Richard Dawkins used his Twitter account to ask some unanswered questions about biology that he finds fascinating, inviting others to share ideas about hypothetical life forms that may or may not have evolved. By nature, these questions can only be addressed using some degree of speculation, but I find this one particularly interesting and I will attempt to answer it. He asks: Continue reading
What experiments do psychologists use to identify the brain areas involved in moral decision-making? Do moral truths exist? We discuss with Joshua D. Greene, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and author of Moral Tribes. Continue reading
How does the visual system process information from the outside world and what are the rules that constrain the evolution of sensory systems? We discuss these questions with Dale Purves, Geller Professor of Neurobiology at Duke University. Continue reading
David H. Hubel, whose work unveiled fascinating brain processes that underlie our sense of vision, died last month at the age of 87.
Hubel’s parents were Americans, living in Detroit, Michigan. His father had a job in Windsor, Ontario. Tired of commuting across the Detroit River, he moved to Canada, where David Hubel was born. During his childhood David spent considerable effort learning to play the piano, and later the flute. In 1929, the family moved to Montreal where David Hubel grew up. Continue reading
In any major mapping expedition shouldn’t the first priority be to survey the uncharted regions? In mapping the brain, that would be charting the neglected half–glia.
The Brain Mapping Initiative announced by President Barack Obama earlier this year seeks to map and monitor the function of neural connections in the entire brain of experimental animals, and eventually in the human cerebral cortex. Several researchers have raised doubts about the project, cautioning that mapping the brain is a far more complex endeavor than mapping the human genome, and its usefulness more uncertain. Continue reading
Non-linear dynamics are fascinating, if for no other reason than so many statistical models are linear, so testing for non-linearity often requires a more strong hypothetical foundation for understanding.
I’ll discuss these topics in rough order of my personal favorites.
I got a message from science writer Bruce Lieberman announcing that he will be hosting a live webcast on Thursday April 11, 11:30AM with Bradford Dickerson, Associate Professor of Neurology at the Harvard Medical School and Mayank Mehta, Professor of Neurophysics at the Brain Research Institute at the University of California. This looks like a good occasion for those of you who want to learn about how memory works and ask questions to renowned experts in the field! Continue reading