NEURO.tv Episode 2

On this episode we have Leanne Boucher from Nova Southeastern University and Nick Spitzer from UCSD. We discuss with Nick about his new discoveries recently published in Science. His article shows how certain neurons switch their neurotransmitters based on exposition of an animal to different schedules of light/dark cycles. You can view the full discussion here, it was fascinating! Continue reading

Posted in About Neuroscience, Across the Lifespan, Animal Research, Authors, Awareness and Attention, Brain Basics, Brain Development, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, by Leanne Boucher, Cell Communication, Chemicals, Diseases & Disorders, Evolution, Mood, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving, Stress and Anxiety
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Bad news for city dwellers: Cockroach taste system evolves to evade exterminators

Before moving to London, I lived in New York City, where it was not uncommon to see cockroaches out on the street, and even once in a while in my apartment (and it was clean, I swear!).  Despite an arsenal of poisons and eradication strategies, it seemed like cockroaches were just a part of city life I had to live with. A recent paper in the journal Science has shown that this may be true because cockroaches are quickly evolving to avoid precisely the yummy, sweet-tasting poisoned baits that I was using to keep them out of my kitchen. Continue reading

Posted in Animal Research, by Emily Jordan, Cell Communication, Evolution, Senses and Perception
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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
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PET imaging

Brainy stuff of the month.

I thought I would share some of the interesting stuff I read this month on the web. Continue reading

Posted in About Neuroscience, Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Degenerative Disorders, Diseases & Disorders, Evolution, Immune System Disorders, In Society, Language, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Press, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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Femme accoudée à la table

Understanding beauty.

Can the perception that people have of works of art be explained by neuroscience? A perspective piece published in PLoS Biology last month by Bevil R. Conway and Alexander Rehding tackles this interesting question1. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Evolution, In Society, Neuroeducation, Senses and Perception, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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Dualism, Descartes

Can science explain consciousness?

In a book published last fall1, Thomas Nagel defends the idea that science cannot explain consciousness – that the mind is a natural phenomenon which cannot be reduced to physical states of the brain. He also argues that evolutionary theory, or its current materialist version, is not sufficient to explain the appearance of the mind. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Awareness and Attention, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Evolution, In Society, Language, Neural Network Function, Neuroethics, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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Chimpanzee, Gombe

Chimpanzees persist until others get it.

– “It’s there on the table.” … – “Where, here ?”
– “No no, to the left.” … – “I don’t see it.”
– “Right there under the napkin.” … – “Ahhhhh I got it.”

The situations in which one individual communicates an information to another and persists until the other shows signs of having acquired the information are referred to as communicative persistence. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Awareness and Attention, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Evolution, Language, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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