Findings Friday: The brain can help you burn fat

With many individuals pronouncing "losing weight" as their new years' resolutions (I'm one of those individuals, I might add), here is some interesting new research: The brain may instruct the body to burn more fat. Now, around our bodies, fat is stored in fat cells, or adipocytes. This is called "white fat". Around our necks, … Continue reading Findings Friday: The brain can help you burn fat

Technique Thursday: Deep Brain Stimulation: Electrocuting the brain

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) involves inserting and implanting electrodes within the brain. The electrodes produce electrical impulses that serve to regulate the brain's abnormal impulses. These electrode impulses can also serve to modulate neurochemistry. A pacemaker-like device controls the electrode impulses, ensuring that the right frequency is delivered. The device is connected to the electrodes … Continue reading Technique Thursday: Deep Brain Stimulation: Electrocuting the brain

Manic Monday: Electroshock and LSD: Child Experiments

In the 1950s, Tulane University doctors performed a craniotomy on a 17-year-old girl who was considered “retarded.” In childhood, she had this label put on her, and in adolescence, she was further diagnoses as schizophrenic. The craniotomy, therefore, was a treatment for her schizophrenia. An incision was made through her cortex via the lateral ventricle, … Continue reading Manic Monday: Electroshock and LSD: Child Experiments

Findings Friday: Using your brain to become Arnold Schwarzenegger

Ok, so maybe you won't necessarily become a professional bodybuilder just by using your thoughts, but new research suggests that regular mental imagery can help muscles sustain strength when immobilized for several weeks. The article, entitled The power of the mind: the cortex as a critical determinant of muscle strength/weakness, was published in the Journal … Continue reading Findings Friday: Using your brain to become Arnold Schwarzenegger

Technique Thursday: Cognitive Subtraction

In imaging, there are certain methodologies, like the cognitive subtraction methodology. In this method, activity in a control task in subtracted from activity in an experimental task. So for example, take a word task. A simple model of written word recognition is used. In a famous experiment, the Peterson et al. (1988) experiment, they wanted … Continue reading Technique Thursday: Cognitive Subtraction

Manic Monday: Harlow’s Pit of Despair, the Rape Rack and Iron Maidens

We will start off this Monday, and the first Manic Monday article, with Harlow’s Pit of Despair. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it?

Who doesn’t love a good love story? A journey of a scientist to understand love, and what it’s all about. One such love-bug scientist is Harry Harlow.

I like to think that out of every bad situation, something good is derived from it. For example, some have argued that though the Holocuast was horrible, out of the unethical experiments the Germans did on the Jews came profound experiments on human genetics. Now I’m not here to argue the ethics of saying that, (though your thoughts would be great in the comments section). However, I am here to discuss the experimentation and the ethics behind Dr. Harry Harlow’s work on rhesus monkeys.

I will begin by saying that there is good that came out of Harlow’s experiments on the monkeys:…

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