Category Archives: Memory

December 03

Meet Christopher Lee – Shape matters! Stories of a “model” scientist

What does Lotso, the bear from Pixar’s Toy Story 3, have in common with the research of computational scientist Dr. Christopher Lee? Lotso is created with a similar technology that Christopher uses to create real 3D models of neurons. For those who just started following this interview series, I am a researcher myself and conduct […]

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 […]

September 17

Your brain is plastic!

Your brain is plastic! It has the remarkable ability to modify its connections and to be rewired as a result of your experiences and the neural activity generated by them. This ability is known as plasticity. Neurons in the central nervous system communicate across synapses, the small gaps between two adjacent neurons that allow the […]

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 […]

January 02

The Blob

Beware! The Blob   Imagine you are on a trip to Paris. There is so much to see and do, but you decide to go to the local zoo. You are walking around, admiring all the interesting animals. There are beautiful big cats lounging about. There are enormous giraffes feeding on plants. You feast your […]

December 26

Open Borders: Remapping the Brain

While reading articles online, you may occasionally stumble across headlines like “Scientists find fear center of the brain,” or “Could this really be where the mind resides?” You might have also heard a TED talk where the speaker discusses how they discovered a part of the brain that makes decisions. Such expressions can take more […]

November 15

From symptoms to biology: shifting definitions of Alzheimer’s disease

As a neuroscientist studying Alzheimer’s, I’m reminded of its far-reaching impact each time a barista, cashier, or Lyft driver makes small talk by asking what I do for a living. Unfortunately, this devastating disease needs no introduction. Considering its ubiquity, it’s surprising that a debate broke out recently among leaders in the field over the […]

August 02

Snake Eyes: The Fear That Built Your Brain

Indiana Jones is a quintessential American hero, his fedora, satchel, and whip instantly recognizable around the world. He lives a double life, a scholarly professor of anthropology in public and a globetrotting treasure hunter in private. He defeats the Nazis and always gets the girl, displaying daring and fearlessness, with one notable exception. He has […]

July 05

Where does Alzheimer’s disease begin?

Sometimes I forget what day of the week it is, where I put my keys, or when a friend’s birthday is- but I never stop to wonder if these brief moments of forgetfulness are normal or a sign of something more serious. For many, occasional short-term memory loss is a normal part of getting older, […]

May 31

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Genetic Memory

We are all products of our past, for better or for worse. At first glance, such a statement seems so obvious it hardly bears mentioning; our earlier experiences, both our successes and our failures, shape our current behavior.  But dig just a bit deeper, and it becomes far murkier. What can you call your past? […]