Neuron Culture

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At Biophemera, Jessica Palmer takes a look at Mechanical Brides of the Uncanny. Actually a couple look to me a bit like cans.  Like most junk science that just won’t die, the polygraph stays with us. Even Aldrich Ames could see the polygraph was junk. NB, those who don’t shy from no-lie fMRI. From the wonderful…

I know where you’re going, but you don’t understand. Teachers are just different. via nytimes.com Posted via web from David Dobbs’s Somatic Marker

Selling a work fiction is difficult; publishing in Nature is a long-shot; yet somehow writer and genomeboy Misha Angrist managed to publish fiction in Nature. The only way I was ever going to get a first-author publication in Nature [Angrist explains] was if I just made it all up. So that’s what I did. Hat tip to David Dobbs…

David Sloan Wilson, an atheist himself, has a few things to relate to ‘angry atheists’ like Richard Dawkins. I piss off atheists more than any other category, and I am an atheist. One of the things that infuriates me about the newest crop of angry atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, is their denial of the…

Lights, genes, action

  Two or three years ago, Emory neurologist Helen Mayberg, whose experiments using deep-brain stimulation for depression I check in on now and then, told me that Karl Deisseroth’s work using light to fiddle with brain circuits had huge potential both as a replacement for DBS and for much else. As Lizzie Buchen ably reports in Nature,…

via Alexis Madrigal’s Tumblr. Go now. Take the journey. You will also find Herzog reading Curious George and Madeleine.

  Phineas Gage enjoys an unfortunate fame in neuroscience circles: After a 5-foot iron tamping rod blew through his head one September afternoon in 1848, the once amiable and capable railroad foreman became a uncouth ne-er-do-well — and Exhibit A in how particular brain areas tended to specialize in particular tasks. (In his case, the…

Ravens via PDPhoto Ravens show that consoling one another is also for the birds, Yet another finding that other species have qualities previously thought uniquely human. Our greatest distinction is that we’re highly social. Yet in that we’ve got a lot of company.   Human brains excel at detecting cheaters. FMRI’s, not so much, says Vaughan Bell…

 A Times story this morning reports that, according to both documents and scientists in the US Minerals Management Service (MMS), the MMS routinely silenced safety and environmental warnings from staff in order to grant permits for even huge, high-risk drilling permits, including the BP rig that blew. It’s a good (and nauseating) story, and…

Traveling. But here’s what I’m reading during train, plane, and bus rides — and over meals:   Gravity-defying ramps take illusion prize. This contest always produces fascinating stuff. This time, the ball rolls up. Video here.  Vaughan Bell ponders cortisol, dopamine, neuroplasticity, and other things that set off his bullshit detector. Riff launched from a…