December 13

Astrocytes, the Underrated Stars

[En español] You usually hear the term “brain cell” referring to neurons, like they’re the only cell type present in the brain. But that’s far from the case. Neurons can be considered the main cellular unit in our nervous system, as they are the cells that transfer the information by means of electrical and chemical signals. […]

December 06

The Platypus: Sensing the Body Electric

Patti was one of my favorite Beanie Babies. Her bright magenta body and yellow webbed feet exuded a certain sunny optimism, and her strange resemblance to a flattened duck endowed her with an undeniable silliness. I remember feeling a bit confused as to whether she was a real creature or more akin to Mystic the […]

November 29

What’s in an accent?

I was born and raised in the South, but never would have described myself as having any sort of accent until I moved to Southern California. Suddenly people could figure out where I was from as soon as I opened my mouth (a fellow SoCal Southerner was correctly able to pinpoint my accent to the […]

November 22

What’s app: an insider’s perspective on how to optimize your application to grad school

(Originally published 1/17/15) With 2018 grad school application deadlines right around the corner, we thought it would be useful to repost this guide for putting together a killer grad school app. We hope it helps! Best of luck, and happy Thanksgiving! – NeuWriteSD So you’ve decided to apply to graduate school in the sciences. You’ve […]

November 15

From symptoms to biology: shifting definitions of Alzheimer’s disease

As a neuroscientist studying Alzheimer’s, I’m reminded of its far-reaching impact each time a barista, cashier, or Lyft driver makes small talk by asking what I do for a living. Unfortunately, this devastating disease needs no introduction. Considering its ubiquity, it’s surprising that a debate broke out recently among leaders in the field over the […]

November 08

Did you see that? The Mysteries of Sensory Deprivation

When I was a kid swimming in the neighbor’s pool, I loved to float on my back, eyes closed, with ears submerged so that I could only hear the muted sounds of the water around me. Though I found the experience relaxing, I also felt profoundly strange. We are constantly bombarded with sensory information from […]

November 01

SfN 2018 NeuWriter Picks!

It’s that time of year again…the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting (SfN) starts on Saturday, and this year it’s happening on our home turf! There are a lot of reasons to be excited about SfN in San Diego…the weather is beautiful (sunny and 79 degrees in November!), neuroscience friends come to town, NeuWriteSD presents a […]

October 25

The Science of Stuttering

A special thank you to Kaja Bajc and Jaymie Horak for their incredibly helpful personal input. How is it that someone can sing fluidly but struggle to introduce herself? Or smoothly imitate a foreign accent without trouble, but get stuck on words when speaking without pretense?  Stuttering is a communication disorder characterized by disruptions (“disfluencies”) […]

October 18

Follow the Flock

[En español] Have you ever tried a cigarette? I have. I was a teen, and holding a cigarette looked pretty cool, but smoking seemed disgusting, and it left a horrible smell in my hair, clothes and fingers. So I didn’t get hooked. But, seriously, why did I even try it in the first place? It […]

October 11

The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation

When I think of meditation, the first image that typically comes to mind is that of a monk in flowing orange robes somewhere in the mountains of Tibet. Meditation has gotten a facelift in the last decade in pop culture, thanks in part to best selling books like 10% happier by the television journalist Dan […]