Year in Review: Top Carney stories of 2019

The last 12 months saw a whirlwind of brain science-related news and the Carney Institute was no exception. From the unveiling of Carney's new innovation hub to breakthroughs in the lab, here in chronological order are Carney's top stories of 2019.


164 Angell

Carney opens a new home for innovation and impact in brain science

The institute’s shared culture of creativity and discovery is brought to life in a new state-of-the-art facility at the center of Brown’s College Hill campus.

Amitai Shenhav

You can train the brain to form good habits through repetition, new study finds

Researchers at the Carney Institute, Princeton University and the University of Warwick, created a model demonstrating that forming good (and bad) habits depends more on how often people perform an action than on how much satisfaction they get from it.

Odor memories

Researchers identify neuronal populations important for odor memories

Using genetic tagging, neuroscientist Alexander Fleischmann identified specific populations of neurons in the olfactory cortex that are activated in the creation of odor memories.

ALS visualization

Researchers identify potential new target for ALS interventions

Carney scientists have identified a defect in the motor circuit that may serve as an early signal of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). 


Arbitrary categories improve visual learning transfer, study finds

This type of learning transfer opens the door for applying basic cognitive science research to help patients with vision loss.

People with question marks over their heads

Researchers outline how humans reduce uncertainty in social situations

A team of Brown University scientists proposed a psychological model of three interrelated ways people reduce uncertainty in social situations.

Javier Lopez Soto

Carney postdoc wins $400K fellowship from the Warren Alpert Foundation

E. Javier López Soto is one of five neuroscientists nationwide to receive the two-year prestigious fellowship, which will allow him to continue research to inform development of new pain therapies. 

Matt Nassar

Unexpectedly big wins improve two kinds of memory

Brown researchers discover that unexpected rewards improve the memory of specific events, which may have implications for how clinicians treat individuals with depression. 


Brown neuroscientists discover neuron type that acts as brain’s metronome

By keeping the brain in sync, these long-hypothesized but never-found neurons help rodents to detect subtle sensations.


Carney scientists decode the brain to help patients with mental illnesses

Approximately one in five adults in the United States experience mental illness in a given year. A new study, published in the Journal of Neural Engineering, could improve patients' abilities to manage symptoms of mental illness.

Spinal column heat image

Researchers to develop ‘intelligent spinal interface’ with $6.3 million in DARPA funding

Carney researchers, surgeons from Rhode Island Hospital and private partners will develop and test a device aimed at bridging the gap in neural circuitry created by spinal cord injury, in the hope of restoring muscle control and sensation.

Diane Lipscombe and John Davenport

Brain institute makes the crucial connections

The Carney Institute was selected as a Providence Business News honoree in the category of Overall Excellence at a Large Company. 


Brain Power: Boosting Alzheimer’s research at Brown

Recent hires, game-changing grants, and collaboration are helping to position Brown’s Carney Institute for Brain Science as a global leader in Alzheimer’s research and treatment.

Dr. Stephen Salloway and John Sedivy

New grant will fund clinical trial of a novel approach to treating Alzheimer’s

A major grant from the Alzheimer’s Association will enable researchers to test a drug that could reduce brain inflammation in Alzheimer’s patients and possibly slow the progression of the disease.