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 […]

October 04

The ethics of human brain surrogacy

“Creepy ‘brain in a bucket’ study spurs medical, ethical debates” … “Yale experiment to reanimate dead brains promises ‘living hell’ for humans” … “Scientists have managed to reanimate disembodied pigs’ brains – but for a human mind, it could be a living hell” … These are just a few of the sensational headlines that came […]

September 27

Close Encounters of the Robotic Kind: A Glimpse of Autonomy

Earlier this summer, people around the world were gripped by the story of the young boys from a Thai soccer team who had been trapped inside of a cave after a flood. We watched with fascination – and a healthy dose of apprehension – as plans were formulated to rescue the boys, whose situation was […]

September 20

Glioblastoma: John McCain’s final battle

On August 25th, I received a news notification on my phone that Arizona Senator John McCain had passed away, just one day after halting treatment for glioblastoma and little more than one year after diagnosis. I was taken aback. I’d known this was coming, but not that it would happen so quickly. Moreover, the sorrow […]

September 13

Your Virtual Self: Psychology in the Age of Virtual Reality

“Look!” My nephew kept eating from a box of infinite donuts in his new cubicle office. He had just been promoted by a floating computer monitor, his boss. A concerned look slowly printed onto his boss’ flat face as it saw him continuously push donuts down his gullet. The game was “Job Simulator”, and while […]

September 06

Spinal Cord Injury and how to treat it

More than a quarter of a million Americans live with a spinal cord injury (SCI) [1], which occurs when a physical injury damages or severs spinal cord tissue. This injury can break neural connections from the brain to the limbs that are used to initiate voluntary movement, which in extreme cases results in full or […]

August 30

Defining Cognitive Adulthood: When Neuroscience Influences Law

In 2006, a grand jury convicted Evan Miller in a homicide case, sentencing him to mandatory life imprisonment without the possibility for parole. At the time of his crime, Evan was 14-years-old. Years later, after a series of appeals, Evan’s case–Miller vs. Alabama–made it to the Supreme Court, which ruled that a sentence of life […]

August 23

The Neuroscience of Laughter

Think back to the last time you had a real, hearty laugh: mouth in a wide smile, eyes crinkled and tearing, breath leaving your body in short bursts if you could get any breath out at all. For humans, there are few more pleasurable experiences or greater expressions of joy as laughter. We use laughter […]

August 16

The Plastic Brain: Neurotransmitter Switching

What comes to mind when you think of the word “plastic”? For me, this word conjures images of water bottles and tupperware. So in my high school psychology class, when we were told that our brains are “plastic”, I was pretty confused. However, we soon learned that the word “plastic” can be used to describe […]