neuroscience blog

New RN Update: REALITY CHECK

So.

I’ve been MIA from Tumblr, but I’ve been an RN for almost 5 months now!!! What?!?!?

I’ve been working night shift on a neuro tele unit and I wanted to talk a little bit about the reality of the beginning of your first RN job.

You graduate school: BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD
You pass the NCLEX: BETTER THAN BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD
You land your first job: ECSTATIC, IS THIS REAL LIFE, I MUST BE DREAMING!!!
Begin orientation phase: I LOVE THIS! So much cool things to learn
End orientation phase: Oh my god, I’m going on my own soon………. I’m terrified.
Off orientation: When one shift you feel like there’s nothing else you’d want to do and the next you’re questioning your decision to be a nurse.


^ Simply put: being a new nurse is like being on an emotional rollercoaster. People don’t discuss this, but it needs to be said so we dont feel alone when we go through this. You go from such a high when you finish school to being smacked in the face with the real world. Finding your way as a new nurse can CHALLENGING. So many ups and downs. It’s a whole new world, new people with different personalities, you question yourself/doubt yourself, doubt others … There is so much to learn its can be overwelming. It’s kind of a mind f*ck.

That being said, it will get better. Stay positive, give yourself pep talks, run to the bathroom or the pantry if you need a second to get your sh*t together, and just do the best you can…..AND know you’re not alone. ❤💪

ID #71825

Name: Hayden
Age: 17
Country: USA

Hi! I’m Hayden, and I’m looking for a penpal to send letters to!

A little bit about me: im a history and science buff. I like to learn and discuss all sorts of things. I’m super open minded when it comes to most opinions, and I am willing to see through a conversation and come to an agreement or even a level of respecting each other’s different sides. I’m studying philosophy and emergency medicine at school next year, which I’m incredibly excited about! I have a tendency to talk a lot about how beautiful life is and how much hope there is for a good future.

I’m very artsy, so I have a tendency to send a lot of rather Tumblr-esque things. This includes lots of little details and aesthetic trash!! This also means that replies would take a little longer because I’ve gotta think up ideas.

Preferences: I’d prefer anyone aged from 16-22, I think? Gender doesn’t matter to me. Please no homophones or transphobes, because I am queer. I am specifically looking for someone to send snail mail to!

Things I learned during my PhD

1. The impostor syndrome is real (google it!) and can be quite crippling if you allow it to be. My first year in graduate school was rough. I was a bio major that took a handful of psych courses (and surprisingly, no neurobiology courses). This means that when I started the neuroscience intro course at NYU I was fascinated but clueless, which was evident in my first neuro grade. All of this resulted in me feeling like I wasn’t “good enough” to be studying neuroscience at NYU and that somehow they/I had made a mistake. Luckily, many of my friends were quick to point out that I was being ridiculous and laughed it off. That, coupled with the Dean’s support, made me snap out of my doubt and insecurity and take on a more proactive approach towards my education. This included tutoring, but hey, it worked! 1 year later I was cracking jokes with the Dean about my first year freak-outs LOL. 

2. You do not need to know everything. As a graduate student, whose job is to be trained as a scientist, you are expected to do not only a lot of reading, but also a lot of learning. During my first two years, I took all sorts of neuroscience courses and remember wondering how I was going to remember it all. Newsflash: you don’t. Your learning experience is not confined to those two years of formal coursework- it stretches throughout your entire PhD and continues even beyond that. In my experience, I found that many of the concepts that I had trouble understanding re-appeared throughout my PhD. Sometimes through talks, other times through journal clubs, and other times by doing literature searches. A beautiful thing about science and learning is that all the knowledge builds on top of each other, and even though it may not seem like it to you, you are retaining this information. Also, important information will likely be repeated throughout your PhD, thereby facilitating your retention of the material. Just remember, you are being trained on how to think, and you will learn many things along the way. 

