The Collapse of Science, Not Housing, Ended the American Dream

The financial and political torrent now undermining the foundation of scientific research creates a unique calamity for scientists in training, which will have profound and long-lasting consequences for society. See Huffington Post Science: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-douglas-fields/the-collapse-of-science-n_b_3416953.html

 

Posted in About Neuroscience, by Douglas Fields, Educators, Neuroeducation, Neuroethics, Technologies, Uncategorized
Posted by Douglas Fields        Comment
Ganglionic Eminence, Mice

NEURO.tv Episode 1

This week we are trying something new. Can we make a video conference about brain research and will people be interested in it? Tell us what you think and how we could improve it! You can view our first discussion on YouTube, it was very interesting. Continue reading

Posted in About Neuroscience, Across the Lifespan, Aging, Animal Research, Authors, Brain Basics, Brain Development, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, by Leanne Boucher, by Steven Miller, Childhood, Diseases & Disorders, Epilepsy, Genetics, In Society, Learning and Memory, Neuroeducation, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
Posted by Jean-François Gariépy        1 Comment
Tools For Thinking

Intuition pumps by Daniel Dennett

Thinking is the weirdest thing. No one really understands how it works and neuroscience has barely begun to address how the brain creates thoughts. Perhaps one of the greatest difficulties in understanding thinking is that it is a little bit like art or cooking; there are many ways of doing it, according to every one’s culture, preferences and knowledge. But like art and cooking, there are some productive, successful ways of thinking that certain people master. The masters have done it for long enough that they have accumulated good tricks – particular ways of dipping the brush in the paint, of pressing the pedal on the piano, secret ingredients. Daniel Dennett is one of those masters and in his most recent book, Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking, he has cataloged some of his and others’ best tools for thinking developed and learned through decades of reflection on computer science, biology and psychology. Continue reading

Posted in About Neuroscience, Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Evolution, In Society
Posted by Jean-François Gariépy        Comment

How can we enhance working memory?

Even a seemingly simple behavior–like trying to remember if the name of the person you just met is “Elizabeth” or “Patricia”–can tax our memories. These short-term memory drains are part of what we neuroscientists call “working memory”.
When you think about it, it’s quite a remarkable neural feat that we can do this at all! Somehow our brains are able to take in information (like the sound waves that hit our ears in just the right way to make us perceive the sound that is the name “Patricia”), hold that information in some neural pattern/buffer/code, and then retrieve that information at will (if we’re lucky).
Continue reading

Posted in About Neuroscience, by Bradley Voytek, Learning and Memory, Neuroethics, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
Posted by Bradley Voytek        1 Comment

Patient Zero: What We Learned from H.M.

Memory is our most prized human treasure. It defines our sense of self, and our ability to navigate the world.  It defines our relationships with others – for good or ill – and is so important to survival that our gilled ancestors bear the secret of memory etched in their DNA. If you asked someone over 50 to name the things they most fear about getting older, losing one’s memory would be near the top of that list. There is so much worry over Alzheimer’s disease, the memory thief, that it is easy to forget that our modern understanding of memory is still quite young, less than one, very special lifespan.

Meet the Patient Zero of memory disorders, H.M.

Continue reading

Posted in About Neuroscience, Across the Lifespan, Aging, by Dwayne Godwin, Educators, Learning and Memory, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Neuroeducation, Neuroethics, Senses and Perception
Posted by Dwayne Godwin        Comment
Chemical Synapse

Study identifies a novel role for a protein related to synaptic vesicles.

I often write on this blog that neurons in our brain are linked to each other by multiple connections. We call those connections synapses, but I never took the time to explain in detail how they work. It is a fascinating subject which constitutes an enormous field of research by itself. Here is an illustration of such a synapse and how one neuron sends signals to the next neuron. Continue reading

Posted in About Neuroscience, Animal Research, Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Neuroanatomy
Posted by Jean-François Gariépy        Comment