Tagged: Neuroscience

Why our brain needs sleep, and what happens if we don’t get enough of it - Guest Work

Guest Work Oct 20, 2017

Leonie Kirszenblat, The University of Queensland Many of us have experienced the effects of sleep deprivation: feeling tired and cranky, or finding it hard to concentrate. Sleep is more important for our brains than you may realise. Although it may appear you’re “switching off” when you fall asleep, the brain is far from inactive. What we know from … Read More

Junk food packaging hijacks the same brain processes as drug and alcohol addiction - Guest Work

Guest Work May 10, 2017

By Bernd Weber, University of Bonn Food is important for our survival, which is why all living beings have developed an urge for high energy foods, like those high in sugar and fat. Historically, this hadn’t been an issue, as energy dense foods weren’t always as available as they are today. But in modern societies, we not only … Read More

Weird Science: We believe anything was ‘art’ if we are told it is art - Guest Work

Guest Work Jan 01, 2017

French artist-provocateur Marcel Duchamp may have been on to something when he displayed a commercially-manufactured urinal signed by ‘R. Mutt’ as ‘art’ in his famous 1917 work ‘Fountain’, if a Dutch study published in September is anything to go by. The scientists say that just believing something is ‘art’ can completely change the way we perceive and respond … Read More

Psychobiotics – bacteria as a psychiatric medicine? - News

John Kerr Oct 31, 2016

A growing field of research – psychobiotics – hints that the millions of bacteria living inside us have more of a say in our mental well-being than we think. The term ‘psychobiotics’ was coined in 2013 by Ted Dinan to describe bacteria that “produce a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness.” Since then there have already been leaps forward in … Read More

Electric dreams of sheep - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Oct 05, 2016

At the moment there is more attention given to, and concern about, machines getting smarter than us. But there is also research going on which possibly, probably, definitely (depending on your source) will make us smarter, stronger, and/or creative. This short video interested me for two reasons.   Firstly, the suggestion that by tapping electronically into our dreams we could … Read More

How our modular brain pieces the world together - Guest Work

Guest Work May 24, 2016

By Bronson Harry, Western Sydney University Picture a close friend. Imagine their face, the sound of their voice, their height, what they normally wear. You might be surprised to learn you have just used a host of different brain regions to recall this information. Curiously, there is no single brain region that is involved in representing the people … Read More

Calling All to the Night of the Nerds - misc.ience

Aimee Whitcroft Sep 04, 2014

As some of you may know, for the last 4+ years I’ve been organising and hosting a wee event here in Wellington called Nerd Nite (you guessed it) Wellington. I’ve made mention of it occasionally here over the last few years, and today seemed as good a day as any to mention it again! For two reasons… 1. We gots mediaaaah … Read More

Brain zapping - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Mar 04, 2014

It could be that the Tin foil hat brigade are right after all. Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists have played around with fly mating behaviour by shooting a laser at their brain. This follows on from work implanting false memories in mice using the same technique – optogenetics. source: wikimedia commons … Read More

The addictive choice - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Oct 08, 2013

Maybe the Becker-Murphy rational-addition model isn't so unrealistic after all. Becker and Murphy's model shows that even rational, forward-looking, fully informed individuals can choose to consume addictive substances, knowing and accepting that it will result in addiction. It isn't meant to describe each and every addict, but if we can show that addiction can be consistent with rational choice, we … Read More