Monthly Archives: August 2012

Is ADHD a disease?

Probably not. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t “real.” Persons who truly suffer from it should be medicated. On the penultimate day of boot camp, neuroethicist Martha Farah talked to us about brain development. Sub-regions of the prefrontal cortex, responsible for executive control (attention, planning, task-switching) seem to develop last, well into a persons’ 20’s. […]

Once more, while in the fMRI machine

The most interesting thing I learned yesterday at boot camp was that scientists might have discovered a neural predictor of a song’s success. Some years ago, G.S. Berns surfed myspace for little known artists and used their songs to contrast subjective reports of liking a song to activity in the ventral striatum while subjects were […]

What makes it the case that neurons can study liver cells, and not the other way around?

This question was posed by Dr. Mike Kaplan, our guide to cellular neuroscience at boot camp. Here’s the answer: while liver cells are fairly simple in their operations, neurons are amazingly complex. A single cell in the cerebellum can receive signals from up to 500,000 other cells in dozens of different ways. (That’s right, 500,000.) […]

What the heck does a brain scan really measure?

I came to bootcamp to learn more about the data generated by neuroscience. Really, I want to be able to parse good data from bad data, which means I need to know how the data is generated. The primary tool of the neuroscientist is brain imaging technology: this technology eventually forms the basis of the […]