How Odd Behavior in Some Young Horses May Reveal a Cause of Autism
By gently squeezing maladjusted foals, veterinary researcher John Madigan recreates the experience of traveling through the birth canal, lowering the levels of certain neurosteroids and “waking up” the young horses.Joe Proudman / UC Davis As a toxicologist at the University of California, Davis, Isaac Pessah focuses on how different molecules regulate human brain function and […]
The Most Dangerous Muse
Parkinson’s disease gave her the gift of creativity.
Brain Damage Saved His Music
After a chunk of his brain was removed, guitarist Pat Martino got his groove back.
How Your Brain Decides Without You
In a world full of ambiguity, we see what we want to see.
We All Used to Be Geniuses
To adults learning a second language, it hardly seems fair: As they stumble their way through conjugation drills, fret over grammar textbooks, and fill in worksheets on constructing subordinate clauses, their children sop up the language while finger painting at preschool. Within months, correct syntax pours itself out of the tykes’ mouths, involving no […]
A Mind That Unraveled DNA & Chased Consciousness
In his most recent book, Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist, Christof Koch wrote that he has known only one genius: Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule. “In a lifetime of teaching, working and debating with some of the smartest people on the planet, I’ve encountered brilliance and high achievement, but […]
San Francisco Is Smarter Than You Are
The city is a big brain that can solve big problems.
MRIs of Careful People Can Predict When Bubbles Will Pop
r.classen via Shutterstock In the 1630s, Holland was gripped by the world’s only known case of “tulip mania.” The intensely colored flowers were already a luxury item before then, but their prices leaped when tulips with flame patterned petals hit the market, and they continued rocketing to previously incomprehensible levels. The price for a single […]
Mirror Neurons Are Essential, but Not in the Way You Think
A “brainbow”: neurons labels with fluorescent tags, in this case, from a mouse.Stephen J. Smith via Wikipedia In his 2011 book, The Tell-Tale Brain, neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran says that some of the cells in your brain are of a special variety. He calls them the “neurons that built civilization,” but you might know them […]
An Expert’s Guide to Celebrity Faces
The way we process faces means that symmetry is only part of the story.