Neurophilosophy

Archives for September, 2007

Commenting errors

Recently, I’ve been getting the occasional duplicated comment. I thought this had something to do with the comments being held in moderation, but, as Brian explains, it appears to be because of an error. Thanks Brian.

Biological sonar systems

Echolocation – or biological sonar – can be thought of as an auditory imaging system that is used by organisms in environments where vision is ineffective. It involves the emission of vocalizations by the animal, and the detection of the echoes of those sounds, which are used to produce three-dimensional information about the environment. Echolocating…

Encephalon 32

Grrl Scientist has just posted the 32nd edition of Encephalon at Living the Scientific Life. As usual, the carnival includes entries from the best neuroscience and psychology blogs on the web. The next edition of Encephalon will be hosted at GNIF Brain Blogger on October 8th. If you’d like to contribute, send permalinks to your…

Back to school

I’m off to UCL, to enroll on the M.Sc. in neuroscience.

(Image credit: John B. Carnett)  The September issue of Popular Science magazine has an article about one of the first clinical trials in which deep brain stimulation is being used to treat patients with severe depression who do not respond to drugs or electroconvulsive therapy. The image above shows Diane Hire, one of 17 patients…

Gene Genie Number 16

(Gene Genie logo created by by Ricardo Vidal) Welcome to the 16th edition of Gene Genie, the carnival of genes and genetic diseases. In this edition, genetics gets personal. The recent publication of Craig Venter’s genome (and, before that, James Watson’s) was big news. It ushered in the new era of personal genomics, to which…

Weekend photoblogging

In this inaugural weekend photoblogging post, I give you this photograph of Beit el-Din Palace, which I took on a trip to Lebanon about 5 years ago. Beit el-Din (which translates as “House of Religion”) is in the Chouf region of Lebanon, about 50 km southwest of Beirut. The Chouf is the heartland of the…

Shyness is not a psychiatric condition

In an op-ed from yesterday’s NY Times, Christopher Lane, a professor of English at Northwestern University, argues that shy kids are not mentally ill, and that they shouldn’t be given medication. The piece brought to mind this critique of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), by L. J. Davis: Current among the…

$500,000 per minute

That’s the cost of war in Iraq, according to a new analysis by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard Public Policy lecturer Linda J. Bilmes. The money spent on one day of war in Iraq ($720 million) could provide healthcare for more than 420,000 American children or buy homes for 6,500 families. And let’s…

3D reconstruction of the presynaptic terminal

This 3D reconstruction of the presynaptic terminal show the nuts and bolts of intercellular communication in the nervous system. They were generated by Siksou et al, from serial electron micrographs of neurons from the rat hippocampus. The blue spheres are synaptic vesicles containing neurotransmitter molecules. They are docked at the presynaptic membrane (white). The arrival…