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News from the Centre for Systems Neuroscience

Anteprima letteraria: Borges e la memoria di Rodrigo Quian Quiroga (Literary preview: Borges and the memory by Rodrigo Quian Quiroga)

Posted by eeh18 at Apr 19, 2018 09:50 AM |

Dal 8 Marzo, in libreria “Borges e la memoria” di Rodrigo Quian Quiroga edito da Erickson

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Les traces neuronales de nos souvenirs conceptuels Le cerveau à tous les niveaux Mardi 27 février 2018

Posted by eeh18 at Apr 19, 2018 09:40 AM |

Quelle est la trace matérielle de nos souvenirs dans notre cerveau ? Voilà une question qui a fait couler beaucoup d’encre. La réponse dépend du niveau d’organisation que l’on considère. Par exemple, nos connexions nerveuses (ou synapses) sont extrêmement plastiques et dynamiques, il n’y a plus de doute là-dessus. Les travaux de Cirelli et Tononi sur le sommeil ont par exemple montré que durant la journée, nos diverses interactions avec le monde font augmenter non seulement le nombre de récepteurs au glutamate dans les synapses excitatrices du cortex, mais que la surface même du bout de l’axone et de l’épine dendritique qui se font face (mais sans se toucher) augmenterait d’environ 20 %. Et l’inverse se produirait durant la nuit, c’est-à-dire une diminution d’environ 20 % de la surface synaptique chez pratiquement toutes nos synapses (sauf peut-être celles des souvenirs marquants de la journée qui, elles, ne diminueraient pas, mais ce n’est pas le sujet d’aujourd’hui… plutôt celui d'un épisode récent de Sur les épaules de Darwin).

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Una neurona de nuestro cerebro se denomina "Jennifer Aniston"

Posted by eeh18 at Apr 19, 2018 09:35 AM |

Rodrigo Quian Quiroga quien que se fue de la Argentina hace diez años, ha descubierto en un estudio de la Universidad de Leicester que pacientes que no reaccionaban ante estímulos comunes, muestran una mejoría al ver una foto de la actriz de Friends.

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Scientific American featured the work of CSN

Posted by eeh18 at Apr 18, 2018 01:35 PM |

Scientific American

In 2005 neuroscientist Rodrigo Quian Quiroga published a paper identifying single neurons that would light up in an individual's brain every time that person saw a particular celebrity—Jennifer Aniston and Michael Jordan were two examples. As amusing and remarkable as this finding seemed, even more than a decade later, researchers are still no closer to understanding how neurons firing in certain brain areas leads to recognition of faces or, most important, how the brain controls specific behaviors in the human body.

Looking for new ways to study this mystifying organ, researchers are now turning to computer science algorithms to help them gather data on the brain. Their discoveries could mean big strides in creating brain-controlled prosthetic devices. Helen Shen covers these exciting new findings in this issue’s cover story, “Cracking the Brain’s Enigma Code.”

People Behind the Science Podcast - Stories from Scientists about Science, Life, Research, and Science Careers

Posted by eeh18 at Feb 22, 2018 09:56 AM |

Latest podcasts by Professor Rodrigo Quian Quiroga

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Memory & Perception

Posted by eeh18 at Feb 13, 2018 11:01 AM |


The Forgetting Machine - part 2

Posted by eeh18 at Feb 13, 2018 11:00 AM |


The Forgetting Machine - part 1

Posted by eeh18 at Feb 13, 2018 10:57 AM |


Festival della Scienza

Festival della Scienza

Posted by vz12 at Nov 10, 2017 10:55 AM |

Rodrigo was invited to the Festival della Scienza in Genova, one of the biggest Science Festivals in Italy.

Hundreds of people attended his talk on Borges and Memory: the importance of being able to forget.t, which was held in the impressive Palazzo Reale.

A local artist sketched the highlights of Rodrigo's talk, producing this poster.

Festival della Scienza
Festival della Scienza

Our work in two italian newspapers

Our work in two italian newspapers

Posted by vz12 at Nov 03, 2017 12:45 PM |

Rodrigo talked about memory and the Jennifer Aniston neuron with two Italian newspapers (la Stampa and la Repubblica), just before attending the Festival della Scienza in Genova, one of the biggest Science festivals in Italy.

To read the articles published in the two italian newspapers you can click HERE and HERE.

"The Forgetting Machine": Rodrigo's latest book

"The Forgetting Machine": Rodrigo's latest book

Posted by vz12 at Oct 11, 2017 11:27 AM |

If we lose our memories, are we still ourselves? Is identity merely a collection of electrical impulses? What separates us from animals, or from computers?

From Plato to Westworld, these questions have fascinated and befuddled philosophers, artists, and scientists for centuries. In The Forgetting Machine, neuroscientist Rodrigo Quian Quiroga explains how the mechanics of memory illuminates these discussions, with implications for everything from understanding Alzheimer's disease to the technology of Artificial Intelligence.

You'll also learn about the research behind what Quian Quiroga coined "Jennifer Aniston Neurons," cells in the human brain that are responsible for representing specific concepts, such as recognizing a certain celebrity's face. The discovery of these neurons opens new windows into the workings of human memory.

