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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NEURO.tv 16 – Memories, false memories and consciousness

Felipe de Brigard is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Arts & Sciences at Duke University. His research, at the intersection of philosophy, psychology and neuroscience, explores the neural mechanisms of false memories and consciousness. He joined us to discuss the nature of memory and the hard problem of consciousness. Continue reading

Posted in Across the Lifespan, Aging, Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, by John Kubie, by Leanne Boucher, Diseases & Disorders, Learning and Memory, Neural Network Function, Psychiatric Disorders, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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Big Brain Stories of 2014

As we turn the page on 2014, here’s a list of some of the year’s highlights in neuroscience – along with a heavy dose of speculation about what they might mean for the future of the brain.

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Posted in About Neuroscience, Aging, Animal Research, Brain Basics, Brain Development, by Dwayne Godwin, Childhood, Degenerative Disorders, Diet and Exercise, Diseases & Disorders, Epilepsy, Movement Disorders, Neuroeconomics, Policymakers, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving, Sleep, Stress and Anxiety, Technologies
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NEURO.tv Episode 13 – Neuroscience in the courtroom and invasion of privacy, with Nita Farahany.

Nita Farahany, Professor of Law and Philosophy at Duke University is a leading scholar on the ethical implications of biosciences and emerging technologies. She joined us to discuss how neuroscience is currently being used in the courtroom. We also talked about potential issues brought by emerging technologies on the invasion of privacy for individuals. Continue reading

Posted in About Neuroscience, Authors, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, by Steven Miller, Diseases & Disorders, In Society, Neuroethics, Neurolaw, Policymakers, Psychiatric Disorders, Technologies
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Neuroscience

                I was stopped at a red light.  Through my rear view mirror I saw the car speeding toward me.  The driver was looking down operating a cell phone in his lap.  I considered putting my car in park because the rapid acceleration in a crash is what damages, but I did not want to limit my options.  As the car barreled toward me at full speed I applied my brakes hard with both feet and braced for impact.  Continue reading

Posted in by Douglas Fields, Degenerative Disorders, Diseases & Disorders, Neuroanatomy, Psychiatric Disorders, Uncategorized
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T-Shirt

Brain activity tracks the preferences of others.

A new study published by Izuma and Adolphs in Neuron asks what are the brain areas that undergo changes in activity when we modify our preferences to fit social context1. Imagine I show some people a shirt and ask them whether they like it or not. In some cases I tell people that this is the favorite shirt of a certain group of University students. In other cases I tell them that it is the preferred shirt of most criminals. What we get is a socially-manipulated preference – people tend to dislike the criminal’s favorite. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, In Society, Learning and Memory, Neuroanatomy, Neuroeconomics, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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Anterior Cingulate Cortex

What is intelligence ?

What do we mean when we say someone is intelligent and is there any scientific basis for defining intelligence? These questions have been at the center of a more than century-old debate in psychology. Intelligence is, first and foremost, a judgment. He’s intelligent, he’s not intelligent, those are quick ways of saying that some behaviors of an individual observed in the past somehow predict how brilliant his next actions will be. Intelligence is an estimate of the quality that we attribute to the decision-making and abstract thinking of people around us. Although it may be practical for people to think of intelligence as something that exists, whether science should consider intelligence and how it would define it remains very controversial. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Language, Learning and Memory, Neuroanatomy, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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