3. Be thankful of constructive criticism and use it as an opportunity to grow. This one was hard. Receiving feedback (especially criticism) is difficult in general, but I find that it’s even harder when you’re in academia. I mean, you become invested in a project and/or research topic, and sometimes you’re wrong or don’t know what to do with a certain piece of data. Or you need an extra control. Or somebody doesn’t understand the clinical relevance of your project. Or like me, you have a thesis project that integrates multiple disciplines and is hard to think about because the findings are counterintuitive. Bottom line is: at some point you will receive criticism that either A) you haven’t thought about B) you don’t agree with or C) you don’t understand. One of the many things that my PhD mentor taught me is to be grateful when somebody outside the lab (or your field) makes a constructive comment about your work. As she put it, this is indicative that they are thinking critically about your project, which they do NOT have to do. Lesson learned: when someone gives you constructive criticism, listen, and kindly thank them for their feedback because they are helping you think about your work in a different way. 

4. Build and maintain a network. Talk to people! This includes graduate students, postdocs, professors, collaborators, bloggers and many other people you meet at conferences, etc… I know, small talk is sometimes awkward and uncomfortable, but be thankful that you all have a common denominator: an interest and passion for science! Use that to your advantage. Networking is essential for a number of reasons. First, it’s a great way to meet other academics that you have things in common with and may even result in collaboration. Second, you can use their experiences and advice to help your own academic training and development. Third, if you maintain that network, you get to see what kinds of things they go on to do. For me, this is incredibly inspiring and helps to keep me motivated despite whatever I may hear about the pains and perils of science. 

5. Patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait. In science, things usually take longer that you think they will. While this may not be a surprise to fellow PhDs and other scientists, a lot of incoming graduate students don’t realize this and end up feeling disappointed when they don’t get that grant they applied for on the first round, their data is not ready for publication and/or their paper gets rejected multiple times (thus lengthening the time it takes to publish). Therefore, think of your PhD as a marathon, not a sprint. 

6. Write your papers as your experiments go along. Once you have a hypothesis and a preliminary approach, start drafting the paper. I know, it sounds crazy given that you don’t have any data yet, but it will help you have a clear rationale and organize the methods. For example, start off with a preliminary title and abstract, make a bullet list of points you want to cover in the introduction, insert the methods section and make a list of preliminary results (and how you would interpret them). This will help you start thinking about what your story could be and what it would look like. Also start building an EndNote library containing the references you know you already need or think might need. 

7. Make it a habit to read regularly. You’d be surprised at how easy (and fun) it can be. Follow neuroscience blogs, twitter accounts, attend a journal club, create a Scizzle, use Google scholar, friend people on ResearchGate, etc… Do whatever works, but try to read new papers every week. You can even have journals that you check every week/every month/etc… I, for example, look at J Neuro and NPP every week, Biological Psychiatry/Nature Neuroscience when there’s a new issue and such. 

8. Know your talk well. Once you have your committee’s approval to write/defend, start creating your talk. Normally, this will be a merger of previous committee meeting presentations or any other presentations you have given. Your goal is to tell your PhD story through your data in a clear and concise way. This means that it is up to you to fill in the knowledge gaps, ensure a smooth and logical transition from slide to slide, and connect the dots regarding the meaning of your work for the audience. Needless to say, this is much easier when you know exactly where each slide is and what slide is coming next. As one of my committee members said, this takes the stress out of being “surprised” by your own data and allows you to be more personable, as your personality is more likely to come through. 

9. Find a committee that is critical, yet supportive. Keep in mind that your thesis committee holds your fate in their hands. Thus, don’t make this decision lightly! Ideally, you want these people to be “fans”, meaning that they think you are bright, capable and are actually interested in helping you develop as a scientist. Try to schedule individual meetings with potential members BEFORE asking them to be a part of your committee. Tell them about your ideas and potential projects, see how they respond. Are they genuinely interested? Do they have good questions? Do your interests overlap with their research line? Furthermore, ask around! It is likely that someone else in your program (from upper years) has them in their committee. Find this person and ask what they’re like. 

10. Strive to become not only a better scientist, but also a better person :) As a former PhD student, I know that it feels like everything revolves around your PI, your project, all the work you have to do, etc… Although I personally believe that in order to do this job you need to lose yourself to it (to a certain extent), this doesn’t mean that you have to let yourself go and be consumed by it. The world is bigger than just academia, and you also need to grow as a person (and not just as a scientist). Find time to cultivate other interests, make new friends, rediscover yourself as you go along the PhD track. Your mental health will thank you for it. 

