kool-aid October 16

Lithium: Wonder Drug? Part II

Note from the author: This post is dedicated to my biology nerds out there.  If you follow my Gene-of-the-Week posts (and you should because they’re the weirdest), you know that I often get lost in the cellular and molecular details of life, and it’s totally overwhelming.  I wrote this post specifically to discuss the mechanisms […]

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 3.02.31 PM October 10

Kickstarting Science

Science has a problem.  Government research funding is on the decline and competition for this grant money is on the rise. A researcher must spend a large amount of his or her time trying to wrangle money from government agencies or private foundations to keep his or her lab afloat.  The commitment to writing grants […]

Lithia_spring_1888_poster October 02

Lithium: Wonder Drug? Part I

I’m so happy ’cause today I’ve found my friends They’re in my head What comes to mind when you hear the word lithium? A drug used to manage life-threatening mood disorders? A potentially deadly toxin? A chemical found in trace amounts in many compounds in nature? (Or maybe just the Nirvana song?) Any of these […]

Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/modenadude/3279714819/ September 25

Why we LOL

Humor is a difficult concept to articulate. We might not always know why things are funny, but we do tend to know what kinds of things are funny. It comes in many forms, and general consensus is that things like videos of treadmill mishaps, cynical comics and corny puns are funny. Luckily, there’s a pretty large […]

usa-missouri-shooting September 19

this, that and the Other

The recent shooting in Ferguson, Missouri has thrown our society’s tendency to binarize people into mainstream awareness. News outlets have been criticized for incriminating Michael Brown by selecting pictures where he fulfills black stereotypes instead of pictures in which he looks like one of Us.  Police rely on the same superficial binaries in racial profiling, […]

51lH9DcS0NL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ September 04

NeuWrite Reads: “Lock In” by John Scalzi

Editor’s Note: This is the first in an occasional series where NeuWriters review fiction and nonfiction books about the brain. A few weeks ago I wrote a post about locked-in syndrome, a rare and dramatic disorder in which a stroke or other traumatic event affects the brain stem and leaves the patient completely paralyzed but […]

vangogh August 28

Creativity and mood: the ups and downs of bipolar disorder

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. –Edgar Allen Poe [1] If the emotions are sometimes so strong that one works without knowing one works, when sometimes the strokes come with a continuity and a coherence like words in a speech or a letter, […]

runner-wallpaper-1920x1080 August 22

How Does Exercise Improve the Brain?

When I started college, my best friend and I started a regular workout schedule to evade the infamous freshman fifteen. The odds were already out of my favor when I started to work at the dining hall right next to my freshman dorm. We were not as intense as Olympic runner Allyson Felix pictured above. […]

sleepmoji August 14

Let’s Talk About Sleep – Part I

Oh no.  It’s 4am, and I’ve done it again.  Ugh.  I’ve waited until the last minute to write my NeuWriteSD post, and now it’s 4am.  And I haven’t slept since 5am yesterday morning.  Ugh. As you might imagine, I’m feeling pretty terrible.  Not only because of the guilt (since I was supposed to have this […]

claustrum August 08

The Conscious Claustrum

Consciousness and Crick The definition of consciousness, as a biological phenomenon, remains contested. Language is required in some definitions, while other definitions are based more simply on perceptual awareness of experiences. For the purposes of this article, we will define consciousness as the experience of being aware of our own thoughts and internal state, in […]

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