Synthetic odors created by activating brain cells help neuroscientists understand how smell works

Brains recognize a smell based on which cells fire, in what order – the same way you recognize a song based on its pattern of notes. How much can you change the 'tune' and still know the smell?

Edmund Chong, Ph.D. Student in Neuroscience, New York University • conversation
July 8, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: brain neuroscience neurons brain-cells optogenetics smell senses olfactory sense-of-smell odor olfaction scents sensory-perception brain-circuitry brain-circuits olfactory-system

Rare neurological disorder, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, linked to COVID-19

As if the symptoms of COVID-19 were not disturbing enough, physicians have noted a rare neurological condition that emerges during some severe cases of this viral infection.

Neha S. Dangayach, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai • conversation
July 7, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: brain covid-19 pandemic sars-cov-2 viruses neurological-disorders nerves

Blindsight: a strange neurological condition that could help explain consciousness

Some blind people seem to be able to see without being conscious of it.

Henry Taylor, Birmingham Fellow in Philosophy, University of Birmingham • conversation
July 2, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: brain neuroscience perception consicousness

Blindsight: a strange neurological condition that could help us explain consciousness

Some blind people seem to be able to see without being conscious of it.

Henry Taylor, Birmingham Fellow in Philosophy, University of Birmingham • conversation
July 2, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: brain neuroscience perception consicousness

Want to stop the COVID-19 stress meltdown? Train your brain

With the county facing a crisis in emotional health, we may need two vaccines: one for COVID-19 and another for toxic stress. Here's a technique for dealing with all that stress.

Laurel Mellin, Associate Professor Emeritus of Family & Community Medicine and Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco • conversation
June 10, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: health brain neuroscience mental-health brain-training emotion psychology stress therapy

Napping helps preschoolers unlock their full potential for learning

Research shows napping helps young children learn, as well as enhancing their emotional well-being.

Rebecca Spencer, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst • conversation
May 20, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: children brain neuroscience memory sleep learning vocabulary hippocampus preschool preschoolers school-readiness early-education academic-performance health-outcomes naps cognitive-neuroscience

What is a brain freeze?

Have you ever felt a piercing pain in your head when you eat something cold?

Tyler Daniel Anderson-Sieg, Doctoral Student in Biomedical Sciences, University of South Carolina • conversation
April 23, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: brain pain blood curious-kids curious-kids-us cold oxygen ice-cream blood-vessels

Your brain evolved to hoard supplies and shame others for doing the same

Faced with uncertain and anxious times, brains send out instructions to start stockpiling supplies – whether you're a person facing a pandemic, or a rodent prepping for a long winter.

Stephanie Preston, Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan • conversation
March 27, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  brain  neuroscience  psychology  stress  human-behavior  shopping  public-shaming  animal-behavior  shame  tragedy-of-the-commons  hoarding  stockpiling

Fear can spread from person to person faster than the coronavirus – but there are ways to slow it down

It can feel like everyone is stewing in anxiety about COVID-19 and seeing other people freak out can make you freak out more. A psychiatrist explains this phenomenon, and how to keep it in check.

Jacek Debiec, Assistant Professor / Department of Psychiatry; Assistant Research Professor / Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience Institute, University of Michigan • conversation
March 16, 2020 ~8 min

Tags:  brain  neuroscience  covid-19  coronavirus  psychology  fear  sars-cov-2  coronavirus-2020  amygdala  threat-perception

Free thought: can you ever be a truly independent thinker?

The captain of a ship, or a soul, doesn't sail while ignoring the wind – sometimes they go with it, sometimes against it, but they always account for it.

Tom Stafford, Lecturer in Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Sheffield • conversation
March 12, 2020 ~8 min

Tags:  brain  psychology  philosophy  advertising  free-will  culture  lifes-big-questions

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