Neurophilosophy

Archives for August, 2007

The Enemies of Reason, Part 2

In his Channel 4 documentary The Enemies of Reason, Richard Dawkins attacks what he rightly regards as an epidemic of irrational thinking, or, as he puts it, humanity’s “retreat into the fog of the superstitious past.” He notes, for example, that 25% of the British population believe in astrology, and that more column inches in…

Almost famous (and completely shameless)

For some inexplicable reason, Bertalan Mesko wanted to interview me about blogging.

(Image: Roberto Sozzani) Russian researchers affiliated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have developed a red fluorescent protein that is 7-10 times brighter than any other red fluorescent protein currently being used for imaging. The protein, which has been named Katushka, is derived from a brilliant red sea anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor, the blue tip anemone,…

Encephalon 30 @ Neurofuture

The final post at Neurofuture is a fantastic 30th edition of Encephalon, which, as usual, includes good stuff from the best neuroscience and psychology blogs on the web. The next edition of the carnival will be hosted by Dr. Deb Serani on September 10th. If you’d like to contribute, email permalinks to your neuroscience  or…

Textbooks for a Masters in neuroscience

I start my M.Sc. in neuroscience in about a month’s time. The recommended text is Principles of Neural Science, by Kandel, Schwartz and Jessel. It’s a great book that I’ll get round to buying one day, but, because I’m on a limited budget, I’ll have to make do with the abridged version, Essentials of Neural…

This year, several research groups have used bacterial proteins called channelrhodopsins to develop a technique with which light can be used to control the activity of nerve cells or the behaviour of small organisms. For example, Ed Boyden’s group at the MIT Media Lab used the method to activate or inhibit neurons on a millisecond-by-millsecond…

Weird & wonderful stuff at Zooillogix

Zooillogix is the latest addition to ScienceBlogs.com. It’s chock full of weird and wonderful stuff from the animal kingdom, like the Peter’s elephant nose fish, which detects prey using electrical fields emitted from its chin.

Experimentally-induced out-of-body experiences

Olaf Blanke, of the Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, explains how it was done: Read more about the study at New Scientist and Ars Technica.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric condition which is characterized by intrusive thoughts and ritualized and repetitive behaviours, such as excessive hand-washing, which are performed in order to neutralize the obsessions. OCD is one of a spectrum of disorders that includes Tourette’s Syndrome, autism and bipolar disorder. OCD affects approximately 2% of the population,…

Somatopsychic

Somatopsychic is a relatively new blog, by Mitch Harden, a graduate student in the Behavioral Neuroscience program at the University of Missouri, St. Louis.