Category Archives: Pop Culture

May 08

Neurons, Footballs, and the Draft! Oh my!

Tonight, a few hundred football players will be chosen by one of the 32 teams of the National Football League in the hopes of making millions of dollars and establishing their names in the glory of NFL history. Yet only a tiny fraction of college football players, 1.6%, and an even smaller fraction of high school […]

April 03

Talkin’ 2 Myself: Eminem and the Science of Inner Speech

The other day, I was listening to Eminem’s “Talkin’ 2 Myself,” and I started thinking about the therapeutic effects of talking to oneself (coincidentally, Eminem briefly discussed the song with Big Boy on Power 106 this Monday!   Seriously random, considering Recovery was released in 2010…).  Specifically, I was curious about the fine line between […]

January 30

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Here’s a confession- I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write about when I signed up for today’s post.  I assumed that, as in the past, inspiration would come to me with time to spare. I was wrong. I wracked my brain.  I read weeks’ worth of Science and Nature emails searching […]

January 09

Reefer Madness?

The recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington makes this is a good time to think about the potential risks of marijuana consumption. Marijuana has a long and storied history of recreational use in humans (earliest evidence of its use is 4000 BC in China1). The popular image of marijuana today is as a […]

November 14

Red Ribbon Week: A Neuro Perspective

“If I eat a brain of a meth-addict, will I get high?” “Are street rats and lab rats the same?” “What happens if I eat a rat brain?” These are some of the questions that my lab encountered when we visited a middle school in Escondido, CA as classroom speakers last week. Together the Mandyam […]

November 05

Get Data

The Society for Neuroscience meeting is less than a week away! Have you been up all night to get data for your poster? We know the feeling… If you need a break from battling Illustrator, check out this promotional video for the UCSD Neurosciences Graduate Program SfN Social!! Special thanks to @123ComicBro for filming and […]

October 30

True Blood: Sucking the Magic Out of Vampires

Blessed with charismatic looks, viciously sharp fangs, and an immortal existence, vampires have simultaneously delighted and horrified for centuries—now, with the recent folkloric addition of skin that sparkles like diamonds, mere mortals don’t stand a chance!  And yet, while the modern-day vampire embodies all that is dangerous but sinfully irresistible, the science behind vampire mythology […]

October 28

Zombies are real – I wish I was kidding.

Zombies terrify me. Maybe it’s their helter-skelter gait and bloody outstretched arms, or perhaps the fact that they eat brains, and I happen to like brains. That must be it. You know what’s also horrifying? Our contrived Hollywood concept of zombies is derived from the Haiti zombi, a real phenomenon that occurred in the context […]

October 25

Who will you be this Halloween?

For children and adults alike, the most exciting thing about Halloween is putting on a costume and being someone—or something—else for a day.  What we wear can profoundly change our attitudes and behaviors, so in some ways, we actually can become someone completely different on Halloween, and it’s SO MUCH FUN! But imagine becoming someone […]

October 17

Who Do You Think You Are?

    The young woman lies in a hospital bed, her head wrapped in bandages, a handsome man asleep at her bedside.  She opens her eyes and we can immediately see her eyes move wildly around the room, taking in the surroundings with a panicked look on her face.  The man jerks awake and tries to […]