Profile: Emilie Reas
Postdoctoral Fellow, UC San Diego
Emilie Reas is postdoctoral fellow at UC San Diego, where she uses MRI to study how the brain changes with aging and memory disorders. Outside of lab, she is also a freelance science writer and editor for the PLOS Neuroscience Community.
NoteStreams By Emilie Reas
The ability to recognize, process and interpret written language is a uniquely human skill that is acquired with remarkable ease at a young age. But as anyone who has attempted to learn a new language will attest, the brain isn’t “hardwired” to understand written language.
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For most neuroscientists, long days in the lab pipetting or recording from cells doesn’t inspire one to pick up a paintbrush or sketchpad. But for others, the still-mysterious—and often breathtakingly beautiful—workings of the brain are a source of awe. One such individual is neuroscientist-turned-artist Greg Dunn.
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Regular physical activity may correct the brain's metabolism to stave off dementia.
Recall can improve for events that seemed forgettable but later gained significance.
“Come on. Get out of the express checkout lane! That’s way more than twelve items, lady.” Without having to count, you can make a good guess at how many purchases the shopper in front of you is making.
A poor diet can eat away at brain health. Now a study in Neurology helps elucidate why. It suggests that eating a lot of sugar or other carbohydrates can be hazardous to both brain structure and function.
Time seems to pass more slowly for lighter animals with faster metabolisms.
One “dog year” supposedly equals seven human years. But does one year feel like seven years to a dog? Evidence suggests that distinct species do indeed experience passing time on different scales. A recent study in Animal Behavior reveals that body mass and metabolic rate determine how animals of different species perceive time.
Did you make it to work on time this morning? Go ahead and thank the traffic gods, but also take a moment to thank your brain. The brain’s impressively accurate internal clock allows us to detect the passage of time, a skill essential for many critical daily functions. But how does the brain generate this finely tuned mental clock? How do you sense the passing of time?
Why some memories disappear, some remain, and others blend with fiction
Think back to your first childhood beach vacation. Can you recall the color of your bathing suit, the softness of the sand, or the excitement of your first swim in the ocean? Early memories such as this often arise as faded snapshots, remarkably distinct from newer memories that can feel as real as the present moment. With time, memories not only lose their rich vividness, but they can also become distorted, as our true experiences tango with a fictional past.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have come up with a new theory that just might settle some of this controversy.