There’s Shrinkage

I love it when research into other animals is totally applicable to humans. A recent report on the common shrew (Sorex araneus), by Max Planck Institute researcher Javier Lazaro et al., reveals that the animal’s head shrinks drastically in winter. That includes its brain mass. Running this discovery up the food chain, I think I […]

Guest Post: A Mathematical Mastermind Gets His Head Examined

On a December day a few years ago, John Horton Conway settled in for an interview at the office of neuroscientist Sandra Witelson. Conway wasn’t there for an appointment proper, but rather to provide fodder for Witelson’s ongoing research on scientifically minded brains. All the same, he’d braced himself for an arsenal of standard neuropsychological […]

The Brain I Wish I Had

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about my bloodlines. Perhaps it’s my impending fatherhood, perhaps I’m just at that age. I’ve been tracing my grandfathers’ heritages back through the Revolutionary War and to the Tudor conquest of Ireland. I’ve planned a trip to Norway, which is my grandmother’s homeland, and hope to […]

Double Play: How the Yankees Ruined My Feng Shui

I don’t make decisions easily. When it comes to home décor, I can revisit a rug or bedspread five times before dismissing or buying it, usually with remorse one way or the other. Online shopping makes it worse. Oh, the hours I’ve spent toggling between web pages, Googling in search of a better price, rethinking […]

Guest Post: Painful Lessons

It used to go like this: The nice doctor smiles and checks your heart, ears, and knees, pronounces you healthy, and off you go. Grab a lollipop on your way out! (Doctors used to have candy jars. Dentists used to give out toothbrushes.)  You are not yet 20! Life is good! Then suddenly you’ve flown […]

Redux: Long, Tough Road to Stroke Recovery

This post originally appeared back in February 2011. If you’ve already read it, we apologize. Cassie is frantically packing in preparation for a cross-country move.  January 3rd was a bad day for Cee. That morning she had a colonoscopy. The procedure went smoothly. But afterward, Cee felt ill. Something wasn’t right. She had a bite […]

The baby brain revolution arrives – not a moment too soon

When you hear that someone has had a stroke, what type of patient are you likely to picture? Probably an elderly person with an illness, such as heart disease. But the patient might be a lot younger than you’d think: after the elderly, babies around the time of their birth are next most likely to […]

Autism’s Plot

Erika wants to know about the state of autism research. “How is the field doing in terms of rigorous science?” she asks. “What is the most promising theory about how autism develops?” The first question’s easy to answer: pretty damn well. In 2008 (the last time a good survey was done), autism research reaped $144 […]