Brains & naps / Sloth hair / Apples & Onions / Meeting eclipse

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has four segments. Here are bits of each of them: Time for a nap — Brainy people get to dream a little more than not-quite-so-brainy people, correlationally speaking, if their brains and genomes accord with the findings of researchers from the University of the Republic in Uruguay, University […]

Dead salmon, again in the service of science

Just a few years after dead salmon helped neuroscientists analyze data more carefully, other dead salmon are helping other scientists better understand how trees grow. The neuroscience salmon figured in the Ig Nobel Prize-winning study “Neural correlates of interspecies perspective taking in the post-mortem Atlantic Salmon: An argument for multiple comparisons correction,” Craig M. Bennett, Abigail […]

Female Brain Size and Male Genitalia Length [new study]

Researchers in Sweden and Australia published a new study exploring how the length of males’ genitalia affects the size of females’ brains. Anyone who reads the study discovers that it’s about a species of tiny fish; and the effect, if it happens, occurs over the span of many generations, possibly not so much with individual females […]

Do a person’s genes predict how high they will go in school? — The 3.2% solution

Scholars have wondered whether (and in some cases, assumed that) success in schools comes largely from the good genes a person inherits. A new study of scholars and their genes provides evidence that YES, IT DOES, sort of, a little bit, maybe. The study is powerful — its authors tell us exactly how powerful. The study is “Genome-wide association study […]

‘Welcome to My Brain’ (paper)

Dr. Anne Beate Reinertsen PhD is associate professor and post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Education at Nord-Trøndelag University College, Norway. The professor welcomes you to her brain. She offers you this explanation in her paper entitled : ‘Welcome to My Brain’ (in: Qualitative Inquiry, July 12, 2013) “This is about developing recursive, intrinsic, […]

Gorilla Ig Nobellian reviews Full-Bladder Winners

Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Chris Chabris, who together with Dan Simons was awarded the 2004 Ig Nobel Prize in psychology (for their experiment in which people did not notice a gorilla) explores some recent books about how well the brain makes decisions. In particular Professor Chabris appreciates the work of the 2011 Ig Nobel medicine prize winners: Is the […]

Are our brains too big?

Noble Prizewinner François Jacob outlined a quandary in a 1977 lecture at the University of California : “Although our brain represents the main adaptive feature of our species, what it is adapted to is not clear at all.” This quandary remains, to this day, unresolved. But attempts to answer it have been made – by, […]