Brain and Behavior

Category archives for Brain and Behavior

A few days ago I posted this item asking if it was really true that more celebrities have died this year than usual. That post went viral, so of course, the famous Doug McIntyre (who is, by the way, originally from Minnetonka, Minnesota) asked me to join him on KABC, McIntyre in the Morning, an…

Before we address this question, let us recognize that years do not really kill people. That’s just a poetic way of putting it, in common use. I believe that every year starting around September or October, there is a random spate (spats are generally random, as are small droughts) of celebrity deaths, which lead to…

Very Smart Birds, Very Smart Bird Book

Crows are smart. Anyone who watches them for a while can figure this out. But that is true of a lot of things. Your baby is smart (not really). Your dog is smart (not really). Ants are smart (sort of). It takes a certain degree of objective research, as well as some serious philosophy of…

Reductionism in Art and Science

In the old days, the words “art” and “science” did not mean the same thing they mean today, at least in academia. Today, unfortunately, they have almost come to mean opposites. You can’t be doing both at once. Or, at least, that’s what people who haven’t thought about it much may think. Art can be…

Are Pigs Really Like People?

We hear this all the time. Pig physiology is like people physiology. Pigs and humans have the same immune system, same digestive system, get the same diseases. Pigs are smart like people are smart. Pigs are smarter than dogs. And so on. Ask a faunal expert in archaeology or a human paleoanatomist: Pig teeth are…

How stupid are you? You have no idea!

Learn more at this classic post by Don Prothero.

I don’t have time to read the original or make much comment on this, but since this topic has come up here before, I thought I’d pass on the press release from Burke REhabilitation and Research: Burke Medical Research Institute Scientists Show Axon Growth Possible in Central Nervous System White Plains, NY – May 21,…

Why Do Men Hunt and Women Shop?

The title of this post is, of course, a parody of the sociobiological, or in modern parlance, the “evolutionary psychology” argument linking behaviors that evolved in our species during the long slog known as The Pleistocene with today’s behavior in the modern predator-free food-rich world. And, it is a very sound argument. If, by “sound”…

Kurzweil: How to create a mind

How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed is Ray Kurzweil’s latest book. You may know of him as the author of The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Kurzweil is a “futurist” and has a reputation as being one of the greatest thinkers of our age, as well as being…

No new nose neurons?

Elizabeth Norton has an interesting write-up in Science Now. Some years ago, after a long period of suspicion, it was seemingly demonstrated that neurogenesis (the formation of new neurons) happened in the human nose. This research was based on the identification of proteins that would be associated with the early formation of baby neurons. Therefore,…