Knowing Neurons

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Knowing Neurons is a website focused on educating college level students about the field of neuroscience and role of biomedical research in advancing medical knowledge. Knowing Neurons publishes articles that highlight recent advances in neuroscience and exciting new scientific technologies. Our goal is to energize and educate young scientists in an exciting and dynamic way, while emphasizing the importance of fundamental research in revealing the inner workings of the mind.

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  • May 13, 2015
  • 12:00 PM

Blondes or Brunettes: It’s All About Conditioning

by knowingneurons in Knowing Neurons

Like it or not, we all have preferences in choosing romantic partners.  Piercings, freckles, hair color, eye color, body physique – through adolescence and into adulthood, we begin to develop sexual preferences to help guide our choice in whom to talk to, whom to date, and whom to marry.  While it’s tempting to attribute these … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 22, 2015
  • 12:00 PM

Memory Hack: Manipulating the Brain’s Memory Cache

by knowingneurons in Knowing Neurons

Imagine having a memory that haunts you, sneaks into your daily thoughts and turns over on itself in your dreams.  Escape seems impossible.  Now imagine you are injected with a virus that blocks the expression of a certain protein known to reactivate memories.  With minimal side effects and the small chance of erasing or altering … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 18, 2015
  • 12:00 PM

CRISPR-Cas9: Targeted Genome Editing

by knowingneurons in Knowing Neurons

~ Infographic by Jooyeun Lee and Kate Fehlhaber. ~ References: Hsu P. & Feng Zhang (2014). Development and Applications of CRISPR-Cas9 for Genome Engineering, Cell, 157 (6) 1262-1278. DOI: Fineran P.C. (2014). Gene regulation by engineered CRISPR-Cas systems, Current Opinion in Microbiology, 18 83-89. DOI: Doudna J.A. (2014). The new frontier of genome engineering … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 4, 2015
  • 12:00 PM

Ghost in the Machine: The Neuroscience of Consciousness

by knowingneurons in Knowing Neurons

Some questions cannot be addressed by science.  Like parallel universes, the consciousness of others is not something that can be directly observed, measured, or experienced.  Rene Descartes famously said, “I think, therefore I am.“ a declaration that only knowledge of one’s own consciousness is absolute.  You assume that friends and neighbors have subjective, internal experiences … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • February 4, 2015
  • 12:00 PM

Intracranial EEG and Mental Time Travel

by knowingneurons in Knowing Neurons

A familiar progression of chords blares out of your speakers as the red lights of the surrounding traffic fade into the memory of a dark stage illuminated by pulsing neon lights.  You replace your current discomfort (horrendous traffic!) with the memory of the last concert you attended – reliving the percussive sensory experience and feeling the … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 21, 2015
  • 12:00 PM

Keeping Memories Fresh by Keeping Glutamate In Check

by knowingneurons in Knowing Neurons

We are another year older, perhaps a little wiser, and probably more forgetful.  Indeed, making memories is quite a process in the brain: specific synaptic connections are strengthened and new proteins are synthesized.  But as we age, the synapses that make up our memories, such as those in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, start to … Continue reading →... Read more »

Pereira Ana C., Yael S. Grossman, Dani Dumitriu, Rachel Waldman, Sophia K. Jannetty, Katina Calakos, William G. Janssen, Bruce S. McEwen, & John H. Morrison. (2014) Glutamatergic regulation prevents hippocampal-dependent age-related cognitive decline through dendritic spine clustering. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(52), 18733-18738. DOI:  

  • February 5, 2014
  • 12:00 PM

Resolving New Memories: Adult Neurogenesis

by knowingneurons in Knowing Neurons

When I was young, my family lived in an old farmhouse.  It was cozy and had a lot of character but, at over 150 years old, it showed its age. […]... Read more »

Eriksson Peter S., Perfilieva Ekaterina, Björk-Eriksson Thomas, Alborn Ann-Marie, Nordborg Claes, Peterson Daniel A., & Gage Fred H. (1998) Neurogenesis in the adult human hippocampus. Nature Medicine, 4(11), 1313-1317. DOI: 10.1038/3305  

Nakashiba Toshiaki, Cushman Jesse D., Pelkey Kenneth A., Renaudineau Sophie, Buhl Derek L., McHugh Thomas J., Barrera Vanessa Rodriguez, Chittajallu Ramesh, Iwamoto Keisuke S., & McBain Chris J. (2012) Young Dentate Granule Cells Mediate Pattern Separation, whereas Old Granule Cells Facilitate Pattern Completion. Cell, 149(1), 188-201. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.01.046  

  • February 3, 2014
  • 12:00 PM

Don’t Remember Your Baby Days? Blame New Neurons!

by knowingneurons in Knowing Neurons

Think back to when you were two years old.  Think HARD.  Anything? If you’re like most people, you’re probably drawing a blank.  Across cultures, adults can’t seem to recall any […]... Read more »

Josselyn S. A., & Frankland P. W. (2012) Infantile amnesia: A neurogenic hypothesis. Learning , 19(9), 423-433. DOI: 10.1101/lm.021311.110  

Sahay Amar, Scobie Kimberly N., Hill Alexis S., O'Carroll Colin M., Kheirbek Mazen A., Burghardt Nesha S., Fenton André A., Dranovsky Alex, & Hen René. (2011) Increasing adult hippocampal neurogenesis is sufficient to improve pattern separation. Nature, 472(7344), 466-470. DOI: 10.1038/nature09817  

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