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Blogging on the Brain: 11/04

A first-hand report of caloric vestibular stimulation – to treat Body Integrity Identity Disorder, in which patients often desire to have large parts of their bodies amputated. Ambien, a sleep drug recently discovered to awaken some people from comas is also linked to strange behavior: one woman paints her frontdoor – in her sleep. Altruism…

New Blog: Cortical Column

Cortical Column is a new blog by computational modeler and volleyball freak Brian Mingus – check out the interesting posts on “The Simulation Argument” and Deep Pressure Stimulation, which is argued to simulate deep brain stimulation of intralaminar thalamic nuclei – noninvasively!

In the “motion standstill” illusion, a rapidly moving object is perceived as motionless, and yet not blurred. This means that color, depth, and shape are accurately processed while the motion system fails: in fact, subjects are no better at detecting the direction of motion than chance. At slightly different frequencies than those which elicit standstill,…

A long story short… My PhD advisor, a developmental psychologist, recently had her first baby – unfortunately, this baby was born with the long-segment form of Hirschsprung’s Disease. This means that Max has only 25 cm of ganglionated intestine; to survive he needs to mainline fatty acids a couple times per day. Such complete IV…

Steve Grand, author of “Creation: Life and How to Make It” as well as a principal designer behind the groundbreaking artificial life game “Creatures“, was recently interviewed over at MLU. It covers a smattering of topics: recent proposals for a completely synthetic lifeform; analog computation; advantages of embodiment (not what you think!); animal intelligence and…

What are the effects of prolonged boredom, for example as experienced by 17 months of interplanetary travel? This is the question investigated by a new European Space Agency project in which 12 volunteers will be locked in an isolation tank for 500 days. (In the comments, A.R. points out that this is probably bad reporting…

Blogging on the Brain 8/07

Having just returned from a 3 week vacation to purchase (and then move into) a new home, I am finally now able to get back to posting. Here’s just a very small subset of the best in brain-blogging while I was away: Fundamental limitations in predicting individual differences: the margin of error in predictive algorithms…

For fans of scientific eye candy, the Nikon Small World competition is hard to beat – and this year, they’ve opened up the voting process to the public. Vote on your favorites but be careful – you can’t revise your vote on a picture once it’s cast!

Researchers at Duke University have recently invented a technique for improving the spatial resolution of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) by a factor of nearly 100,000x. Whereas routine clinical MRI scans contain 3-dimensional pixels (“voxels”) approximately 1mm x 1mm x 1mm, this new technique allows for voxels as small as 21.5 thousandths of a milimeter on…

The Neurophilosophy blog recently migrated to scienceblogs.com and the first post is an excellent edition of Encephalon. Check it out.