Neurophilosophy

Archives for November, 2007

Insect-robot interfacing

The Los Angeles Times reports on “Robo-moth“, a cleverly designed contraption, built from cheap off-the-shelf parts, which was presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego earlier this week. Robo-moth is a 6-inch-tall wheeled robot to which attached tobacco horn moth has been attached. A microelectrode inserted into the insect’s brain records the…

Mapping brainland

The cover of the current issue of Neuron features this brainland map, by Sam Brown, a cartographer based in New Zealand. Printed A3, A2 and A1 sized copies of the map can be purchased from Unit Seven. …created from a reference photo of a real human brain which was used to build the 3D terrain.…

Say hello to Greg and Dave

Biological anthropologist Greg Laden and theoretical physicist Dave Bacon have just joined ScienceBlogs. Both of these blogs are fantastic, so go and check them out. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, it’s safe to say that you’re interested in neurobiology, so you’ll probably want to read Greg’s summary of the web focus on…

Exercising the brain

Today’s New York Times contains a very good opinion piece about the benefits of physical exercise for maintaing and improving brain health, by Sandra Aamodt, editor-in-chief of Nature Neuroscience, and Sam Wong, an associate professor of molecular biology and neuroscience at Princeton. There is good evidence that exercise can slow age-related cognitive decline. Specifically, it…

The mouse brain gene atlas

Researchers from the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore have produced an “atlas” of the activity of nearly 17,000 genes in 5 different regions of the mouse central nervous system. Using microarrays, the NIA team measured the levels of mRNA transcripts in the cortex, hippocampus, striatum, cerebellum and spinal cord. Samples were taken from young,…

van Gogh & the history of manic depression

The introductory chapter of Manic-Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression, by Frederick K. Goodwin and Kay Redfield Jamison, provides an excellent description of how Emil Kraepelin first classified manic depression (or bipolar disorder) and related conditions in the late 19th century, and how his work has influenced the way in which psychiatrists treat these…

The truth about lie detection

Washington Treasury Secret Service Bureau chief M. R. Allen acts as a subject in a demonstration of the polygraph test, at the U.S. Secret Service Men’s Convention in 1941. (Image: Bettmann/ Corbis) This week, the NPR Morning edition featured a three-part series on lie detection, which included a story about Daniel Langleben, a neuropsychiatrist at…

Look into my eyes

Vaughan is recruiting participants for a study of the neuropsychology of hypnosis which he is involved in. In the first stage of the research, participants will be asked to answer a series of short questionnaires and complete a short test, to determine the extent of their suggestibility (their willingness to believe and act upon the…

I am the brain master!

I’ve just found this rather annoying – and (I think) completely useless – blog called brain-master, whose content consists largely of the partial feed for this blog.

Encephalon 35

Primate Diarist Eric has just posted the 35th edition of Encephalon, the neuroscience and psychology blog carnival. My favourite posts this time round are the Neurocritic’s examination of the purported discovery of the “neural basis for optimism“, and Jake’s description of two-photon fluorescence microscopy for in vivo imaging of neuronal activity. (There’s no link to…