Spring Recess 2015: Reading, Exploring, and Making

I had a fun and productive time during this year’s Spring Recess in our new home of Brooklyn. I read three brain-related books: Maryanne Wolf’s Proust and the Squid, Michael Moskowitz’s Reading Minds, and Antonio Damasio’s Looking for Spinoza. I took the subway to Manhattan twice with Y and Little My to visit Kinokuniya Bookstore, SunContinue reading “Spring Recess 2015: Reading, Exploring, and Making”

My Brain in 3D: Rendered Videos and Images of My fMRI Scan Data

Back in 2007, I made a deal with a friend to participate in his fMRI brain scan study at the University of Liverpool in exchange for a copy of the DICOM data from my scan. He agreed to the trade. Since then, I occasionally pull my scan data off the shelf and dust off theContinue reading “My Brain in 3D: Rendered Videos and Images of My fMRI Scan Data”

Science Fiction, LMC 3214, Summer 2014: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (Day 2 of 2)

During today’s LMC 3214 Science Fiction class, I continued my lecture on the importance of the Biology of Mind to Frankenstein specifically and Science Fiction generally. In the last lecture, I ended on a discussion of the empiricist vs. rationalist debates. Then, I turned to the questions, “How and why do we enjoy literature?” IContinue reading “Science Fiction, LMC 3214, Summer 2014: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (Day 2 of 2)”

Notes from Dr. Laura Otis’ LMC Distinguished Speaker Presentation at Georgia Tech

Today, Georgia Tech’s School of Literature, Media, and Communication invited Emory University’s Dr. Laura Otis to give a presentation in the Library’s Ferst Room. Dr. Otis’ presentation was titled, “The Surprising Antics of Other People’s Minds” [read the abstract here]. In Dr. Otis’ work, she aims to show with data that she has collected fromContinue reading “Notes from Dr. Laura Otis’ LMC Distinguished Speaker Presentation at Georgia Tech”

Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole Episode on Consciousness

I sent this out to the Neuroscience and the Humanities Workgroup earlier today, so I thought that I would share it here, too. Today, the Science Channel is running a marathon of Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole pop science series. There is one episode that I wanted to share with you if you can spareContinue reading “Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole Episode on Consciousness”

Caught the Tail End of NOVA Musical Minds

Last night, I caught the ending of Oliver Sacks’ Musical Minds on NOVA. According to the website here, it originally aired in 2009. Luckily, you and I can watch the complete episode online and we can learn how the brain processes music and how important music is to the human brain. There are also specialContinue reading “Caught the Tail End of NOVA Musical Minds”

Scientific American on Boosting Your Intelligence in Five Steps

Originally spied on Lifehacker, Scientific American has a guest blog entry by Andrea Kuszewski on how, “You can increase your intelligence: 5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential.” Kuszewski brings together things that I have heard in different places into this one post. The main idea is that intelligence, like the brain itself, is plastic,Continue reading “Scientific American on Boosting Your Intelligence in Five Steps”

Learning Brain Anatomy, the Hands-On Way

IMG_7109, originally uploaded by dynamicsubspace. I tend to learn things better when I can pick them up, turn them around, and take them apart. Since the human brain is such a big part of my dissertation, I wanted to apply this hands-on approach to better learning and understanding brain anatomy. If you click through theContinue reading “Learning Brain Anatomy, the Hands-On Way”

Research Finds That Electric Fields Help Neurons Fire – Slashdot

Slashdot.org linked to a February 2011 Nature Neuroscience article that suggests that electric fields in the brain influences neuron firing. There is some earlier evidence that focused and powerful electrical fields can produce effects in an individual’s brain. However, Anastassiou et. al. in “Ephaptic Coupling of Cortical Neurons” demonstrate that field effects produced by neurons inContinue reading “Research Finds That Electric Fields Help Neurons Fire – Slashdot”