Meet the Organoids: Growing Human Brains in a Petri Dish

As Madeline Lancaster lifts a clear plastic dish into the light, roughly a dozen clumps of tissue the size of small baroque pearls bob in a peach­colored liquid. These are cerebral organoids, which possess certain features of a human brain in the first trimester of development—including lobes of cortex (Russ Juskalian, MIT Technology Review). Continue reading Meet the Organoids: Growing Human Brains in a Petri Dish

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Can I Trust My Brain?

The growing popularity of conspiracy theories raises questions about the psychological and physiological causes that lead to our tendency to believe in them. Why are some people more susceptible to conspiracy theories than the other? Let’s try to figure it out from a neuroscientific point of view! Continue reading Can I Trust My Brain?

SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD): A “WINTER BLUES” IN OUR BRAIN?

Every winter the cycle repeats itself: we look outside our windows and despair to the sight of a cloudy winter sky, with no trace of the sunny days. But the familiar “winter blues” feelings might not be just a “phase”: for some people such periods of low light exposure represent a serious problem to face, and that’s where the term “seasonal affective disorder” (SAD) comes in place. Why does SAD start, and can a look at the neurobiology of the brain help us to understand it more? Continue reading SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD): A “WINTER BLUES” IN OUR BRAIN?

Is psychosis just a dream? Links between schizophrenia and dreaming

„The lunatic is a wakeful dreamer.“          -Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant was not the first and not the last one hinting at a relationship between mental disorder and dreaming. Others, such as Schopenhauer were more specific in their statements, linking the dream state not to mental disorders in general, but to the condition of psychosis („A dream is a short-lasting psychosis, and a psychosis is … Continue reading Is psychosis just a dream? Links between schizophrenia and dreaming

It’s a Gut Feeling: What is our Gut Bacteria telling our Brain?

There is so much bacteria in your gut that they can easily outweigh your brain. In recent years, researchers have found that the bacteria in our gut communicate with the brain and vice versa. Now we want to know how this communication takes place, whether the food we eat is altering our gut bacteria, and what types of signals they are sending to the brain. Continue reading It’s a Gut Feeling: What is our Gut Bacteria telling our Brain?

The Neuroscience of “Boys will be boys”: Exploring the link between testosterone and male aggression

Testosterone- the single word biological explanation accompanying the classic “Boys will be boys” slogan, oft-repeated as a rationalization for everything from mischief to bullying to violence to world wars. But how accurate is our perception of testosterone and its role in male behaviour? Continue reading The Neuroscience of “Boys will be boys”: Exploring the link between testosterone and male aggression