Author Archives: Susan Lubejko

October 31

I scream, you scream…

You’re walking down a dark, cobweb-swathed hallway with only the light from a few candles to guide your way. You note the torn and dirty oriental rug beneath your feet and the strange shadows that dart across the ceiling overhead. On the walls, you pass dusty, old-fashioned portraits of stiffly-posed families whose eyes seem to […]

August 01

Why are you yawning right now?

As a graduate student, spending an early morning or late night in the lab is not uncommon. During those hours, it’s also not uncommon to catch me in the midst of a yawn (or many). This makes sense, though; I’m tired from little sleep or a long day. However, you may be surprised to learn […]

May 30

You’re getting sleepy: Brain mechanisms of anesthesia and natural sleep

[En español] “Take a deep breath and count backwards from 10…” “10…9…8…7….” If you are one of the many people that have had surgery under general anesthesia, you may remember these words from your anesthesiologist, beginning the countdown yourself, then probably ….nothing. When you awoke later, you were already out of surgery and in a […]

January 24

How is a woodpecker like a football player?

As the National Football League (NFL) approaches its most prestigious game of the year, the Superbowl, fans are often treated to video montages of the big plays and hard hits that either led their teams to victory or contributed to the end of their season. While these clips serve to instill a sense of excitement […]

November 08

Did you see that? The Mysteries of Sensory Deprivation

When I was a kid swimming in the neighbor’s pool, I loved to float on my back, eyes closed, with ears submerged so that I could only hear the muted sounds of the water around me. Though I found the experience relaxing, I also felt profoundly strange. We are constantly bombarded with sensory information from […]

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 […]

July 19

Upload Complete: Transferring your brain to a digital format

Imagine a future in which your brain–conscious mind, memories, and emotions included–could be uploaded to a computer. Once running, the complex computer code would be able to perfectly reflect your mind: reacting as you would, showing your major personality traits, holding your unique knowledge from your life as a human. Maybe your personal code could […]