“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
It is a quite modest title that Edward O. Wilson has chosen for the book he published this month, Letters to a Young Scientist. As I began to read, I was expecting to find a list of more or less useful tips and tricks on how to become a scientist. What I instead found in this book is a deep personal reflection on what science really is and how scientists come to do it. Continue reading
On April 2nd 2013 President Obama formally unveiled the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative, which was previously known as the Brain Activity Map project Continue reading
March 11 – 17, 2013 marks the 17th year for this annual week that promotes awareness and appreciation of brain research, founded and coordinated by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and European Dana Alliance for the Brain.
When anyone wants to support science, I’m in. These are trying times, when the scientific enterprise is facing severe cuts as budget sequestration looms, creating even more uncertainty and angst among research institutions – not to mention young scientists who might be questioning whether they want to enter a career with such a high level of risk. Continue reading