Disclaimer: All PhDs are not created equal. The points made above reflect my own personal PhD experience. I’ve always said that two people can even be in the same lab and same year and still have radically different experiences. Regardless, I hope everyone can find something that is useful to them :)

2

“everything psychological is also biological”

day three of crash course psychology. ten pages of notes down. many, many episodes to go.
most recent notes have been on the neuron, the endocrine system, and the parts of the brain.

anonymous asked:

ok this is dumb but someone told me that neuroscience shad has proved that we have no free will really and that all out actions are based on a predetermined universe and like.... i'm dissociating big time. what did they mean? so we really have no free will?

Hi darling,

I’m so sorry that hearing this caused you to dissociate so much! I understand that it’s all a scary idea so I hope I can be of help here. The debate about free will is ongoing, and I don’t think it’s something that will settle anytime soon. I’m not a scientist so I probably won’t understand or be aware of all the newest scientific breakthroughs, but I’ll try my hardest to touch upon it.

What I think is really important to keep in mind is that free will (or not having free will) is not the same as living in a predetermined universe. What you’re referring to in regards to neuroscience and free will (I think at least this is what you’re referring to, please correct me if I’m wrong) is that our brain can fool us into thinking we made a choice, when we didn’t really. So what happens is we will (unconsciously) do something (in this article they use the example of picking out a box of cereal in a grocery store) and afterwards we will tell ourselves that this was a choice we made before picking the cereal. The article goes on more about how this illusion of having a choice becomes more warped when there’s a short time limit in which a choice should have been made. In other words, when there’s more time this illusion appears less, meaning that we get more ability to make a choice.

Living in a predetermined universe is the complete end of the ‘free will or no free will’-spectrum. When thinking of a predetermined universe, I picture robots that are controlled by remotes and computers and just no humanity whatsoever. I think we can all agree that we aren’t robots. Of course our world isn’t as drastic as how I picture that predetermined universe, but thinking in extremes can help to see the errors of a view sometimes. A predetermined universe means genuinely everything to the small details is predetermined, decided beforehand. Small things can make an immense difference to someone’s life, and I personally don’t think it’s possible to have this all decided or predetermined for every single person on this planet.

Like I said, the debate about free will is ongoing. It’s something that we will never really be certain on unless there’s a huge scientific breakthrough. But let’s see what it would mean if indeed we only tricked ourselves into thinking that we make a choice, when we don’t really. Why is that a bad thing? If we don’t make that choice, it’s because unconsciously something in our brain makes that choice of cereal for us. And our brain is a part of who we are, a big part of who we are. So even if we do not consciously make a choice, it’s still a choice of us. Even if that subconscious choice is based on past experiences or people we met or anything like that, those past experiences are a part of us too, so it’s still a choice of us.

I hope that thinking about it in this way can help ease your mind a little and can help you feel more in touch with reality. When struggling with dissociation, grounding techniques can be really helpful. We have a page listing a lot of different ones here. It can take a while to find the ones that work for you, and a lot of trial and error. My personal favourite is the following one:

  • Describe 5 things you can see;
  • Describe 4 things you can hear;
  • Describe 3 things you can feel;
  • Describe 2 things you can smell;
  • Describe 1 thing you can taste.

Sometimes what seems impossible, is just hard.

Keep fighting beautiful <3
Love Pauline

truevirgin  asked:

Hi!! I was wondering if you had some tips on studying neuroscience, neuroanatomy and neuropsychology. Thank you very much!

Hi! I don’t have any specific tips for you but here are some resources which might help:

My general anatomy tag

How To Study Neuroanatomy | MedMaster

Studying Neuroanatomy | brainsource.com

Neuroanatomy - What has been the best resource for you …

Neuroanatomy Guide (pdf)

Neuropsychology Flashcards - Cram.com

Heya!

So I’m starting up this study blog along side the beginning of my masters. I’m hoping to post updates on my progress in my studies as well as my PhD applications.

I’m also going to be making posts giving advice on studying at university, research and applying for postgraduate study if anyone is interested in that. You can send in questions if you have any.

A little bit about me:

My name is Zac I’m 23 and studying Cognitive Neuroscience. My bachelors was in Psychology and at A-level I studied biology chemistry and philosophy. My pronouns are he/him.

