Archive for: October, 2012

SfN Prep: The Packing List!

Oct 11 2012 Published by under Academia

This is a repost from last year's SfN Neuroblogging. While I am not blogging the conference this year, i'd like to repost this one, as I ALWAYS get asked what to bring, and what to WEAR!

Every time Sci goes to a conference, I end up getting asked for stuff. Chances are, I usually have it. I've got a long history of packing for conferences and other kinds of travel, and I've become kind of a master. I'm not talking rolling your clothes, bringing the small toiletries, etc, etc. Nope, these are the other little things, the little things that make hard, long conference days a little easier and a little better. Here's a list, in no particular order, of the little things that can make travel nice. 🙂

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6 responses so far

You can carry a tune, you just might drop it a few times.

Oct 10 2012 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

Maybe you think you can't sing. Singing is a talent you just don't have. Some people can sing, like, you know, Adele:

But you? You can't sing.

The authors of this study would argue that that is, probably, not true! You can sing! You...just really suck at it.

Bella et al. "Singing proficiency in the general population" J. Acoust . Soc. Am. 2007.

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SfN Repost: Where the Salmon Come to Spawn

Oct 09 2012 Published by under Academia, Uncategorized

Unlike previous years, Sci will NOT be Neuroblogging this year's SfN. I did like doing it, it was loads of fun, but I'm afraid there's just too much on my plate this year. I will definitely be looking up this year's neurobloggers, though! I think I recognize some names! 🙂

But I would like to offer to any young neuroscientists this following reposts, on going to SfN, having a good time, and getting out alive.

SFN is big. Ok, Not as big as Experimental Biology. Or that one Microbiology meeting. (Apparently it's bigger than BOTH of these! Someone told me once that ASM topped out around 40K but I guess not! Neuroscience FTW!!!) But for many neuroscientists, it's easily the biggest meeting we've ever been to, and often, it's also the first. And so, Sci's little heart aches in sympathy when she gets an email like this:

Hi Sci,
This is my first time to a meeting and to SFN.

I specifically would like to socialize with people who are working in my area of research...

I am generally a shy person and I am trying to break the ice this time. Advice on how to make connections and how to find and approach people in my area of research is what I am looking for.
Have you ever attended SFN sponsored socials? Are they useful? What should we expect at a social?
Any general advice to get the most out of the meeting.. It seems like there is a lot and very little time.

I've been there. Believe me. Her first time, Sci felt like a tiny speck in a sea of neuroscience. Or sometimes (depending on crowds) like a salmon swimming the wrong way in the current. But neuro-salmon, we aren't just here to show our flashy pink tummies and research! No, we are here to SPAWN (not literally, well, some people are, I've heard rumors). We are here to network and spawn research ideas, and if we're little post-doc salmon, we are here to spawn some possible collaborations and faculty opportunity!

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4 responses so far

No time for sleep, it's sexy time!

Oct 08 2012 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

Sci is at SciAm blogs today, talking about a study showing that some animals will short themselves pretty severely on sleep...if they stand a good chance of gettin' it on. Pectoral sandpipers will reduce sleep drastically during the mating season in the Arctic, and instead of hurting them, this actually...increases their fitness. Head over and check it out.

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Sunday Funny: Walnuts are shaped like BRAINS because...GOD.

Oct 07 2012 Published by under Sunday Funnies, Synaptic Misfires

Remember that whole "avocados and eggplants go straight to the womb because they shaped like wombs"? It turns out that's a THING. Like, a thing that people actually believe.

Via Josh Rosenau, and presented with eyerolling.

Food Patterns of our Body Proof for Intelligent Design from blowthetrumpet on GodTube.

Yes. Josh found the video via a Christian forum...that was mocking it ruthlessly. Good people.

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Friday Weird Science: how much wood could a woodchuck chuck...

Oct 05 2012 Published by under Friday Weird Science

...if a woodchuck could chuck wood? We've all heard the answer to that age-old question: he'd chuck the wood that a woodchuck COULD chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

But then you have to ask yourself: how much IS that?

Someone actually found out. Or rather, they MAY have found out. The paper is in the Annals of Improbable Research, and was improbably peer reviewed. It also has highly improbable animal care protocols. So from what I can tell the actual possibility of this study having been done is...improbable.

But they did get a number!

Paskevich and Shea. "The ability of woodchucks to chuck cellulose fibers" Annals of Improbable Research, 1995.

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24 responses so far

Marching to a different beat: ADHD and circadian rhythms

Oct 03 2012 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

Sometimes, I read a paper, and I'm just suddenly struck by the sheer interconnectedness of the brain. This is one of those papers. Not because of the paper itself, but because when you see the association between one change in the brain (ADHD) and another (circadian rhythm), you can start to intuit other changes that might result from the two systems. Soon, you're just overwhelmed by the idea that it's all a vast web, a pull in one direction changes something in another, different systems adapting to tiny changes elsewhere to maintain homeostasis. The brain is a marvelous thing.

And today's paper concerns an association between two brain "systems" that you might think very different: attention, and circadian clock.


Baird et al "Adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is associated with alterations in circadian rhythms at the behavioural, endocrine and molecular levels" Molecular Psychiatry, 2012.

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