Brain cells attuned to visual nearness and farness interact to allow judgments of size, research shows

In the July 24 issue of Science, Caltech biology professor John Allman and his colleagues write that brain cells involved in vision tend to be apportioned to picking up farness or nearness. In working with rhesus monkeys trained to follow dots of varying size on a moving TV monitor, the researchers have found that the monkeys use their nearness and farness cells in tandem. Brain cells attuned to visual nearness and farnessinteract to allow judgments of size, research shows July 1998 98

Caltech Question of the Month: What is really happening when we have aftershocks after an earthquake?

Submitted by Gloria Hughes, Pasadena, California, and answered by Lucile M. Jones, Seismologist, U.S. Geological Survey/Visiting Research Associate, Caltech.

Earthquakes occur in clusters. In any cluster, the earthquake with the largest magnitude is called the mainshock, anything before it is a foreshock, and anything after it is an aftershock. A mainshock will be redefined as a foreshock if a subsequent event has a larger magnitude. Aftershock sequences follow predictable patterns as a group, although the individual earthquakes are random and unpredictable.

Parent that takes care of offspring tends to outlive the other parent, study shows

The parent who stays home to take care of the kids may be getting a good deal healthwise. New primate research from the California Institute of Technology shows that a primary caregiver tends to live longer than the other parent.

Biologists discover fundamental genetic principle governing blood vessel formation

An unsuspected but fundamental genetic rule governing the formation of the cardiovascular system has been uncovered by biologists at the California Institute of Technology. The discovery could influence the development of therapies for both cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Posthumous Paper by Gene Shoemaker Details Evidence of Comet Shower That Pummeled Earth 36 Million Years Ago

Geochemical evidence from a rock quarry in northern Italy indicates that a shower of comets hit Earth about 36 million years ago.

Gamma-ray Burst Found To Be Most Energetic Event in Universe

A team of astronomers from the California Institute of Technology announced today that a recently detected cosmic gamma-ray burst was as bright as the rest of the universe, releasing a hundred times more energy than previously theorized.

Geophysicists model the Cretaceous motions of Australia

The theory of plate tectonics says that Earth's crust has moved horizontally by thousands of miles over millions of years. For visual evidence, one need look no further than a map showing how nicely South America and Africa fit together.

Neuroscientists locate area of brain responsible for 3-D vision

Researchers have found the brain circuitry that allows us to see the world in three dimensions even when one eye is closed.

Geologists find more evidence for an active fault beneath downtown and east Los Angeles

Geologists report new evidence for a fault beneath Los Angeles that could cause damaging earthquakes in the future.

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