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
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The rhythm of lobster season

Today is the second and last day of “mini-season” here in South Florida. That is, the last Wednesday and Thursday of July where Florida lobsters are available for the taking by non-commercial lobster hunters. I grew up in New England and I love me some huge (i.e. 2-3 lb) Maine lobsters, but since establishing some roots down here in sunny Florida, I’ve grown to like the smaller, but still sweet tasting cockroaches of the sea. Continue reading

Posted in About Neuroscience, Animal Research, by Leanne Boucher, Cell Communication, Chemicals, Diet and Exercise, Diseases & Disorders, Movement, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Technologies
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Book Review: Consciousness and the Brain

Every ten years the scientific study of consciousness passes a milestone. A decade ago the milestone was the publication of Chrisof Koch’s book “Quest for Consciousness” (2004). “Quest” established the groundwork for a scientific approach to the study of consciousness and described progress using techniques of neuroscience and experimental psychology1. Stenislas Dehaene’s book “Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering how the Brain Codes our Thoughts” presents a mass of new data and along with new theory. I believe it is a major consolidation; a milestone marking the trail forward for the next decade. Continue reading

Posted in Awareness and Attention, by John Kubie, Senses and Perception
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Lucy and the 10 Percent Brain Myth

It’s unfair to have Morgan Freeman, with his smooth, deep voice, say it. In the trailer for the upcoming film Lucy, the actor who has played both the President and God addresses an auditorium of students and says, “It is estimated most human beings only use 10 percent of their brain’s capacity…Imagine if we could access 100 percent.” It’s hard not to believe Morgan Freeman. But in this case, he’s wrong. Continue reading

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NEURO.tv Episode 10 – Parkinson’s disease and the basal ganglia.

What are the brain changes that cause Parkinson’s disease? In this special episode, Steven Miller traveled to Japan to discuss the current research on this subject with Professor Gordon Arbuthnott from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, Brain Development, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, by Steven Miller, Degenerative Disorders, Diseases & Disorders, Movement, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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What is animal communication?

It seems quite easy to grasp, but the definition of animal communication creates a certain degree of controversy among biologists. One can easily come up with many examples of what looks like communicative signals between pairs of animals – the barking of a dog, the alarm calls of monkeys, the courtship display of Betta splendens – but when we try to define what a communication signal is, it gets slightly more complicated. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Evolution
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