Category Archives: Behavioral Neuroscience

January 14

Do pets understand our language?

Humans are unique in our use of sophisticated spoken language to communicate. While other animals use communicative calls and sounds, human language features complex grammar and structure that allows us to convey a nearly infinite number of ideas. Homo sapiens, the species name for modern humans, appears to have been far superior to other hominid […]

November 12

How Light Leads to Darkness: A Neural Link Between Nighttime Light and Depression

Nighttime light exposure can lead to depression. A new study brings us closer to understanding why, and what we can do about it.

November 05

Why do we get hangry?

I’ll admit it – I get very hangry. “Hangry” (a colloquial combo of “hunger” and “angry”) describes the grumpiness and irritability I experience when I’ve gone a bit too long between meals. Hunger itself is an important physiological feeling that signals when our body is low on energy that needs to be replenished by eating. […]

October 22

The 2020 Time Vortex and other Tales of Perception

As we approach the end of 2020, I feel time warp as I think back to the early Spring… When I was quarantined in my home, the days seemed to rush past, but I still felt stuck in a huge temporal abyss.  Looking back at that time, I don’t sense the normal pattern of memories […]

May 21

Get out of my personal s p a c e

How does the brain dynamically represent our personal space? It’s more interesting, and complicated, than you may think.

May 07

Like reality TV? You might be a neuroscientist

Imagine … a lush, tropical island with carefully controlled temperature and humidity, where the lights come on and off at regular intervals, where its inhabitants consume dinner in unison from predetermined food sources….   Believe it or not, this paradise exists!  It’s called Love Island.  And for the many millions of viewers that tune into Love […]

April 23

I Can See it in Your Face: Facial Expressions in Mice

How do you know what an animal is feeling? Unfortunately, you can’t ask a dog, mouse, or fly how they are feeling or what they are thinking. This is one of the chief problems in animal research – we just don’t have ready access to their internal thoughts and feelings. This inability to access the […]

February 13

Hard Drugs & Hard Facts

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes and is not intended to condone the use of drugs illicit or otherwise. Marijuana is being legalized and hitting pop culture with a force. With most focus being directed at this seemingly harmless drug it may be easy to forget about the more taboo drugs people are using. […]

January 30

Love in the Time of PCR

(Image credit: CellPress)  Renowned geneticist George Church caused a stir last month with his idea for a brand new dating app, in which users submit their DNA for sequencing as a critical part of their profile.  Church’s app, “digiD8”, doesn’t connect tech-savvy singles who love all-things-90’s, as the name implies, but rather matches users based […]

January 09

Can we inherit family trauma?

The epigenetics behind “generational trauma” [En español] The 23 and Me craze has officially reached my family. Both of my parents were born in Poland so the results weren’t a complete surprise, but as we watched the site track generations of family history from a single spit sample, new questions came up. When my sisters […]