Category Archives: Uncategorized

April 15

Why UC student researchers need a union

Right now, a group of graduate student researchers across the University of California are working to form a union.  What does this mean?  How is science made?  The process of becoming a full-time (“tenure-track”) neuroscientist or biologist at a university or other research institution involves a long training process.  Students must obtain an undergraduate degree […]

December 24

The Earth is Flat: A Psychology Perspective

Living in a world of “alternative facts” and misinformation is exhausting. A casual scroll through Facebook can spiral into a tiresome fact checking escapade and an emotional rollercoaster: “You mean we could have been free from COVID if we had all just injected ourselves with bleach?!” Misinformation is defined as false information that is spread, […]

November 19

Neuroscience… of the bladder

When we think of neuroscience, we often think of the brain. […] But so much of neuroscience is concerned with happenings outside the brain itself. For instance, neural signaling controls and coordinates our muscle movements, alerts us when our stomach is empty, produces a physiological response to arousal, and sends a painful alarm when we damage our skin. Neural signaling is also important for telling us when it’s time to pee.

October 08

It’s about time

About a day To you, Earth probably seems like a fairly stagnant entity. Sure, we are currently dealing with rising global temperatures as well as carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, but in your day to day world, those changes probably seem quite small. Over the history of life on Earth, however, so many things that we […]

August 06

Racism and Birth Inequities, From Biology to Society

Image Credit: UNICEF Black mothers in the US are 3-4x more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white mothers (NPR/ProPublica).  In addition, 40.6% of Black births are preterm, compared to 33.1% of white births (CDC).  Compounding evidence suggests that the lived experience of racism in the US, rather than genetics, health behaviors (e.g. smoking), […]

July 23

Postictal Blues

Intro On the morning of January 12th, 2020, I woke up to the sound of my phone vibrating. It was my mom because it was her birthday and I had told her to call me the night before. I had the perfect plan: at approximately 2 a.m. that morning, I snuck into the house (I […]

July 02

The Intersex Brain

It is evident that male and female sex characteristics exist on a spectrum, and treating them as fully binary categories invalidates the bodies and experiences of those who express a range of biological sex characteristics. […] But… what about the brain? Are there differences between the male brain and the female brain?

May 21

Get out of my personal s p a c e

How does the brain dynamically represent our personal space? It’s more interesting, and complicated, than you may think.

May 07

Like reality TV? You might be a neuroscientist

Imagine … a lush, tropical island with carefully controlled temperature and humidity, where the lights come on and off at regular intervals, where its inhabitants consume dinner in unison from predetermined food sources….   Believe it or not, this paradise exists!  It’s called Love Island.  And for the many millions of viewers that tune into Love […]

March 18

Is anyone in there?

How can we tell if someone is aware of what is going on around them? One strategy is to look at their eyes. Eye contact and dilated pupils are a good sign someone is actively engaged in a conversation. If they’re staring off into space or flickering open and shut, it’s a good sign they […]