Theresa Harrison

BRI member leads study identifying brain cells that help people learn by watching others

Dr. Itzhak Fried, professor of neurosurgery and psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine and Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior, is senior author of a study that has pinpointed the individual neurons in the brain that support observational learning. 

This form of learning, from infancy onward, helps us predict outcomes and make decisions in the future. "Observational learning is the cornerstone of our ability to change behavior," Dr. Fried said, "[because] it's human nature to want to learn from other people's mistakes rather than commit your own."

The study, co-authored with researchers at CalTech, was published in the September 6th edition of Nature Communications, and could provide scientists with deeper insights into the way the brain malfunctions in conditions such as learning disorders.

Full details here.



June Image of the Month

Image of the Month

Stage 10 Drosophila female germline egg chamber with 8 cells at this plane. Wild type cells are RFP positive (red) GFP labeled green shows the increase in the level of expression of a mitochondrial fusion protein in p97/VCP null mutant cells (RFP negative) compared to wild type cells.


Image by Ting Zhang, M.D. from the laboratory of Ming Guo, Ph.D.




In the News Image

The BRI Knaub Fellowship in Multiple Sclerosis Research 

The Knaub Unitrust, established by Richard and Suzanne Knaub, has donated a sizable gift to the BRI in support of Multiple Sclerosis research at UCLA. 

This gift will be used to endow an annual program to name and support Postdoctoral or Predoctoral Fellows pursuing relevant projects, and who exemplify trainee excellence, innovation, and a multidisciplinary approach to MS research. 

"We want to express our sincere gratitude to the Knaub family for this generous gift which will enable young researchers to contribute to translational research related to understanding and treating MS," said BRI Director Christopher Evans.

The inaugural recipients of the first Knaub Fellowships will be announced in January, 2017.



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The Joint Seminars in Neuroscience will recommence Janaury, 2017.

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