Neurophilosophy

Archives for March, 2008

Free 3D interactive anatomy software

The Visible Body is a small application created by the Massachussets-based company Argosy Publishing. The software can be downloaded for free, and includes computer graphic models of more than 1,700 anatomical structures, which can be rotated in a three-dimensional 360 degree view: The Visible Body consists of highly detailed, anatomically accurate, 3D models of all…

Best-selling fantasy writer Terry Pratchett, who announced in December that he has a rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s, has pledged $1million for research into the disease. In a speech given ealier today at the Alzheimer’s Research Trust Netowrk Conference in Bristol, Pratchett said that he compliments his conventional treatment with various unspecified alternative remedies,…

(AP Photo/Greek Culture Ministry, HO) This skeleton, exacavated recently in the town of Veria, some 75km west of Thessalonika, provides evidence that the ancient Greeks performed sophisticated neurosurgery. The remains, dated to the 3rd century A.D., belong to a woman aged around 25, who appears to have died as a result of a failed craniotomy…

The neuroanatomist’s stroke of insight

Thanks to Natasha Dantzig for drawing my attention to this talk from last month’s TED Conference in Monterey, California: Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened – as she felt her brain functions slip away one…

NeuroTV at UCSD

UCSD-TV, the local television station broadcast by the University of California at San Diego, has a series called Grey Matters, which is devoted to neuroscience. To date, fifteen full-length presentations have been produced for the series, all of which are availabe online in RealPlayer at the UCSD-TV website. They can also be viewed on the…

Interior design optical illusion

From one angle, they look like miscellaneous wall markings. From another, they look like this…

Making scents of molecules

In today’s issue of The New Yorker, John Lancaster reviews a new book called Perfumes: The Guide, by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. Olfaction (the sense of smell) is, as Lancaster notes, “a profound mystery”. Why is it, for example, that two aromatic molecules with almost identical structures can smell completely different from each other?…

Brain Awareness Week

My fellow M.Sc. student Maria informs me that Brain Awareness Week is about to begin: [This annual event]…is an international effort organized by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives to advance public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. The Dana Alliance is joined in the campaign by partners in the United States…

Sea cucumbers are marine invertebrates which live on the sea floor and feed on debris that drift down. When threatened, they can harden their skin within seconds, so that they are less likely to be devoured by the approaching predator. This behaviour is made possible by the structure of the sea cucumber’s skin, whose deeper…

Total Isolation

Here’s the first 10 minutes of the recent episode of Horizon about sensory deprivation, which I discussed about 6 weeks ago. The entire program has been uploaded to YouTube: here are parts 2, 3, 4 and 5.