Artificial intelligence that more closely mimics the mind

Leveraging years of MIT cognitive science research, Nara Logics incorporates findings about the brain into its AI platform.

How the brain helps us remember what we’ve seen

Research finds that as one looks around, mental images bounce between right and left brain as they shift around in our visual system.

James DiCarlo named director of the MIT Quest for Intelligence

Brain and cognitive sciences professor will lead the Institute’s interdisciplinary initiative to advance research in natural and artificial intelligence.

Neuroscientists identify brain circuit that encodes timing of events

Findings suggest this hippocampal circuit helps us to maintain our timeline of memories.

To the brain, reading computer code is not the same as reading language

Neuroscientists find that interpreting code activates a general-purpose brain network, but not language-processing centers.

Building machines that better understand human goals 

A new algorithm capable of inferring goals and plans could help machines better adapt to the imperfect nature of human planning. 

Neuroscientists find a way to make object-recognition models perform better

Adding a module that mimics part of the brain can prevent common errors made by computer vision models.

A hunger for social contact

Neuroscientists find that isolation provokes brain activity similar to that seen during hunger cravings.

Advancing artificial intelligence research

MIT Schwarzman College of Computing and the Singapore Defense Science and Technology Agency award funding to 13 AI-focused projects.

Scientists identify specific brain region and circuits controlling attention

Norepinephrine-producing neurons in the locus coeruleus produce attention focus, impulse control via two distinct connections to prefrontal cortex.

Neuroscientists discover a molecular mechanism that allows memories to form

Modifications to chromosomes in “engram” neurons control the encoding and retrieval of memories.

How we make moral decisions

In some situations, asking “what if everyone did that?” is a common strategy for judging whether an action is right or wrong.

Live imaging method brings structure to mapping brain function

Scientists distinguish brain regions based on what they do, but now have a new way to overlay information about how they are built.

Rapid test for Covid-19 shows improved sensitivity

A CRISPR-based test developed at MIT and the Broad Institute can detect nearly as many cases as the standard Covid-19 diagnostic.

As information flows through brain’s heirarchy, higher regions use higher-frequency waves

Study also finds specific frequency bands of brain waves associated with encoding, or inhibiting encoding, of sensory information across the cortex.

Face-specific brain area responds to faces even in people born blind

Study finds that the fusiform face area is active when blind people touch 3D models of faces.

Key brain region was “recycled” as humans developed the ability to read

Part of the visual cortex dedicated to recognizing objects appears predisposed to identifying words and letters, a study finds.

A new way to control experimentation with dreams

Device not only helps record dream reports, but also guides dreams toward particular themes.

Universal musical harmony

Acoustic and biological constraints shape how we hear harmony across cultures.

Study sheds light on a classic visual illusion

Neuroscientists delve into how background brightness influences our perception of an object.

MIT, guided by open access principles, ends Elsevier negotiations

Institute ends negotiations for a new journals contract in the absence of a proposal aligning with the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts.

Algorithm quickly simulates a roll of loaded dice

Approach for generating numbers at random may help analyses of complex systems, from Earth’s climate to financial markets.

SHERLOCK-based one-step test provides rapid and sensitive Covid-19 detection

New CRISPR-based research tool delivers results in an hour; researchers share protocol and kits to advance research and move toward clinical validation.

Neuroscientists find memory cells that help us interpret new situations

Neurons that store abstract representations of past experiences are activated when a new, similar event takes place.

Engineers 3D print soft, rubbery brain implants

Technique may enable speedy, on-demand design of softer, safer neural devices.

3 Questions: Marion Boulicault and Milo Phillips-Brown on ethics in a technical curriculum

Philosophers are part of a team working on transforming technology ethics education at MIT.

How the brain encodes landmarks that help us navigate

Neuroscientists discover how a key brain region combines visual and spatial information to help us find our way.

A new model of vision

Computer model of face processing could reveal how the brain produces richly detailed visual representations so quickly.

Bridging the gap between human and machine vision

Researchers develop a more robust machine-vision architecture by studying how human vision responds to changing viewpoints of objects.

Brainstorming energy-saving hacks on Satori, MIT’s new supercomputer

Three-day hackathon explores methods for making artificial intelligence faster and more sustainable.

