The Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University is involved in cutting-edge research on the brain and mind. I created this gif-ographic (like an infographic, but with simple animation) to explain the research of Randy M. Bruno, PhD, a researcher at the Zuckerman Institute. Dr. Bruno studies cognition - a complex coordination by billions of neurons to create our sophisticated thoughts and emotions. When reading about his research, some of the conclusions reminded me of my training in music, so I thought that would be a good way to explain this area of neuroscience. For more information on his research, view the Zuckerman Institute website.
In 2017, I started working with a company called Shivom. They are using blockchain (the technology behind Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies) to create a platform where anyone can get their DNA sequenced and then maintain ownership of their own data. This is different than current companies who sequence your DNA (like 23andMe) who charge you to sequence your DNA and then keep your data to sell to other companies, pharmaceutical organizations, and research labs. Shivom's idea is that you should own and control your data. And then you can choose what to do with it (donate it for research, learn about yourself and your health, or make money by selling access to it).
Shivom recently partnered with SingularityNET, which is an artificial intelligence company. I created this infographic to explain the partnership between Shivom and SingularityNET and why it's exciting.
A correct balance of excitation (passing on activity) and inhibition (dampening down activity) is crucial to a normally-functioning brain. I created this infographic to describe how important this balance is. See the full post: http://knowingneurons.com/2017/01/25/excitation-inhibition/
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Sometimes it’s hard to understand why scientists do what they do. Why spend a career studying cells, fungus, or flies? Other than being nerdy and wanting to learn about our world, what’s the point?
Last month I had the opportunity to attend Sunposium, a neuroscience research conference hosted by the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience in West Palm Beach, Florida. I love everything brain-related, so every talk was captivating for me, but through the jargon, methods, and neon images, an incredibly important message shone through: fundamental or basic research, research that asks fundamental questions about our world is critical to our society. The scientists who presented their research, including two Nobel prize winners and many other young researchers with promising careers, study everything from bacteria to birds to humans. The questions they ask aren’t about how to cure illnesses or treat disease. But the breakthroughs they have made will impact human health in the near future. Fundamental research is critical to science because it allows for unexpected and unpredictable breakthroughs.
Check out the infographic below to explore what I learned at this incredible conference.
I created this infographic as part of my team's submission to a contest to redesign high school: http://xqsuperschool.org/challenge
One of the goals of our project is to create students who are passionate about learning and can do so independently. So these techniques can be used by anyone to take control of their own learning.
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