Neuroscience

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Category archives for Neuroscience

“We saw that the group with high level of leisure activities presented 38% less risk of developing Alzheimer’s symptoms.” Dr. Yaakov Stern, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York. Read this interview with Dr. Stern on Sharp Brains, to learn more about building up your “cognitive…

ENCEPHALON ON NEURONTIC

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Neurontic is pleased to host the next edition of Encephalon, the carnival for brain aficionados everywhere. Please send your entries to neurontic [at] gmail.com no later than the morning of Sunday April 8, so your host has time to digest them. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink: If…

Blogs, Blogs, and More Blogs!

Hello fellow brain geeks, The Neurophilosopher has done us all a huge favor and compiled an exhaustive list of all of the neuroscience-related blogs out there. I’ve spent the morning adding new (and long-delayed) sites to the blogroll and thought you might want to take a look as well: Neurophilosopher’s Neuroscience Blog List.

The Art of Empathy

The Frontal Cortex has an interesting post about a recent study conducted by psychologists at the University of Toronto on the effects of reading fiction. (Full disclosure here: I haven’t read the entire study, which was published in the October issue of The Journal of Research in Personality. I just can’t bring myself to fork…

While we’re on the subject of brain size, I wanted to share another interesting Temple Grandin theory. In Animals in Translation, Grandin suggests that we humans may be suffering from a species superiority complex. While she agrees that domestication was responsible for a 10 percent reduction in brain size in dogs, she contends that the…

Okay, I know I promised the next entry would be devoted to Temple Grandin’s views on language — a subject well worth exploring — but I’ve found myself distracted by some of my other reading this week. (So much to read, so little time.) Be assured, we’ll delve into “Grandin on Language” at a later…

Men’s brains weigh about 2.5 pounds. Women’s brains are 100 grams less, the equivalent of one teaspoon. To most people, this difference seems negligible–hardly the stuff of controversy. Scientists have yet to determine the reason for the size differential. Neuroscience is still in its infancy, and it will likely be many years before researchers gather…

I know I’m dating myself by referencing an SNL bit circa 1986, but I couldn’t resist. Those of you who’ve read Microscopic Mind Control know that toxoplasma, the bacteria people pick up from house cats, is purported to make women more “outgoing and warmhearted.” Well, according to New York State University Psychologist Gordon Gallup, semen…

The science of dreaming

Most people don’t know that Sigmund Freud was a frustrated neurologist. Before he abandoned himself to abstraction, the father of psychoanalysis was a practicing physician, intent on developing “a neural model of behavior.” (Kandel Interview) But Freud found neuroscience too blunt a tool, in the early twentieth century, to serve his purposes. If brain science…

Phantom limbs are not a modern phenomenon. There are records of people “haunted” by amputated appendages dating all the way back to the sixteenth century. Consequently, we have more than 500 years worth of theories about what causes phantom limbs–some quite ingenious. After losing his right arm in the Napoleonic Wars, British naval hero Lord…