Category Archives: Culture

February 22

Conscious in Dreamland: The Neuroscience of Lucid Dreaming

I do a lot of weird things while sleeping. I talk, walk, and experience vivid dreams, all without conscious awareness. Despite the fact that my dreams are often absurd, I don’t question their content while I’m in them. (Oh, I’ve been hired to make a documentary about Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz and his […]

January 25

Instant Gratification: Weighing the Psychological Benefits and Costs of MDMA Use

Can a pill exist that brings instant happiness without any negative side effects? Probably not.

November 03

Get Over It: Discrimination and Mental Health

Prologue: This fall quarter at UC San Diego, the School of Medicine began its first elective course in mental health outreach for clinicians. I consider myself a rather fierce advocate for mental health care and illness awareness, so naturally I jumped at registering despite my already pretty full schedule. On October 11, 2016, I had […]

October 27

Fear IT

There’s nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight – Lon Chaney [En español] With Halloween just around the corner and the latest clown craze hitting American and United Kingdom cities, it seems like a great time to talk about clowns. More specifically, about fear of clowns, which I recently found out there’s a term for: […]

October 13

Pop Culture Psychology: What Your Favorite Superhero Can Say About You

[En espagñol] It’s October and the leaves are turning – Halloween is creeping up, and it’s time to start thinking about your costume. Vampires and zombies are always popular, but you’ve probably noticed a trend in the last few years: superheroes are where it’s at. We love our pop culture characters, and from Luke Cage […]

September 22

Left Brain, Right Brain, Red Brain, Blue Brain

[En español] With the first presidential debate of 2016 quickly approaching, it’s a good time to consider whether your brain has already cast its vote. There is no shortage of articles that imply your political leanings are reflected in your brain’s structure and function (e.g. Is your brain liberal or conservative?—Fox News, Experts say liberal […]

April 07

The Changing Face of Autism

[En español] Spectrum. This word could refer to electromagnetism, the colors of the rainbow, or any number of things that fall on a scale between two points. However, when I see or hear the word “spectrum”, the first things that come to my mind are the faces of people I know who struggle with social […]

December 15

What’s Your Damage, Yoda?

Even if you haven’t seen the Star Wars films (yes, those people do exist and yes, it’s rude to yell at them until they watch them), you probably know three key things about Jedi Master Yoda: he’s small, he’s green, and he talks funny. Specifically, he switches around the order of some of his words; […]

December 14

Real Jedi Mind Tricks: The Psychology of Mind Control

[En Español] Welcome, my young padawans, to Star Wars week. Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes out THIS Friday, and the neurds on our team decided that it was a perfect opportunity to do one of our favorite things: connect neuroscience with pop culture! First up: real-world Jedi Mind Tricks. In Star Wars: A New […]

October 01

The Final Scientific Endeavor of Mary Putnam Jacobi

On June 10th, 1906, American physician Mary Putnam Jacobi died of a brain tumor. Her death, similar to her life, was not without careful contemplation. Dr. Jacobi detailed her own demise in an account, titled “Descriptions of the Early Symptoms of the Meningeal Tumor Compressing the Cerebellum. From Which the Writer Died. Written by Herself.” […]