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Cochlear implants: one man’s experience

Recently, I was lucky enough to meet Tom Rice. Tom received a cochlear implant in October of 2013 and is open to sharing his nearly life-long experience with hearing loss. I am indebted to Tom for his willingness to talk about his experience and I stand in complete admiration for his generosity. I also want to thank Marlon Aguilar for producing the […]

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Regeneration II: Role for self-direction?

This is a common octopus (Octopus vulgaris), which has the ability to regenerate arms. Photo credit: Shuichi Shigeno, Cliff Ragsdale’s Laboratory, University of Chicago. In response to my recent regeneration post, my brother-in-law writes: “The brain IS cool – and so are your articles! Might functional recovery be self-directed? – have you read the research on neuroplasticity?” I have to […]

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Regenerating brains….. NOT :(

This is cell CIO 4-5-1, one of my favorite cells of all time. I injected this cell with dye in the late 1980s and I still remember the joy that I felt when I found it under the microscope. Two readers have asked whether the brain regenerates. The answer is “No.” Let’s start by defining regeneration. A salamander that loses […]

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Our remarkable oculomotor system

Ryan McDonald and Andy Poulos (hidden) provide “oculomotor” control for two cameras. I wrote in a previous post about being confined to a tiny space as we film Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life. Now I am told that my confinement has been imposed upon me because I pace too much. Why would pacing be a problem? Well, […]

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Filming a MOOC

My view from where I stand at the front of the set. From left to right: Ryan McDonald, Emily Bembeneck, Marlon Aguilar. Not pictured: Andy Poulos, me. Organizing, designing and filming “my” MOOC, Understanding the Brain, has been an amazing experience. I put my in quotations because the MOOC is definitely a team effort. Not only are others entirely responsible […]

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