Neurology

Nature, Nuture, and Social Justice

Nature, Nuture, and Social Justice

Over the past week, several articles have come to my attention for various reasons that stress the “nature” part of “nature vs. nurture”. And as I read them, I noticed that the reaction they provoked wasn’t a scientific one necessarily, but a philosophical one. Maybe even a moral one. And here’s the thing: I think that “solving” the “nature vs. nurture” debate is actually a sideline from the moral... »

Not-So-Jurassic Park

Not-So-Jurassic Park

Here’s a question for you: What do you get when you put a mammoth genome into an elephant egg? Is it a mammoth or an elephant or something else? And why would you do it? »

Can You Pop a Pill to Learn Perfect Pitch?

Can You Pop a Pill to Learn Perfect Pitch?

Want Perfect Pitch? You Might Be Able To Pop A Pill for That, announces NPR (and dozens of other news outlets, verbatim). When I saw that, like the musician friend on Facebook who had posted it, no doubt, my eyes widened. Achieve perfect pitch — an incredibly useful ability only available to a tiny fraction of humanity — with a pill? I wanted it to be true. So is it? The claim comes fr... »

The Memory of Water

The Memory of Water

The main premise behind the practice of homeopathy is that water has a memory. Homeopathy as “medicine” is created by introducing an ingredient or specific chemical into a water or alcohol base that would cause the symptoms (in a healthy person) that you are trying to cure in a sick person. The water or alcohol is mixed with this symptom-inducing-chemical and then shook and reduced, an... »

Representing Data in the Science of Emotion

Representing Data in the Science of Emotion

A recent study published in PNAS has been floating on my radar for a while — this one, proclaiming a physical reaction to emotional content that is universal across cultures and languages. There’s some interesting data here, and a couple issues I have about how they represented their data, and how it’s been picked up by the public as far as I have seen. The Good: More Evidence th... »

The Brain Gallery Project

The Brain Gallery Project

The fabulous Jennifer Ouellette just tweeted about an interested project that combines art, science, sense of self and you guessed it, brains. The Brain Gallery Project is part of the Brain Observatory at UC San Diego and is interested in “how people picture their mind.” The Brain Gallery Project has done this by creating an interactive project that incorporates a drawing tool that all... »

Migraine Aura

Migraine Aura

Migraines are somewhat mysterious, vicious, angry infiltrators that can cause debilitating pain and a myriad of other symptoms. If you experience migraines you may be nodding your head in agreement right now. But if you don’t suffer from migraines you may be shrugging and saying to yourself, “oh come on, everyone gets headaches.” But migraines are often much more than just headac... »

Plug Me In: Remember Me

Plug Me In: Remember Me

An argument could be given that innovation is hindered by a paralyzing fear of technology.  Deus Ex: Human Revolution explored the fear of losing control over our own agency; this week, Plug Me In covers Remember Me, Capcom’s newly released title that begs the question: what would you do if your own memories went corporate? Released this month, the game thrusts you into a highly advanced, futurist... »

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