A few weeks ago the Nobel Prize Committee announced that John O’Keefe, Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser would be the recipients of the 2014 prize for Physiology and Medicine for their work in deciphering the neural code in the rat hippocampal region.1 The work is frequently summarized as revealing the functioning of the brain’s GPS system. While the GPS part is true, the work is far broader, giving insights into the neural substrate of broad areas of cognition that include memory, planning, creativity and internal thought. Continue reading
This month, thousands of neuroscientists around the world are preparing for our annual Big Event: The Society for Neuroscience conference. If last year is any indication, then by thousands, I mean more than 30,000 neuroscientists are getting their geek on to showcase the latest and greatest neuroscience research next month in Washington DC. Continue reading
Recently scientists have been exploring part of the brain that has been relatively unexplored in learning–white matter, comprising half of the human brain. Here new research is detecting cellular changes during learning that are entirely different from the synaptic changes between neurons in gray matter. A new study shows that learning a new motor skill requires generation of new myelin, the electrical insulation on nerve axons.
Nita Farahany, Professor of Law and Philosophy at Duke University is a leading scholar on the ethical implications of biosciences and emerging technologies. She joined us to discuss how neuroscience is currently being used in the courtroom. We also talked about potential issues brought by emerging technologies on the invasion of privacy for individuals. Continue reading
On September 23, 1976, while the nation’s attention was focused on the battle between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter for President of the United States, a 42-year-old woman half way around the world was engaged in a personal battle. Outside the limelight of world view, her struggle for life in a remote third world country marked the crossing of a threshold for our species. Continue reading
Media coverage of Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and other lesser known National Football League (NFL) players involved in domestic abuse cases have pushed the larger problem facing the game—chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)—to the back burner. Continue reading
We are constantly hearing about 3D printing in the media. Whether people are making 3D-printed cars, guns, or even organs, this technology is becoming wild with the thousands of different applications. My new favorite: a 3D printed brain. Continue reading