Tastes Like Neuroscience

Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Category archives for Tastes Like Neuroscience

Cognitive Enhancers in Academic Doping

A commentary today in Nature, by Sahakian and Morein-Zamir, poses the question: if you could take a pill which enhanced attention and cognition with few or no side effects, would you? But I ask, why wouldn’t you? Interest in potions and drugs which increase awareness and “brain power” has been around for thousands of years.…

Along with Shelley, I am a graduate student in the Neuroscience Program at UM. The last three years my labmates and I have made a trilogy of satirical neuroscience posters poking mild fun at the mystical art of brain science. Shelley has kindly invited me to write on said trilogy. Also in any spare time…

Boy’s Brain Impaled By Deer Antler

In a response to a “What are You Thankful For” request by ABC4.com, a rare and interesting neurological case study was described: penetration of the brain by a deer antler. CNN.com also has a video describing the event and the injury. In a nutshell, 5-year-old Connor Schick found a deer antler during an outdoor vacation…

Well I arrived back in Michigan after a deep-fried Thanksgiving in Florida, hope you all had an as opulently greasy and delicious a meal as I did. I have to share a funny anecdote from my drive to the airport yesterday. My parents drove me to the Orlando airport, and we had to drive through…

Stranded on New Brainland

Looking for an unusual brain atlas for that very special neuroscientist in your life? This one is a bit non-traditional, but…wow…. By Sam Brown, 2007 The above map’s original data was created from a reference photo of a real human brain which was used to build the 3d terrain. This digital elevation model was then…

Whoever said that you can’t learn anything useful from TV? A Harvard research team, headed by Jeff Lichtman, has duplicated the way that a television monitor uses varying amounts of just three colors (red, blue, green) to produce a huge array of resultant hues. They have applied this technique in the brain using fluorescent cyan,…

How To Create a Fearless Mouse

Its hard to find a more stereotyped relationship than that of the cat and mouse. The cat hunts the mouse, and the mouse fears and runs from the cat. An innate fear response can be replicated in mice just but introducing it to feline urine, which contains olfactory clues which give the mouse information about…

Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran, the director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego, recently gave this excellent speech at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) Conference. In addition to being an engaging speaker, he may also be one of the only scientists I’ve even seen pull off a leather…

[This is part of a series I’m doing here on Retrospectacle called ‘Science Vault.’ Pretty much I’m just going to dig back into the forgotten and moldering annuls of scientific publications to find weird and interesting studies that very likely would never be published or done today (and perhaps never should have.) I’ll probably try…

The Curious Case of Phineas Gage

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I’m trying to raise money for a classroom-in-need to buy some books about neuroscience, using the case of Phineas Gage as a jumping off point. (And if you haven’t yet donated, they would be most grateful for even a dollar!) I thought it would be interesting and appropriate…