The taste determines a specific behavior. The goal of systems neuroscience is to understand how neural activity and circuits connecting brain neurons process sensory information and determine behavior.

If the context of learning is decisive for dissociating knowledge from various subjects, it would be useful to associate the learning time of complex notions with surprising and strong experiences.

Reading someone’s mind will likely require interacting directly with the neurons and thus getting into the heart of our nervous system. Our responsibility as scientists is to inform so that fair ethical choices can be made when the question is raised.

In the fog, a driver wonders whether he should turn left or right. He thinks he sees the house he is looking for, the wood looks familiar, the gate is indeed the one he remembers, and the thought strikes him; he’s sure, he needs to turn right. How did this decision-making process occur? A well-established fact in psychology is the close link between the uncertainty of some information we have (very high uncertainty in the fog), and the time spent making a decision. Psychologists have tested this cognitive process in many forms.

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With my head resting against the window inside a high-speed train, I enjoy watching the vegetation along the tracks forming lines moving far faster than the mountains on the horizon. What in our vision system manages to estimate speed of movement like this? Our brain probably has complex neuronal networks responsible for this task. Recent studies in fact have shown that pre-processing movement-related visual information occurs well before the brain - in the retina!

Contrary to what we were told in school, the retina is not just a light sensor. The layer of neurons that covers the back of our eyes and translates light into electrical impulses does not...

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Photo Bernard Martinez


Managing Editor


La Recherche, founded in 1970, is a major source of science information in France for science-interested citizens, leading universities and research institutions. The site publishes the English version of a series of articles about the most advanced achievements appearing in our printed French version.


November 11, 2018

November 11, 2018

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