Neurotopia

NotoriousLTP

Best. Modelling Paper. Ever.

The abstract says it all: Zombies are a popular figure in pop culture/entertainment and they are usually portrayed as being brought about through an outbreak or epidemic. Consequently, we model a zombie attack, using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies. We introduce a basic model for zombie infection, determine equilibria and their stability, and…

(I had this whole post ready talking about flexible representations, but now my computer is borked — stupid monitor! — so this is going to have to do.) Tyler Cowen over at Marginal Revolution links to a piece by a former editor at American Economic Review telling all about how papers are accepted for publication.…

Obesity is not a myth

There is a great conversation going on at Megan McArdle’s blog with Paul Campos, author of The Obesity Myth. I say great because it give me the opportunity to show how astonishingly wrong Campos in suggesting that the obesity at the lower end of the BMI spectrum — not just morbid obesity — is not…

Imaging a Superior Mnemonist

In neuroscience, we spend most of our time trying to understand the function of the “normal” brain — whatever that means — hence, we are most interested in the average. Under most occasions when scientists take an interest in the abnormal neurology, it is usually someone with who has something wrong with them — has…

I wanted to draw attention to a new paper in JAMA recently because it reveals a lot about how conditional most of the statements we make in behavioral genetics are. Every time you hear a news article that says, “Gene for depression found,” I want you to think about this case. Risch et al. performed…

So Notorious has been a neuroscience student for a long, long time now, and he was cleaning out the (metaphorical in his case) attic the other day and realized he has a lot of extra notes lying around collecting dust. In what will no doubt be a vain attempt to not just toss them, he…

I want my own death robot!

This guy is awesome. In fact, this guy makes me wish that awesome was a verb, so that I could say that “he awesomed around like there was no tomorrow.” Pop Sci reports that Carlos Owens of Wasilla, Alaska built his own 18 foot tall robotic exoskeleton in his backyard because…you know…he can. He acknowledges…

The Tussin, The Tussin

Notorious was having a little conversation with some friends, and someone asked a strange question: why would one want to abuse over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as Robitussin? OTC cold medication abuse is pretty common and the subject of considerable comment in pop culture — not the least of which are a great song by MC…

Wazzup

Hi all! I wanted to take a moment say hello, and say how honored I am to join Sci and Evil here at Neurotopia. Some of you may know me as Jake Young formerly of the Pure Pedantry blog. Some of you, I may be writing to for the first time. In either case, I…