Category Archives: Cognition

April 21

Heavy on my Mind: Lead Poisoning (Part II)

When I first heard about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, I didn’t have the slightest idea how serious the problem was. Sure, I’d heard that lead was no good for you. I thought back to the day I moved into my first apartment in New York City and the superintendent handed me a pamphlet […]

October 31

Interview with a Zombie: Dr. Bradley Voytek and the Neuroscience of Everyone’s Favorite Monster

‘Tis the season to be spooky – here’s a bonus NeuWrite post in the spirit of the holiday! At last spring’s UCSD Neuroscience Program Retreat, we had the pleasure of hearing new faculty member, Dr. Bradley Voytek, give a talk about Consciousness Deficit Hypoactivity Disorder (CDHD). If the medical term sounds unfamiliar, maybe you know […]

August 06

The Appeal of a Limitless Mind

Editor’s Note: With the much-anticipated debut of the Limitless TV show closing in, it’s clear that cameos of Bradley Cooper (and animated sequences of NEURONS FIRING!!!) will be spicing up the Fall TV lineup. From the trailer, it looks like the show will be just as exciting and scientifically questionable as the movie—giving NeuWrite the perfect opportunity to re-post our original musings on Limitless, […]

July 16

Truly Blissful Brains

[En Español] It’s not uncommon for beverage advertisements to make far-fetched claims. Coca Cola “calms jumpy nerves,” Vitamin Water is “nutritious,” and Gatorade will turn you into Michael Jordan. Within the past few years, a new brain-branded league of products has entered the beverages aisle, creating conflict within a neuroscientist like me. While I’m excited […]

June 11

Technicalities of the Tingles: The science of sounds that feel good. #ASMR

“I wanted someone speaking in lightly accented English. And I wanted them talking to me about jewelry, slowly and deliberately.” — Andrea Seigel, This American Life #491: Tribes (aired March 29, 2013) Now that NeuWriteSD’s gender month is over, I thought I’d ease our readers back into the usual routine with a scientifically-stimulating but slightly […]

April 02

Of Batteries and Brains: Self-Help with tDCS

A Gratuitous Freudian Introduction When the renowned (if controversial) psychoanalyst and crayfish neurobiologist Sigmund Freud exclaimed that “Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic God” [1], he was concerned that fast technological progress, while enabling us to modify and control the world around us to a magnificent degree, also made us ill-adjusted […]

January 22

Present you vs. Future you

It’s almost the end of January. How are your New Year’s Resolutions holding up? If you haven’t stuck to them, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in the majority. There are many reasons we don’t meet our well-intentioned goals to go to the gym more, quit smoking, or go to bed earlier at night. One […]

December 04

Hearing voices: Social context influences psychosis

“People are always selling the idea that people with mental illness are suffering. I think madness can be an escape. If things are not so good, you maybe want to imagine something better.” These are the words of John Nash, Jr., the Nobel Laureate who inspired the book and the movie A Beautiful Mind and […]

October 02

Lithium: Wonder Drug? Part I

I’m so happy ’cause today I’ve found my friends They’re in my head What comes to mind when you hear the word lithium? A drug used to manage life-threatening mood disorders? A potentially deadly toxin? A chemical found in trace amounts in many compounds in nature? (Or maybe just the Nirvana song?) Any of these […]

September 25

Why we LOL

Humor is a difficult concept to articulate. We might not always know why things are funny, but we do tend to know what kinds of things are funny. It comes in many forms, and general consensus is that things like videos of treadmill mishaps, cynical comics and corny puns are funny. Luckily, there’s a pretty large […]