Neurophilosophy

Archives for July, 2008

Offline

I don’t have internet access where I’m working at the moment, hence the lack of updates this week. For the same reason, blogging is likely to be intermittent for the next week or two. During that time, I’ll be doing some background reading about potential research projects for the final year of my Masters. I…

Today’s Daily Telegraph contains a fascinating extract from Norman Doidge’s new book The Brain That Changes Itself, about a woman who feels that she is constantly falling because she has lost her sense of balance as a result of damage to the vestibular system. Cheryl Schiltz, who is now 50 years old, contracted a bacterial…

ESOF2008 photos

Looking down from the steps of the Museu National d’ Art Catalunya, we see the Fira de Barcelona, a complex of 8 large buildings which together make up one of the largest exhibition centres in Europe. One of these buildings, in the lower right of the above photograph, was the venue for ESOF2008.

Butterflies of the soul

This quote comes from Recollections of My Life, by Santiago Ramon y Cajal: Like the entomologist in search of colorful butterflies, my attention has chased in the gardens of the grey matter cells with delicate and elegant shapes, the mysterious butterflies of the soul, whose beating of wings may one day reveal to us the…

Depression is a common neuropsychiatric disorder which affects at least 1 in 7 adults. The condition can have a major effect on patients’ quality of life, and is a major cause of both disability and suicide. Many patients with depression can be treated effectively with antidepressant medications, such as the specific serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI)…

Science in Catalonia

I’m back in London now, after 5 days in Barcelona for ESOF2008. The trip has been rather hectic, and I neither attended as many sessions, nor saw as much of the city, as I would have liked. I still had a very nice time, but, as is always the case when travelling, it’s good to…

What are the difficulties facing science journalists in developing countries, and what can we do to support them? These were the main issues raised in a session I attended this morning. Session: Building Networks: How to Support Science Journalists in Developing Countries Organiser: Lynda Lich-Knight, German Science Journalists’ Association (WPK), Germany Abstract: Developing countries need…

Molecular simulations using PlayStation 3

While wandering around looking at the outreach activities at ESOF2008, I came across this interesting booth for the PS3GRID project, by members of the Multiscale Lab, which is located in the University of Pompeu Fabra’s Computational Biochemistry and Biophysics Laboratory at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park. Run by volunteers, the project involves building computer simulations…

ESOF2008: Brain-computer-interfaces

This morning I attended a talk about the research behind, and clinical applications of, brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). I’ve written about BCIs many times in the past; they monitor the electrical activity of the brain, either invasively by means of implanted electrodes, or non-invasively by means an electroencephalogram cap, and this activity is analyzed and used…

Encephalon 50

The 50th edition of Encephalon is now online at SharpBrains. It includes entries about the path planning by hippocampal place cells, the role of calcium ion homeostasis in Alzheimer’s Disease and the potential applications of transcranial magnetic stimulation.