopamine spikes when they sing right, and dips when they drop a note, new data show.

  5. Brain

    Explainer: What is dopamine?

    Dopamine is a chemical messenger that carries signals between brain cells. It also gets blamed for addiction. And a shortage of it gets blamed for symptoms of diseases such as Parkinson’s.

  6. Brain

    Explainer: What is neurotransmission?

    When brain cells need to pass messages to one another, they use chemicals called neurotransmitters. This sharing of chemical secrets is known as neurotransmission.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Scientists Say: Tinnitus

    Ever had ringing in your ears? Tinnitus is a condition in which you hear a persistent sound that isn’t there.

  8. Environment

    Food-like smell on plastic may lure seabirds to eat it

    When plastic smells like supper, seabirds and other animals can be fooled into thinking it is food.

  9. Animals

    Animals can do ‘almost math’

    Humans aren’t the only animals with a number sense. Scientists are trying to figure out where and when it evolved.

  10. Brain

    To reveal how the brain creates joy, start by tickling rats

    Rats love a good tickle. Not only do they beg for more, but the action itself activates a part of the brain that detects touch, researchers find.

  11. Psychology

    What makes a pretty face?

    Beautiful faces are symmetrical and average. Do we prefer them because this makes them easier for our brains to process?

  12. Health & Medicine

    Simpler way to screen for hidden hearing loss?

    Many teens today walk around with undiagnosed hearing damage. But some Boston-based researchers have come up with a low-tech approach to screening these individuals so they can get help.