Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Media: Bob Woodruff - To Iraq and Back

ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff looks at wartime traumatic brain injuries and the process of recovery in a special report this evening at 10:00 pm ET. Additional information available on the webpage devoted to the special: Bob Woodruff - To Iraq and Back.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Daniel Tammet: "333 is Beautiful"

Daniel Tammet, author of "Born on a Blue Day," featured on 60 Minutes several weeks ago and a British documentary film last year, makes an appearance in today's House & Home section of The New York Times: Brainman, At Rest in His Oasis.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Neuropsychology of Grilled-Cheese Sandwich Faces

From today's New York Times:

Faces, faces everywhere
Published: February 13, 2007


Why do we see faces everywhere we look: in the Moon, in Rorschach inkblots, in the interference patterns on the surface of oil spills? Why are some Lay’s chips the spitting image of Fidel Castro, and why was a cinnamon bun with a striking likeness to Mother Teresa kept for years under glass in a coffee shop in Nashville, where it was nicknamed the Nun Bun?

Compelling answers are beginning to emerge from biologists and computer scientists who are gaining new insights into how the brain recognizes and processes facial data.


[ ... Read the full article ... ]

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Greetings from Portland!

Neuropsychologists are beginning to stream into town for the INS meeting that kicks off tomorrow. The conference takes place just a couple of blocks from the iconic Portland Building by Michael Graves, one of the first of the post-modernist structures from the turn of the 1980s. Outsized Portlandia is still a sight to be seen from street level.

As to the conference, I'm very pleased to see the surprising number of presentations about verbal fluency (a favorite topic of mine) and what are likely to be some very good presentations about Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Thematically, the conference deals with rehabilitation issues this time around, with a number of presentations on that broad topic.

(And plenty of good coffeehouses, too!)

Room space is tight. The conference hotel sold out a while ago. The hotel I am staying at (a half-dozen blocks from the conference) is sold out. I am guessing that folks are spread out over the entire FreeZone.

(Someone just rolled down the street on a unicycle. Neuropsychologist? Hmmmm ....)

The Insula Keeps Getting its Due From The New York Times!

From today's New York Times

A Small Part of the Brain, and Its Profound Effects


According to neuroscientists who study it, the insula is a long-neglected brain region that has emerged as crucial to understanding what it feels like to be human.

They say it is the wellspring of social emotions, things like lust and disgust, pride and humiliation, guilt and atonement. It helps give rise to moral intuition, empathy and the capacity to respond emotionally to music.

Its anatomy and evolution shed light on the profound differences between humans and other animals.


[ ... Read the full article ... ]

Monday, February 05, 2007

Obit: Dr. Leon Thal, Alzheimer Research Leader

From today's San Diego Union-Tribune:

Pioneering Alzheimer's scientist at UCSD dies
Thal led efforts to find therapies for the disease
By Cheryl Clark and Sandra Dibble
San Diego Union-Tribune
February 5, 2007

Dr. Leon J. Thal, a Cardiff neuroscientist and international pioneer in Alzheimer's disease, died Saturday after his small plane crashed in the mountains southwest of Borrego Springs.

Thal's plane had taken off from San Diego's Montgomery Field at 6:15 p.m. Saturday and was headed for Borrego Springs, said Bruce Nelson, a Federal Aviation Administration official in Lawndale. The airplane, with only the pilot on board, crashed under unknown circumstances, Nelson said.

Thal was chairman of the neurosciences department at the University of California San Diego. Leslie Franz, a spokeswoman for the university, confirmed late yesterday that Thal died in the crash.

“This is a huge blow to UCSD,” Dr. Henry Powell, a professor of pathology and chairman of the academic senate, said in a statement. “He was a skillful manager of strong-minded people, charming and diplomatic as well as visionary and persuasive.”

[ ... Read the full article ... ]

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Neuropsychology Abstract of the Day: Epilepsy

Devinsky J. A diary of epilepsy in the early 1800s. Epilepsy and Behavior, 2007 Jan 29; [Epub ahead of print].

97 Westview Road, Short Hills, NJ 07078, USA.

This article describes the diary of a man from 19th-century England (1829-1834) that documents the onset and course of his wife's epilepsy after a stroke. Her stroke produced aphasia and right hemiparesis, but her epilepsy was the diary's focus and caused the greatest concern. The diary documents the history of her epilepsy in detail. In addition to tonic-clonic seizures, she experienced frequent bouts of status epilepticus and complex partial seizures. The diary contains some of the earliest recorded descriptions of status epilepticus and its aftermath of delirium, mood disorder, and hysteria. It also offers some of the earliest and most detailed accounts of complex partial seizures. Bleeding by cupping was the only symptomatic or prophylactic treatment recorded. These aspects of the diary are presented, as are the historical perspectives on epilepsy, including early beliefs and stigmas, therapeutic remedies, and early European views of epilepsy.

PMID: 17267288 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Upcoming Event: 05 February 2007, Philadelphia

"The cognitive neuroscience of remote memory: implication for theories of hippocampal neocortal interaction." Continuation of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Talk Series, presented by Dr. Morris Moscovitch, University of Toronto.

Time: 12 pm - 1:15 pm

Location: 3401 Walnut Street, A Tower 400A

School: Univerity of Pennsylvania, School of Arts and Sciences

More information: webpage

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Game Brain

I recently noticed a press release about a new entrant in the Game Brain game: Sharp Brains.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Upcoming Event: February 2007, Portland OR

The 35th Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) will be held next week in Portland, Oregon. The theme of the conference this year is Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: Theory, Therapy, and Outcomes.

Details about the conference can be found on its webpage.