Neuroscience

Neurontic

Category archives for Neuroscience

Manipulating your mind

In Mind Wide Open, Steven Johnson writes about advances in neurofeedback technology. “Your Attention Please” describes Johnson’s attempts to peddle a virtual bicycle using the power of his brain. He’s at a training session organized by a firm called The Attention Builders. As the name suggests, the company is in the business of building attention.…

Got Creb?

I live with a man who can easily dredge up the names of people who testified in the Watergate hearings, because he watched them on TV–when he was four. He can recite dialogue from movies he hasn’t seen since the early ’80s. And he can tell you with absolute certainty that Admiral Ackbar, the fish-faced…

On Writer’s Block

I’ve never read anything that captures the torment of a bad day of writing as well as the following passage from the preface of Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem: . . . I sit in a room literally papered with false starts and cannot put one word after another and imagine that I have suffered…

“The greatest revolution of all”

Think neuroscience is boring? Think again, says V.S Ramachandran, director of San Diego State’s Center for Brain and Cognition. In the coming years, Ramachandran says, neuroscience promises to revolutionize the way “we view ourselves and our place in the cosmos.” (BBC Reith Lecture 1) If he sounds less like a neurologist than a new-age prophet,…

Okay, so let’s do a quick recap. How exactly do mirror neurons work? And why do they suggest that normally functioning human beings are hard wired for empathy? Here’s my working definition. (Those with a firmer grasp on the specifics will be sure to correct any faulty assumptions.)

Psychic Cells

The New York Times (Cells That Read Minds) and The Wall Street Journal (How Mirror Neurons Help Us to Empathize) published a couple of articles at the beginning of this month about mirror neurons. Now, I don’t generally scour the paper for breaking news on neurons, but I started scanning the Times article and found…