Know Your Brain: The Hippocampus — Your Brain’s GPS

It’s long been known that the hippocampus, a structure of the brain located in the medial temporal lobe, is responsible for spacial navigation and memory. In the past, some researchers have thought that it encodes the distance to the goal as the crow flies, the Euclidean straight line while others have thought that it maps

“Siri, Search for Syncope” — Why Did I Just Faint?

What is fainting? The scientific world for it is “syncope” and it means a temporary loss of consciousness followed by a return to full wakefulness. The brain consists of two hemispheres, the cerebellum and the brain stem. The blood flow to the brain provides it with oxygen and glucose that are necessary for the cells to stay alive.

We May Be Born With A Concept of Time

Just about every branch of human thought has tried to make sense of the concepts of time and space, whether or not they exist as constants and how accurately our own measurements can represent each. This is all perhaps just part of being human, as a study suggests that we determine

Mysteries of Modern Art, Or Why Some People Hate or Love It

A recent excursion with friends brought me to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. With the random wire sculptures and the torn canvases, the splotches of paint dripped or flung, and even the pantyhose filled with potato, I disliked looking at anything. In fact, I mocked the so-called art

The Mystery of Memory: In Search of the Past

How does the brain actually create a memory? Can we call up an absolutely pure memory like we do on the computer? Or is the act of remembering always to some degree recreating a new memory? What is the value of a good memory? If memory is the core of our self-identity, what will happen when scientists

Donna Jackson Nakazawa on “The Last Best Cure”

Medically speaking, science journalist Donna Jackson Nakazawa and author of “The Last Best Cure: My Quest to Awaken the Healing Parts of My Brain and Get Back My Body, My Joy, and My Life” was an accident waiting to happen. Suffering from autoimmune disorders for over a decade

What Makes a Child “Gifted”?

These characteristics are all common among gifted children: not only are they typically academically advanced and highly creative, they also tend to experience hypersensitivities and often find ethical issues particularly salient. Carol Bainbridge, an expert on the subject, enumerates a long list of traits and abilities

Does Superman Help Explain the Experience of Autism?

While critics and audiences railed at the portrayal of Superman in the fight scenes of his return to the big screen in “Man Of Steel,” there was another aspect of his character that was far less discussed in that film. In an early flashback sequence, the young Clark Kent is trying to concentrate in school, but the world around him

Dr. Daniel Amen on Taking a Closer Look At the Brain

“I belong to the only group of doctors that never looks at the organ they treat,” says Dr. Daniel Amen. He is, of course, referring to psychiatrists, and the organ is, of course, the brain. Different from functional MRIs which provide pictures of the brain, SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) imaging

The Enigma of Human Consciousness

The New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS)-hosted event, “The Emerging Science of Consciousness: Mind, Brain and the Human Experience,” began with a lively discussion titled, “The Thinking Ape: The Enigma of Human Consciousness.” Seeking to plummet this dense subject

How to Erase a Memory — And Restore It

Scientists at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, in the first study of its kind, demonstrated the ability to repress and restore memories in rodents through manipulating their brain waves. It may be surprising to some that rodents are capable of retaining memories to begin with, much less wonder how one goes

What is the Right Age to Send Your Kid to Playschool?

When people hear the word “playschool,” they often envision a popular brand of children’s toys that has lived through quite a few decades. While they are right in their thoughts, playschool also refers to a nursery school that children attend for just a few hours per day.

Will Electronic Tattoos Ever Go Mainstream?

An electronic tattoo that bends with body tissue and is able to sense brain-wave activity, muscle movement, and heart activity? It may sound like science fiction, but scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University, among others, have been working on these

“Predicting” the Future: A Look Into Psi Phenomena

Ask a handful of people if they believe in the abilities of psychics, and you will find a bitter divide between several distinct camps: some put full faith in a psychic’s capacity to predict the future, while others are staunch in their skepticism. The subfield of science that seeks to gather empirical evidence

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We believe that neuroscience is the next great scientific frontier, and that advances in understanding the nature of the brain, consciousness, behavior, and health will transform human life in this century.

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