March 04

The Bilingual Brain

Humans have the ability to learn multiple languages. Studying bilingual brains offers scientists an opportunity to analyze physical changes in the brain and alterations in how the brain works as a result of some behavior, known as structural and functional plasticity. I recently wrote an article where I discuss plasticity, the ability of our brain […]

February 18

Surprise!! A surprise birthday party is a “touchy” subject during a global pandemic

I open the door to my apartment and switch on the light, and  at first I cannot see anything, because I’m coming in from a dimly lit hallway. But I also don’t have to see anything, because all I hear is a loud “SURPRISE” synchronously shouted from at least 20 people. My heart jumps, my […]

February 11

More than a feeling…

As animals with brains, we are challenged to make sense of a world full of rich sensory experience.  There is a world created inside of our brains that we may see, hear, touch, taste, or smell.  Built out of our senses, humans possess an innate ability to extract patterns and other meaningful features from the […]

January 21

Ketamine and Psychedelics: Next-Wave Antidepressants

Ketamine and psychedelics are making headlines as new alternative antidepressant therapeutics. For years scientists have been studying the benefits of these drugs on the brain and exciting new research has led to the idea that our understanding of what underlies depression could be wrong and these next-wave antidepressants could be another remedy of one of […]

January 14

Do pets understand our language?

Humans are unique in our use of sophisticated spoken language to communicate. While other animals use communicative calls and sounds, human language features complex grammar and structure that allows us to convey a nearly infinite number of ideas. Homo sapiens, the species name for modern humans, appears to have been far superior to other hominid […]

January 07

Un-Consciousness

When you hear the word “consciousness”, what did you think it is? All of what you experience and what you believe it is? Let me demonstrate something to you before you make up your mind. Imagine a day at work, where you: Had someone tap you repeatedly to get your attention, but only felt it […]

December 31

Life After Death(?): From Strokes to Sci-Fi

Death is not a singular event, as implied when we refer to the “time of death” or “moment of death”. It is a relatively long, drawn out, active process: these terms merely simplify and provide a hard boundary. Not everything in the brain (or the rest of the body) dies at the same time, at […]

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, […]

December 17

The Big Sleep: How We Hibernate

As December deepens, we rapidly find ourselves coming up on the first day of winter. Though winter officially begins on the 21st, many animals began their preparations for the season far earlier this year. Any birdwatcher could easily tell you that most birds migrated south a long while ago, and any hiker could tell you […]

December 10

BRAIN ORGANOIDS AND ITS ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS

We have already talked previously in this blog about stem cells, their applications in research and therapies, and how the field is advancing to produce organoids that resemble their ‘original’ counterparts more and more with every new discovery. However, we have not discussed the ethical implications that come with experimenting with human tissue. This is […]