Author Archives: Catie Profaci

October 17

30,000 neuroscientists walk into a conference center

Each year, approximately 30,000 neuroscientists descend on one U.S. city for 5 days, flying in from all over the world to attend the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) conference. Some come to present posters, while some have been selected to give talks (which range in length from 10 minutes to an hour, and range in attendance […]

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 […]

February 28

The Scientific Adventures of Ben Barres Part II: Superstar of the Star Cells

This post is the second half of a two-part series on the work of Dr. Ben Barres. Did you miss the first half of our adventure? No problem. Click here to start from the beginning! Welcome back! Last week the adventure through Ben Barres’ lab’s discoveries wound through their exciting advances in cell culture, their […]

February 21

The Scientific Adventures of Ben Barres Part I: Dishing out Discoveries

Dr. Ben Barres is a hero to those of us here at NeuWriteSD. Ben was a pioneering scientist and a devoted mentor, as well as a relentless crusader for greater inclusivity in science. While we’ve highlighted his advocacy work and published a memorial post after his death, we haven’t paid nearly enough tribute to his […]

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 […]

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”) […]

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 […]

June 21

Apply now for ComSciCon-SD 2018!

In many ways, science is like a foreign language. While the technical words that scientists use often mean very little to those not daily immersed in science, science is–at its heart–a logical process of asking questions and searching for answers. This journey of asking and answering does not require any extraordinary intelligence. It instead necessitates […]

June 14

Does imagination make us human?

Do you take your coffee with milk? Would you like a slice of pizza? Oh hold on, that pizza will have to wait—someone is calling on the plastic phone on the kitchen wall. Who? Obviously my best friend Phoebe from down the street. Uh oh, now the coffee is cold. I’ll put on a fresh […]

April 26

Lymph, glymph, sleep, & sickness

  Consider the word “lymph.” What comes to mind? To me, “lymph” sounds like a viscous liquid that might ooze out of the orifices of some terrifying wounded creature. Or perhaps your mind jumps to the term “lymph nodes”, conjuring images of little knobs in your neck bulging with infection, sometimes growing so large that […]