Pure Pedantry

The Last Post

Hi everyone, I apologize for my long hiatus from blogging. Things have just been crazy at work lately. All the same it has given me some time to think about what I want from blogging, and where I see myself in the next several years. For those of you who don’t know I am an…

Razib and I on Bloggingheads.tv

Razib and I have a discussion up at Bloggingheads.tv about genetics and behavior as well as a brief discussion of neuroeconomics. Check it out below the fold:

There is a fascinating case study in Current Biology. de Gelder et al. discuss a patient — referred to as TN to protect his privacy — who had two sequential strokes that damaged his brain. The parts of the brain that were damaged included the primary visual cortex in both hemispheres — rendering the patient…

I don’t think I am alone in saying that I often feel a little envy and schadenfreude towards my peers. Science is a particularly competitive business with few remunerative rewards, so a lot of my self-worth is tied to comparisons with my peer’s successes and failures. I won’t deny being envious when someone gets a…

Children ruin everything

A study discussed over at Live Science confirms what I have always suspected: An eight-year study of 218 couples found 90 percent experienced a decrease in marital satisfaction once the first child was born. “Couples who do not have children also show diminished marital quality over time,” says Scott Stanley, research professor of psychology at…

The title of this pre-publication paper is, “Evidence on the emergence of the brain’s default network from 2-week-old to 2-year-old healthy pediatric subjects.” The authors put kids in functional MRIs to measure resting state activity and detect the emergence of the default network. While I am certain that it is very interesting research, I have…

Neurological diseases can be strange in that they often have additional personality effects. If someone gets a cold, they sneeze a bunch but are basically the same person they were before the cold. In contrast, meningitis can include mental status and personality changes in its early stages — including irritability and sleepiness. When a disease…

Nature Clinical Practice Neurology has a salient article on ethics and medicine. The article asks the question: is it ethical to confront an individual with whom you do not have an official doctor-patient relationship, if you think they have a medical problem? Should you or should you not tell them if you see a medical…

It’s amazing what the kids are up to these days. This one comes live from Mount Sinai (my present educational residence). Hubner et al., publishing in Science, use an infectious, fluorescent strain of HIV to watch the virus move from one cell to another. Their results are fascinating and may help us develop better ways…

Sex and Attention

What you think about during sex matters. A guy who doesn’t want to, ahem, proceed too quickly will think of baseball or something non-sex related. A girl who wants to proceed more quickly might focus on surrounding milieu of a loving environment. These are stereotypes, I know, but the fact that we have them does…