Category Archives: Plasticity

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 […]

August 20

Meet Marta Pratelli – A Researcher Exploring the Roadmap of the Brain

Let me first introduce myself and tell you why I started to write about fellow scientists at UC San Diego. Choosing a profession isn’t an easy decision for most people. Some people, however, have an early calling. I knew when I was twelve that I was going to study Biology. I was fascinated by all […]

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 […]

October 24

Is Addiction a Disease?

  While it may not seem obvious, this question carries a great deal of emotional weight to sufferers of addiction, as well as their families and friends. The answer to one question – Is addiction a disease? – seems to hold the answer to yet another question: Are many of the hurtful things I’ve done […]

December 13

Astrocytes, the Underrated Stars

[En español] You usually hear the term “brain cell” referring to neurons, like they’re the only cell type present in the brain. But that’s far from the case. Neurons can be considered the main cellular unit in our nervous system, as they are the cells that transfer the information by means of electrical and chemical signals. […]

August 16

The Plastic Brain: Neurotransmitter Switching

What comes to mind when you think of the word “plastic”? For me, this word conjures images of water bottles and tupperware. So in my high school psychology class, when we were told that our brains are “plastic”, I was pretty confused. However, we soon learned that the word “plastic” can be used to describe […]

May 10

A Bright Idea: Illuminating the Brain with GCaMP

You might’ve read stories about some brain region “lighting up” in response to some stimulus. But what does “lighting up” actually mean? Oftentimes it refers to scientists using a fMRI machine that applies sophisticated technology to translate changes in blood flow into pixels on a computer screen. Sometimes though the brain can literally light up, […]

April 09

You Do Have a Sixth Sense – and More!

Ever wish you had more than just five senses? Sure, it’s cool to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste the world, but wouldn’t it be great to be able to sense other things? Perhaps you would prefer X-ray vision, telepathy, the ability to tell the future, or maybe you want to see dead people (or […]