Compartmentalizing A Culture War: A Stem Cell Biologist’s Relationship With Abortion Policy

The use of fetal tissue for scientific research has long been at the intersection of political polarization and medical breakthroughs. In 2019, the Trump administration passed restrictions on human fetal… Read more

Dialogues in Music Therapy and Social Neuroscience: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Clinical Progress

In his book “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain”, the neurologist Oliver Sacks stated that music can “calm us, animate us, comfort us, thrill us, or serve to organize… 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

Alternating Hemiplegia [Infographic]

Alternating Hemiplegia is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects children. A characteristic symptom of the disorder is repetitive episodes of paralysis on one side or both sides of the body. The… Read more

How Pain in Newborns Can Have Lifelong Consequences

You probably don’t remember anything from when you were an infant. However, chances are that you experienced some pain immediately after you were born. You might have needed an IV… Read more

Music for the Mind: How Music Nurtures Cognitive Development

Imagine listening to your favorite song, how it makes you feel, and the flood of memories the sounds bring with them. Music is well known for its ability to evoke… Read more

What is Alexander Disease?

Alexander disease is an extremely rare neurological disorder that severely impairs the functions of nervous system leading to intellectual disability and developmental delay. In this infographic, neuroscientist Rajamani Selvam explains… 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

What Were You Thinking!?: Teenagers show different processing of positive and negative consequences across adolescence

Anyone who has spent time around teenagers knows they don’t always consider the full consequences of their actions. Just consider the dozens of YouTube videos involving falling dressers or fireworks… Read more

A Tale of Plasticities

You may have heard it repeated in the media and pop culture that humans’ brains don’t change at all after birth. However, the past several decades of neuroscience research have… Read more

The Bilingual Brain: Why One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Over the past few years, you might have noticed a surfeit of articles covering current research on bilingualism. Some of them suggest that it sharpens the mind, while others are… 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

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

How Humans Speak and Mice Learn: The Widespread Effects of FOXP2

rom bird songs to frog ribbits, animals engage in countless forms of vocalization. However, no other species in the animal kingdom matches humans in complexity of language. The versatility of… Read more

Mind the Gap: New Evidence on How Neurons Connect Left and Right Brain Halves

ur brains are split into two halves, a left hemisphere and a right hemisphere. While the left brain specializes in languages, the right brain specializes in faces. But the two… 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

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

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

A Grand Vision: A Conversation with Lynne Kiorpes

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… Read more

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore Discusses the Mysterious Workings of the Adolescent Brain

What brain regions are employed when we interact with other people?  Cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore explains the “social brain” in her TED talk and sheds light on the complex networks… Read more

Smells Like Teen Synapses: A Look Inside Adolescent Brains and Behaviors

“I would there were no age between sixteen and three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest; for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child,… Read more

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Neural Stem Cells

Stem cells have two characteristic and essential properties: Self-renewal. They can divide to give rise to another stem cell. Potency. They are capable of differentiating into specialized cells.… Read more

Science Fiction, Serendipity and Interneuron Specification: A Conversation with Dr. Gordon J. Fishell

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.… Read more

What Can Songbirds Teach Us About Ourselves?

In my last post, “Vocal Practice is for the Birds” examined one similarity between human and songbird procedural learning: the necessity for practice before performance. Zebra finches sing a series… Read more

Genetic Tricks To Reverse Schizophrenic Symptoms

The human brain continues to develop and form new connections from birth until as late as the mid-20s. During this time, billions of connections are made and broken as the… Read more

Of Grandfathers, Fathers, and Children: The Coming-of-Age of Autism

Genetics, although ostensibly complicated, is all around us. In our immediate social circle, we often come across genetics at display. Some examples are obvious: The kids wear glasses because both… Read more

Brain Changes for Sculpted, Efficient Memory

While I was growing up, I remember my parents and teachers saying, “Your brain is like a sponge.” Of course, I didn’t understand what they meant, but as cliché as… Read more

Mitochondria: More Than Just a Powerhouse

Mitochondria are frequently implicated in several human disease states. From neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Autism Spectrum Disorder, to metabolic conditions like diabetes and obesity, energy abnormalities are seen… Read more

What Songbirds Tell Us About Human Nature

Every once in a while, we hear of amazing scientific feats about how some new drug successfully reduces weight without dieting or exercise in monkeys, or how scientists slowed aging… Read more

The Brain: A Social Construction Site

Have you ever wondered how the social experiences you had early in life affected the way your brain developed?  How was your cerebral architecture influenced by the games of ‘peek-a-boo’… Read more

Making New Blood Vessels Helps Neuronal Recovery

Our bodies possess unique and amazing capabilities for self-healing and repair.  Time and again, we have witnessed (or experienced first-hand) someone with a broken bone injury.  After some medical intervention,… Read more