What grabs your attention?

Advertisers and marketers make a living out of grabbing your attention. They are not above using sudden loud noises (a salient physical stimulus or bottom-up attention grab). Nor do they shy away from top-down effects such as priming (defined as subtle suggestions made to the ‘subconscious’ brain to influence behaviour). But wait. Don’t classical … [Read more...]

I didn’t do anything to deserve this….

And now you’re going to pay! Perceptions of injustice can emerge from a variety of conditions such as injury as the result of another’s actions – or in the case of not installing appropriate safety procedures – inactions - the experience of undeserved or irreparable loss or if the individual is exposed to a situation that transgresses human rights, … [Read more...]

Part two of Parallel worlds collide… and we all see stars, or astrocytes at least

Immune activation can produce some powerful and longlasting behaviour changes. Take single event learning for example (Ader and Cohen 1975) - the seminal study that  proved that the immune system response could be behaviourally conditioned. Ader and Cohen (1975)  paired sugar with an immunosuppressive agent in rats. When a foreign agent (sheep red … [Read more...]

Parallel worlds collide… and we all see stars, or astrocytes at least

Perhaps our language has always hinted at the involvement of glial cells in injury?  And, when glial cells outnumber neurons in the brain by 20 to 1, it begs the question who is really in charge of synaptic activity (should that be plasticity) in the brain? I think it is fair to say that ever since the neuronal doctrine captured the imagination … [Read more...]

Is it time the memory worked again?

I was reading Valery Legrain’s blog and it caused me to reflect on what sort of daily use I give my working memory. Have I needed to mentally rehearse a phone number while dialling it? No, my phone dials whoever I ask it to. Have I bothered to calculate the amount of change I’m going to get at the checkout because the young assistant looks like … [Read more...]

Introducing Carolyn Berryman

Welcome to the first fruit of the Heidi Hurricane. Heidi thinks you should all meet the team.  The first one you are to meet is Carolyn Berryman.  Carolyn has been teaching with the Noisters (Neuro Orthopaedic Institute) for the last 10 years and finally got herself into research via a very competitive post-graduate scholarship. Not that she has … [Read more...]