coffee drugs April 23

Am I addicted to coffee?

Recently over coffee, my friend told me that scientists have been doing drug research wrong for years. He was referring to an article about the effects of social environment on drug taking. In the article, the author criticizes scientists, government, and media for portraying drug addiction without accounting for causes of drug addiction outside of […]

When life gives you skin cells… make sensory neurons! 
[Image courtesy of Kevin Eade, Baldwin Lab, TSRI] April 16

Hacking the Neuronal Recipe

  Whether it’s Outback’s Bloomin’ Onion or In-N-Out’s secret sauce, the Internet is awash with bloggers’ attempts to recreate iconic foods.  Regrettably, as the occasional DIY fail can attest, not all reproductions are indistinguishable from the original. But this isn’t the case for neuroscientist Kristin Baldwin. She and her team have successfully decoded one of […]

http://www.todayifoundout.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/520senses1.jpg April 09

You Do Have a Sixth Sense – and More!

Ever wish you had more than just five senses? Sure, it’s cool to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste the world, but wouldn’t it be great to be able to sense other things? Perhaps you would prefer X-ray vision, telepathy, the ability to tell the future, or maybe you want to see dead people (or […]

Capture April 02

Of Batteries and Brains: Self-Help with tDCS

A Gratuitous Freudian Introduction When the renowned (if controversial) psychoanalyst and crayfish neurobiologist Sigmund Freud exclaimed that “Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic God” [1], he was concerned that fast technological progress, while enabling us to modify and control the world around us to a magnificent degree, also made us ill-adjusted […]

brain_to_brain1 March 26

Telepathy, possibly?

Imagine a world where our thoughts could be instantly transmitted to machines, computers and other people’s brains. One important application of thought transmission would be creating sophisticated neuroprosthetics for people with a variety of disorders, a goal that has sparked exciting research that aims to connect brains with machines, computers (BMI/BCI) and other brains (brain-to-brain interfacing, BTBI). Large-scale BTBI would allow professors to broadcast lectures telepathically, doctors to communicate with patients […]

9780812993820 March 05

“Mind Change”: Does Technology Really Harm Our Brains? A NeuWrite Reads Special Report

When I was growing up, there was this idea that the things we did on the Internet were part of a life separate from the one in the “real world” (most literally seen in the online game “Second Life”).  The people you met and the things you did weren’t really part of you and the […]

Hordeum_vulgare_in_Lancaster,_PA-001 February 26

Going Organic: Good for the Brain?

The Picturesque Setting: I spent half my life living in rural Lancaster County Pennsylvania on a farm my paternal grandparents purchased when they left the suburbs of New York City in the ‘70s to return to their roots. They spent many years fixing up the farm, and they are now buried a half mile down […]

wilcox_0605 February 19

From Gold Thongs to Opioid Receptors: The Placebo Effect

Great Expectations Rumor has it that when his batting average was precipitously low, Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi would slip on a gold thong before the game for some extra luck at the plate.  He swore that it always worked, and he was even generous enough to share it with his teammates on occasion. There […]

black_brain__red_heart_by_bizarrockero-d3imq68 February 14

THE BRAIN IS A BATTLEFIELD (A LOOK AT YOUR BRAIN POST-BREAKUP)

All couples look forward to Valentine’s night. Flying around the apartment, you quickly assemble everything needed for the romantic evening: nice outfit, box stuffed with chocolates, blood-red envelope holding your oh-so-romantic valentine card. The doorbell rings, and you smile broadly as you pull open the door… to find your beloved standing there, frowning and valentine-less. […]

eternal-sunshine-pic2 February 13

The Neuroscience of the Spotless Mind

Although there are undoubtedly even more Valentine’s Day-themed films than there are Shades of Grey, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind stands a cut above the rest. I say this not only as a movie-enthusiast but also as a neuroscience-enthusiast. This film may not be overtly about neuroscience, but it touches on questions and themes that are […]

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