To Learn by Example

A neuroscience demonstration.

At the east end of the University of Arizona’s 7.5 acre grass mall is a Carolina sphinx moth fit snug in a blue plastic tube with its insect head sticking out. Two electrodes, one placed on the left eye and the other in a tiny clear plastic tube surrounding the moth’s right antenna. The electrodes are hooked up to a portable screen that displays the measured electrical activity of the moth’s antenna. Each antenna houses a quarter million primary sensory neurons that allow the moth to sense its environment. In this case, the environment happens to be engulfed in the smoky smell of barbecued ribs coming from the BrushFire’s BBQ co. tent next door. Continue reading

Posted in by Dara Farhadi, Educators, Neuroeducation
Posted by Dara Farhadi        Comment

How Does Daredevil’s Sonar Really Work?

Pop culture is full of superheroes with incredible powers, especially in the summer. But none of these are as amazing as the superpower within your brain.  Continue reading

Posted in About Neuroscience, Animal Research, Awareness and Attention, Brain Basics, Brain Development, by Dwayne Godwin, Educators, Evolution, In Society, Neuroeducation, Senses and Perception, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
Posted by Dwayne Godwin        Comment

What Color is Distress?

Social media has been on fire with a debate – not over ISIS, healthcare or global warming – but over the perceived color of a dress. The dress provides a unique opportunity to consider two big questions at the interface of philosophy, neuroscience and psychophysics: is there an objective reality, and do we all experience it the same way? You may see the dress differently when you see it next.

Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Awareness and Attention, by Dwayne Godwin, Childhood, Evolution, Neural Network Function, Neuroeducation, Policymakers, Press, Senses and Perception, Technologies, Uncategorized
Posted by Dwayne Godwin        4 Comments

Brian Williams ‘False Memory’ – a Neuroscience Perspective

NBC News anchor Brian Williams apologized for his erroneous account of being aboard a helicopter forced to make an emergency landing after being hit by enemy fire while reporting on the Iraq war in 2003.  Williams blames the fallibility of human recall for the error.  How can the neuroscience of memory (and false memory) provide insight?

Continue reading

Posted in by Douglas Fields, Learning and Memory, Neural Network Function, Neuroeducation, Press, Sleep
Posted by Douglas Fields        1 Comment

Scientists on Twitter.

Neil Hall from the University of Liverpool has published a very interesting mini-study on scientists and Twitter. He developed a metric that compares the popularity of scientists on Twitter to the impact of their publications within peer-reviewed journals. The metric is called the Kardashian Index, a reference to the fact that Kim Kardashian became wildly popular for no apparent reason, and a wink at those scientists who get Twitter popularity without having accomplished as much as others in their scientific career. Neil Hall is not necessarily critiquing the individuals who use Twitter to their advantage – he simply creates a metric that finds discrepancies between Twitter popularity and scientific popularity. The idea is brilliant, but in my view the short article is based on an incorrect premise. The premise is that science and social media contributions are two fundamentally separate things that can be compared to each other. Continue reading

Posted in About Neuroscience, Authors, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Educators, In Society, Neuroeducation, Press, Technologies
Posted by Jean-François Gariépy        Comment

Lightning in Your Brain

I awoke this morning to a ferocious lightning storm.  The house shook from thunderous booms. The predawn darkness blanched in blazing white flashes.  Lightning is impressive; especially in contrast to the feeble bioelectricity generated by the body’s nerve cells.  Or is that just an illusion?  Neuroscientist Michael Persinger has done some back-of-the-envelope calculations that may surprise you.

Continue reading

Posted in by Douglas Fields, Cell Communication, Educators, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Neuroeducation, Uncategorized
Posted by Douglas Fields        Comment