The Blood Brain Barrier – Is it Really All it’s Described to Be?

Spanish Translation also available here: La Barrera Hematoencefálica – ¿Realmente funciona como su nombre indica?  ~~~ One of the mantras in neuroscience is that the blood brain barrier (BBB) protects… Read more

Sex Differences in the Neural Control of Thermogenesis: An Interview with Dr. Stephanie Correa

Understanding the complexity of the human mind and body is a feat that some would say is impossible. While the scientific community forges on despite the immense expanse of the… Read more

Sleep Paralysis: What Is It and What Causes It?

Sleep paralysis is a type of REM parasomnia or abnormal behavior that takes place during the REM sleep cycle. Also known as sleep atonia, this condition refers to the feeling… Read more

Brain, Healthy Fats, and the Importance of Fitting Into Your Genes

Our brains are extremely rich in fat. Indeed, about two thirds of the human brain is composed of fat, 35% of which consists of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. What are… Read more

Neuro Primer: Vestibular System

Spanish Translation also available here: Neuro Cartilla: Sistema Vestibular ~~~ Have you ever watched shaky camera footage taken by someone running frantically through the forest? The camera shot shakes and… 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

Neuronal Migration: A “Sliding Door” for the Future of the Brain

Have you ever wondered how each cell of our body reaches its correct place? It is even more astounding when you realize that our body is formed from only two… Read more

Neuro Primer: Glia

Every single day, a group of cells work tirelessly to monitor and protect the neural architecture of your brain. Some of them even move around, scanning neural networks like recon… Read more

Neuro Primer: Aging

What happens to the brain in aging? Normal aging comes with many changes in brain structure and function. As individuals approach the age of 65 years and above, they experience… Read more

Neuro Primer: Neurodevelopment

Spanish Translation also available here: Neuro Cartilla: Neurodesarrollo ~~~ How does your brain become a brain? Neurodevelopment is the crucial process through which every brain is formed.… 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

The Life and Times of the 10% Neuromyth

How much of your brain are you using right now? The science fiction answer would be “10%.” And, if you’ve watched enough bad sci-fi, using 100% of your brain would… Read more

The inescapable nightmare of fatal familial insomnia

A family curse During the early 1980’s, an Italian physician was investigating a mysterious and dreadful disease that had long plagued his family. In earlier generations, this disease had killed… Read more

The Brain’s Building Blocks: Of Protons and Voxels

hat’s in a brain? That which we call a voxel by any other name would sound far less confusing. Imagine all of the atoms in your brain. Now imagine how… Read more

Lighting Up The Brain With Optogenetics

Scientists studying pond scum discovered its peculiar ability to sense light, even without eyes. This discovery would eventually lead to a technique called optogenetics, one of the most powerful techniques… 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

Reading: The Brain’s Best Hijacker

What are you doing right now? I’m no psychic, but I can say for certain one thing that you’re doing: reading. You’re reading this sentence, word by word, and extracting… Read more

Why Does Music Make Us Feel So Much?

Whether you’re listening through tinny iPhone headphones on your morning commute or crying at a John Mayer concert, there is a special place in our hearts for music. But what… Read more

Just Keep Swimming: A Tail of Zebrafish Regeneration

The human brain is arguably the most complex organ. Throughout life, it is shaped ever so slightly by each and every experience we endure. The resulting nuances are what make… 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

How does fundamental research help you?

Sometimes it’s hard to understand why scientists do what they do. Why spend a career studying cells, fungus, or flies? Other than being nerdy and wanting to learn about our… 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

How to Give Thanks Like a Neuroscientist

You’re on your way to the traditional Thanksgiving family get-together. You drive down a familiar street, locate your familiar house, and park in a familiar spot.… 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

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

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