Category Archives: Neuroscience

August 15

“Neurorights” and Why You Need Them

[En español] Most of us, especially those with an interest in technology, are fascinated by all that AI (Artificial Intelligence) and neurotechnologies are achieving. We use it on a daily basis, more than we even realize. For instance, I use Google’s AI-powered predictions pretty much every day to figure out how I can get to […]

August 01

Why are you yawning right now?

As a graduate student, spending an early morning or late night in the lab is not uncommon. During those hours, it’s also not uncommon to catch me in the midst of a yawn (or many). This makes sense, though; I’m tired from little sleep or a long day. However, you may be surprised to learn […]

July 12

How do you feel? Interoception- the new science of emotion

[En español] What happens when someone asks, “How do you feel?” Besides possibly uttering the rote response, “good, how are you”—what is the process of sensing how you’re really feeling in that moment? It seems to involve interoception—the sense of the physiological condition of the body. Interoception mediates many different sensations—pain, temperature, itch, hunger, sexual […]

July 04

Gay Animals and the Science of Sexuality

Earlier this year, a New York Times headline struck my attention: The Gay Penguins of Australia. The story details the lives of Sphen and Magic, two male Gentoo penguins at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium in Australia. Sphen is 6 years old and rather quiet. Magic likes to chase after toys and is 3 years […]

June 20

Exosomes: Helping you stay in touch with your trillions of closest friends.

[En español] There are roughly 37.2 trillion cells in the human body. That’s nearly 5 thousand times the total number of people on the entire planet, and all these cells must somehow work together to make you “You.” Each cell has a set role to play in keeping you healthy and functioning, but how do […]

June 13

BrainEx: Restoring Brain Circulation After Death

[En español] In May of 2018, headlines across the internet warned of a creepy new “brain in a bucket” experiment, in which scientists had “reanimated” the disembodied brains of pigs from slaughterhouses, and surely promised a “living hell” for humans. Very little was known about this study at the time, as the lead scientist, Nenad […]

June 06

Speech Synthesis from Brain Activity

[En español] The existing technology that assists people with speech disabilities is reliant on brain-computer interfaces which translate eye and facial muscle movements into words. However, this translation is limited in speed – approximately 10 words per minute, which is considerably lower than the rate of naturally produced speech (150 words per minute). The process […]

May 30

You’re getting sleepy: Brain mechanisms of anesthesia and natural sleep

[En español] “Take a deep breath and count backwards from 10…” “10…9…8…7….” If you are one of the many people that have had surgery under general anesthesia, you may remember these words from your anesthesiologist, beginning the countdown yourself, then probably ….nothing. When you awoke later, you were already out of surgery and in a […]

April 25

Immune to pain: new insights into chronic pain treatment

[En español] Jo Cameron, a Scottish woman in her mid-60s, was seemingly happy and healthy other than a problem with her hip. Now and then, it would give way and prevent her from walking straight. She had brought it up to her doctor, but because she wasn’t in pain, the issue was dismissed. It wasn’t […]

April 11

Breathe the Pain Away: Mindfulness and Chronic Pain

Focus on your breath. Notice the sensation of air flowing in at the tip of your nose, of your chest expanding, and your shoulders rising.