“She” goes missing from presidential language

Even when people believed Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 election, they did not use “she” to refer to the next president.

Bot can beat humans in multiplayer hidden-role games

Using deductive reasoning, the bot identifies friend or foe to ensure victory over humans in certain online games.

Students push to speed up artificial intelligence adoption in Latin America

To help the region catch up, students organize summit to bring Latin policymakers and researchers to MIT.

New method visualizes groups of neurons as they compute

Fluorescent probe could allow scientists to watch circuits within the brain and link their activity to specific behaviors.

Josh Tenenbaum receives 2019 MacArthur Fellowship

Brain and cognitive sciences professor studies how the human mind is able to learn so rapidly.

Hearing through the clatter

Study reveals brain regions that respond differently to the presence of background noise, suggesting the brain progressively hones in on and isolates sounds.

A new way to deliver drugs with pinpoint targeting

Magnetic particles allow drugs to be released at precise times and in specific areas.

Artificial “muscles” achieve powerful pulling force

New MIT system of contracting fibers could be a boon for biomedical devices and robotics.

Teaching artificial intelligence to connect senses like vision and touch

MIT CSAIL system can learn to see by touching and feel by seeing, suggesting future where robots can more easily grasp and recognize objects.

Neurons’ “antennae” are unexpectedly active in neural computation

Tiny, branching extensions called dendrites may be more than just passive information-carriers, study finds.

How we make complex decisions

Neuroscientists identify a brain circuit that helps break decisions down into smaller pieces.

A comprehensive map of how Alzheimer’s affects the brain

Analysis of genes altered by the disease could provide targets for new treatments.

Neuroscientists reverse some behavioral symptoms of Williams Syndrome

Mouse study yields insights into the rare condition, may shed light on other neurological disorders.

Giving robots a better feel for object manipulation

Model improves a robot’s ability to mold materials into shapes and interact with liquids and solid objects.

What’s in a face?

McGovern Institute researchers find that the brain starts to register gender and age before recognizing a face.

Brain wave stimulation may improve Alzheimer’s symptoms

Noninvasive treatment improves memory and reduces amyloid plaques in mice.

How the brain distinguishes between objects

Study shows that a brain region called the inferotemporal cortex is key to differentiating bears from chairs.

MIT robot combines vision and touch to learn the game of Jenga

Machine-learning approach could help robots assemble cellphones and other small parts in a manufacturing line.

Mapping the brain at high resolution

New 3-D imaging technique can reveal, much more quickly than other methods, how neurons connect throughout the brain.

Brain study finds circuits that may help you keep your cool

Research by neuroscientists at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.

Democratizing data science

Tool for nonstatisticians automatically generates models that glean insights from complex datasets.

Scope advance gives first look through all cortical layers of the awake brain

Substantial refinements of three-photon microscopy allow for novel discoveries in neuroscience.

Josh Tenenbaum named Innovator of the Year by R&D Magazine

Professor honored for work on the nature and origins of intelligence in the human mind and applying that knowledge to build human-like intelligence in machines.

Mapping the brain, cell by cell

Technique for preserving tissue allows researchers to create maps of neural circuits with single-cell resolution.

How returning to a prior context aids memory recall

Picower Institute researchers discover the brain mechanism that helps details come flooding back when you visit a scene again.

How the brain switches between different sets of rules

When you slow down after exiting the highway, or hush your voice in the library, you’re using this brain mechanism.

Brain activity pattern may be early sign of schizophrenia

In a study that might enable earlier diagnosis, neuroscientists find abnormal brain connections that can predict onset of psychotic episodes.

Dopamine primes the brain for enhanced vigilance

Neuroscientists discover a circuit that helps redirect attention to focus on potential threats.

Meeting of the Minds

Mahdi Ramadan and Alexi Choueiri’s common experiences as Lebanese evacuees led both to study the human brain at MIT.

Electrical properties of dendrites help explain our brain’s unique computing power

Neurons in human and rat brains carry electrical signals in different ways, scientists find.

3Q: Antonio Torralba on what’s next for the Quest for Intelligence

Inaugural director of The Quest discusses what's been accomplished since last spring's launch and what is on the horizon.