Jean-François Gariépy

About Jean-François Gariépy

Jean-François Gariépy is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University. He is interested in how the brain generates social behaviors.

He has received the Next Generation Award from the Society for Neuroscience for his efforts in communicating science to the general public. He maintains a Twitter account (@JFGariepy), updated regularly with recent publications in social and cognitive neuroscience. He can be contacted at jeanfrancois.gariepy@gmail.com.

All texts published by Jean-François Gariépy on this blog are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.

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Why do nervous systems use slow voltage changes rather than fast electric currents along wires?

Richard Dawkins used his Twitter account to ask some unanswered questions about biology that he finds fascinating, inviting others to share ideas about hypothetical life forms that may or may not have evolved. By nature, these questions can only be addressed using some degree of speculation, but I find this one particularly interesting and I will attempt to answer it. He asks: Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Cell Communication, Chemicals, Evolution, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Uncategorized
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NEURO.tv Episode 11 – Moral decision-making and the brain, with Joshua Greene.

What experiments do psychologists use to identify the brain areas involved in moral decision-making? Do moral truths exist? We discuss with Joshua D. Greene, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and author of Moral Tribes. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, by John Kubie, by Leanne Boucher, Diseases & Disorders, Evolution, In Society, Language, Neural Network Function, Neuroeconomics, Psychiatric Disorders, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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Scientists on Twitter.

Neil Hall from the University of Liverpool has published a very interesting mini-study on scientists and Twitter. He developed a metric that compares the popularity of scientists on Twitter to the impact of their publications within peer-reviewed journals. The metric is called the Kardashian Index, a reference to the fact that Kim Kardashian became wildly popular for no apparent reason, and a wink at those scientists who get Twitter popularity without having accomplished as much as others in their scientific career. Neil Hall is not necessarily critiquing the individuals who use Twitter to their advantage – he simply creates a metric that finds discrepancies between Twitter popularity and scientific popularity. The idea is brilliant, but in my view the short article is based on an incorrect premise. The premise is that science and social media contributions are two fundamentally separate things that can be compared to each other. Continue reading

Posted in About Neuroscience, Authors, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Educators, In Society, Neuroeducation, Press, Technologies
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NEURO.tv Episode 10 – Parkinson’s disease and the basal ganglia.

What are the brain changes that cause Parkinson’s disease? In this special episode, Steven Miller traveled to Japan to discuss the current research on this subject with Professor Gordon Arbuthnott from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, Brain Development, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, by Steven Miller, Degenerative Disorders, Diseases & Disorders, Movement, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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What is animal communication?

It seems quite easy to grasp, but the definition of animal communication creates a certain degree of controversy among biologists. One can easily come up with many examples of what looks like communicative signals between pairs of animals – the barking of a dog, the alarm calls of monkeys, the courtship display of Betta splendens – but when we try to define what a communication signal is, it gets slightly more complicated. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Evolution
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Butterflies’ Mate Choices Are Influenced by Early Social Interactions

In nature, we find many examples of animals that favor mates with a certain set of features. In some cases, such sexual selection leads to impressive changes to the morphology of animals through the course of evolution, such as the enormous and colorful tail of peacocks, deployed during courtship. When choosing a partner for reproduction, animals are facing an important dilemma. On the one hand, some of the characteristics of their potential mate may truly indicate the quality of their genes – they may somehow correlate with how good of an offspring can be expected from mating with them. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Evolution, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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My view on The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris

A couple of months ago, author Sam Harris challenged his readers to write an essay proving him wrong with respect to his book, The Moral Landscape. The winning essay was written by Ryan Born who holds a BA in cognitive science from the University of Georgia and an MA in philosophy from Georgia State University. The essay can be read here, and I extend my congratulations to the winner. Today I post my own essay which was among the 400 or so texts that were submitted to the contest. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Educators, In Society, Neuroethics
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