The pursuit of science is challenging. It is where new knowledge is born. In their path towards the unknown, scientists, too, face their fair share of insecurity. When experiments fail, grants evade, confidence dwindles and the clock strikes midnight, many researchers find themselves immersed in questions to which Google may not have an answer. What
When babies are born, they cannot see very well, but their vision vastly improves as they continue to develop. Sometimes, the eyes don’t communicate well with the brain, and vision disorders like amblyopia result. What are the neural mechanisms that allow normal visual development? What happens when things go amiss? And how can these disorders
What does eye-witness identification have to do with neuroscience? A lot, actually. Tom Albright is Professor and Director of the Vision Center Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA. His research focuses on understanding how the brain interprets visual information so that we can thrive in our visually stimulating world.
In a recent presidential town hall, President Obama looked directly into the camera and made a powerful statement about mental health. “If something inside you feels like it’s wounded, it’s just like a physical injury. You’ve got to go get help,” said the leader of the free world. Buried under the weight of a massive
It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon. Professor Freeman is enjoying the Southern California weather on Professor Domino’s patio. Domino: Will it be Coke or Pepsi, Dr. Freeman? Freeman: That’s an easy choice, Dr. Domino. Domino: Oh, is it? I guess the neurons in your brain have already decided for you. Isn’t there much neuroscience research demonstrating
Ten minutes before I was scheduled to begin my interview with celebrated writer Steve Silberman, I still had not figured out which questions I wanted to ask him. Staring down at a list of over 50 topics, I was overwhelmed by just how much there is to discuss when it comes to the history of
Knowing Neurons is proud to present our inaugural entry in a new series of YouTube videos! In this episode, Joel asks, “Is the brain smarter than a computer?” With Joel as our tour guide, we embark on a journey through neurobiology, psychology, supercomputing, quantum physics, and even philosophy, all the while stopping on the street to
Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Anna Akana and Brad Gage for their podcast called “Explain Things To Me,” a show that features conversations with experts in various fields, ranging from NASA engineers to Screenwriters. This time, we talked about neuroscience!
If you think about it, the surface of the human body, the skin, is actually one huge sheet of tactile receptors. The dozens of types of receptors that innervate the skin help us connect with our surroundings. But the properties of these neurons – how they are organized in the skin, where the project into
It is easy to assume that if a car has a gas pedal, it needs to have brakes, and similarly, if our brain has excitatory neurons, it needs inhibition too. For a long time, the field of neuroscience had thought of inhibitory interneurons as the “brakes” of the brain, providing suppression to neuronal activity. However,
When we see the world, there is a huge amount of processing that occurs in the neural circuits of the retina, thalamus, and cortex before we can even begin to comprehend our environment. And all of this computation happens very quickly! In this interview with Dr. Botond Roska, Senior Group Leader at the Friedrich Miescher
Take your wildest guess. How many neurons make up the human brain? You’re not guessing wild enough if you said anything less than a trillion. The circuitry of the human brain consists of a quadrillion (1015) synapses. These neural circuits aren’t necessarily hard-wired and have the capacity to be re-wired in response to experience. In