Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

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Three Big Doubts About Brain-Mapping Efforts

Neuroscience research has come a hell of a long way since the days of scalpels and electrodes. While some research teams are exploring the molecular machinery that churns at the hearts of nerve cells, others are working to assemble wiring diagrams for whole regions of the human brain. Just as biological science never looked the […]

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The Top 5 Neuroscience Breakthroughs of 2012

More than any year before, 2012 was the year neuroscience exploded into pop culture. From mind-controlled robot hands to cyborg animals to TV specials to triumphant books, brain breakthroughs were tearing up the airwaves and the internets. From all the thrilling neurological adventures we covered over the past year, we’ve collected five stories we want […]

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Deciphering Sleep: Our Interview with David Rye

Why do we need to sleep? In all of human biology, few questions are more persistent – or more mythologized – than this one. Almost as puzzling as sleep itself are sleep disorders like narcolepsy and insomnia, which make us wonder why some of us need so much more sleep than others do. David Rye, […]

Matt Wall

Brain Scans and Bold Plans: Our Interview with Matt Wall

Sometimes, a conversation takes you to places you never would’ve expected. Matt Wall and I struck up a chat about brain-scanning technology early this year, and he mentioned that he’d like to do an interview for The Connectome. Since he’s got 5+ years of published brain research under his belt, I jumped at the chance. […]

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The Lurking Lizard

He has haunted us for more than fifty years – this strange scientist, with his theory of primal reptiles embedded in each of us. And for years I wondered, Could this bizarre hypothesis be true? Might it explain the ancient instincts – so contrary to my intentions – which I felt arising from the depths […]

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Memories on a Microchip

Are your memories real? How do you know? These sound like questions from a mind-bending thriller – Total Recall, say; or Inception. But this isn’t science fiction. Researchers around the world are implanting memories, turning them on and off – and, according to one team, storing them on microchips. Wow. Okay. Let’s back up here. […]

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Sexy Neuroscience III

Female orgasm is a topic shrouded in mystery – not just for sexually awkward boyfriends, but for biologists too. We know, for example, that lots of animals have clitorises, yet a surprising number of female mammals don’t seem to experience orgasms at all. This has led researchers to some new discoveries and debates – and […]

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Whisperers in Darkness

Last night I awoke with my head under the covers, to the sounds of strange chitterings and scratchings in the darkness around me. For a few seconds I lay frozen, hoping the sounds would fade – but they only grew louder and drew nearer – until at last, unable to stand it any longer, I […]

TRANSHUMAN

Prometheus Unbound

What would you do if you could feel any way you wanted, at will? I’m not just talking about mind-hacks for calming yourself down or getting motivated. I mean, what if you could become drunk, instantly, just by deciding to – and then completely sober up at a moment’s notice? What if tripping on mescaline […]

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Science, Pseudoscience, and Souls

This article, Near Death Explained by Mario Beauregard, doesn’t actually explain what out-of-body experiences are. What it does is propose non-scientific answers derived from fallacious reasoning. Which is intensely frustrating, because Beauregard is writing about an awesome topic: What happens in our brains when we have out-of-body experiences (OBEs)? I mean, who wouldn’t want to know that? What makes […]

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