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Evolution

How Genes Shape Behavior

From the lab of Andrés Bendesky, MD, PhD, Columbia's Zuckerman Institute

Dual betta fish circling to make an attack. These fish have been bred to be aggressive. In his lab, Dr. Bendesky is studying these fish to see whether their aggression can be traced back to any genetic markers, and whether equivalents of those markers could exist in people (Credit: iStockPhoto/Getty Images).

News from about

Learning & Memory March 1, 2018

In Pursuit of Pleasure, Brain Learns to Hit the Repeat Button

New study in mice shows how the brain learns to reproduce patterns of brain activity that lead to reward; provides insights for treating addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Disease January 31, 2018

Body Movements Just Need a “Puff” of Dopamine to Get Started

A new study in mice suggests that a burst of dopamine levels at the beginning of a movement only, as opposed to all the time, is what gets us going. This may have important implications for treating Parkinson’s disease.

Movement October 20, 2017

BRAIN Initiative Awards $25.1M to Zuckerman Institute Scientists

Series of awards unites experts from different fields and universities; bolsters innovative, team approach to deciphering the complexities of the brain.

Disease October 16, 2017

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Taps Columbia Scientists to Build Spinal Cord Atlas

Single-cell atlas will serve to guide precise strategies for understanding and treating spinal-cord disease and injury, and is part of Initiative’s larger Human Cell Atlas project.

Disease September 13, 2017

Could the Body’s Own Defense Against ALS Actually Drive Disease Progression?

A new study in mice reveals that one of the body’s natural defenses against ALS suppresses disease progression early on, but in later stages advances the disease’s deadly spread through the spinal cord.

Disease September 4, 2017

The Mystery Behind Schizophrenia's Most Stubborn Symptom

New study in mice reveals biological origins of memory deficits, a core symptom of schizophrenia.

Disease April 27, 2017

Can Tangled-Up Neurons Lead to Depression-Like Behavior?

Twin papers lend clues into how the brain organizes itself, offering new avenues for studying psychiatric disorders.

Movement February 23, 2017

Mastering New Movements

In his research, Rui Costa asks: How does the brain discover and refine new behaviors?

The Senses July 12, 2016

A Researcher Comes Face-to-Face with Sight

Ning Qian is exploring how the brain makes sense of the world we see, as well as why people with autism often find it difficult to look at faces.