One of the joys of growing up in the South is that time in the early summer near dusk when fireflies put on their enchanting display. Continue reading
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
Neil Hall from the University of Liverpool has published a very interesting mini-study on scientists and Twitter. He developed a metric that compares the popularity of scientists on Twitter to the impact of their publications within peer-reviewed journals. The metric is called the Kardashian Index, a reference to the fact that Kim Kardashian became wildly popular for no apparent reason, and a wink at those scientists who get Twitter popularity without having accomplished as much as others in their scientific career. Neil Hall is not necessarily critiquing the individuals who use Twitter to their advantage – he simply creates a metric that finds discrepancies between Twitter popularity and scientific popularity. The idea is brilliant, but in my view the short article is based on an incorrect premise. The premise is that science and social media contributions are two fundamentally separate things that can be compared to each other. Continue reading
Brain Awareness Week (BAW)—March 10-16—is less than two months away, and brain enthusiasts around the world are busy preparing for the excitement. From the skyscrapers of New York City to the Himalayas in Nepal, BAW partners, including hospitals, universities, schools, senior centers, and other institutions, are preparing for brain bees, brain fairs, brain accutane cost lectures, brain lab tours, brain dissections, brain art exhibits, brain performances and…you get the picture. Continue reading
Of all things the human brain learns, few fascinate me more than numbers. It starts with kids counting, one by one, elements that they care about. How many gifts are there under the tree, how many oranges are there in the bag? 1, 2, 3, 4 … For a long time counting will be the process by which kids navigate through the endless series of numbers. Continue reading
Each March since 1996, neuroscientists around the world have ventured out of their labs and into schools, museums and malls to share their knowledge and interest about brain research. What causes this exodus out of the lab? Brain Awareness Week!