"is a community site that was established for the purpose of accelerating the development of neuroscience through web-based initiatives, which include the development, implementation and support of a wide range of neuroinformatics tools, services, and databases. BrainMeta also functions as an internet hub for fostering communication between individuals involved with the neurosciences." [Via Mind Hacks.]
posted by homunculus
on Jun 9, 2005 -
Phantom limb illusions
Dr. Ramachandran is an investigator of the senses. His explorations on synesthesia
, phantom limbs, and human consciousness are revealing excursions into sensory awareness. And his reader-friendly books, such as A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness
Phantoms in the Brain
(both from Amazon) are a pleasure to read. His greatest gifts appear to be a childlike simplicity, coupled with straightforward empiricism. His writing is easy-to-understand, often sparked with unpredictable humor. Recommended for all mind & brain enthusiasts who may not have heard of him yet.
posted by ember
on Jun 3, 2005 -
SexID Some researchers say that men can have 'women's brains' and that women can think more like men.
Find out more about 'brain sex' differences by taking the Sex ID test, a groundbreaking experiment designed by a team of top psychologists:
posted by srboisvert
on Mar 8, 2005 -
Ivan Noble's Tumour Diary
The BBC's Ivan Noble has been keeping an online diary of his fight against a malignant brain tumour. Alas, his illness is now getting the better of him, and this will be his final column.
He has been, at times, an inspiration, incredibly brave and totally honest about his illness. As a former colleague, he shall also be remembered fondly.
Start from the beginning
, it's a must read.
posted by scaryduck
on Jan 27, 2005 -
She may not have the grey matter,
but what's that matter anymore, anyway?
A recent study shows that men have more gray matter
, women have more white matter
and in the end these differences seem to be no matter. Apparently men have more raw computing power, while women have a more efficient infrastructure -- resulting in similar general intelligence.
posted by ThePrawn
on Jan 21, 2005 -
weight loss and exercise... Those who like their booze also like their nicotine. People who drink to excess also tend to be chronic smokers, and a new report suggests the combination of the two might prove more toxic than either one alone. a small study found chronic smoking + alcohol dependence = increased severity of brain damage. The frontal lobes (short-term storage sites) turn out to be the most damaged. A separate study used rats to show that alcoholism and excessive food intake may share the same chemical pathways in the brain.
has the HealthDayNews report that focuses mainly on the smokes, MSNBC
looks more at the eats. They also have an interesting Addictions Sections
. Could it be that some folks are just prone to addictions and everyone settles on something different?
posted by Blake
on Dec 17, 2004 -
What is the modus operandi of creativity? According to two cognitive scientists, Gilles Fauconnier
and Mark Turner
, the subconscious operation of conceptual blending
. The formal theory, known as the Network Model of Conceptual Integration (CI), seeks to explain how creative insights are derived from pre-existing knowledge and understanding.
posted by Gyan
on May 13, 2004 -
The McCollough effect
is a visual illusion somewhat similar to regular color aftereffects, but the working mechanism is different, and despite a wealth of theories
, not entirely explained. Once the effect is established, it does not seem to go away and can last for days or even weeks. Proceed at your own risk.
posted by ikalliom
on Apr 10, 2004 -
Nootropics ("smart" drugs)
- all wish to be smarter, correct ? And - while exercise, nutrition, learning, travel, and social interaction (the last 3 via release of neurotrophins
) effectively do this, Nootropic drugs have been researched since the 1950's and have been shown to cause at least short term cognitive function enhancement. Piracetam, the first of this drugs, shows promise
in the treatment of Alzheimer's and Attention deficit Disorder. Alas, as with poor little Algernon
, the effect seems temporary
. Nootropics can be a little difficult to acquire
in the US. Beer is not a nootropic, but sex on the other hand.....
posted by troutfishing
on Mar 5, 2004 -
Learning to Juggle Causes Changes in the Brain.
In a possible twist for the "nature vs. nurture" debate, this study proves "what was not thought possible -- that new stimuli can alter the brain's structure." The head researcher from the University of Regensburg in Germany says "Our results challenge our view of the human central nervous system. Human brains probably must be viewed as dynamic, changing with development and normal learning."
posted by soyjoy
on Jan 21, 2004 -
Making the Mind.
"The general outlines of how genes build the brain are finally becoming clear, and we are also starting to see how, in forming the brain, genes make room for the environment’s essential role. While vast amounts of work remain to be done, it is becoming equally clear that understanding the coordination of nature and nurture will require letting go of some long-held beliefs."
posted by homunculus
on Jan 17, 2004 -
Super cool squirrels! "We believe that a ground squirrel, when it goes into hibernation, produces chemical messengers that are released from the brain that direct the slowing down of the metabolism... If we were able to synthesize the same chemical compounds and make them available in an injection, it could be administered to induce a hibernation-like state in humans."