In this accessible, fascinating look at the science of remembering, discover how we turn perceptions into memories, how language shapes our experiences, and the crucial role forgetting plays in human recollection. You'll see how electricity, chemistry, and abstraction combine to form something more than the human brain, the human mind. And you'll gain surprising insight into what our brains can tell us about who we are.

The Forgetting Machine takes us on a journey through science and science fiction, philosophy and identity, using what we know about how we remember (and forget) to explore the very roots of what makes us human

Jennifer Aniston neuron in Canal 22

Posted by vz12 at Oct 11, 2017 09:50 AM |

Our work was featured in Canal 22, a Mexican television programme.
Watch the full video below or follow this link.

How do we recognize a face?

How do we recognize a face?

Posted by vz12 at Jun 02, 2017 10:48 AM |

A preview of a spectacular finding by Doris Tsao's lab about how we recognise faces.

You can find some press releases of the news following the links below:
The Guardian
New York Times

"La expression" highlights our research

"La expression" highlights our research

Posted by vz12 at Jun 01, 2017 11:48 AM |

An article on the process leading to memory formation has been published in the the Mexican online magazine "La Expression".
It features the research carried out in the Centre and recently published in the scientific journal "Neuron".

The article can be found here.
Come se forman los recuerdos en el cerebro?

Jennifer Aniston neuron in the Spanish press

Jennifer Aniston neuron in the Spanish press

Posted by vz12 at Jun 01, 2017 11:35 AM |

The Spanish magazine "ABC Gente" have published an article about the discovery and the function of Jthe ennifer Aniston neuron.

You can find it here.
La neurona de Jennifer Aniston

A black comedy inspired by our research

A black comedy inspired by our research

Posted by vz12 at May 10, 2017 10:20 AM |

"Coseche 48", a comedy of fiction inspired by the discovery of the "Jennifer Aniston" neuron, is released in Argentina.
Can memories be manipulated? Is there a formula to remember? The questions will be unveiled in "Cosecha 48".
Romina Triunfo, together with Santiago Martín, are the producers of this work, directed by Nicolás Acosta, Gabriella Aly, who is inspired by the work of Argentinian scientist Rodrigo Quian Quiroga.

“The scientific question is central to the work, given that the starting point was Quian Quiroga's research. The main attraction is the possibility of seeing a comedy of science fiction in the theater, where drama and acting merge in a story that flows and summons the viewer" explains Romina.



Tiempo features the Jennifer Aniston Neuron

Tiempo features the Jennifer Aniston Neuron

Posted by aa783 at Mar 01, 2017 04:35 PM |

The article goes into detail about the Jennifer Aniston Neuron and its discovery, as well as the implications of these neurons on memory. To read the full article follow the link below:


'Shakespeare’s Memory' and 'Funes the Memorious'

Posted by aa783 at Feb 01, 2017 03:31 PM |

At the Creative Brain in Oxford (26th November 2016), Rodrigo spoke about the writing of Jorge Luis Borges, particularly his short stories 'Shakespeare’s Memory' and 'Funes the Memorious', which deal with memory. In his talk he combined concepts from neuroscience (visual perception and memory) with discussions of philosophical and literary ideas about the part played by memory in personal identity.

You can watch the full video below: 


"Muy Interesante" highlights our research

"Muy Interesante" highlights our research

Posted by aa783 at Jan 16, 2017 12:50 PM |

Spanish science magazine "Muy Interesante" have published an article highlighting the Jennifer Aniston neuron and the research performed here at the Centre.

The full article is available here: http://www.muyinteresante.es/curiosidades/preguntas-respuestas/que-es-la-neurona-jennifer-aniston-191483951867


What can Google tell us about ‘the memory web’ in the brain?

What can Google tell us about ‘the memory web’ in the brain?

Posted by aa783 at Dec 05, 2016 01:15 PM |

An innovative new study by researchers here at the CSN, in collaboration with the University of California Los Angeles, have had their research published in the Journal Nature Communications, shedding light on how neurons in memory-related areas provide a long-term coding of associations between concepts.

The team (first author Emanuela De Falco) also used internet search engines, such as Google and Bing, to explore a much larger database of associations between concepts and then investigated more comprehensively how neurons represent the intricate web of associations and memories. 

They found that whenever neurons fire to more than one concept, they tend to be related both according to the subjects' scores and the internet searches.

Professor Quiroga added: "Interestingly, the patients were not performing a memory task, they were just passively watching pictures. So, the coding of associations is not contingent to the performance of a task -- in which case, it could be argued that neurons temporarily encode such associations and then do something else -- but it rather represents a long-term memory storage."

You can read the paper in full here

For further press coverage please see below:

Nature Press release:

UoL Press Release:

New Scientist:

Science Daily:

La Nacion (Argentina)

Il Fatto Quotidiano (Italy)

La Vanguardia (Spain)


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Centre for Systems Neuroscience

George Davies Centre
Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour
University of Leicester
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