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The Brain’s Gospel

Posted 1 September 2010 by Noah Gray

Well, the latest issue of Longshot! magazine was completed last weekend in the promised span of 48 hours. You can order the magazine in print or for the iPad here. Although my submission didn’t make the cut this time around (and you can read my previous contribution to Issue Zero here), I thought that I would share it here. The theme of the magazine was “comeback,” So Hysell Oviedo and I speculated and did some serious hand-waving in an attempt... Read more

Blog Focus: Hallucinogenic drugs in Modern Medicine and Mental Health

Posted 30 August 2010 by Noah Gray

Distorted perceptions and an altered state of mind: two reasons why psychedelics have always attracted not only fascination, but also controversy for decades. A recent Perspective in Nature Reviews Neuroscience entitled The neurobiology of psychedelic drugs: implications for the treatment of mood disorders, by Franz Vollenweider & Michael Kometer explores why there is a renewed interest in the clinical potential of psychedelics for treating mental disorders, after nearly a 40 year gap in clinical experimentation. Anticipating a significant interest in... Read more

HOW TO WRITE A NEUROSCIENCE STORY FOR THE PUBLIC

Posted 24 August 2010 by Noah Gray

Start by scaring people about some digital stuff. Then, over-hype some animal behavioral experiments that are difficult to translate to humans. Immediately lower to a simmer and confuse the reader by leaping to an actual human psychology experiment that is completely unrelated to the animal experiments in the previous paragraph (but don’t worry, your readers won’t notice because YOU NEVER DESCRIBED THE SPECIFIC ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS ANYWAY!!! SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE?? GREAT!!) Fill in lots of personal anecdotal accounts of... Read more

The Psychology of “The Neuroscience of…”

Posted 21 August 2010 by Noah Gray

With production fast approaching for a brand new edition of LONGSHOT magazine, I suddenly realized that although I actually published a piece in Issue Zero of “The Magazine Formerly Known As 48HR Magazine,” that essay never really made it into cyberspace in any fashion. (For background on all of this name-switching, read this.) What was 48Hr Magazine? Well, it was self-described as: “In May 2010, we conducted a two-day media experiment. 8,000 people signed up, 1,500 submissions came in, 35... Read more

“One small tweet for man…”

Posted 17 June 2009 by Noah Gray

Neil Armstrong on the moon in 1969. (Image via Tierra Unica) Next month is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission, which resulted in Neil Armstrong being the first man to walk on the moon. This was more than a technological accomplishment, given the cold war climate and political tensions of the time. To celebrate and commemorate these events, starting today, @ApolloPlus40 will send a steady stream of updates in pseudo-real time, plus 40 years, as events unfolded... Read more

UCL to implement Open Access policy for all research

Posted 3 June 2009 by Noah Gray

First, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences did it at Harvard. Then MIT announced a similar policy that affected the entire institution. Now University College London has established their own Open Access policy. Except, this time it is a little different, at least that’s what it seems like for the moment. The difference is the lack of a loop-hole, which exists in both Boston institutions’ policies, allowing researchers to “opt out” of depositing into the public repository as long as... Read more

Twitter, experimental psychology and not believing everything you’re told

Posted 2 June 2009 by Noah Gray

Richard Wiseman and New Scientist have teamed up to conduct the first ever mass experiment on Twitter. It all started last week when Dr. Wiseman announced his intentions of carrying out a “mystery experiment” on Twitter. All an individual had to do to participate was to “follow him” (essentially formally subscribing to his updates, for the uninitiated.) Since then the followers of “@richardwiseman” dramatically increased from ~1,500 prior to the announcement to just under 5,000 by the time the first... Read more

My fears realized in comic form: The Science News Cycle

Posted 20 May 2009 by Noah Gray

One reoccurring theme on this blog is how science is communicated to the public and that, too often than not, said communication utterly FAILs. Mo Costandi, Sandy Gautam and Laelaps posted this comic today (or yesterday…whatever) and as Laelaps put it – “This says it all, really.” From PhD comics ... Read more

Moving beyond an uncompromising generation

Posted 19 May 2009 by Noah Gray

President Obama gave the commencement address at my Alma Mater this past Sunday. It was both an exciting and sad day for the graduates, I’m sure. When the University of Notre Dame President, Rev. John Jenkins invited President Obama to speak, I’m sure he was aware of the potential barbs, criticism and the general lack of pleasantries that could would come his way. Yet, courageously, he went ahead with the controversial pick. Why was it controversial? Well, Notre Dame is... Read more

The general public knows very little about neuroscience

Posted 11 May 2009 by Noah Gray

I don’t get a lot of traffic at the ole’ Facebook inbox, but I did recently receive a note from a high school friend who had neuro-based questions and therefore took advantage of our connection. She works for a large consulting firm in the US and recently took part in an employee survey assessing workplace ethics. The curator of said survey apparently subscribes to the notion that 5% of all humanity is inherently evil and [wait for it….] TEH SCIENCEZ... Read more