Thoughts on the mind, 6/28

Apparently during Einstein’s autopsy, the pathologist stole Einstein’s brain instead of placing it back in the skull. I didn’t realize there was such skulduggery involved (sorry). Anyway, now they find that Einstein had an abnormally large number of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in his brain. I guess maybe that’s interesting?

Broca’s area is not the seat of syntax.

Testosterone gets the short end of the stick – it’s oestrogen we have to blame.

Creative people are just like schizophrenics, because they both have relatively fewer D2 receptors in thalamus. D2 receptors perform a lot of roles: in the striatum they are strongly associated with addiction and obesity (seemingly from here). Many diseases give potential benefits (neurodiversity), which is probably why things like Tourette’s persist (better timing or self-control or something?).

Birds can give us insight into how neurogenesis happens at differing rates. Here is some more information on neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. Finally, here are some nice visualizations of calbindin and zinc transporter expression in mouse hippocampus.

Amnesiacs frequently give new insight into how memory works. It is thus exciting to find someone with a new type of amnesia – ’50 first dates amnesia’.

Someone was covering a seminar on the neuroscience of honeybees (and various invertebrates)! I think I’m in heaven.

Reviewing a paper that reports stable cortical maps for non-body functions, with an aim toward neuroprostheses.

From the same blog, here is coverage of a paper examining feedback control. Here’s the important quote:

Thus, the conclusion is that when you have uncertainty in your predictive system, you actually change your cost function while you’re learning a new internal model. I find this really interesting because it’s a good piece of evidence that uncertainty in the predictive system feeds into the selection of a new cost function for a movement, rather than the motor system just sticking with the old cost function and continuing to bash away.

These movable micromotor brain implants are going to be really, really nice when they’re usable.


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