Winter 2015

What is the Brain Good For?

Editor

What is consciousness? How do we store memories, process thoughts, and command our bodies? Why do we require sleep to live? And can we trust our perception of the world around us?

The Winter 2015 issue of Dædalus responds to these fundamental questions of human experience, exploring “What is the Brain Good For?” through recent developments and new theories in the field of neuroscience. Guest edited by Fred H. Gage, Vi and John Adler Professor in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the collection of essays investigates the neural networks and processes that support a variety of brain activity, spanning unconscious sensory experience to higher cognition.

Image:
The receptor for auditory stimuli, the organ of Corti, includes a single row of inner hair cells that convey information about sound to the brain. The three adjacent rows of outer hair cells constitute a mechanical amplifier that increases the ear’s sensitivity and sharpens its frequency tuning. In this confocal micrograph of the mouse’s cochlea, both green and red labels distinguish the hair cells. The nuclei of all the cells, including the arcs of cells bracketing the hair cells, are marked with a blue dye. © 2015 by Ksenia Gnedeva.
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The receptor for auditory stimuli, the organ of Corti
Image:
The receptor for auditory stimuli, the organ of Corti, includes a single row of inner hair cells that convey information about sound to the brain. The three adjacent rows of outer hair cells constitute a mechanical amplifier that increases the ear’s sensitivity and sharpens its frequency tuning. In this confocal micrograph of the mouse’s cochlea, both green and red labels distinguish the hair cells. The nuclei of all the cells, including the arcs of cells bracketing the hair cells, are marked with a blue dye. © 2015 by Ksenia Gnedeva.
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Remembering

Authors Larry R. Squire and John T. Wixted