May 07

Take a Trip Down Memory Lane: the study of nostalgia

Living through a global pandemic with limited access to friends, family, and fun has undoubtedly left many of us feeling emotional. Perhaps you’ve been listening to music during your many hours at home and a song has come on that forces you to reminisce on a particular trip you took with your best friend in […]

April 29

How Metal can regain its Sound: the Science of Cochlear Implants

This article discusses various scenes from the film Sound of Metal. Although what is discussed likely will not come as any great surprise to anyone generally familiar with the film, be aware that mild “spoilers” are ahead! If you haven’t yet seen the film but choose to read on, this article contains some clips from […]

April 22

Neuromorphic engineering: how electronics are learning from the brain

[En Español] “As engineers, we would be foolish to ignore the lessons of a billion years of evolution” -Carver Mead Scientists have been pursuing artificial intelligence that rivals what the human brain can do for centuries. The brain is remarkable in some computer-like aspects; it processes multiple complex tasks in parallel with high efficiency and […]

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 […]

April 08

Choosing a Research Lab

For our readers in or about to begin PhD programs, I have put together the following advice for choosing and assessing research rotations. […] there are not necessarily “right” answers to all the questions below – just make sure the answers work for YOU. 

April 01

How do we use magnets to take pictures of the brain?

Magnets are everywhere – they exist in our electronics, cars, refrigerators, and so on. The Earth itself is one giant magnet, which is why we can use compasses to navigate! They also have many incredible biomedical applications, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which allows us to take pictures of biological tissues and organs in a […]

March 25

Singing in the Brain: Bird Neuroscience

Many of us have adopted new hobbies or interests in this strange quarantine world. For me, I’ve started to really appreciate birds. Birds and birdsong are almost omnipresent and for those of us living in more developed areas, they are oftentimes one of our only real reminders of and connections to the natural world. So, […]

March 18

Join Dennis Eckmeier on an expedition from neuroscience to science communication

Today I invite you to join me on an expedition with Dr. Dennis Eckmeier through the academic jungle to the realms of science communication. You will learn about the courtship calls of Chinese fire-bellied toads, a blowfly flight simulator, the vision of zebra finches (yes, finches, not fish!), and how the memory of smell might […]

March 11

The Future of the Neuroscience of Dreaming

What is the purpose of dreaming? What do the contents of your dreams mean? What is your brain doing during dreams to produce the sometimes surreal experiences that leave you confused upon waking? Why do we remember some parts of our dreams, but struggle to recall the events in others? The unsatisfying answer to these […]

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 […]