Cognition and Motivation

Picower Institute scientists study behaviors and cognitive processes including learning, memory, emotion, reasoning and consciousness. To learn more about these or other areas of inquiry, select them under Research Topics and you'll find relevant Picower people, discoveries and events.

Distinct brain rhythms, regions help us reason about categories

January 25, 2018
Research Findings
Gamma rhythms sort similar-looking objects; beta kicks in when connection is more abstract

Lifting the veil on ‘valence,’ brain study reveals roots of desire, dislike

January 23, 2018
Research Findings
Research reveals inner workings of amygdala, which assigns feelings to experiences

How the brain selectively remembers new places

December 25, 2017
Research findings
Neuroscientists identify a circuit that helps the brain record memories of new locations.

MIT neuroscientists build case for new theory of memory formation

October 23, 2017
Research Findings
Existence of “silent engrams” suggests that existing models of memory formation should be revised.

Brain waves reflect different types of learning

October 11, 2017
Research Findings
For the first time, researchers have identified neural signatures of explicit and implicit learning.

The neural circuits of linked brain waves

September 27, 2017
Research Findings
Neuroscientists identify a brain circuit that generates brain waves carrying spatial information

How we recall the past

August 17, 2017
Research Findings
Neuroscientists discover a brain circuit dedicated to retrieving memories.

Blocking a key enzyme may reverse memory loss

August 8, 2017
Research Findings
MIT study suggests a new approach to developing treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

Eleven from MIT elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences for 2017

April 12, 2017
Awards
Prestigious honor society announces 228 new members this year.

Neuroscientists identify brain circuit necessary for memory formation

April 6, 2017
Research Findings
New findings challenge standard model of memory consolidation.

Scientists identify brain circuit that drives pleasure-inducing behavior

March 22, 2017
Research Findings
Surprisingly, the neurons are located in a brain region thought to be linked with fear.

Scientists identify neurons devoted to social memory

September 29, 2016
Research Findings
Cells in the hippocampus store memories of acquaintances, a new study reports.