Why do nervous systems use slow voltage changes rather than fast electric currents along wires?

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

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Cell Communication, Chemicals, Evolution, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Uncategorized
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NEURO.tv Episode 11 – Moral decision-making and the brain, with Joshua Greene.

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

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, by John Kubie, by Leanne Boucher, Diseases & Disorders, Evolution, In Society, Language, Neural Network Function, Neuroeconomics, Psychiatric Disorders, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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NEURO.tv Episode 8 – The Function and Evolution of the Visual System.

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

Posted in Authors, Awareness and Attention, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, by John Kubie, by Leanne Boucher, by Steven Miller, Neuroanatomy, Senses and Perception, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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The Detroit River

David H. Hubel’s great gift to neuroscience.

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

Posted in Authors, Awareness and Attention, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Senses and Perception, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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Map the Brain–Not Just Neurons

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

Posted in by Douglas Fields, Neuroanatomy, Neuroeducation, Policymakers, Press
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Representation of the different types of memory

A live google hangout to answer your questions about memory and the brain.

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

Posted in About Neuroscience, Across the Lifespan, Aging, Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, In Society, Learning and Memory, Neuroanatomy, Neuroeducation, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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