Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system, which includes the brain and the spinal cord. It's a broad term encompassing numerous, more specific disciplines, including cognitive, clinical, and developmental neuroscience.
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For the folks behind the Decade of the Mind initiative, the answer is simple: Spend it. On neuroscience.
By Steven KotlerPosted 01.23.2009 at 5:20 pm 3 Comments
The Decade of the Mind (DOM) initiative was created in 2007 at George Mason University’s Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study by an internationally-respected consortium of scientists. These scientists want to convince the US government to spend 4 billion dollars over a 10 year period with the objective of advancing our understanding of the human brain. Since the original announcement of the initiative, they’ve held two conferences a year to try to further this agenda. This year’s installment took place in early January, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
With all the talk of cougars, starter wives, and sugar daddies floating around these days—not to mention sky-high divorce rates—conventional wisdom is that the initial passion that brings two people together simply cannot last. Monogamous, till-death-do-us-part love is out of fashion. However, a recent study is doing its part to reverse that common outlook and bring a little bit of hope to those still wishing to grow old with someone.
In a small room on the second floor of the Boston Children's Museum, six-month-old Hasan Helal is watching a short video. Underneath the screen, an infrared device tracks his eye movements, which appear as small red dots superimposed on a second video screen behind a curtain a few feet away. Most infants fixate on bright objects, but Hasan is unusual: He already prefers faces, his eyes tracing the characteristic triangle shape -- left eye, right eye, mouth, left eye again -- that older kids and adults make when they examine a new face.
Whether you call it a hunch or vibes, a reckoning or a feeling in your bones, humans know the power of a nagging suspicion. Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink stands as testament to the fact that snap decisions often turn out much smarter than those following a thorough think. Now, neuroscientists say they’ve not only proven what they call “subliminal learning” scientifically, but have found the brain area involved.
Scientists reveal the first “wiring diagrams” of the cerebral cortex, shedding light on the infrastructure behind human intelligence.
By Laura AllenPosted 07.25.2008 at 12:37 pm 2 Comments
The famed molecular biologist Francis Crick turned to neuroscience in the 1970's. But by 1993, he was so chagrined by the ignorance of his new field that he penned an editorial in the journal Nature. "It is intolerable that we do not have [a connection map of] the human brain," he wrote. "Without it there is little hope of understanding how our brains work except in the crudest way."
There was no such map in 1993 because the only way to get one was to use anatomical methods: inject dye into the brain of an organism, kill it, and trace the color trail in the neurons with microscopes. Of course ethics rule out this sort of experimentation on humans.
Scientists discover which brain cells are responsible for anxiety
By Holly OtterbeinPosted 07.14.2008 at 12:48 pm 1 Comment
If you’re often paralyzed with worry and can’t utter a word in social situations, stop faulting your mother – your lack of intercalated (ITC) neurons is to blame. Neuroscientists from Rutgers University in New York shed a light on anxiety last week, when they published a paper that pinpoints which brain cells are responsible for fear.
A group of neuroscientists are using new technology to understand how the brain performs under the influence of drugs
By Gregory MonePosted 05.01.2008 at 11:10 am 0 Comments
Alan Gevins and his team at SAM Technology in San Francisco are nearing the end of a large study analyzing the effects of various drugs on cognitive performance. An editor at Technology Reviewrecently visited their offices, and downed a stiff cocktail, to experience their work first-hand.
Scientists are working on a device that will quickly assess whether a soldier has incurred a serious brain injury
By Gregory MonePosted 04.18.2008 at 11:37 am 0 Comments
As many as 320,000 U.S. troops may have sustained brain injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet less than half of them were evaluated by doctors. But now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Pentagon is funding a project to develop a device that would do on-site testing for brain trauma, and be tough enough to hold up in a war zone.
The gadget, which is being developed by neurosurgeon Jamshid Ghajar and his team at Weill Cornell Medical College, will use eye-tracking technology to measure the brain's health.
Brain imaging study shows that drivers engaged in cellphone conversations, hands-free or otherwise, are more prone to accidents and driving violations
By Laura AllenPosted 03.06.2008 at 3:03 pm 0 Comments
Neuroscientists have proven yet again that using a cell phone impairs ones ability to stick to the yellow line. The authors of the Carnegie Mellon University study, which is upcoming in the journal Brain Research, admit that multitasking in this way intuitively seems dangerous—then go on to list 23 behavioral studies that prove even hands-free devices affect driving performance. So whats the big news?
Energetic, original thinker needed immediately for long-term project. Unique opportunity. Salary: modest, with chance of $1-million Nobel Prize supplement
By JR MinkelPosted 08.27.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Every branch of science has at some point been confronted by a daunting question that stumps progress for years, even decades. How did the continents form? What causes fever? Is there intelligent life beyond Earth? Solutions may accrue incrementally or arrive in a flash of inspiration. Sometimes it seems they are destined never to come at all. Here are four disciplines in need of a modern-day Einstein.