SAN DIEGO—The most fundamental question of how information is coded and processed in the brain is being re-examined, and the controversy drew an overflow crowd of neuroscientists to participate in an intense debate at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in San Diego. The textbook explanation that information is coded digitally by the firing rate…

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Something more can be done in addition to environmental action to help prevent wildfires.  First published in Psychology Today. The inferno of tragic fires in California has destroyed thousands of homes, incinerated hundreds of thousands of acres, and killed many people this year.  In the latest, the entire town of Paradise was reduced to smoldering ash.  Highlighting the…

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Science can help society grapple with the horrors of modern gun violence …A death row inmate wrote to say that something I had written had helped him understand how his life derailed. If he had read this material on the neuroscience of violence earlier in his life, he wrote, “I might not be here today.”…

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The alarming story that a mysterious energy beam caused traumatic brain injury to US Embassy personnel in Havana has consumed the media in an anxious frenzy not seen since the UFO hysteria of the 1950’s.   Many possible suspects in this cruel affair have been fingered, but the perpetrator remains elusive.  That, in my opinion, is…

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The current spotlight on fentanyl as the culprit causing the sharp spike in opioid deaths in the United States, is motivated by a well-intentioned effort to address an alarming public health concern, but is blaming fentanyl and the drug industry an effective way to address the root cause of the epidemic, or a desperate effort…

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The internet is abuzz with reports of neuroscientists linking the human brain to computers to eliminate the clickety keyboard and empower us to control personal electronic devices or manipulate robotic arms.  But the science beneath the sizzle doesn’t support all the sensational claims, and there are significant practical hurdles. Unless you have a medical condition…

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HAVANA–The US State Department warns US citizens not to travel to Cuba because numerous US Embassy employees in Havana have been targeted in specific attacks that have caused hearing loss and serious central nervous system injury, but the culprit, means, and motive for the international crime remain a mystery despite a year of reporting.  Senator…

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WASHINGTON, DC–Speaking at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, DC on November 14, 2017, Dr. Wendy Marie Ingram, Psychiatric Epidemiologist at the Geisinger Medical Institute in Pennsylvania, presented new research on the effects of anesthesia on electroconvulsive therapy (ECT or shock therapy).  The results help answer long-standing questions about the controversial treatment, but social…

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The scientific evidence linking cannabis use in adolescence to schizophrenia in adulthood is now so strong that the general public must be alerted.  This was the pronouncement of researchers from Germany and England speaking October 9, 2017, at the World Psychiatric Association meeting in Berlin. “There is no doubt,” concludes Sir Robin Murray, Professor of…

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Working alone at the turn of the 20th century in Spain, Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934) ventured into science as both an artist and a pathologist, and became the first person to see a neuron. Working by gaslight, he made thin slices of brain tissue and subjected them to the same silver-nitrate chemistry he used to capture…

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