Big Brain Stories of 2014

As we turn the page on 2014, here’s a list of some of the year’s highlights in neuroscience – along with a heavy dose of speculation about what they might mean for the future of the brain.

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Posted in About Neuroscience, Aging, Animal Research, Brain Basics, Brain Development, by Dwayne Godwin, Childhood, Degenerative Disorders, Diet and Exercise, Diseases & Disorders, Epilepsy, Movement Disorders, Neuroeconomics, Policymakers, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving, Sleep, Stress and Anxiety, Technologies
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Why Girls Like Guys Who Kayak

            She’s checking out your on-line profile. 

            “I am a scientist who enjoys bird watching and canoeing.” 

            “Interesting!” she thinks. 

            Then she scrolls to the next profile; also a scientist:

            “I enjoy white water kayaking, and I study alligators in the wild.” 

            She passes on you with your canoe, and in eager anticipation sends the kayaker an electronic “wink.” 

            This, according to a study by psychologist John Petraitis, is what most women will do, but why?

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Posted in Addiction, Aging, by Douglas Fields, Childhood, Evolution, Psychiatric Disorders, Uncategorized
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NEURO.tv Episode 6 – The Evolution of the Primate Cortex.

NEURO.tv starts the season with an amazing discussion with Katherine L. Bryant about the visual cortex in primates and the anatomical differences found between the brains of different primates. Continue reading

Posted in Across the Lifespan, Authors, Awareness and Attention, Brain Basics, Brain Development, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, by John Kubie, by Leanne Boucher, by Steven Miller, Childhood, Evolution, Neuroanatomy, Senses and Perception, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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Why Girls Are More Vulnerable to Maltreatment

Women suffer depression and anxiety disorders at higher rates than men; a new study finds an interesting new explanation for this.  Unwholesome family life can alter development of threat-detection circuits in the brain of young girls, which persist into adulthood and predispose women to developing mood and anxiety disorders as adolescents and young adults.  Boys are also negatively impacted by family stresses during childhood, but the lasting effects on their brain were seen in only one of two neural circuits controlling our response to threats, anxiety and fear.

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Posted in Addiction, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Caregivers, Childhood, Childhood Disorders, Educators, Mood, Neural Network Function, Neuroeducation, Pregnancy and Parenting, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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To Kill a Crying Baby

Squeezing her hand over the toddler’s nose and mouth she smothered him to death because he would not stop crying.  Last Monday 22-year-old Jessica Fraraccio pleaded guilty in court to felony murder of 23-month-old Elijah Nealey in the summer of 2012.  No one in their right mind could conceive of committing such a horrible act, but babies are tragically killed or left severely brain damaged by shaken baby syndrome inflicted by a parent, family member, or caretaker frustrated by a child’s incessant crying. Dismissing those with depraved minds, how can we comprehend such sad stories as this one in the Washington Post?

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Posted in by Douglas Fields, Caregivers, Childhood, Childhood Disorders, Educators, Mood, Neural Network Function, Pregnancy and Parenting, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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Discussion Tuesday, Sept. 17th on how babies learn sounds first encountered in the womb!

This discussion should be very interesting, don’t miss it! The hangout will be at Noon-12:30 pm (Pacific Time) on Tuesday September 17. Continue reading

Posted in Across the Lifespan, Authors, Brain Basics, Brain Development, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Childhood, Language, Learning and Memory, Pregnancy and Parenting, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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