Guys who need it have Viagra; Ladies with the similar needs have nothing now that the FDA has denied approval of a new drug, flibanserin, which would treat sexual dysfunction in women. What’s interesting from a neuroscience perspective is how the drug works. What’s interesting from a social perspective is how difficult it is to address this medical concern in women pharmacologically. Continue reading
San Diego–Would we have Poe’s Raven today if the tormented author had taken lithium to suppress his bipolar illness? Not likely, considering the high frequency of psychiatric illnesses among writers and artists concludes psychiatrist Kay Jamison of Johns Hopkins Medical School speaking this week at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego. Madness electrifies the creative process Jamison concludes, but this difficult drug-use dilemma raises an even more provocative question: Would we have Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds had the Beatles not taken LSD?
Following a car accident, a heart attack, or any other life-threatening event, there have been many instances documented where people that were near death, experienced something vivid, something that to them was real. Something that not only felt real, but for some, maybe even changed their lives. This might have been an interaction with deceased family members, a god they believe in, or something else. Continue reading
Grid Cells in rat entorhinal cortex were discovered in the Moser lab in Trondheim, Norway. These cells were first described in a paper in Nature 20051; For the past 8 years these neurons have been objects of intense study. As the New York Times reports, a paper published yesterday in Nature Neuroscience2 indicates rats aren’t the only animals with grid cells; people have them, too. What are grid cells and what is the significance of recording them in humans?
On this episode we have Leanne Boucher from Nova Southeastern University and Nick Spitzer from UCSD. We discuss with Nick about his new discoveries recently published in Science. His article shows how certain neurons switch their neurotransmitters based on exposition of an animal to different schedules of light/dark cycles. You can view the full discussion here, it was fascinating! Continue reading
Before moving to London, I lived in New York City, where it was not uncommon to see cockroaches out on the street, and even once in a while in my apartment (and it was clean, I swear!). Despite an arsenal of poisons and eradication strategies, it seemed like cockroaches were just a part of city life I had to live with. A recent paper in the journal Science has shown that this may be true because cockroaches are quickly evolving to avoid precisely the yummy, sweet-tasting poisoned baits that I was using to keep them out of my kitchen. Continue reading
Pain and the avoidance behaviors it induces are important survival tools for animals, keeping them away from situations that threaten their safety. When we hurt ourselves and feel pain, it is due to nociceptors, which are nerves located throughout our body, for instance in our skin or the surface of our eyes. Nociceptors can be activated mechanically (for instance when a part of skin is cut) and by hot or cold temperatures. They can also be activated by some chemicals, and you might have already experienced it if you ate a meal with chili peppers. Continue reading