Category Archives: Decision-Making

November 07

Knowing when to hold and fold ’em: the explore/exploit dilemma

I’ve been staring at the menu for over 10 minutes. I can feel the server’s eyes boring holes into the back of my head, urging me to hurry up and pick something. Still I sit and ponder; should I get my old favorite, the California burrito? Or maybe I should try something new like a […]

June 27

NeurosciANTS

[En español] You probably walk past thousands of ants every day and give them no more than a passing glance, but the ecological impact of an entire ant colony is comparable to that of enormous animals like elephants. Together in colonies that can surpass 300 million individuals, ants have a profound effect on the landscapes […]

January 17

What are habits?

Have you ever been driving and been so lost in thought that you aren’t even consciously aware of what you are doing? For a well-practiced skill like driving (and especially for a well-practiced commute) you might even find yourself arriving at your destination with little recollection of all the steps you took to make it […]

April 06

THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC: A SOBERING VULNERABILITY OF THE HUMAN BRAIN

Opioids are a class of powerful psychoactive drugs that are often prescribed for pain relief, but can produce an intense euphoria that has proven remarkably addictive.  Opioid use disorder, a diagnosis characterized by compulsive opioid use and withdrawal, affects or has affected approximately 3 million Americans and 16 million people worldwide.  According to the Centers […]

July 13

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

What’s one part beach, four parts science, and too much fun? If you answered “Brain Camp,” you nailed it.

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 […]

May 26

Happiness comes from within

[En español] ‘Folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be’ – Abraham Lincoln. Happiness comes from within. More specifically, from the brain. Surely I am biased when I say the nervous system is incredibly interesting, but I am not the only one who thinks this. The public’s fascination with the brain most likely […]

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 […]

September 03

Who wants to be an astronaut?

Sensory deprivation. Cultural isolation. Physical confinement. Throw in relearning every menial task for microgravity, the lack of privacy and the disturbed sleep-wake cycle, and you can be sure your life will never be the same (1,2). Yeah, the job description for being an astronaut is a little intense. Especially since you also need to be intelligent, physically fit, and, […]

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 […]