La Ingeniería Inversa del Cerebro

Artículo original: Reverse Engineering the Brain ,  Joel Frohlich  Traducido por Delaney Ivey ~~~ ¿Podemos aprender todo sobre el cerebro estudiando las células cerebrales individuales? Comenzó con una simple ecuación.… Read more

How Floating in Darkness Takes the Body off the Mind

What happens when your mind disconnects from all outside sensations? First, you undress, put in earplugs, and step into a floatation tank, the water warmed to the temperature of your… Read more

Neuro Cartilla: El Sueño

Artículo original: Neuro Primer: Sleep, Joel Frohlich Traducido por Daniela Semerjian.  ~~~ Es fácil preguntar:  “¿Por qué dormir?” Pero también podemos darle la vuelta a la pregunta: “¿Por qué despertarse?”… Read more

The rhythm of detachment: how a brain oscillation dissociates people from themselves and the world

You don’t need to be a therapist to know common clinical terms like anxiety and depression. But terms like derealization and depersonalization remain strangely esoteric, evading popular discussions of mental… Read more

Book Review and Author Interview: The Case Against Reality by Donald Hoffman

A full interview with Donald Hoffman follows this book review Does the moon still exist when you’re not looking at it? In a provocative new book titled The Case Against… Read more

Neuro Primer: Sleep

Spanish Translation also available here: Neuro Cartilla: El Sueño ~~~ It’s easy to ask: “Why sleep?” But we can also turn the question on its head: “Why wake?” We need… Read more

Book Review: Life 3.0

n August 2, 2014, Elon Musk (@elonmusk) tweeted, “We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.” Yet, in the cultural ambience of Hollywood blockbusters, can… Read more

Consciousness: The Final Frontier

When I walk through my kitchen, I smell fresh food and feel warmth radiating off of it. These internal, subjective experiences are called qualia. I assume that my refrigerator, my… Read more

No, You’re Not Left-Brained or Right-Brained

At the fictional Hogwarts school for witchcraft and wizardry in the Harry Potter series, students are sorted into different school houses by a magic hat based on their personalities. Similarly,… Read more

Are children with Angelman syndrome really happy?

This post was updated on April 24, 2019 to incorporate feedback from parents. Names have been changed to protect anonymity. What is health? What is happiness? We generally imagine the… Read more

Reverse Engineering the Brain

Can we learn everything about the brain by studying individual brain cells? It started with a simple equation. In 1980, a mathematician named Benoit Mandelbrot working for IBM plotted the… Read more

Book Review: Your Brain is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time

n a recent family trip, I persuaded my dad to continue on from Grand Teton to Yellowstone National Park. Time was short before driving back to our lodging in Idaho.… Read more

Schizophrenia in a Vial? The Story of Ketamine

Note: Ketamine is a controlled substance in the US and many other countries. Do not use ketamine illicitly. magine an injection that briefly gives you schizophrenia. Now imagine that this… Read more

Chaos Rules All

ature is so predictable. Or is it? On Monday, August 21, 2017, thousands will travel to see the first total solar eclipse in the contiguous United States since 1979. Peering… Read more

The Ultimate Thought Experiment Part III: Flowers for Algernon

In Part II of this series, we considered artificial intelligent in the context of Arthur C. Clarke’s novel and Stanley Kubrik’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey. In Space Odyssey, intelligence… Read more

The Ultimate Thought Experiment Part II: 2001: A Space Odyssey

In our previous post, we considered the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in the context of a thought experiment: a thinking tool used by scientists… Read more

The Ultimate Thought Experiment Part I: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Let’s imagine something crazy. What if each person in China was ordered to simulate a neuron in a brain, making an enormous “China brain?” Every participant in this grand experiment… Read more

What the Heck is a Claustrum?

Given its subjective nature, consciousness is already a controversial topic in the world of brain science. While some neuroscientists doubt that consciousness can even be studied, others still endeavor towards… Read more

What Happens If You Stick Your Head in a Particle Accelerator?

What would happen if you stuck your body inside a particle accelerator? The scenario seems like the start of a bad Marvel comic, but it happens to shed light on… Read more

Excitation and Inhibition: The Yin and Yang of the Brain

To make a working nervous system, only two forces are necessary: excitation and inhibition.… Read more

Stimulating Neural Circuits with Magnetism

Brain stimulation might sound like some Frankensteinian demonstration from a Victorian science fair. But in reality, it is a contemporary technique making a huge impact in neuroscience by addressing a… Read more

The Mighty and the Weak: How Science Explains Cuteness

Cute things are usually vulnerable, fragile and weak.  But cuteness itself is mighty indeed. Morten L. Kringelbach and his colleagues at the University of Oxford recently described cuteness as ‘one… Read more

Garbage Smells Green and Gunshots Are Rainbows

The minds of individuals are like parallel universes, forever inaccessible to one another.  Never do we truly see through the eyes of another person.  It is common for us to… Read more

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions, A Review

Responding to the assertion that computers lack intuition, the philosopher and cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett once (counter-intuitively) argued that computers must have intuition. Ask a computer to calculate the square… Read more

Learning from Disorder: The Paradox of Information in the Brain

In Dante’s Inferno, the fifth circle of Hell is a place where the wrathful fight each other for eternity.  Similarly, I often consider YouTube comments to be an extracanonical circle… Read more

Jupiter and Beyond! The Unsung Friendship between Neuroscience and Space Exploration

This weekend, I attended a special event at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena, CA to celebrate the Juno spacecraft’s July 4th arrival at the planet Jupiter.  Planetary scientists study… Read more

Brain Waves and Beta Buzz: The Wild Story of Neural Oscillations

What are brain waves?  It’s no wonder the term sounds like science fiction.  In the 1920s, a German psychiatrist embarked on a highly personal quest to discover the supposed medium… Read more

Does Free Will Exist?

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… Read more

Gliders, Blinkers, and Pulsars: Complexity and the Game of Life

Previously on Knowing Neurons, we considered self-organized criticality (SOC) and network science (AKA graph theory) as two possible sources of complex behavior in the brain and other physiological systems. As… Read more

How Do We Know? The Value of Scientific Models.

Last month, astronomers announced the prediction of a new giant planet in our solar system dubbed Planet IX, a genuine ninth planet with ten times the mass of Earth.  The… Read more

The Fugue of Life: Why Complexity Matters in Physiology and Neuroscience

People like simplicity. Each decade, corporate logos grow progressively minimalistic, pop songs use ever simpler melodies, and visual art embraces simpler compositions, as Monet gives way to Picasso and Picasso… Read more

Double Book Review: The Emperor’s New Mind and Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

“A barber (who is a man) shaves all and only those men who do not shave themselves. Does he shave himself?” If you can’t solve the above riddle, don’t worry… Read more

Mapping Brain Connectivity Using Graph Theory

Have you ever wondered why the same brain regions are often implicated again and again in many tasks and behaviors?  For instance, the prefrontal cortex is implicated in so many… Read more

Scale Invariance: A Cautionary Tale Against Reductionism

How long is the coast of Britain?  It doesn’t matter how good your geography is — the answer depends on the size of your measuring stick.  The coast of Britain… Read more