Neuron Culture

Archives for August, 2007

The Hormone That Helps You Read Minds

We’ve long accepted that hormones can make you amorous, aggressive, or erratic. But lately neuroscience has been abuzz with evidence that the hormone oxytocin — which also acts as a neuromodulator — can enhance at least one cognitive power: the ability to understand what others are thinking. In this week’s Mind Matters (the online blog…

Adieu to Grace Paley

Grace Paley passed away, at 84, after a long battle with breast cancer. I heard her read once at a tribute to Howard Norman here in Montpelier, and her presence was as lively, funny, and riveting as her stories are. The Times story on her passing sums it up well: Grace Paley, the celebrated writer…

Out-of-Body Experiences Enter the Lab

Here’s a juicy one from the Aug 24 Science. Labs in Switzerland and the UK have independently used visual tricks to induce “out-of-body” experiences in healthy lab volunteers. At the UK lab — the ever-productive Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging in London — they seem to have combined some visuo-sensory illusions of the sort pioneered…

A recent study in the American Geophysical Union’sJournal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres confirms that it really is getting hotter. The study found heat waves in Europe have doubled in length and that extremely hot days are three times as common as a century ago. From the AGU press release: The new data shows that many previous…

Bird Nannies Give Mom a Break

A splendid — and to parents and young’n’s, painfully relevant — bit of research news from Science : Every parent can use a little help now and then, and birds are no exception. Some species even use nannies to feed and care for chicks. These ‘daycare’ babies don’t seem to do any better than offspring…