Tag Archives: neuroscience

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 […]

May 30

You’re getting sleepy: Brain mechanisms of anesthesia and natural sleep

[En español] “Take a deep breath and count backwards from 10…” “10…9…8…7….” If you are one of the many people that have had surgery under general anesthesia, you may remember these words from your anesthesiologist, beginning the countdown yourself, then probably ….nothing. When you awoke later, you were already out of surgery and in a […]

May 02

Interview with an Oxford Food Psychologist

The surprising ways our brains steer our eating experiences, and how to use them to our advantage According to Dr. Charles Spence, when it comes to experiencing food, taste is the least important factor. But can that really be true? To learn about food psychology – or how our brains process multisensory information about what […]

January 24

How is a woodpecker like a football player?

As the National Football League (NFL) approaches its most prestigious game of the year, the Superbowl, fans are often treated to video montages of the big plays and hard hits that either led their teams to victory or contributed to the end of their season. While these clips serve to instill a sense of excitement […]

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 […]