Zika: Ten things to know about a new public health emergency

The Zika virus is a global health threat. Despite renewed urgency because of the evidence suggesting that Zika causes birth defects, science has known of the virus for some time. It’s a deadly and debilitating virus for some newborns, so it’s important to have an accurate picture of the science behind it, the risks of infection and how it affects developing brains. Continue reading

Posted in About Neuroscience, Animal Research, Awareness and Attention, Brain Development, by Dwayne Godwin, Childhood, Childhood Disorders, Neuroethics, Policymakers, Pregnancy and Parenting, Press
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To Learn by Example

A neuroscience demonstration.

At the east end of the University of Arizona’s 7.5 acre grass mall is a Carolina sphinx moth fit snug in a blue plastic tube with its insect head sticking out. Two electrodes, one placed on the left eye and the other in a tiny clear plastic tube surrounding the moth’s right antenna. The electrodes are hooked up to a portable screen that displays the measured electrical activity of the moth’s antenna. Each antenna houses a quarter million primary sensory neurons that allow the moth to sense its environment. In this case, the environment happens to be engulfed in the smoky smell of barbecued ribs coming from the BrushFire’s BBQ co. tent next door. Continue reading

Posted in by Dara Farhadi, Educators, Neuroeducation
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Marijuana Use Causes 7-Fold Increased Risk of Violent Behavior

Marijuana use and violence

New research reported in the journal Psychological Medicine, concludes that continued use of cannabis causes violent behavior as a direct result of changes in brain function that are caused by smoking marijuana over many years. Continue reading

Posted in Addiction, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Chemicals, Educators, In Society, Neural Network Function, Policymakers, Psychiatric Disorders, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving, Uncategorized
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Meldonium, Tennis Star Maria Sharapova’s Performance-enhancing Drug Explained

Tennis star Maria Sharapova has admitted to using the performance-enhancing drug meldonium, which boosts brain and body power and endurance. Here’s how it works.

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Posted in by Douglas Fields, Chemicals, Diet and Exercise, Diseases & Disorders, In Society, Injury, Learning and Memory, Neuroethics, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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Concussion Movie Reignites Important Issue

It is fairly remarkable that Concussion, the movie, exists. Ten years ago, the public did not know much about concussions and other forms of brain trauma. People weren’t watching football games and thinking about the long-term neurological effects of the brutal hits. Around 2009, the National Football League (NFL) started catching heat for its outdated concussion policies. In 2013, a book and corresponding documentary that tackled the issue, League of Denial, were released. And now, at the end of 2015, Hollywood has brought us a major motion picture that stars Will Smith as a neuropathologist fighting to reveal the truth about head trauma in football players.

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Posted in In Society, Injury
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The Taste of Thanksgiving

I took a sip of sugary Coke and was struck by a hideous intense blast of aluminum.  I rushed to the sink and spit out the tainted drink.  Poison!  What’s wrong with this Coke!  I took another tentative sip.  I was slammed again by the overwhelming metallic taste.  I spat out the poison by rapid reflex.  This can of Coke must have been contaminated during manufacturing!  Or, had the likes of the Tylenol Killer switched to soft drinks?  Then I remembered. . .  the taste of Thanksgiving and mountain climbing!

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Posted in Aging, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Chemicals, Diet and Exercise, Diseases & Disorders, Mood, Neuroanatomy, Senses and Perception, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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