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Much knowledge of sensory cortical plasticity is gleaned from perceptual learning studies that improve visual performance ( 1–7 ). Although the improvements are likely caused by modifications of excitatory and inhibitory neural networks, most studies were not primarily designed to differentiate...
Acute peripheral pain is reduced by multisensory interactions at the spinal level ( 1 ). Central pain is reduced by reorganization of cortical body representations ( 2, 3 ). We show here that acute pain can also be reduced by multisensory integration through self-touch, which provides...
Sensory imprinting produces life-long attachment to environmental features experienced during a critical period of early development. Imprinting of this kind is highly conserved in evolution and is an important form of adaptive behavioral plasticity (1) . The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans...
Cells use actin bundles infused with myosin to exert contractile forces on the extracellular environment. This active tension is essential for cellular mechanosensation. Now, the role of actin crosslinkers in stabilizing and repairing the actin bundles is coming into clearer view.
A 10-year study of marine organisms has provided an unprecedented list of species but highlights the worries about many of them. Nigel Williams reports.
The current meeting in Nagoya of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity will be crucial for future conservation policies. Nigel Williams reports.
After the recent crisis, bankers are increasingly looking to scientific advice. Nigel Williams reports.
In deceptive pollination, insects are bamboozled into performing nonrewarded pollination. A prerequisite for the evolutionary stability in such systems is that the plants manage to generate a perfect sensory impression of a desirable object in the insect nervous system ( 1 ). The study of these...
How do cooperatively breeding groups resist invasion by parasitic “cheaters,” which dump their eggs in the communal nest but provide no parental care ( 1,2 )? Here I show that Greater Anis ( Crotophaga major ), Neotropical cuckoos that nest in social groups containing several breeding females...
How does the brain construct a percept from sensory signals? One approach to this fundamental question is to investigate perceptual learning as induced by exposure to statistical regularities in sensory signals ( 1–7 ). Recent studies showed that exposure to novel correlations between sensory...
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