neuroscience

Neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks at the 2009 Brooklyn Book Festival. Sacks died this weekend. He was 82.
Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons

Oliver Sacks didn’t just look at the brain. He looked at the whole person, he told KUOW in a 1987 interview. 

"One should never just look at diseases or disorders, but how it is for the whole person,” he said. “The person is always struggling to survive and to manage some way or another.”

I'm driving through a frozen world, where the roads are paved in ice. As I swerve left to avoid a miniature iceberg, a red fish flashes at the top of my screen. I'm supposed to tap all the red fish that pop up, but not the green fish or the blue. And I have to do this without crashing the car.

An unidentifiable, omnipresent game-meister says: "Doing one thing at a time is easy, but doing them both at the same time is where the magic happens!"

When you whack yourself with a hammer, it feels like the pain is in your thumb. But really it's in your brain.

Flickr Photo/Chuck Coker (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Washington state lawmakers have a lot on their plates this legislative session: everything from how to fully fund basic education to a debate over how to control pollution. But some legislators also put medical marijuana regulation on their priority list.

Brain scans may soon be able to help predict a person's future — some aspects of it, anyway.

Information from these scans increasingly is able to suggest whether a child will have trouble with math, say, or whether someone with mental illness is going to respond to a particular treatment, according to a review of dozens of studies published Wednesday in the journal Neuron.

Mary Guiden / UW

Marcie Sillman speaks with graduate student Elle O'Brien, who recently represented the University of Washington's Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the National Science Foundation's Perfect Pitch Competition, about making science comprehensible to everyone.

Left to right: Hannah Apple Fig, Trent Johnson, Matt Streib and Jessica Bernard at Stumptown Coffee Roasters on Pine Street. Matt found the defectors: all three are or were baristas at Starbucks, and while Matt is on coffee number four, Jessica imbibes at
KUOW Photo/Jenna Montgomery

From the producer who brought you fresh, raw Nigerian dwarf goat milk comes this manic coffee crawl. 

Scientists analyzing data from a map of connections inside the human brain have gained new insights into the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

This Is Your Stressed-Out Brain On Scarcity

Jul 14, 2014

Being poor is stressful. That's no big surprise.

In a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, 1 in 3 people making less than $20,000 a year said they'd experienced "a great deal of stress" in the previous month. And of those very stressed-out people, 70 percent said that money problems were to blame.

Flickr Photo/Giulia Forsythe/Cathy N Davidson (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Marcie Sillman talks with cognitive scientist-turned-science-writer, Christian Jarrett, about brain science research and why consumers need to bring a skeptical eye to the neuroscience headlines.

Young adults who smoke marijuana at least once a week showed changes in the size and shape of two key brain regions, according to a new study of 20 pot smokers and 20 non-pot smokers between 18 and 25.

This is the first time recreational marijuana use has been connected to significant brain changes.

The findings, a collaboration between Northwestern University and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, were published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

File photo.
Flickr Photo/Lis Ferla (CC-BY-NC-ND)

There are a lot of songs about love, but perhaps there are even more songs about loss. That raises a serious scientific question: Why are so many songs written about heartbreak, and what happens to the brains of people who are experiencing a really bad break-up?

Biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher studies what happens in our brains when we are in love and when we are heart broken. She says that Tylenol is helpful, but staring at pictures of your ex and listening to a sad song when your brain is going through massive dopamine withdrawal is not.

Blindsight Is Never 20/20

Dec 30, 2013
Flickr Photo/Giulia Forsythe

Steve Scher talks with Dr. Christof Koch,  chief scientific officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, about a rare brain condition that causes some people to only see in black and white.

Could the microbes that inhabit our guts help explain that old idea of "gut feelings?" There's growing evidence that gut bacteria really might influence our minds.

"I'm always by profession a skeptic," says Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. "But I do believe that our gut microbes affect what goes on in our brains."

Why Does Morality Sometimes Trump Our Biological Imperatives?

Nov 15, 2013
Joshua Greene's book "Moral Tribes."

Marcie Sillman interviews author, philosopher and scientist Joshua Greene about the neuroscience behind morality.

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