Fait Non Accompli: Social Structures Influence Studies of Sex Differences

Fait Non Accompli: Social Structures Influence Studies of Sex Differences

A reader asks: Can you explain what the correlation is between our brains, sexual orientation and gender?

Researchers have been trying to solve this problem for decades and encounter countless scientific challenges. In this post, Whitney Heavner summarizes findings from a field exploring whether there is something fundamentally different between the structure and organization of male and female brains.

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7th graders ask brainy questions about neuroscience

7th graders ask brainy questions about neuroscience

Brain Day, for those of you who haven’t heard of it, brings Stanford neuroscientists into all of the 7th grade science classrooms in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto to introduce young students to neuroscience, and answer their brain-themed questions. Kendra Lechtenberg explains how this spring, she's going digital with some of the Brain Day questions. 

Image credit: Tintin44 on Flickr

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Why do humans hallucinate on little sleep?

Why do humans hallucinate on little sleep?

What do psychosis, psychedelics and sleep deprivation have in common? They make you really bad at perceiving visual illusions…and really good at hallucinating.

Driven by bewilderment, a hunch, and a sense of purpose, I set out to determine how sleep deprivation causes visual hallucinations. My quest turned up a key paper (written entirely in German), a new hypothesis and a vow to get more sleep. Below is an exposition of my journey, beginning about a decade ago.

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Pain in the Brain

Pain in the Brain

"How can the brain think that the brain itself hurts (e.g., during a headache)? Are headaches and migraines (excluding secondary headaches) essentially psychosomatic in nature?"

Before I answer your question, I need to say one important thing: ouch!

That’s right – as I sat down at my keyboard to answer your question, I stubbed my toe quite painfully on my desk. Fortunately, this is a great time to explain how the brain processes pain, which will help answer your question.

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