My Guardian column and other news

THANKS to those of you who've been in touch asking why I haven't been blogging lately. Rest assured that I'm still very much alive and kicking - I put the blog on ice temporarily to work on several other projects, and will start updating it regularly in the near future. I've written something special to make up for my prolonged absence, and will post that sometime in the next few days. I may also have one or more big announcements.

Meanwhile, you might like to read the articles I've written for The Guardian. I've been writing for their science blog on a roughly fortnightly basis since early September - three of my pieces are online and I've just filed a fourth that should go up on Friday. I'll be reporting for The Guardian from the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, which kicks off in San Diego on Saturday, 13th November. (Here's my RSS feed in case you want to add it to your reader.)

I'll also be reporting on the conference for The Dana Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about, and provides funding for, brain research. I've already written a few articles for Dana: the first was about neuroepigenetics, and I wrote three about the FENS meeting in Amsterdam last July, on Colin Blakemore's hypothesis about neural plasticity and brain evolution, neuroscientists' ethical obligations to engage with the public, and why some of us are more vulnerable to stress than others.

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Interesting theory on the size and neuroplasticity of the human brain being formed by a single "species event" mutation.

This would seem to predict that other mammals should have less neuroplasticity than humans do. I assume this has been studied. Can you describe the results?

A quick google finds that mice have been used as neuroplasticity models...

By Chris Phoenix (not verified) on 03 Nov 2010 #permalink

Neuroplasticity is a very loosely defined concept, but most studies of plasticity at the subcellular level (i.e. synaptic plasticity, LTP, and so on) have been done in rodents. I don't know of any cross-species comparisons, so can't describe the results.