By Teodora Stoica
Try to explain to an alien why we sleep. Give it your best shot. “Well, we get tired. And our brain needs to rest.”
“I see. So, you find another way to defend yourself during rest?” “Well … no. Our body is paralyzed, and we lose consciousness.” There is an awkward pause. The alien tilts its head, feigning understanding. “But! We sometimes dream!”“Dream?”
Blindly, unaware of how ridiculous you sound, you continue with unprecedented speed and cadence: “Yes! Dreams are fantastical stories projected from the mind into the mind, sometimes mixed with things that have already happened!” Read full article in Scientific American.
By David Mehler
Read about the promises and challenges of neuroimaging in depression in an interview with three pioneers in translational depression research, including Prof Gotlib (Stanford University), and Prof Helen Mayberg (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai) and Prof David Linden (Cardiff University), published by David Mehler for the OHBM at the PLOS Neuro blog.
It is so hard to keep up with the amount of information that’s coming your way in today’s digital world. To keep up with the explosion of scientific information that is presently out there, one of the geeky things scientists like to do is gather together for scientific conferences. Such conferences provide a good way to get exposed to the hottest current trends and ideas in the field and give you a window into the future of scientific progress. Just as birds migrate south for the winter, brain mappers gather each summer for the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM). Read more
Have you ever wondered what your brain does when you are seemingly doing nothing? Obviously, you can decide what you will think of, but you cannot decide to “shut down” the activity of your brain. Researchers have found that even when we are “resting” there are active networks in our brain and that these networks are very similar across people. Read more
It’s often hard to find easy-to-read articles about cool scientific findings that are written in a clear way - let alone articles that are understandable enough to use as bedtime reading with your child. But, here’s a little secret: there are articles out there that are actually written by scientists and approved by children before they are published. Read more
There’s been an increasing amount of media attention to the topic of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) -bolstered in part by conversations surrounding the 2015 Hollywood blockbuster Concussion. The movie Concussion describes a particular phenomenon, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE, which occurs in the brain after repeated high impact blows to the head. The diagnosis of CTE requires examining brain tissue under a microscope after death, so it can’t be diagnosed in living individuals. Read more
No matter how exciting the topic, your mind is bound to wander at some point when you’re sitting in a room for several hours listening to scientific presentations. This is exactly what happened to me during the meeting between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) in Geneva. Read more
I stare at the brain every day and it was only during the last game of the World Series that I saw an uncanny resemblance between the construction of the baseball field and a map of visual space present in each of our brains. Read more
At the end of June, I found myself running through the streets of Geneva with two other brain mappers—all three of us sweaty from trying to catch the bus. Even though I live in New Jersey and am used to muggy weather in the summer, I couldn’t help but recognize how humid it was. Read more