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Neuroscientist & Author

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Making Long-term Memories Depends on Making Myelin and Brainwaves

Neuroscientists have always presumed that learning and memory depend on strengthening or weakening the connection points between neurons (synapses), increasing or decreasing the likelihood that the cell is going to pass along a message to its neighbor. But recently some researchers have started pursuing a completely different theory that does not involve changing the strength of synaptic…

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The Brain’s Clockwork

How many times a day do you check the time? Estimates are that people between the ages of 18-34 check the clock between 50-74 times a day! Staying in sync is essential for any complex system; whether it’s a machine, social organization, or transportation system, chaos would erupt if the intricate processes involved were not precisely coordinated in…

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Elon Musk’s Brain-Computer Interface—Reality Check

The much-anticipated recent announcement of Elon Musk’s development of a brain-computer interface (BCI) device, called Neuralink, was a media sensation.  The fact that Musk, a successful businessman who makes advanced technology a commercial reality, is investing in BCI is significant and newsworthy.  This area of research has been around since the 1970s, and brain stimulation…

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The Taste of Thanksgiving

I took a sip of sugary Coke and was struck by a hideous intense blast of aluminum. I rushed to the sink and spit out the tainted drink. Poison! What’s wrong with this Coke! I took another tentative sip. I was slammed again by the overwhelming metallic taste. I spat out the poison by rapid…

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Toxin in Dungeness Crab Causes Brain Damage

Commercial Crab Fishermen, Pillar Point, CA The California Fish and Game Commission has banned crab fishing until further notice after detecting high levels of a neurotoxin in Dungeness and rock crabs. The toxin, domoic acid, is produced by certain types of planktonic algae, and it becomes concentrated in tissue of crabs and other marine organisms…

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New discovery explains why binge drinking leads to alcohol dependence and suggests new treatments

“Why can’t you stop drinking?” This week at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago announced a new finding that provides a fresh answer to this persistent question that plagues people addicted to alcohol. The discovery offers an entirely new approach to treatment. Neuroscientist,…

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