See all specials


Researchers are using every technique available to gain new insights into neuroscience and, in particular, the human brain. A Nature news special analyses some of these advances, and presents a range of new findings that could further transform the field.

News & Features

  • Neuroscience: Small, furry...and smart

    Researchers have engineered more than 30 strains of 'smart mice', revealing possible ways to boost human brains. But, as Jonah Lehrer finds, cognitive enhancement may come at a cost.

    ( )

  • Neuroscience: Opening up brain surgery

    Neurosurgeons have unparalleled access to the human brain. Now they are teaming up with basic researchers to work out what makes it unique, finds Alison Abbott.

    ( )

Book & Arts

  • Art history's window onto the mind

    Neuroscientists should worry less about testing abstract qualities such as beauty, and work with art historians towards a concrete understanding of types of viewing, argues Martin Kemp.

    ( )

  • In Retrospect: Brodmann's brain map

    A classic neurology text written 100 years ago still provides the core principles for linking the anatomy of the cerebral cortex to its functions today, explains Jacopo Annese.

    ( )


News & Views

  • Neuroscience: The inside story on place cells

    Neurons known as place cells encode spatial information that is needed to guide an animal's movement. Nearly 40 years after these cells were discovered, neuroscience gets a look at their internal dynamics.

    ( )

  • Stem cells: A fateful age gap

    When a stem cell divides, one sister cell differentiates and the other retains its stem-cell identity. Differences in the age of an organelle -- the centriole -- inherited at cell division may determine these differing fates.

    ( )

  • Behavioural neurobiology: Chemical love

    Male and female fruitflies use pheromones to flaunt their species identity and gender as they court amid other fruitfly species. The grammar of this chemical language is surprisingly sophisticated.

    ( )

  • Q&A: Alzheimer's disease

    The neurodegenerative disorder Alzheimer's disease is becoming more prevalent in ageing populations worldwide. The identification of effective treatments will require a better understanding of the physiological mechanisms involved, and innovative approaches to drug development and evaluation.

    ( )

Elsewhere in Nature

  • Podcast

    Interviews with David Tank about what virtual reality experiments with mice can reveal about spatial information processing in the brain and Manuel Carreiras on the brains of Colombian guerrillas who are learning to read.

    ( )