Author Archives: Melissa Galinato

November 10

Neuroscience homecoming! SFN16 NeuWriter picks FTW!

This weekend we are lucky thousands of amazing brain scientists are coming to visit our hometown, the beautiful sunny San Diego. This annual autumn migration is the meeting of Society for Neuroscience with scientists coming from all over the world to share their research. Presentation topics cover almost anything and everything that could possibly relate to […]

May 20

For the love of dog!

Think about your favorite pet (maybe it belongs to you…or your roommate in my case). What does it look like? Where is its favorite spot to hang out? When was the last time you played with it? Now think about the same things, but about your best (human) friend. You might experience similar feelings of […]

October 15

SfN 2015: NeuWriters’ Picks!

This weekend, over 30 thousand scientists from all over the world will gather at the annual Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting in Chicago. Going to this conference can be quite overwhelming, so some of our NeuWriters would like to highlight the presentations (including their own) that they look forward to seeing among the sea of […]

April 23

Am I addicted to coffee?

Recently over coffee, my friend told me that scientists have been doing drug research wrong for years. He was referring to an article about the effects of social environment on drug taking. In the article, the author criticizes scientists, government, and media for portraying drug addiction without accounting for causes of drug addiction outside of […]

August 22

How Does Exercise Improve the Brain?

When I started college, my best friend and I started a regular workout schedule to evade the infamous freshman fifteen. The odds were already out of my favor when I started to work at the dining hall right next to my freshman dorm. We were not as intense as Olympic runner Allyson Felix pictured above. […]

February 14

In a Chocolate-y Mood?

Do you ever have a strong craving for chocolate? Have you experienced an increase in these cravings in recent weeks, possibly induced by advertisements? I certainly have fallen to impulse-buys at the front of the grocery store in order to fulfill my cravings for the darkest of dark chocolate. They put those rows and rows […]

November 20

SfN Highlight: Neurogaming and Neuroethics

I started my SfN experience by inviting my sister, an artist trained in animation and game art, to a symposium that I thought both of us might enjoy: Neurogaming – What’s Neuroscience and Ethics Got to Do With It? This International Neuroethics Society Public Program combined our career interests in neuroscience and video games by […]

November 14

Red Ribbon Week: A Neuro Perspective

“If I eat a brain of a meth-addict, will I get high?” “Are street rats and lab rats the same?” “What happens if I eat a rat brain?” These are some of the questions that my lab encountered when we visited a middle school in Escondido, CA as classroom speakers last week. Together the Mandyam […]

Move it, move it!: Modeling stereotyped behaviors in C. elegans

A big question in biology is how to understand complex animal behavior. We want to know why it happens, how it happens, what are predictors of those behaviors. Caenorhabditis elegans is an excellent animal model for studying behavior because its movements can be simplified and described in four discrete dimensions or “eigenworms”. (See figure 1 below.) […]