Yes, I’ll have some dessert

It’s a special occasion. You get dressed up and go to a fancy restaurant.

The lights are dim, there are candles on the tables, bold sculptures and beautiful artwork are on the walls, and lush green plants and trees are tastefully placed around the intimate restaurant.
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Posted in by Leanne Boucher, Diet and Exercise, Senses and Perception
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Prefrontal brain areas track subjective confidence.

People act and decide with varying confidence levels.

As they explore novel environments, people try options before fully committing to them; testing if that wooden bridge is solid enough, inspecting the tires of a car or trying a limited version of a product before buying it. Tracking and improving the confidence that we have on what surrounds us allows us to explore and exploit features of the environment successfully. Confidence is likely a major determinant of the economical decisions that we make, but the brain mechanisms involved remain poorly understood. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Awareness and Attention, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Learning and Memory, Neuroanatomy, Senses and Perception, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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Student posters

Research Experiences for Undergraduate Students

In a previous blog post, I described programs available to high school students who wanted to experience life in a neuroscience research laboratory. Research opportunities also exist pharmacy online for college undergraduate students but they are sometimes difficult to find.

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Posted in About Neuroscience, Brain Basics, by Eric Chudler, Educators, In Society
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Free and open text books? No, we really mean it this time.

It would have been easy to miss an important news story as it happened shortly before the SFN meeting: Gov. Brown (California) signed into law a program that will create 50 lower division text books and a new type library that will house them.

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Posted in About Neuroscience, by Anita Bandrowski, Educators, Technologies
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The Subconscious Mind and Extrasensory Perception

A reader called me to say how much he enjoyed my book, The Other Brain, and then confided the true reason for his call:  he wanted to share with me an extraordinary change in his brain and ask for my neurobiological insight.   “After having a stroke I found that I could read other people’s minds,” he said.

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Posted in About Neuroscience, by Douglas Fields, Injury, Mood, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving, Stress and Anxiety
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Research Experiences for High School Students

The public craves information about neuroscience.  It is difficult to read a newspaper or popular magazine without reading about brain research.  Many students, even those not yet in college, also have an interest in neuroscience.   Although reading books, magazines, journal articles and web sites can provide the background about scientific discovery, there is nothing like working in a lab to really experience science.

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Posted in Brain Basics, by Eric Chudler, Educators, In Society, Neuroeducation
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An online game makes people contribute to neuroscience research.

As a kid, one of my dreams was to be able to look at the brain with a microscope and find every connection between each neuron. When I started neuroscience research, I realized this was an unrealistic dream – the number of connections is too big. To find all the connections between every neuron in a chunk of brain smaller than one cubic millimeter, I would have to spend years, if not decades, under the electron microscope, clicking on a computer. Completing the entire brain would be impossible in a lifetime, even for a large group of scientists. Recently, a professor at the MIT has developed a tool that might change this. Continue reading

Posted in Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Cell Communication, In Society, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Neuroeducation
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