Big Head, Dark Heart: The Notorious Brain of Edward H. Rulloff

Sometimes bigger really is better – but does the size of the brain, or brain bumps, mean what we think? When it comes to complex brain functions, it’s good to remember the old saying: “the map is not the territory”.

Continue reading

Posted in by Dwayne Godwin, Educators, Neuroeducation, Neuroethics, Neurolaw, Press
Posted by Dwayne Godwin        2 Comments
The Superb Fairywren

Birds use passwords too.

Passwords are private pieces of information that protect important aspects of our lives. They lose their main function when known by others, and they need to be complex enough not to be guessed too easily. A fascinating study published in Current Biology suggests that a species of birds has developed a system of communication between parents and offspring that resembles passwords. Families of Superb Fairywren use this system to recognize each other as a defense against an intruding parasite species. Continue reading

Posted in Brain Basics, Brain Development, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Evolution, Language, Learning and Memory, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
Posted by Jean-François Gariépy        Comment

A brain region sensitive to social rank.

Our social environment is hierarchical and we can all guess roughly where we and others lie in this hierarchy. It rarely needs to be stated explicitly – a boss does not need to remind his employee that he’s the boss every day. Yet hierarchy acts in the background, like an invisible hand, modifying almost each of our interactions. It makes us more or less polite, familiar, or audacious with those people for whom each attitude is more or less appropriate. Continue reading

Posted in Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Evolution, In Society, Language, Neuroanatomy, Neuroeconomics, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
Posted by Jean-François Gariépy        Comment

The prefrontal cortex: caching past outcomes or inferring future ones?

Like many animals, we thrive to repeat the behaviors that have paid off in the past and avoid those that did not. This principle is at the heart of most learning theories. It is also one of the most important functions of the brain: to adjust behaviors according to our experiences. Continue reading

Posted in Brain Basics, Brain Development, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, In Society, Learning and Memory, Neuroanatomy, Neuroeconomics, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
Posted by Jean-François Gariépy        Comment