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Neurdiness is a blog about neuroscience, and all the glorious and laborious things that go along with it. Topics covered include major themes that span the field, and perhaps science in general, down to specific methods or recently published papers.

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  • May 26, 2013
  • 06:09 PM

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Untrue

by Grace Lindsay in Neurdiness

This is a piece about the present state, and potential future, of fraud in scientific research which  I wrote for a Responsible Conduct in Research course taught at Columbia. There seems to be a trend as of late of prominent scientific researchers been outed for fabrications or falsifications in their data. Diederik Stapel’s extravagant web of […]... Read more »

  • May 9, 2013
  • 09:54 PM

Methodological Mixology: The harmful side of diversity in Neuroscience

by Grace Lindsay in Neurdiness

The range of tools used to study the brain is vast. Neuroscientists toss together ideas from genetics, biochemistry, immunology, physics, computer science, medicine and countless other fields when choosing their techniques. We work on animals ranging from barely-visible worms and the common fruit fly to complicated creatures like mice, monkeys, and men. We record from […]... Read more »

  • April 22, 2013
  • 05:59 PM

Knowledge is Pleasure!: Reliable reward information as a reward itself

by Grace Lindsay in Neurdiness

Pursuing rewards is a crucial part of survival for any species. The circuitry that tells us to seek out pleasure is what ensures that we find food, drink, and mates. In order to engage in this behavior, we must learn associations between rewards and the stimuli that predict them. That way we can know that [...]... Read more »

  • February 24, 2013
  • 09:55 AM

Finding the Treasure: A practical view on where the Brain Activity Map project will lead us

by Grace Lindsay in Neurdiness

Since the vague reference to it in the State of the Union and the subsequent report by the New York Times, the neuro-sphere has been abuzz with debate recently over the proposed Brain Activity Map (BAM) project put forth by the Obama administration. While the details have not been formally announced yet, it is generally [...]... Read more »

A. Paul Alivisatos, Miyoung Chun, George M. Church, Ralph J. Greenspan, Michael L. Roukes, Rafael Yuste. (2012) The Brain Activity Map Project and the Challenge of Functional Connectomics. Neuron. info:/

  • February 11, 2013
  • 11:45 AM

The Right Tool for the Job: How the nature of the brain explains why computational neuroscience is done

by Grace Lindsay in Neurdiness

Recently, I was charged with giving a presentation to a group of high schoolers preparing for the Brain Bee on the topic of computational approaches to neuroscience. Of course, in order to reach my goal of informing and exciting these kids about the subject, I had to start with the very basic questions of ‘what’ [...]... Read more »

  • January 18, 2013
  • 09:38 AM

Currently Necessary Evil: A (vegan’s) view on the use of animals in neuroscience research

by Grace Lindsay in Neurdiness

All research methodologies have their challenges. Molecular markers are finicky. Designing human studies is fraught with red tape. And getting neural cultures to grow can seem to require as much luck as skill. But for those of us involved in animal-based research, there is an extra dimension of difficulty: the ethical one. No matter how [...]... Read more »

Editors. (2011) Animal rights and wrongs. Nature, 470(7335), 435-435. DOI: 10.1038/470435a  

  • January 9, 2013
  • 04:54 PM

Sequencing the Connectome: An entirely new approach to neuroanatomy at the finest level

by Grace Lindsay in Neurdiness

Neuroanatomy can happen at many scales. At the highest end, we can ask if certain areas of the brain have connections between them: for example, does the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) send projections to primary visual cortex? (hint: yes). Through electrical stimulation and tract-tracing methods, we’ve gotten pretty good at finding this out. We can [...]... Read more »

Zador, A., Dubnau, J., Oyibo, H., Zhan, H., Cao, G., & Peikon, I. (2012) Sequencing the Connectome. PLoS Biology, 10(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001411  

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