Ever had the experience of smelling something and then being automatically transported back in time? It’s as though your olfactory sense is the “on” switch to your memories. Continue reading
We’ve all experienced this: hearing a song triggers a memory. For me, for example, the song “Peggy Sue” (Buddy Holly and the Crickets, 1957) triggers a memory of a car ride in the 1950s, driving through my hometown, with the song on the radio, and my Mom at the wheel of our rounded, light-blue plymouth. I could go on and list dozens, or hundreds of songs and associated memories. There’s something special about music and memory. Continue reading
Newborn infants can do lots of things. They can breathe, swallow, see, hear, startle, grasp, withdraw from noxious stimuli, taste, smell, cry and more. An experienced physician can elicit a broad range of behaviors. Perhaps surprisingly, the basic spinal circuitry for walking is present. If you take a neonate, support its weight, and put the feet on the ground, the infant will begin “stepping”; that is, take alternating steps, left-right-left, on the ground. How is this done? Does this suggest that an infant, with the right training, could walk?
The last time I was on Boylston Street it was to give a lecture in November at a scientific meeting in the Weston Hotel. Today, Sunday, I’m looking out onto an empty street, barricaded. An eerie modern-day ghost town festooned with yellow police tape rippling in the cold Boston wind. Continue reading
Our ability to access information is becoming nearly unlimited. But what does the loss of that gap in time between wondering and knowing mean to your brain? Continue reading
Of all things the human brain learns, few fascinate me more than numbers. It starts with kids counting, one by one, elements that they care about. How many gifts are there under the tree, how many oranges are there in the bag? 1, 2, 3, 4 … For a long time counting will be the process by which kids navigate through the endless series of numbers. Continue reading