Unrelated to all that, 9/20(ish) edition

I’ve been in beautiful Portland, Oregon the past few days for my Grandmother’s 100th (!) birthday. We’ve had several celebratory dinners and brunches; I’m completely exhausted yet my Grandmother keeps on truckin’. At one of the dinners there was a slideshow of pictures from her life and it’s almost unimaginable how much she’s seen; she grew up in rural Alberta (her mother at one point had a pet bear, no joke), and she remembers seeing the troops marching off to war in World War I and listening to the King’s Speech.

All of the cousins on that side of the family gathered together in one place for the first time in twenty years – we have lived pretty far apart, from all across the US to Canada (Vancouver) to Mexico to South Korea to the UK. Seeing everyone as adults for the first time, it’s striking how many similarities there are between children who have lived in pretty distinct families and environments. It makes me think there might be something to this whole genetics thing…

Anyway, here are your links for last week:

On the blog

I discussed some success from neuroscience, and why, though ‘bumpology’ in the popular press may not be informative, the science is useful to scientists.

I also posted a link to a classroom experiment designed to illustrate how trade may have developed. This is a great example of how economics should progress – experimentally – especially when one considers how sophisticated economic thought has been historically.

Additionally, there was a great paper that was recently published on how oxytocin can regulate social reward. As an addendum, it was pointed out to me on twitter that the serotonin receptor under discussion can sometimes be found on the postsynaptic glutamatergic (excitatory) cells; this is something I want to look into more.

Finally, I stirred up a bit of a fuss by accusing Gary Marcus of hating computational neuroscience. I’ll admit to being in a bit of an…ornery mood the morning I wrote that, and Gary pointed out that he, in fact, does not hate computational neuroscience. I think we have a difference of opinion on precisely what is an impressive advance in AI and what neuroscience has contributed to it. I’m working on a post going into that in more detail, so look out for that. I meant to try to have more of a discussion with him on it, but I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve had to do in lab and with my relatives…

On other blogs

Digging into the details, the Hot Hand does exist but it really sucks

The case of the disappearing teaspoons! An article from pubmed.

A freshwater flea, magnified

This has always been my favorite Calvin and Hobbes

How does fMRI work?

Is it possible to recover from a setback in academia like this?

Yelp for journals!

Medium seems like it’s just Kuro5hin remade (everything old is new again)

Dogs are perfectly happy to socialize with robots

Why the paradox of choice might be a myth

In the journals

Individual personalities predict social behaviour in wild networks of great tits (Parus major)

Nectar thieves influence reproductive fitness by altering behavior of nectar robbers [Mostly just an excellent title]

Sex differences in the influence of social context, salient social stimulation, and amphetamine on ultrasonic vocalizations in male and female prairie voles

Nucleus accumbens response to gains in reputation for the self relative to gains for others predicts social media use

Surprised at all the entropy: hippocampal, caudate and midbrain contributions to learning from prediction errors

On the sister blog

Tel Aviv has a fantastic street art scene, but my favorite work is from Broken Fingaz

Death metal robots!  That is all.

There are some bizarre and awesome subreddits out there, and these are a few that I would like you to know about

I found a really cool gif illustrating how a motor works, go look at it and be learned

What is happening in the Great Plains is tragic and scary

Dali and Bunuel made a movie. It was weird.


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