Category Archives: Cognition

November 17

A Series of Exciting Events

Have you ever wondered what it is like to have a seizure? Well, I have epilepsy, and let me tell you: so do I. That is because there are many different types of seizures and of epilepsy, and some—like mine—involve a loss of consciousness, as well as memory deficits. What all seizures have in common, […]

September 08

Shocking the brain to protect your memories

by JC Gorman Have you tried turning it on and off again? You may be *shocked* to hear it, but recent studies have shown that administering small electric currents to the brain could protect older people from memory loss. A research paper that came out this month showed an even more acute way to prevent […]

July 15

Brains love bone juice

Skeletons as a hormone-secreting organ In the early 2000s, researchers in Dr. Gerard Karsenty’s group were studying a protein secreted by bones named osteocalcin (OCN) to see  if it played a role in bone mineralization (i.e. how our skeleton attracts the minerals needed for its structure). Even though they found that OCN isn’t involved in […]

February 03

Plants: What are they thinking about?

As fauna, we look at the floral contemporaries in our lives as little more than living scaffolding: unthinking entities more akin to the truly lifeless- like mountains -compared to us as fast paced, conscious creatures. However, if you’ve ever felt like your house plants were feeling a little neglected after the holiday travels, maybe you’re […]

April 22

Neuromorphic engineering: how electronics are learning from the brain

[En Español] “As engineers, we would be foolish to ignore the lessons of a billion years of evolution” -Carver Mead Scientists have been pursuing artificial intelligence that rivals what the human brain can do for centuries. The brain is remarkable in some computer-like aspects; it processes multiple complex tasks in parallel with high efficiency and […]

March 04

The Bilingual Brain

Humans have the ability to learn multiple languages. Studying bilingual brains offers scientists an opportunity to analyze physical changes in the brain and alterations in how the brain works as a result of some behavior, known as structural and functional plasticity. I recently wrote an article where I discuss plasticity, the ability of our brain […]

February 11

More than a feeling…

As animals with brains, we are challenged to make sense of a world full of rich sensory experience.  There is a world created inside of our brains that we may see, hear, touch, taste, or smell.  Built out of our senses, humans possess an innate ability to extract patterns and other meaningful features from the […]

January 07

Un-Consciousness

When you hear the word “consciousness”, what did you think it is? All of what you experience and what you believe it is? Let me demonstrate something to you before you make up your mind. Imagine a day at work, where you: Had someone tap you repeatedly to get your attention, but only felt it […]

February 20

Trying to Forget

It is difficult to overstate the importance of learning. Many consider lifelong learning to be one of their primary goals in life, education is one of the primary roles of government, and machine learning — an algorithmic approximation of learning applied to computers — is a hundred-million dollar business. It quite literally underlies everything we […]

February 06

What’s my (brain) age again?

What does it mean to age? Is it a purely time-based process, with each passing moment bringing our bodies along an invariant trajectory of decline? Or is it a function of our behavior, dependent on our daily activities and the damage inflicted upon ourselves over time? Clearly, there is a bit of truth in each […]