Books

Neurophilosophy

Category archives for Books

Hubel’s Eye, Vision and Brain online

I’ve just discovered that the book Eye, Vision and Brain, by Nobel Prize winner David Hubel, is available online in its entirety. Hubel is a neurophysiologist who performed some classic experiments with Torsten Wiesel, beginning in the late 1950s, on the development and functional properties of the visual system.

The homeopathic challenge

The authors of Trick or Treatment? The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine have thrown down the gauntlet to homeopaths: We challenge homeopaths to demonstrate that homeopathy is effective by showing that the Cochrane Collaboration has published a review that is strongly and conclusively positive about high dilution homeopathic remedies for any human condition. Or, we…

Low hills and enfolded valleys

Here’s another great quote about the brain, from Ian McEwan’s novel Saturday: He’s looking down at a portion of [the] brain…with its low hills and enfolded valleys of the sulci, each with a name and imputed function…Just to the left of the midline, running laterally away out of sight under the bone, is the motor…

ScienceBlogs book club

In the first installment of The ScienceBlogs Book Club, which was launched today, Carl Zimmer discusses his new book, Microcosm, with John Dennehy, Jessica Snyder Sachs and PZ Myers. The discussion of the book will take place in the comments section of the book club blog, and will continue until June 14th. If it proves…

Connectivity

My exams begin on Friday, so things are going to be pretty quite around here until around mid-May. I will post various bits and pieces over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, here are some interesting links that I’ve found recently: In the New York Times Magazine, Gary Marcus discusses the possibility…

LSD discovered on this day 65 years ago

On this day in 1943, Albert Hofmann (right), a chemist working for the Swiss pharmaceutical company Sandoz, discovered the psychedelic properties of LSD. Hofmann had actually first synthesized the drug 5 years earlier, as part of a research program in which the therapeutic effects of derivatives of ergot alkaloids – chemicals produced by a fungus…

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?…

Open Lab 2007 reviewed in Nature

Today’s issue of Nature contains a short review of Open Lab 2007, and the article includes a brief mention of my contribution to the book: The editor of this second anthology of the best scientific communiqu’s from the blogosphere thinks blogs offer new ways to discuss science. The Open Laboratory 2007: the Best Science Writing…

Open Lab 2007

At A Blog Around the Clock, Bora has announced the posts that will be published in Open Lab 2007, the forthcoming second annual anthology of the best science blogging of last year. Of the 486 submitted entries, just 50 have made it into the book, and I’m pleased to say that one of them is…

Naughty Gloria

In this wonderful passage from King Solomon’s Ring, Konrad Lorenz, who, together with Nikolaas Tinbergen and Karl von Frisch founded the science of ethology, describes some of the behaviours of his pet capuchin monkey Gloria: She occupied a large, roomy cage in my study. When I was at home and able to look after her,…