Neuroscience Geek

I’m a neuroscience graduate student involved in neuroscience research. I come across interesting research articles nearly everyday, but I don’t get to talk about them enough. This blog will hopefully allow me to share some of my favorite neuroscience research articles as well as my thoughts on neuroscience research underway. This is an amazing time for neuroscience and science in general and I hope I can help increase the awareness and spark some conversations.

 I’m also very interested in genetics, neurochemistry, evolution, futurism, robotics, artificial intelligence, neurotheology, philosophy, neuromarketing, neuroethics and nearly all topics involving science of some sort.

 I’m always looking for interesting articles and other opinions, so if you have any suggestions relevant to neuroscience research or my other science interests, please let me know.

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7 responses

8 07 2007
Dj

Hey..

Thanks for your comment on the blog. We’re progressing well with our work. Recog should be complete as a prototype by the end of this month, if everything goes well.
We’ve been working on ANNs for the past couple of weeks, and the results of an hour-long training process just came in. Things are looking good 🙂

And yes, you’re right. There IS a dearth in blogs about ANNs – how to use them, why to use them, where to use them. So we end up making a lot of mistakes before landing on the right path. Its fun though.
You’ve got a nice blog here.. I’m sure it’ll help many working from now on.

We’ll be posting about our findings and results soon. Keep visiting!

http://www.projectrecog.com

14 07 2007
neuroscienceresearch

DJ,

You are more than welcome for the comment. Congratulations on the results from the hour long training. I’m looking forward to following your blog and results should you publish them.

Unfortunately, a lot of the ANN material available online is really outdated. It is definitely difficult to sift through and find useful material. Another problem is the differences in terms used since “neural networks” lost a lot of respect after Minsky’s comments regarding the perceptrons. I think many offering funding toward research in networks, in general, were a bit overly cautious after this. This caused a lot of researchers of artificial neural networks to abandon “ANN” in favor of other more general terms such as “A.I.” and “visual recognition”, even though they were basically using ANNs.

You are probably aware of this, but there is quite a bit of good material out there hiding under “connectionist models”.

Good luck again and keep up the good work!

14 06 2008
meredith

thats so touching
i just wanted to cry when i saw that
it was heartbreaking that she died
😦

with all love&care,Meredith

14 09 2009
drtombibey

I hope you’ll check my blog post today on left brain/right brain function.

drtombibey.wordpress.com

13 07 2010
Nik

Hi,

I am doing a presentation at school about neuroscience, and i was wondering if you would tell me some benefits and challenges of the job

Thanks in advance.

13 07 2010
Nik

Hi,

I am doing a presentation at school about neuroscience, and i was wondering if you would tell me some benefits and challenges of the job

Thanks in advance

16 07 2010
neuroscienceresearch

I haven’t logged in here recently, so I just saw the comment. I’ll be honored to answer if you still have the paper due. Let me know and I’ll post it quickly. This would probably be a great blog post topic, so I’ll work on that until I hear back from you.

Until then here are some quick points:

1) I get to research when I want to. I’m a nightowl and many neuroscience researchers do a lot of work at night. Some experiments such as memory/learning experiments based on long-term-potentiation can take days to complete. That usually means a researcher should be present in the lab during that entire time to ensure that no problems occur such as electrodes popping out of the brain tissue, running out of solution and countless other issues.

2) Everyday is a challenge in the lab. All brains are unique. When doing slicing of brain tissue, I have to keep that in mind. You have to do a mental calculation about where you believe your specific area of the brain is in THIS brain. That is fun for me.

You also have so many things to think about before, during and after experiments.

As an electrophysiologist, I have to understand:

fluid mechanics (how is the drug in solution actually flowing over my brain tissue in the dish?),

electricity (our entire rig is a maze of wires, electrodes, amplifiers, more wires, oscilloscopes, computers, etc. that I need to understand and fix when necessary),

neuroscience (of course)

chemistry (we have to make our own artificial cerebral spinal fluid, Krebb’s solution, drug solutions, staining chemicals..),

computer software (tons of our data only becomes apparent after analyzing it with software that captures the brain tissue recordings. artificial neural networks are also a passion of mine, so I need to understand and build them as well)

I could list these all day, but I don’t have enough time right now. All of these requirements lend to being able to tackle almost every challenge that comes about in the lab. When I conquer a challenge, it makes all those books and classes worth it. I feel an immense sense of pride which is what a job should be about.

3) I don’t consider it a job. I consider it my passion. I love trying to think of a solution to a problem that no one else in history has figured out yet. Even when they aren’t printed in a world famous journal, the level of pride I get from solving something no one else ever could is incredible.

4) One great experiment can change the world. Even when working on a project that isn’t considered to be of the utmost importance, one never knows if the results will lead to some other experiment that could change the world for the better. Studying mold, snails and peas has saved millions of lives.

5) Scientists that I have encountered are extremely open minded. I’ve been in the coolest music scenes, hung out with movie stars, rock stars and wrestlers. The coolest people that I have ever encountered are neuroscientists. I think it may be due to the fact that most of us know that an exterior is no great indication of what is inside. I’ve seen neuroscientists with piercings, dyed hair, dreadlocks, tats, bifocals and walkers. I think most of us look past appearance and try to get to know someone despite what they look like. We all come from various backgrounds and that leads to greater understanding possibly.

5) I’ll have to pick this up tomorrow because one of the challenges is time. As I said earlier, some experiments can last days. Most of mine last about 12 hours. I usually do 3-5 days of experiments a week. The other days I’m working on the results, equipment, reading, attending lectures and sleeping. The biggest challenge is finding enough time in a day to do something other than you love. I suppose if I ever get burnt out on neuroscience, that will be more of an issue, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.

I’ll post more later. I hope this gives you a general idea.
Thanks for the comment.

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