And they're cute
posted by moonbird
on Dec 11, 2003 -
We are because of others. We are born into this world with minds as naked as our bodies and we have to rely on others to feed, clothe us, and to teach us to think of ourselves as selves. The key is language -- grammatical speech and human culture build upon the brain's biological capacities to create a mind that is something different again than that with which we are born. We are conscious because we can speak to others and ourselves, because we can speak of ourselves to others and ourselves. Language gives us as individuals, memory, and as groups, culture, the social memory. Or so thought Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky
, among others. Welcome to the the neuronaut's guide to the science of consciousness
posted by y2karl
on Jul 11, 2003 -
- I've eaten a lot of Tofu in my day and was concerned about "brain-shrink". Then I found about this, and stopped worrying - Is your brain really necessary?
"...The student in question was academically bright, had a reported IQ of 126 and was expected to graduate. When he was examined by CAT-scan, however, Lorber discovered that he had virtually no brain at all." I'm hungry...where's that tofu?...
posted by troutfishing
on Jun 28, 2003 -
Pot doesn't cause permanent brain damage?
According to this University of California at San Diego study, no it doesn't even though other illegal drugs, even alcohol, can cause brain damage.
"...marijuana has only a marginally harmful long-term effect on learning and memory."
posted by Ron
on Jun 27, 2003 -
Savant for a Day!
NYTimes journalist Lawrence Osbourne becomes a guinea pig for a University of Sydney's professor's mind-enhancing device based on the theories of autistic "Rainman" cognition with interesting results.
posted by skallas
on Jun 20, 2003 -
Buddhism tames the amygdala
Covered recently on Metafilter (here
), new research at the University of California San Francisco Medical Centre ( into the "Happy Buddhist" phenomenon ) shows that Buddhist meditation techniques "can tame the amygdala, an area of the brain which is the hub of fear memory."
[BBC] -Is this the Rx for a nation of Americans gripped by fear? Do Christianity, Islam or Judaism have effective techniques to tame the amygdala too?
posted by troutfishing
on May 22, 2003 -
seems to have nothing to do with fingerprinting, but it's still ominous, a step toward a lot of sci-fi dystopias. Don't worry, they'll only use this against criminals and terrorists *cough*
posted by soyjoy
on Feb 11, 2003 -
Which Breakfast Club character are you?
No, it's not another online quiz. It's an article on a project done by a social researcher, asking 900 high school sophomores to choose which Breakfast Club character they were most like. Following up 16 years later, their associations played out to a high degree as they grew older. So which were you, Jock
, Basket Case
? Did your self-image in high school have lasting effects on your life?
posted by JParker
on Feb 6, 2003 -
has been documented in a study of drivers using cell phones. Back when the driving-while-yakking phenomenon first started growing, I told friends I could always tell if the driver of the car ahead of me was on a cell phone: They had a certain style of stupid driving that I couldn't quite describe but I always knew it when I saw it. Now a team of researchers has pinpointed it; they also effectively debunk
"you're just as distracted talking to someone in the car"-type analogies. The question remains, now that we know what's wrong with this practice, what do we do about it?
posted by soyjoy
on Jan 28, 2003 -
Rock n Roll!
We know that Sex and Drugs ain't good for us, but researchers at McGill University are using very fancy devices to learn how our brains react to music. (Probably not much to discuss, but it's an interesting article)
posted by adamms222
on Nov 27, 2002 -
The strange range of human behavior continues to draw us like moths to a flame. Consider Amanda Fielding
who continually performed self-surgery on her braincase, Catharina Geisslerin
the woman who vomited frogs, and the Collyer brothers
who collected so much junk that it crushed them in their own home.
, compiler of the first dictionary of the English language, was compelled to whirl, twist, and make highly ritualized hand motions when going through doors. When he went for a walk, he touched every post he passed. If he missed one, he went back to touch it.
Recent research suggests that obsessive-compulsive
child behaviors can be caused by strep infection.
Who do you think are the most interesting, eccentric, and compulsive
posted by Morphic
on Oct 23, 2002 -
Sex Therapy or Chemotherapy?
If you suddenly start collecting pornography, soliciting prostitutes, making sexual advances toward young children and lusting for your 90 year old landlady don't worry, you may not be developing socially and legally deviant behaviour but you actually may just have a brain tumour. I thought brain tumours just gave you headaches and blurred vision but apparently they can cause all kinds of symptoms and uncontrollable urges.
posted by henriettachicken
on Oct 22, 2002 -