“Listen to your conscience,” my mother would say.But where does that mysterious urge to do what is right come from? Scientists have now pinpointed the brain circuitry that compels us to behave according to social norms; moreover, researchers can boost a person’s fairness by exciting this brain region, and promote cheating by inhibiting this bit of brain tissue.
In any major mapping expedition shouldn’t the first priority be to survey the uncharted regions? In mapping the brain, that would be charting the neglected half–glia.
The Brain Mapping Initiative announced by President Barack Obama earlier this year seeks to map and monitor the function of neural connections in the entire brain of experimental animals, and eventually in the human cerebral cortex. Several researchers have raised doubts about the project, cautioning that mapping the brain is a far more complex endeavor than mapping the human genome, and its usefulness more uncertain. Continue reading
I was stopped at a red light. Through my rear view mirror I saw the car speeding toward me. The driver was looking down operating a cell phone in his lap. I considered putting my car in park because the rapid acceleration in a crash is what damages, but I did not want to limit my options. As the car barreled toward me at full speed I applied my brakes hard with both feet and braced for impact. Continue reading
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
This may seem like old news. Thanks to Will Smith’s “neuralizer” blasting away horrific memories of alien attacks in the 1997 movie “Men in Black,” and the quest to bury the heartbreak of a broken romance in the 2004 flick “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” the concept of erasing memory has become commonplace. Continue reading
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
Is it possible to identify a murder from facial features alone? Supporting evidence comes from a new brain imaging study. Continue reading