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. Some definitions consider language necessary for consciousness, while for others, more basic aspects of experience suffice. Only recently has the study of consciousness been broached by “respectable neuroscientists”, where it had previously been the realm of more philosophical disciplines. For the purposes […]

inception July 31

False Memories and Inception

Our memories are so dear and essential to our lives that the idea of false memories or that our memories are vulnerable to outside influence seems more than a little unsettling. After all, our memories are critical for not only how we interact with others, but also generating and maintaining our image of self.   The […]

Lucy_(2014_film)_poster July 24

Lucy’s Brain: Use it or lose it

With the Lucy movie coming out, we’ve been really curious here at NeuWrite about what marvelous new life skills Scarlett Johansson will accrue, now that she can use more than 10% of her brain. As forward-thinking neuroscientists, we’ve been speculating: what would Lucy be able to do with such incredible and unprecedented brain power? The […]

Simba-cry-the-lion-king-28922000-640-379 July 17

The Lion Cries Tonight? Emotions and the Animal Brain (Part 1)

“Even insects express anger, terror, jealousy and love, by their stridulation.”— Charles Darwin (1) Of philosophers who study ethics, 60% rate meat-eating on the ‘immoral’ side of a value scale (compared to 19% of the general population; 2). Such a large discrepancy in beliefs between ethicists and the general population intrigued me. What are the […]

corticalcolumns July 10

Cortical Columns

“I swear I put it down right here,” he thought to himself, “right next to this column.” He looked up; there were many columns. Towering, Ionic pillars draped with sheer golden cloths loomed over him. They were geometrically ordered in rows of hundreds, perhaps thousands.[1] “Where did – “ he stopped mid-thought to look around. […]

tim howard memes dinosaurs July 04

Does Tourette’s Syndrome help Tim Howard?

For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past fortnight, the FIFA World Cup has been on. Unfortunately the US Men’s team was knocked out by Belgium in extra time on Tuesday, but if one man can hold his head high it is Tim Howard. The US goalkeeper made a […]

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