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Ever heard of the computer programming language called Python? Where do you think Python got its name from? Monty Python! Python programming has had an increasing effect on neuroscientific developments. In fact, with the growing field of computational neuroscience, Python programming has taken a role in how neuroscience research occurs. Python itself is a high-level … Continue reading Monty Python’s influence in Neuroscience
Optogenetics. It sounds like genes being lit up in neon colors, like a flashy Las Vegas sign. But what is it really? Optogenetics is a technique that takes advantage of proteins found in certain algae species that respond to different wavelengths of light. This algal response to the wavelengths includes opening a channel (called a … Continue reading The Sentry (Bob Reynolds) and the Brain
With neuroscience and computer science bleeding into one another, there are a number of ways that computer programming can help in understanding the brain. This can be achieved via computational modeling. Computational modeling is the intersection of math, physics, and computer science that is used to study the behavior of complex systems via computer models. … Continue reading Technique Thursday: Computational Modeling
In light of an earlier article I wrote on the vulnerability of memories, and how false memories can be planted in our minds, I decided to write an article on how to tell a memory is false. Consider Madrigal (yes, it's the name of a book character, from Dreams of Gods and Monsters if you … Continue reading Techniques Thursday: Memory Sleuth: How to tell a memory is false
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
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