April 06

AN update: disease in a dish

While the phrase “stem cells” used to spark bitter controversy, scientists can now take a harmless skin biopsy from a human patient and transform those (skin) cells into a bunch of stem cells capable of becoming many different types of cells in the body, including brain cells.

March 31

Golden Retrievers, Terriers, and Artificial Neural Networks

Usually when someone tells you that they are studying something, it’d be safe to assume that they interact with whatever it is that they study. So you might be surprised to hear that there are neuroscientists who don’t spend much time manipulating and observing the dynamics within the physical brain of an organism or collecting […]

March 23

Are computers like brains?

[En español] A few weeks ago I stumbled upon an article, after a friend of mine (and fellow neuroscientist) posted it on one of the multiple social media outlets we manage these days. I felt immediately curious about its content, with a title that cleverly teases neuroscientists: Could a neuroscientist understand a microprocessor? After reading […]

March 16

Mind the Gap: Spaced Learning and Dendritic Spines

[En español] A lifetime ago, in another country, I had a middle school English teacher nicknamed “Mrs. Again”. She was plump and wrinkled, with the kind of wide-cheeked, broad-nosed face one could find on folksy condiment bottle labels, but nobody ever made fun of her. She was terror incarnate, being the only teacher who gave […]

March 09

The Athlete in Your Brain

How your brain may reflect your skill as an athlete.

March 02

Pain: Can’t live with it, can’t live without it

Imagine what life would be like with no pain.  No headaches or sore throats.  You would never experience the anguish of a papercut or a stubbed toe or a sprained ankle.  No stomach cramps or muscle soreness.  Childbirth or getting kicked in the balls?  Piece of cake.  Thrown from a moving car?  Don’t feel a […]

February 24

“Work Alone” Nominated for a Lab Grammy!

The UCSD Neurosciences Graduate Program’s parody music video has been nominated for a “Lab Grammy”!!! Please vote for us here!!! Once again, a massive thanks to Micah and Alie Caldwell for their incredible editing skills and for making this happen!   Vote, vote, vote! Let’s win this!!!!!

February 17

Your Brain on Love

Have you ever been in love? I’m not talking about your inability to go without your morning cup of joe, your appreciation for evening snuggles with your cat, that first spoonful of chocolate mocha brownie ice cream on a hot day, or even a bear hug from your best friend. I’m talking about the vertigo […]

February 09

What I learned as a ‘brain tourist’ in Japan

This article was simultaneously posted on Neurographic: https://medium.com/neurographic/what-i-learned-as-a-brain-tourist-in-japan I never would have guessed that studying the brain would take me to such interesting places. When I signed up for graduate school, I assumed that I was resigning myself to staying in the same place and doing more or less the same thing for five to six […]

February 02

The ABCs of Science: Always Be Communicating

  A case for rebranding. Scientists have some perception problems.  The first is how the public perceives scientists, by turns as smart, but not very trustworthy or as politically motivated [although this survey reported a more favorable outlook]. The second is how scientists perceive the public, as knowledge-poor citizens who, if presented with enough scientific evidence, will align their […]