May 16

Why Do I Care So Damn Much About Game of Thrones?

Spoiler Alert. Although the neuroscientific, psychological, and cinematic concepts explored in this piece are relevant to all kinds of fiction beyond Game of Thrones, this post will be examining these concepts through the lens of the global obsession surrounding the final season of Game of Thrones, which wraps up in just a few days. So […]

May 09

Uncle Syd and His Worms

[En español] Anybody, who does biological research using a model organism, especially those using an invertebrate, has quite invariably come across a certain prevalent hotchpotch of disbelief, cynicism and a reasonably uncomfortable amount of derision in the minds of their peers about the tiny creatures that they use to study biology.  “So, these flies really […]

May 02

Interview with an Oxford Food Psychologist

The surprising ways our brains steer our eating experiences, and how to use them to our advantage According to Dr. Charles Spence, when it comes to experiencing food, taste is the least important factor. But can that really be true? To learn about food psychology – or how our brains process multisensory information about what […]

April 25

Immune to pain: new insights into chronic pain treatment

[En español] Jo Cameron, a Scottish woman in her mid-60s, was seemingly happy and healthy other than a problem with her hip. Now and then, it would give way and prevent her from walking straight. She had brought it up to her doctor, but because she wasn’t in pain, the issue was dismissed. It wasn’t […]

April 18

BRINGING JOY BACK TO CHILDBIRTH

[En español] In the US alone, 3 million new moms suffer from postpartum depression, or PPD. Most moms agree that, despite the discomfort during pregnancy and the pain during labor, childbirth is a joyful experience. And I imagine that must be true as many women around the world have more than one child. However, postpartum […]

April 11

Breathe the Pain Away: Mindfulness and Chronic Pain

Focus on your breath. Notice the sensation of air flowing in at the tip of your nose, of your chest expanding, and your shoulders rising.

April 04

Looking beyond biology: Autism in the workforce

“So, what’s the difference between the mind and the brain?” I blinked, bewildered. Most of the time when I try to explain my research to non-neuroscientists (“I study how different types of neurons in the brain process visual information…”), I get polite nods and the occasional follow-up question about why that might be a useful […]

March 28

“Well, that was weird”: Stories of science and discovery at the Loft

I was somewhere around the Gilman exit, on the edge of campus, when the instant coffee began to take hold. Knowing that the Loft at UCSD promised practiced tales of scientific and personal discovery (and beer), I pressed on. Following an impromptu conversation with a fellow 6th-year soldier in line, I marched into a menagerie […]

March 21

Ketamine: A New Hope

You may know ketamine as “Special K,” a party drug with a niche in the Burning Man and rave scenes. It’s known for its dissociative effects–its ability to make its users feel as if they are floating, detached from their bodies and surroundings. It’s a quick trip; the main dissociative effects of ketamine only last […]

March 14

Me, my cells and I: a love poem

  matte black curtains are taped tightly to the windows the only light allowed here is the gentle yellow glow that illuminates the stage   gracefully getting into position I delicately balance between thumb and forefinger a thin disk carried with a careful reverence placed gently on the altar humble sighs aside my hands rise […]