Tag Archives: dopamine

Ultra-cool cartoon microglia September 03

Microglia as Architects and Designers for Your New Brain

[En español] While neurons tend to get the spotlight in the brain, there’re tons of other cell types working in the background to support brain health and function. Microglia are one such cell type, often described as the immune cells of the brain, patrolling and gobbling things up like white blood cells do in the […]

March 26

How is your brain coping with social distancing?

[En español] Amidst an ever-growing national and global crisis unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve probably already heard about (and are hopefully practicing) social distancing. The Center for Disease Control defines social distancing as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible”. […]

September 05

“I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it”

I would never have thought that an Ariana Grande song could lend itself to talking about an interesting avenue of neuroscience research. Yet the catchy phrase repeatedly featured in her most recent hit song “7 rings,” “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it,” implicitly highlights the relationship between liking and […]

October 25

The Science of Stuttering

A special thank you to Kaja Bajc and Jaymie Horak for their incredibly helpful personal input. How is it that someone can sing fluidly but struggle to introduce herself? Or smoothly imitate a foreign accent without trouble, but get stuck on words when speaking without pretense?  Stuttering is a communication disorder characterized by disruptions (“disfluencies”) […]

December 28

Machines Comparing Circuitry (or, Understanding Our Uniquely Human Brain)

I became fascinated by the brain because I was – and continue to be – fascinated by humans. Why are we so obsessed with other people’s lives, including (sometimes especially) those whom we’ve never met? How are we able to communicate such complex emotions with a raise of an eyebrow or even just a glance? […]

September 28

Dopamine is NOT your brain’s reward chemical

Dopamine is NOT your brain’s reward chemical.  Or rather, dopamine is not JUST your brain’s reward chemical, nor is it your brain’s ONLY reward chemical.

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.

January 12

Dosing Dopamine to Regulate Rest

Sleep is great.  We all do it (sort of), and the fortunate among us can look forward to getting some sweet slumber every night.  But sometimes, something better comes along.  A new video game, Netflix series, or Tinder date might be so captivating that even late into the night, our body’s need for sleep seems […]

December 08

The neuroscience of loneliness

[En español] In this hyperconnected society that we live in, loneliness is an epidemic. We are going through times of profound social change, and the Internet and all the new technologies that go along with it are huge drivers in this, allowing us to remain connected with others without actually having to connect with them. […]

August 18

Mind your P’s and T’s: How tainted drugs revolutionized Parkinson’s research

[En español] In 1982, a man was brought to a hospital in the Bay Area of California in a curious condition.  The man was completely catatonic (immobile), and was frozen into an awkward, statue-like posture.  Doctors initially diagnosed him with catatonic schizophrenia, a sub-type of schizophrenia characterized by rigidity and unresponsiveness. However, this diagnosis did […]