Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This Semester, In Brief

I'm finishing up an undergraduate dual-major in neuroscience and psychology. So I have some higher-level psych courses with a focus on behaviorism, and some higher-level neuro courses which include neurophysiology. So maybe sometime this semester I'll post something about one of those subjects. Neurophysiology is supercool.

Also, I'm applying to graduate schools, and I have my first (and only so far!) interview Jan 30 - Feb 1. I look forward to hopefully interviewing at more than one school... hopefully...

In addition, I have recently received a kitty! She's a lap-cat too, and I adore her. (Brace yourself for pictures at some point.)

Add these factors together, and you can predict that I'll be a little busy.

I've made the conscious decision to make this blag a priority, though. So fear not! There will be posting! Just letting ya'll know what's up so you're not surprised by cat pictures, or analogies between the membrane and a circuit, or picture tours of the University of Oregon, or behaviorist analysis of my cat, or whatever.



  1. Neurophysiology? Yes, post away.

    Have you read "Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue With the Dalai Lama"? Fascinating information about fMRI imaging and Buddhist practitioners.

    I'm interested in what you have to say about the science.

    Cats, not so much.

    Sorry, I'm not good enough with html to create a link, but a favorite site of mine is http://icanhascheezburger.com/

    That's just silliness. I'm more interested in how the amygdula hijacks the neocortex (anger, frustration), the processing of sensory data, mirror neurons, and the like.

    Though discussion of the neurologic interactions of felines and apes could prove quite interesting.

    Hmmm, fMRI without kitteh, with indifferent kitteh, with purring kitteh...

  2. Apes and cats:

    At this link


    the "debate" about animal emotions comes up.

    Koko (the gorilla) asked for a kitty.

    "After examining the kittens carefully, Koko chose a tailless gray male that she named All Ball"

    She was kind and loving with the beast. The cat bonded to her as well.

    No Soul=No Emotion. Fail.

  3. I had read about Koko and her kitten, and it made me go "Awwwwww!"

    Icanhascheezburger is also a fav of mine, along with cuteoverload.com. It is silly, but it also makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

    I dig what you have to say there about emotions affecting our "higher level" neural processes. I think it's probably a more complex interaction than just "hijacking" though, since the functions of the different brain areas involved in thought are too interconnected to dissociate at the moment - we're working on it, though!

    I shall ponder this more.

    My neurophysiology course seems a bit more basic than all of that. Right now we're just doing circuit diagrams and learning how to calculate equivalent resistances and such.

  4. Oh! And I'll have to look up that book you mentioned. I loves me some imaging.

  5. About the amygdula hijacking the neocortex, please see Daniel Golman's "Emotional Intelligence".

    This book is an interesting overview of neurophysiology written by a newspaper reporter for the general reader.

    I found it quite interesting, and also useful in understanding human interaction (read: helpful in daily life).