In this week post I will present to you the case of Phineas Gage, an American railroad worker whose case change drastically the knowledge of the frontal lobes (you can see one of his pictures below). The famous picture of Phineas Gage, holding the metal bar that pierced is skull. From neuroscienze.net This incredible story… Continue reading What happens when a metal bar gets stuck between our cheek and forehead?
Following up on last week’s new theme (have a look here if you missed it), today I will introduce to you a new area of the brain: the amygdala. The amygdala is an almond-shaped cluster of nuclei located deep and medially within the temporal lobes of the brain in complex vertebrates, including humans (see picture… Continue reading How can we start fearing something even before consciously realising it?
In my last week’s post (if you missed it, have a look here), while I was talking about how the first studies on memory started and the animal model used, I mentioned a particular structure of the brain called hippocampus. Since I have been mentioning different areas of the brain also while I was presenting… Continue reading Why is the hippocampus important in memory formation?
Coming back to my last semester of my last year of Master’s in Neurobiology, today I will talk about memory and in particular about the first pioneer studies by the neuroscientist and Nobel Laureate Erik Kandel, that wanted to study memory from a neurophysiological point of view and that demonstrated how learning leaves traces in… Continue reading How did we start to study memory?
In March 2015 I finally started my last semester of the Master´s in Neurobiology. Courses-wise, the semester was actually not so intense, we just had two courses, but I finally got repaid of all the efforts I had to put into getting myself around Physics, Neurophysiology and some not-so-nice professors: I was eventually connecting all… Continue reading How is Coca-Cola using Pavlovian conditioning?
After the last few posts about my Neurobiology Master’s thesis, today I would like to follow up on the story of how I ended up doing a PhD in Germany and I will write about the first semester of my second and last year of Master’s. After that pretty hard first year, where I realized… Continue reading What is a prion?
Today I will talk again about the neuromodulators used by the brain (you can find a quick description of what a neuromodulator is here and a description of serotonin, oxytocin, adrenaline and dopamine by clicking on their names) and I will write about the neuropeptide Y (NPY), the most abundant neuropeptide in the brain that,… Continue reading Do we have an anxiolytic neuromodulator?
This week I will take a break from the “brain facts” category and, consequently, from the description of the different neuromodulators our brain use (you can find a quick description of what a neuromodulator is here and a description of serotonin, oxytocin, adrenaline and dopamine by clicking on their names) to talk about a “news… Continue reading What is the CAR-T therapy?
On this post I will continue writing about neurotransmitters (see this post for a quick explanation of the term neurotransmitter) and today I will focus on dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in movement, or better, motor control (unfortunately, defects in the dopaminergic systems are well known by Parkinson patients and their families) as well as executive… Continue reading What about the “molecule of motivation”?
Following up on my neuromodulators topic (have a look at my previous posts about serotonin and oxytocin), today I will talk about the “stress” or “fight-or-flight” hormone: adrenaline. Experiencing a stressful event usually triggers the release of adrenaline, the “stress hormone”, that in turn produces well-orchestrated physiological changes. The stress response begins in the brain,… Continue reading What is the “fight-or-flight” response?