Bugs on the Brain

Imagine you are at a cocktail party. Some sort of creative kickstarter’s big reveal that includes an in-house DJ — some forty-year old guy named Craig with a receding hairline and reflective aviator glasses— set up in the corner next to some fiddle leaf fig plant. You clutch in your grip a cocktail that gives…

Tangled in the Sheets of Sleep and Science Part TWO

We left off on our brainstem’s foibles in it’s sleep induced regulation over our bodies. We are merely slaves to the humble pons — our brainstem’s envoy in charge of applying the break to our motor neurons when necessary. Sometimes, the pons gets a little overzealous. I can relate. Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon experienced…

Tangled in the Sheets of Sleep and Science: Part One

  “Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care”   As the late and ever lovely Oliver Sacks said, “Waking consciousness is dreaming – but dreaming constrained by external reality.” Dreaming — that fantastic, frank and, sometimes, quite fu—bizarre activity that we engage in on a nightly basis and yet we know so little…

Who The Hell Are You?

There is a scenario that many of us have had the painful privilege of experiencing. That moment when your eyes flutter open and you glance around while your heart picks up a few beats per minute and your muscles twitch with a sudden increase of adrenaline. Confused, your inner monologue shouts out, “Where the hell…

The Science of Sex

Reproduction, biologically speaking, is the motivation for us all. As Shakespeare said, “all the world is controlled by the propagation of our genes and all the men and women merely players”. Or, something like that, right? Anyway, from an evolutionary point of view, on this lovely planet we call home, the be-all and end-all of…

You Smell Like Death

Most people use their sense of smell to navigate the world. Smells enrich the world arounds us, help form memories, warn us about danger or elicit pleasure responses. A few poor individuals have lost all ability to use their nose to sense their surroundings; and, of course, there is a fancy word to describe such…

A Neuroscience Short: Cat Brains and the Visual Cortex

The Deep Waters of Neuroscience Looking into neuroscience is a little bit like standing on the edge of a cliff at night while you peer down at the ocean below. Waves crashing against rocks; a roaring hum; black water that appears to be endlessly deep — a borderless expanse seeping into every edge of your…