A Brain that Keeps on Teaching: H.M.’s Story

If you’ve ever dabbled in neuroscience (or work at a neuroscience-based company, like I do) you may have come across the story of “H.M.” H.M. was a man who had brain surgery in the 1950s to stop severe seizures. The surgeon ended up removing large pieces of H.M.’s brain. The result: far fewer seizures, and…

Misleading Science Claims: The Case of Baby Einstein

A few years ago Disney announced that it is offering refunds on Baby Einstein DVDs purchased in the past five years. Why? Baby Einstein claimed to make babies “smarter,” but doesn’t. In fact, research suggests that if anything, watching such DVDs slows learning development in young children. Threatened with a class-action lawsuit, Disney began to…

Dr. Michael Merzenich Wins the 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience

Posit Science’s very own Dr. Michael Merzenich has been awarded the 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience for his work in discovering adult brain plasticity and applying its principles to improve the human condition! The Kavli Prize––a partnership between The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Kavli Foundation, and The Norwegian Ministry of Education and…

Is Pregnancy Brain a Real Thing?

You’ve likely heard the term “pregnancy brain” used by self-deprecating mothers-to-be when they aren’t feeling or behaving up to their usual cognitive snuff. Some pregnant women say they often forget things easily, are less attentive than normal, and just don’t seem like themselves. But does so-called pregnancy brain manifest itself in measurable cognitive loss? Myra…

Why Can’t Our Brains Figure Out Magic Tricks?

As intellectually mature adults, we know that when we see a magic trick successfully pulled off, it’s not really magic that gets us, but some sort of trick that makes us think we’re seeing something that didn’t––and couldn’t––really happen. Knowing this, though, doesn’t make a magic trick any less entertaining or amazing. So why can’t…

TED Talk: Daniel Kish on Learning to "See" Using Echolocation

When you hear the word “echolocation” you probably think of bats. After all, we use the phrase “blind as a bat” and we know that bats use echolocation–bouncing sounds off of hard surfaces–to navigate their space effectively, despite poor eyesight. But did you know that humans are capable of this too? Daniel Kish, who became…

Tired? Science Says Don’t Just Take a Nap or Drink Coffee…Do Both

In the past we have talked about the proven benefits of coffee.  We can now add one more benefit. When you’re feeling tired, you may wonder if you should take a nap or drink coffee. But scientists have found that a “coffee nap”–meaning, drinking coffee followed immediately by a short nap–may be the best solution to…

Video: Michael Merzenich in Conversation with the Dalai Lama

Of all the neuroscientists in the world, who had the honor of sharing the stage with the Dalai Lama last week? Our co-founder and chief scientist, Dr. Michael Merzenich, was chosen for a very special on-stage discussion with His Holiness that took place this past weekend week at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. The symposium, titled “Neuroplasticity and Healing,” centered on the topic…