Tag Archives: neuroscience

October 24

Is Addiction a Disease?

  While it may not seem obvious, this question carries a great deal of emotional weight to sufferers of addiction, as well as their families and friends. The answer to one question – Is addiction a disease? – seems to hold the answer to yet another question: Are many of the hurtful things I’ve done […]

September 19

How long have we been sleeping?

“J’ai peur du sommeil comme on a peur d’un grand trou, Tout plein de vague horreur…” In his phenomenal ‘Les fleurs du mal’ (‘Flowers of Evil’), Baudelaire promenades through the darkness of the night and with his characteristic gloomy brush, paints sleep as ‘a great hole’ that he fears. This myth surrounding sleep as a […]

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 […]

August 29

The Neuroscience of the Breath

The Neuroscience of the Breath Scientists search to uncover the mind-body connection   Mind-body practices, which stem from traditions originating in countries such as India, China, and Tibet, have become increasingly popular in Western society. These practices, which include yoga, meditation and tai chi, revolve around breathing techniques or pranayama- learning to control the breath […]

August 01

Why are you yawning right now?

As a graduate student, spending an early morning or late night in the lab is not uncommon. During those hours, it’s also not uncommon to catch me in the midst of a yawn (or many). This makes sense, though; I’m tired from little sleep or a long day. However, you may be surprised to learn […]

July 25

In a world of “blind imagination”: The science of Aphantasia

[En Español] Picture yourself in your childhood home. Imagine your bedroom – your bed, perhaps some posters on the wall, and whatever other salient features you can conjure with your mind’s eye.  Do you see yourself in it, or are you seeing it as though through your own eyes…or do you not “see” anything at […]

July 18

Our Sensitive Stomach: The Enteric Nervous System

     There is a lot more to the gut than will be covered here – hormone signals, the microbiome, and gut contributions to nervous system diseases will be topics for later articles. Worry not – these functions are not forgotten, but for the ease of digestion (sorry) and clarity of each topic, will be segmented into […]

July 04

Gay Animals and the Science of Sexuality

Earlier this year, a New York Times headline struck my attention: The Gay Penguins of Australia. The story details the lives of Sphen and Magic, two male Gentoo penguins at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium in Australia. Sphen is 6 years old and rather quiet. Magic likes to chase after toys and is 3 years […]

June 13

BrainEx: Restoring Brain Circulation After Death

[En español] In May of 2018, headlines across the internet warned of a creepy new “brain in a bucket” experiment, in which scientists had “reanimated” the disembodied brains of pigs from slaughterhouses, and surely promised a “living hell” for humans. Very little was known about this study at the time, as the lead scientist, Nenad […]

June 06

Speech Synthesis from Brain Activity

[En español] The existing technology that assists people with speech disabilities is reliant on brain-computer interfaces which translate eye and facial muscle movements into words. However, this translation is limited in speed – approximately 10 words per minute, which is considerably lower than the rate of naturally produced speech (150 words per minute). The process […]