An Introduction From the New Editor-in-Chief of BrainFacts.org

Hello and welcome to BrainFacts.org. It is a great pleasure to introduce myself as the site’s new Editor-in-Chief. I believe scientists have a responsibility to provide credible, easy-to-understand science information to the public that funds their research, and I am thrilled to help guide BrainFacts.org to new heights, while maintaining the integrity and authority established through the leadership of my predecessor, Nick Spitzer.

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Posted in by John Morrison, Policymakers, Press
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Neuroscience of ‘Under the Skin,’ Starring Scarlett Johansson

In the eerie science fiction film, Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien vixen clothed in human skin, roaming the earth in search of single men for nefarious purposes, a turning point comes when she offers a hooded man on a dark road a ride in her vehicle.  When the man takes off his hood we see his shockingly disfigured face.  It is not make up.  The disfigurement is caused by a genetic condition, neurofibromatosis, affecting actor Adam Pearson.  Pearson’s brother has the same disorder, but no disfigurement.  Instead he suffers memory problems.  The film is a head scratcher–in the best possible way–but neurofibromatosis is not.  Let’s have a look.

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Posted in by Douglas Fields, Degenerative Disorders, Genetics, Learning and Memory, Neuroanatomy, Press, Uncategorized
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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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The Absurdity of “Medical Marijuana”

Marijuana use is legal in many states for medical purposes, most of them dealing with neurological conditions (pain, epilepsy, tremor, multiple sclerosis, and many others).  From the perspective of a neuroscientist researcher, the situation with respect to “medical marijuana” is absurd.  Continue reading

Posted in Addiction, Animal Research, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Cell Communication, Chemicals, Degenerative Disorders, Diseases & Disorders, Epilepsy, Immune System Disorders, Movement Disorders, Neural Network Function, Neuroethics, Neurolaw, Policymakers, Psychiatric Disorders, Technologies, Uncategorized
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How is the brain like a guitar? Hint: It is all about rhythm

Typically we are introduced to the nervous system by analogy to an electrical circuit, like a door bell or a telephone line carrying a signal rapidly over long distances to activate a specific process.  Never mind that electrical impulses are not transmitted through nerve axons anything like electrons flowing through a copper wire, this electronic circuit analogy is useful up to a point.    If you want to understand how the brain works at a more complex level, you are going to need a new analogy, and if you play an acoustic guitar you’ll find it under your fingertips.

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Posted in About Neuroscience, by Douglas Fields, Cell Communication, Educators, Epilepsy, Learning and Memory, Neural Network Function, Psychiatric Disorders, Senses and Perception, Sleep, Technologies, Uncategorized
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Alzheimer’s Awareness Interview: Gary Landreth

Dana Alliance member Gary Landreth, Ph.D., is a professor of neurosciences and neurology and the director of the Alzheimer Research Laboratory at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. In recognition of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, he spoke to us about his career, clinical trials, and the pressures to find answers to the Alzheimer’s puzzle. Continue reading

Posted in by the Dana Foundation, Caregivers, Degenerative Disorders, Diseases & Disorders, Technologies
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NEURO.tv 15 – The Evolution and Function of Mind-wandering and Metacognition

In this episode, Micah Allen, postdoctoral researcher at the University College London, discusses the evolution and function of cognition and metacognition. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Awareness and Attention, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, by John Kubie, by Leanne Boucher, Language, Learning and Memory, Neuroanatomy, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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