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 […]

“Butterfly Apple,” Vladimir Kush, 1978 June 28

Synesthesia: The sky, the number 7, and sadness are all blue

If you were shown the shapes below and told that one is called a “kiki” and the other a “bouba,” which name would you attribute to which shape? Between 95 and 98% of people agree that the more rigid shape is “kiki,” and the curvy one is “bouba.” This is not because they learned these names […]

The_Diving_Bell_and_the_Butterfly_DVD June 19

Locked In Syndrome: Facing My Nightmare

You always hear about “medical student syndrome,” where first year med students start diagnosing themselves with all of the diseases they learn about, becoming temporary hypochondriacs.  They don’t tell you that the same fear can set in during graduate school.  Ever since I started my Ph.D, I’ve diagnosed myself with more than a few of […]

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