Space object differences:

  • Comet: A comet is a relatively small solar system body that orbits the Sun. When close enough to the Sun they display a visible coma (a fuzzy outline or atmosphere due to solar radiation) and sometimes a tail. It is composed of rocky material, ice, and gas. It comes from the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud. In summary, they are a relatively small, at times active, object whose ices can vaporize in sunlight forming an atmosphere (coma) of dust and gas and, sometimes, a tail of dust and/or gas.
  • Asteroid: Asteroids are small solar system bodies that orbit the Sun. Made of rock and metal, they can also contain organic compounds. Asteroids are similar to comets but do not have a visible coma (fuzzy outline and tail) like comets do. They range in size from a tiny speck to 500 km wide; most asteroids originate in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Asteroids are believed to be debris left over from the formation of the solar system, and some even have their own moons. In summary, they are a relatively small, inactive, rocky body orbiting the Sun.
  • Meteoroid: A meteoroid is a small rock or particle of debris in our solar system. They range in size from dust to around 10 metres in diameter (larger objects are usually referred to as asteroids). Astronomers believe that meteoroids are rocky chunks that have broken off asteroids and planets. In summary, they are a small particle from a comet or asteroid orbiting the Sun.
  • Meteor: A meteoroid that burns up as it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere is known as a meteor. If you’ve ever looked up at the sky at night and seen a streak of light or ‘shooting star’ what you are actually seeing is a meteor. In summary, they are the light phenomenon which results when a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere and vaporizes; a shooting star.
  • Meteorite: A meteoroid that survives falling through the Earth’s atmosphere and colliding with the Earth’s surface is known as a meteorite. They’re a solid piece of debris that was originally an asteroid or a comet that entered the atmosphere and survived to impact the surface. Prior to impact, they are called meteoroids and become meteors when they fall through the planets atmosphere. In the process, they are heated to incandescence by air friction and form a bright trail, leading to the creation of a fireball or “shooting star”. In summary, they are a meteoroid that survives its passage through the Earth’s atmosphere and lands upon the Earth’s surface.

What has surprised me most is my fervent studying of programming. One of my modules is called Introduction to Systems: Neuroscience which is basically about how the machines used in neuroscience research are programmed. I have no background in programming. At all. I took this module out of pure impulsivity. First lecture was a struggle, not gonna lie. Afterwards, I searched through the recommended reading list and found a book for ‘absolute beginners’ - and hurrah, it’s free and online! That book has helped me so much that studying it doesn’t feel like a chore. Lots of people have dropped out of the module, and I’m really glad I gave it a second chance!

Get ready for a neuroBLAST

Seeing how well received @scriptmedic @scriptecology @forenscripts @scriptshrink @scriptlawyer and @scriptphysicist have been, I thought I’d chip in with my own fields!

I’m a graduate student doing a PhD in neuroscience (but I have some solid knowledge on cognitive science as well) and I’m ready to answer your questions on fun stuff like:

  • what’s going on in your brain when you’re on drugs? 
  • what happens when you sleep? 
  • what does brain damage actually do? 
  • why do smells remind us of things so quickly?
  • how do illusions work?
  • is the brain like a computer? 
  • is mind control possible? 
  • how do we know where our body is in space?
  • what does a brain feel like?
  • can we make robots smart enough to take over the world?

and pretty much anything you can think of related to the stuff your brain does. Send me your questions, thoughts, or just come by to chat!

note: this is a sideblog, so I can’t follow you from here!

2

09:33
28Nov15
Sleep: Neurology, Medicine & Society

My snoozing study buddy helps me cram for the neurology of sleep. He’s in NREM now (Non Rapid Eye Movement Sleep) they kind that happens just after a mammal falls asleep. Soon (in about a 3rd-4th of the way through his sleep cycle) he’ll flip into REM (Rapid Eye Movement) where he’ll likely be dreaming.

His sleep will continue this pattern 3-4 (sometimes a softens as 5-6) times before he wakes. Mammalian sleep cycle ;3

anonymous asked:

I first learned of neuroscience through your blog. Since then, time has passed and I am now majoring in neuroscience. Thank you for this blog. It's inspired me so much and It's changed my life, literally.

Wow this is very touching, thank you so much.