neuroscience lab

Mind blown whilst reading more of the theory underlying my lab.

“Lets examine what is going on in the chaos game. Information from the roll of the die is random. The system has no idea where it is going, until the dice is rolled. Forecasting the direction of the system is impossible. Yet, once the system receives information, it is processed according to internal, deterministic rules. The result is a limited range of possibilities, but the number of possibilities is infinite.”

5

SORRY for being absent for a while, took a MUCH NEEDED 4-day vacation from work as a sort of cleanse from the stress of candidacy exams to hike part of the Appalachian Trail with my roommate Alex (working in a neuroscience lab at Emory) and Dave (also in the Jui Lab).

Included some pictures because this was an awesome awesome trip, and to show the world that you CAN still have a life in grad school…just might have to try a little harder than usual at it. 

Feel very revived and ready to be super productive before the break I’m taking at Christmas!

Tests raise hopes for radical new therapy for phobias and PTSD

Scientists have raised hopes for a radical new therapy for phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with a procedure that can dampen down fears linked to painful memories.

The advance holds particular promise for patients because in early tests, researchers found they could reduce anxieties triggered by specific memories without asking people to think about them consciously.

That could make it more appealing than exposure therapy, which aims to help patients overcome their phobias by making them confront their fears in a safe environment, for example by encouraging them to handle spiders or snakes in the clinic.

The new technique, called fMRI decoded neurofeedback (DecNef), was developed by scientists at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Lab in Japan. Mitsuo Kawato, who worked with researchers in the UK and the US on the latest study, said he wanted to find an alternative to exposure therapy, which has a 40% drop-out rate among PTSD patients.

“We always thought this was ambitious, but it worked the way we hoped it would,” said Ben Seymour, a clinical neuroscientist and member of the team at Cambridge University. “We don’t completely erase the fear memory, but it is substantially reduced.”

A brain image showing a pattern activity across the brain associated with one of the fear-triggering stimuli. Photograph: Mitsuo Kawato/Ben Seymour

I’m working on bits of my sociology of STEM manuscript while my code runs through large data sets. 

And it strikes me: Wow, I started out at fashion school and here I am, six years after the fact of dropping out, as a computational neuroscientist/statistical physics trainee.

I am glad our academic system makes that possible, that I was able to pull that off and that my sociology work goes toward answering the question how that path is very weird.

The teenage brain has been characterized as a risk-taking machine, looking for quick rewards and thrills instead of acting responsibly. But these behaviors could actually make teens better than adults at certain kinds of learning.

“In neuroscience, we tend to think that if healthy brains act in a certain way, there should be a reason for it,” says Juliet Davidow, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University in the Affective Neuroscience and Development Lab and the lead author of the study, which was published last week in the journal Neuron.

But scientists and the public often focus on the negatives of teen behavior, so she and her colleagues set out to test the hypothesis that teenagers’ drive for rewards, and the risk-taking that comes from it, exist for a reason.

Teens’ Penchant For Risk-Taking May Help Them Learn Faster

Illustration: Luciano Lozano/Getty Images

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Taste-Changing Spoon Experiment - Dara O'Briain’s Science Club

The colour of food doesn’t just affect what it looks like, it affects what it tastes like in our mouth but what about what we eat it from? Taken from Dara O'Briain’s Science Club.

By: Brit Lab.

lazarus-rat  asked:

omg that MRA post is killing me. I work in an all-lady neuroscience lab. We had a dude in here one time and he was the worst scientist I've ever met.

I like how they think that working in a lab is some unattainable feminist fantasy. Almost like they are willing to admit that women face discrimination in STEM fields and are statistically unrepresented! 

Also, an all lady neuroscience lab? That’s awesome.