On RevolutionQ&A with Wise Young, MD, PhD
By any measure, Wise Young—co-author this month’s Cerebrum article, “You Say You Want a Revolution”— has had an extraordinary career. In August 2001, TIME named him ‘America’s Best’ in the field of spinal cord injury research. In 2005, Esquire ranked him among ‘The Best and the Brightest’ and dedicated five pages to his story, from mid-century Hong Kong and […]
Reaction to “Equal ≠ The Same: Sex Differences in the Human Brain”
A recent Cerebrum article by Larry Cahill about sex differences in the human brain has prompted a group of women academicians to respond and for the author to reply to their response. We encourage you to evaluate both points of view, as well as the original article, and form your own opinion.
You Say You Want a Revolution?
From their roles directing the W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience at Rutgers University, Wise Young and Patricia Morton have been on the front lines of spinal-cord-injury research for most of their careers. In this article they lean on lessons from the past, their own experience, and events still unfolding as they raise questions about the future of all scientific research.
The Brain-Games Conundrum: Does Cognitive Training Really Sharpen the Mind?
Few topics in the world of neuroscience evoke as much debate as the effectiveness of cognitive training. Do you misplace your keys regularly? Forget appointments? Have trouble remembering names? No worries. A host of companies promise to “train” your brain with games designed to stave off mental decline. Regardless of their effectiveness, their advertising has convinced tens of thousands of people to open their wallets. As our authors review the research on cognitive-training products, they expose the science surrounding the benefits of brain games as sketchy at best.
With a Little Help from Our Friends: How the Brain Processes Empathy
Why are certain individuals born with a brain that is wired to help others? What daily habits or life experiences reinforce compassion but also selfishness, narcissism, and psychopathy? Social neuroscience models have assumed that people simply rely on their own emotions as a reference for empathy, but recent studies suggest neurobiological underpinnings for how the brain processes empathy. A better understanding of these processes, says the author, could lead to more social cohesion and less antisocial harm in society.
Brain-to-Brain Interfaces: When Reality Meets Science Fiction
Every memory that we have, act that we perform, and feeling that we experience creates brainstorms—interactions of millions of cells that produce electrical signals. Neuroscientists are now able to record those signals, extract the kind of motor commands that the brain is about to produce, and communicate the commands to machines that can understand them and facilitate movement in the human body. Research in this area has the potential to help paraplegics and others suffering from spinal-cord injuries to control machines with their thoughts and to bolster their ability to get around.
The Time of Your Life
The circadian rhythm—the 24-hour cycle of the physiological processes of living beings—is instrumental in determining the sleeping and feeding patterns of all animals, including humans. Clear patterns of brain-wave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration, and other biological activities are linked to this daily cycle. Our author focuses on two relatively new areas of research—circadian genomics and epigenomics—and their potential for advancing medical insight.
The Age Gauge: Older Fathers Having Children
In recent years, scientists have debated the existence of a link between a father’s age and his child’s vulnerability to psychiatric problems. Our authors led a research team that produced a paper that analyzed data on all individuals born in Sweden from 1973 through 2001. Both the authors’ study and another study raise as many questions as they answer, but they suggest that children born to middle-aged men are more likely than their older siblings to develop a range of mental difficulties, including bipolar disorder, autism, and schizophrenia.