Tag Archives: fMRI

December 22

Fatal Attraction: What is Sex and Love Addiction?

Have you ever been in love? Has it made you do crazy things? Whether it was sending your lover bundles of flowers, stalking their social media (or stalking them in person), or boiling a rabbit in a pot of water, we’ve all been there. We know that love is enthralling. It is potent enough in […]

November 17

A Series of Exciting Events

Have you ever wondered what it is like to have a seizure? Well, I have epilepsy, and let me tell you: so do I. That is because there are many different types of seizures and of epilepsy, and some—like mine—involve a loss of consciousness, as well as memory deficits. What all seizures have in common, […]

April 14

“Fearless” climbers: how the amygdala mediates fear

Rock climbing, both in a specialized gym and outdoors on natural rock formations, is a very popular hobby here in Southern California. Some people find it exhilarating and enjoyable, while others are simply terrified. Like with any athletic venture, climbers assess risk before embarking on new routes, and may quell their fears with the knowledge […]

August 30

Defining Cognitive Adulthood: When Neuroscience Influences Law

In 2006, a grand jury convicted Evan Miller in a homicide case, sentencing him to mandatory life imprisonment without the possibility for parole. At the time of his crime, Evan was 14-years-old. Years later, after a series of appeals, Evan’s case–Miller vs. Alabama–made it to the Supreme Court, which ruled that a sentence of life […]

June 22

Psychopathy, qu’est-ce que c’est

Psychopathy, qu’est-ce que c’est A thought experiment Imagine that you are a respected scientist trying to better understand psychopathy.  What might be different in the brain of a psychopath?  As you look through brain scan after brain scan of psychopathic individuals—many of them convicted killers—you see a pattern.  In brain regions important for impulse control, […]

October 27

Fear IT

There’s nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight – Lon Chaney [En español] With Halloween just around the corner and the latest clown craze hitting American and United Kingdom cities, it seems like a great time to talk about clowns. More specifically, about fear of clowns, which I recently found out there’s a term for: […]

August 25

To diet or not to diet: what does your brain think?

“It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet.” Margaret Mead [En español] In the US, about 50% of 10-year-olds have been on a diet [1]. Seriously. Tips for dieting and recipes for quickly losing weight saturate the media: from the most straightforward of dieting mantras, “eat less, exercise more,” to […]

May 26

Happiness comes from within

[En español] ‘Folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be’ – Abraham Lincoln. Happiness comes from within. More specifically, from the brain. Surely I am biased when I say the nervous system is incredibly interesting, but I am not the only one who thinks this. The public’s fascination with the brain most likely […]

Ventral visual stream October 22

Deep neural networks help us read your mind.

If you let us, we can read your mind. For the last fifteen years or so, scientists have been able to use measurements of brain activity* to predict what image you’re seeing, what part of your body you’re moving, or whether you’ll remember something you were studying (See Norman et al. 2006 for a review). […]

September 24

Altruism: A Story of Amygdalae and Kidneys

So, how do you begin to study the neural underpinnings of something so difficult to define or identify? And since virtually all of us do kind things on occasion, how would one compare altruists and non-altruists to see whether there are any differences in brain structure or activity?