Hitchhiker’s Guide to Brain Science on Planet Earth

What will the brain research community thing about “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Brain Science on Planet Earth” (read the article free, here online)? Though this curious piece of writing does not explicitly explore ice cream, it is a featured part of the special ICE CREAM issue (volume 28, number 1) of the magazine, Annals of Improbable Research.

Enjoyment of Watching Pimple Popping Videos: An fMRI Investigation

Pimples take center stage in the brain, in this new study: “Enjoyment of Watching Pimple Popping Videos: An fMRI Investigation,” Albert Wabnegger, Carina Höfler, Thomas Zussner, Harald H Freudenthaler, Anne Schienle, Behavioural Brain Research, vol. 402, March 26, 2021, 113129.  The authors, at the University of Graz, Austria, explain: We administered a total of 96 […]

The Precuneus and Anterior Cingulate Gyrus of Professional Comedians

This study attempted to see if there is something funny in the brains of professional comedians. The study is: “Mapping the ‘Funny Bone’: Neuroanatomical Correlates of Humor Creativity in Professional Comedians, Jacob Brawer and Ori Amir, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, epub 2021. (Thanks to Emine Kidjo for bringing this to our attention.) Here are […]

What does coffee do to your brain: The eternal question

“Coffee and the Brain: Attention, Make, React, Threat” is a featured article in the special Coffee, and Tea issue (volume 26, number 4) of the Annals of Improbable Research. It gurgles into the seemingly eternal quest to understand how coffee affects what the drinker thinks and feels, and does not think or feel. Read the […]

How is a computer programmer like a dead salmon?

One statement, at least, in a June 5, 2020 press release would be hard to dispute: “Our goal was to develop a completely new approach to better understand the cognitive processes involved in programming.” The press release, issued by the Chemnitz University of Technology, comes with the headline “Programming ‘language’: Brain scans reveal coding uses […]

fMRI Brain Research: The Dead Salmon Has Lots of Company

Quite a lot of brain research uses the technique called fMRI—and now quite a lot of research shows that fMRI brain research fairly often leads to nonsense or bewilderment. A New Study Turns Up Much Nothingness A new study tries to sum up the situation: “What Is the Test-Retest Reliability of Common Task-Functional MRI Measures? New […]

A Look in the Brains of Publication-Hungry Brain Scientists

“The idea that one can study scholar journal publishing behavior by looking at their brain’s fMRI response to the ‘journal impact factor‘ of the journal is, to an academic serials librarian at least, incredibly funny. I suppose this is the serious-professor version of hooking up a child to an fMRI and offering them their favorite candy.” […]