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It’s true. I’m a Neuro-freak.


This morning, Diana Keat, a NeuroMOOC student and friend texted me about a story on NPR’s The Takeaway that was about air conditioning as a necessity. As some of you may know from a previous post, the neurobiology of heat waves is one of my pet topics. Mammals have no way to actively cool themselves aka to “refrigerate” their bodies. We can heat ourselves very […]

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Can rats feel socially rejected?


Three years ago, an incoming University of Chicago student named Haozhe Shan emailed me asking for an opportunity to work in my laboratory. His letter was well written and demonstrated a focussed and specific interest in social neuroscience. I agreed to talk with him and immediately liked him. Even prior to taking a single college class, he had a knowledge of psychology […]

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Persons not vegetables: Dead, alive, and the in-between


Once upon a time there was dead and there was alive. The twain did not meet nor intersect outside of religious miracles. The era of dead-or-alive lasted for millennia until the 20th century when technological advances inserted an in-between state that consisted of alive only because of medical assistance. The first crack in the dead-or-alive edifice started with ventilators, machines that […]

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Jason Lieb is now publicly exposed as a sexual predator

The New York Times’ Amy Harmon’s article this morning made public the dismissal….er resignation of Jason Lieb from the University of Chicago. This is big news. A full Professor at an elite university is gone because of sexual misconduct. How often does this happen? Not clear (because it is typically hushed up as much as possible) but not tremendously often. How often is such a happening made public? Almost never. UChicago has been my home for nearly a quarter of a century and I love her. I am also a woman and a person. So I have feelings which I will share here. The buck stops with the University of Chicago There is good and bad in this story. First the good. The good is that after Princeton and University of North Carolina appear to have kicked the can down the road, the University of Chicago put an end to the charade that Jason Lieb is an innocent victim of baseless accusations. The University of Chicago received a complaint, took immediate and appropriate action including affording Mr Lieb due process and came out with a conclusion. Mr Lieb violated the University’s sexual misconduct policy. This is now a matter of public record and any university that chooses to employ Mr Lieb, I am hoping this is unlikely, cannot plead ignorance. There were rumors that Mr Lieb had left one or both of his previous institutions due to sexual misconduct. Yet, that is all that […]

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Should Mom stop driving?

The proportion of favorable parole decisions based on the order of cases heard each day. Thus the first decision of the day is represented at the far left. Tick marks on the x-axis mark every 3rd case heard. The dotted lines represent food breaks. The clear implication is that the farther that the judges are from glucose intake the less likely they are to grant parole.

I have tried, repeatedly, to get my mother to stop driving. She just celebrated her 88th birthday. Every time I raise this issue, she emphatically insists that she is not giving up driving. I reason that the cost of taxis would easily be less than what she spends on gas, car maintenance, and insurance. She tells me that she absolutely needs […]

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