Research NewsNeuroscience Meeting Brief 1

The Anatomy of Learning

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Science  06 Dec 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5293, pp. 1612
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5293.1612a


Washington, D.C.—Neuroscientists gathered here late last month for their largest annual meeting ever. The presentations covered a wide range of topics, from spinal cord injury and obesity(Science, 29 November, p. 1466) to learning and neurodegenerative disease. .

Although neuroscientists have known for some time that various parts of the brain have to work together to learn even the simplest task, they had little idea about how the brain accomplishes this division of labor. But researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have made a start at addressing that question. By imaging the brains of human subjects as they learned to trace a maze with a pen, they were able to show that different parts of the brain are associated with different elements of the learning task.