More than seven years ago, I listened to a video from a student in my online course on the neurobiology of everyday life. I couldn’t believe my ears. I was certain that the speaker was mistaken, confused. What she spoke of was an impossibility. But I was the one who was mistaken. That fateful day was the first time I […]
I am so happy to announce that my mother, Jane Sommer Mason, is having her first art opening at the tender age of 93. Four of her eight busts of Watergate figures are currently on display at the George Washington University’s Luther W. Brady Art Gallery. On Wednesday (November 10, 2021), a virtual opening will feature Jane Mason, Washington Post […]
In response to a student request for an overview of neuroanatomy, I happily recorded an hour of dissections designed to provide a neuroanatomical framework. I start with development and proceed to dissections of sheep and human brains to illustrate the parts of the brain and how they fit into the cranium.
Human exceptionalism incurs another blow. In work published today in Science Advances, my laboratory demonstrates the Bystander Effect in rats: rats are less likely to help in the presence of rats who are not helping – confederate rats or as my students love to say, confederats. On the other hand, in the presence of naive rats, who could potentially help, […]
The Bystander Effect, included in every introductory psychology textbook and course, refers to the consistent finding that individuals are less likely to help in the presence of others than when they are alone. The more bystanders present, the less likely an individual is to help. This is commonly attributed to a diffusion of responsibility, meaning that an individual in a […]
Arthur K Mason, Washington attorney, turned-wood collector, and lately a memoirist, died at home at the age of 93. He was among the youngest 10% of those who served in World War II, and one of less than 3% of WWII veterans who survived to 2019. Arthur’s health turned sharply worse around the holidays, and he was airlifted off Upper […]
I just came back from The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal exhibit at NYU’s Grey Gallery. For those who don’t know, Ramon y Cajal (or Cajal as he is commonly referred to) was the father of neuroanatomy. He shared the Nobel Prize with Camillo Golgi in 1906 for using Golgi’s staining method to show that neurons were […]
Let's crowd-source peer review and get scientific publishing out of the horse and buggy days!
Well the easy answer is no, not in any significant numbers. But the point of this post is to tell the improbable story of how one premature and very underweight baby did in fact survive. This story is taken from Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by the late midwife Jennifer Worth (née Lee; called Jenny throughout […]
Thomas Graham Brown is a colorful and largely forgotten figure in the history of neuroscience. He was unknown to me before I encountered a rabbit hole that, as is my wont, I could not resist. Rabbit holes are always surprises and the path that leads to them is a big chunk of the fun. Here is my path to theThomas-Graham-Brown-rabbit-hole: […]