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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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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NEURO.tv Episode 9 – Morality, neuroscience and the law.

Does our understanding of neuroscience threaten the concept of moral responsibility? What is morality, empathy and how do progresses in brain research impact society? We discuss with Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy at Duke University. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, by John Kubie, by Leanne Boucher, Diseases & Disorders, In Society, Neuroethics, Neurolaw, Psychiatric Disorders
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NEURO.tv Episode 8 – The Function and Evolution of the Visual System.

How does the visual system process information from the outside world and what are the rules that constrain the evolution of sensory systems? We discuss these questions with Dale Purves, Geller Professor of Neurobiology at Duke University. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Awareness and Attention, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, by John Kubie, by Leanne Boucher, by Steven Miller, Neuroanatomy, Senses and Perception, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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How Neurons May Program Changes of Direction During Locomotion

Before I started doing research on social interactions, I worked on the control of locomotor movements and respiration in an aquatic animal, the lamprey. One of the questions that always intrigued me is how the nervous system of this animal controls steering movements, how it makes lampreys turn left or right. It may appear like a trivial problem: to go left, they just have to orient the body slightly to the left and continue performing the propulsive movements. But it is not as simple. The problem comes when you realize that the muscles involved in steering are the very muscles involved in straightforward locomotion – and some of them might be busy when the animal decides to turn. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Cell Communication, Evolution, Movement, Neural Network Function, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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