A metaphorical tour of the brain

Albert Einstein once said: “The only source of knowledge is experience.” Not to undermine Einstein’s authority, but there are many phenomena, especially in science, that we just can’t experience directly. We can make diagrams, but we can’t actually see or touch things like dopamine or gravity. And although we’re constantly experiencing both of those things, […]

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 11.20.04 AM July 16

Truly Blissful Brains

It’s not uncommon for beverage advertisements to make far-fetched claims. Coca Cola “calms jumpy nerves,” Vitamin Water is “nutritious,” and Gatorade will turn you into Michael Jordan. Within the past few years, a new brain-branded league of products has entered the beverages aisle, creating conflict within a neuroscientist like me. While I’m excited about the […]

nilearn July 10

Got a computer? We have data. Let’s do neuroscience!

Now, everything you need to do mind reading–and your own neuroscience data analysis–is freely available online. This post points you to data, software, and examples to get you started–even if you don’t have a Ph.D.

insideoutposter July 02

Turning the Brain ‘Inside Out’

Who would’ve thought that a film that takes place inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley and uses her personified emotions as the main protagonists would break the box office record for original movies and be such a worldwide sensation? From the moment I first heard about Inside Out, my own little Joy […]

progeria June 25

Aging: Telomeres and Meatballs

What causes the slowly encroaching physical signs that we are past our prime? Scientists often gain understanding about a particular physiological process by studying cases in which that process goes awry. Can the aging process go haywire?

From Nick D Kim, strange-matter.net June 18

Stop The Presses: Retraction by the Numbers

It’s been a rough few weeks for the journal Science…and science as a whole. The retraction of a well-covered study on the effect of conversations with LGBT canvassers on votes for same-sex marriages has attracted a lot of attention from social media and has led the New York Times to publish a list of recent […]

ASMR-GIF-2 June 11

Technicalities of the Tingles: The science of sounds that feel good. #ASMR

“I wanted someone speaking in lightly accented English. And I wanted them talking to me about jewelry, slowly and deliberately.” — Andrea Seigel, This American Life #491: Tribes (aired March 29, 2013) Now that NeuWriteSD’s gender month is over, I thought I’d ease our readers back into the usual routine with a scientifically-stimulating but slightly […]

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 1.23.47 PM June 04

Hormones: What Boys and Girls are Made of?

Once upon a time, a little boy named Bruce was born. The boy had the promise of a happy, normal life, until one day during a botched medical procedure his penis was destroyed beyond repair. His parents searched desperately for help, worried about little Bruce’s future. Their search led them to a psychologist who assured […]

barrespic May 28

Ben Barres: On Science and Sexism

Every May, the UCSD Neurosciences Graduate Program gathers students and faculty at a conference center on beautiful Lake Arrowhead for a weekend retreat of science and socialization. This spring, our keynote research speaker was Dr. Ben Barres of Stanford University. After a successful first day, a roomful of neuroscientists eagerly awaited Dr. Ben Barres’ keynote […]

sex-on-the-brain May 21

Your Brain on Sex

What happens in the brain during sex? Are gender stereotypes a cultural construct? Or are there true neurological differences in how men and women experience sex—desire, arousal, orgasm?

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