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Preview: Neurophilosophy

Mo Costandi

Neuroscience writer

Last Build Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2018 18:50:36 +0000


Neurophilosophy blog archiveMoNPcircusNeurophilosophy banners by Jessica Palmer

Mon, 15 Apr 2013 12:57:48 +0000

Neurophilosophy is a blog about molecules, mind, and everything in between, written by Mo Costandi. The latest entries can be found at the Guardian. POPULAR POSTS Copyright © Mo Costandi 2006-2017 | @mocost Header image of ‘Brainbow‘ hippocampus by Jean Livet Advertisements

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The illusion of attentionpictures_of_leanna_021_by_serenitystyles-d667m5zMo

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 13:00:50 +0000

You board the train, find a seat and open the latest bestseller by your favourite author. The couple sitting opposite are having a conversation, and the driver announces that there will be a short delay to your journey, but you are so engrossed in your book that you are unaware of these sounds. In fact, […]

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A whiff of early brain evolutionhadrocodium wui_skullMohadrocodium wui_ct

Thu, 19 May 2011 14:27:55 +0000

The question of how mammals evolved their exceptionally large brains has intrigued researchers for years, and although many ideas have been put forward, none has provided a clear answer. Now a team of palaeontologists suggests that the mammalian brain evolved in three distinct stages, the first of which was driven by an improvement in the […]

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Speed of illusory body movements alters the passage of timeMo

Wed, 04 May 2011 11:44:48 +0000

Your brain has a remarkable ability to extract and process biological cues from the deluge of visual information. It is highly sensitive to the movements of living things, especially those of other people – so much so that it conjures the illusion of movement from a picture of a moving body. Although static, such pictures […]

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Box jellyfish stable-eyes vision to hunt preyHaeckel_box jellyMoBox_jellyfish

Thu, 28 Apr 2011 14:06:51 +0000

Ernst Haeckel’s Kunstformen der Natur (Artforms of Nature) was a landmark in biological illustration. Published in 1904, it was lavishly illustrated with 100 exquisitely detailed lithographic plates, including the one above, showing different species of cubomedusae, or box jellyfish. Since around the time that Haeckel’s masterpiece was published, we’ve known that box jellyfish have a unique visual system […]

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Gut bacteria may influence thoughts and behavioure_coli-1Mo

Fri, 25 Mar 2011 22:39:48 +0000

The human gut contains a diverse community of bacteria which colonize the large intestine in the days following birth and vastly outnumber our own cells. These intestinal microflora constitute a virtual organ within an organ and influence many bodily functions. Among other things, they aid in the uptake and metabolism of nutrients, modulate the inflammatory response to […]

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Looking into Ramachandran’s broken mirrorVS RamachandranMo

Thu, 10 Mar 2011 12:34:28 +0000

I visited Vilayanur S. Ramachandran at the University of California, San Diego recently, and interviewed him and several members of his lab about their work. Rama and I talked, among other things, about the controversial broken mirror hypothesis, which he and others independently proposed in the early 1990s as an explanation for autism. I’ve written a short […]

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Artificial nerve grafts made from spider silkspider silkMo

Mon, 07 Mar 2011 22:35:25 +0000

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people suffer from paralyzed limbs as a result of peripheral nerve injury. Recently, implantation of artificial nerve grafts has become the method of choice for repairing damaged peripheral nerves. Grafts can lead to some degree of functional recovery when a short segment of nerve is damaged. But they are […]

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Tough and tender: How touch affects sex categorizationMoandrogyne

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 15:58:49 +0000

Look at the photograph below on the right. Does it show the face of a man or a woman? There’s no right answer – the photo has been manipulated to look sexually ambiguous and can be perceived as either. But according to a recent study published in the journal Psychological Science, the sense of touch can […]

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The woman who knows no fearSM fearMo

Fri, 17 Dec 2010 15:54:15 +0000

A 44-year-old woman with a rare form of brain damage can literally feel no fear, according to a case study published yesterday in the journal Current Biology. Referred to as S.M., she suffers from a genetic condition called Urbach-Wiethe Disease. The condition is extremely rare, with fewer than 300 reported cases since it was first described in […]

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