Author Archives: Ashley Juavinett

March 20

You interviewed – now what?

Choosing a graduate program in the life sciences Recruitment season is over. After several weekends spent explaining your research in 10-minute segments to complete strangers, you’re hoping to ultimately have a place to call “lab.” As you look back on your visits, it’s a whirlwind of graduate students, science, faculty, walking, and beer. How, in […]

January 16

Cannabis, Creativity, & The Cortex

I believe in a long, prolonged, derangement of the senses in order to obtain the unknown. – Jim Morrison The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world. – Carl […]

October 28

Zombies are real – I wish I was kidding.

Zombies terrify me. Maybe it’s their helter-skelter gait and bloody outstretched arms, or perhaps the fact that they eat brains, and I happen to like brains. That must be it. You know what’s also horrifying? Our contrived Hollywood concept of zombies is derived from the Haiti zombi, a real phenomenon that occurred in the context […]

August 15

On Being Handed

There’s a box of matches on the table in front of you. You pick up the box, choose a match, and strike it against the side of the box. Which hand did you use to strike the match? Chances are, you used your right hand. According to most estimates, roughly 90% of the human population […]

June 18

Do monkeys play fair? Staging an ultimatum game in the ultimate social primate

Every now and then, my roommate will lean in the frame of my door and pose a simple scenario: “Will you mop the floors if I wash the dishes?” I usually respond positively to the ultimatum (I really can’t stand doing dishes), and when the moment is right, put on some Enya and graciously clean […]

Forming Functional Synapses

Since the discovery of long-term potentiation by Lomo and Bliss in 1973, neuroscientists have been searching for additional evidence of neuronal change based on experience. The concept of synaptic plasticity – the brain’s ability to change and adapt as a result of incoming information – is not new to the neuroscience field. But now, with […]

June 02

When Marmosets Call

Inhabiting a complex and noisy environment in the Brazilian forest, the common marmoset faces a continuous challenge to successful vocal communication. Much like having a conversation in Grand Central Station at rush hour, the marmoset has to strategically monitor its acoustic context and structure its calls accordingly. Understanding how these animals use various cortical systems […]