Shelly Fan , Shelly Fan

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  • December 17, 2014
  • 02:04 PM

Google Translate not yet ready for medical communications

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credits: Communications is key in any relationship, particularly that between patients and doctors.  So what happens when the two parties don’t speak the same...... Read more »

  • December 11, 2014
  • 11:15 PM

The Male Idiot Theory

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credits: Yes, that’s a thing. According to hospital emergency departments and mortality stats, men are far likelier than women to experience accidental and sporting injuries, as well as...... Read more »

Ben Alexander, Daniel Lendrem, Dennis William Lendrem, Andy Gray, & John Dudley Isaacs. (2014) The Darwin Awards: sex differences in idiotic behaviour. BMJ, 349. info:/Ben Alexander Daniel Lendrem Dennis William Lendrem Andy Gray John Dudley Isaacs

  • December 4, 2014
  • 08:17 PM

The case for intermittent fasting: size matters, timing matters too

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image source: With the holidays rolling around, you’re probably worrying just a bit about your waistline. When it comes to dieting, we all know that...... Read more »

  • December 3, 2014
  • 09:16 PM

Can you learn to taste music?

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credits: Probably not. But you can learn to perceive black letters in colour. Or so says an eyebrow-raising study published in Scientific Reports by a...... Read more »

Bor D, Rothen N, Schwartzman DJ, Clayton S, & Seth AK. (2014) Adults can be trained to acquire synesthetic experiences. Scientific reports, 7089. PMID: 25404369  

  • November 27, 2014
  • 07:37 PM

Does hot cocoa delay brain aging?

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credits: downloaded from, artist unknown. One of the most enjoyable things about the holidays is curling up with a good book and a cup of...... Read more »

Brickman AM, Khan UA, Provenzano FA, Yeung LK, Suzuki W, Schroeter H, Wall M, Sloan RP, & Small SA. (2014) Enhancing dentate gyrus function with dietary flavanols improves cognition in older adults. Nature neuroscience, 17(12), 1798-803. PMID: 25344629  

  • August 30, 2014
  • 02:54 PM

Direct mind-to-mind communication in humans

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credit: Here’s something right out of science fiction: a team of neuroscientists in Spain developed a system that allows a person to transmit the...... Read more »

Grau C, Ginhoux R, Riera A, Nguyen TL, Chauvat H, Berg M, Amengual JL, Pascual-Leone A, & Ruffini G. (2014) Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans Using Non-Invasive Technologies. PloS one, 9(8). PMID: 25137064  

  • August 29, 2014
  • 07:15 PM

A change of mind: from bitter recollections to sweet memories

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

There are a LOT of articles on this study already, but most don’t go into the technical details – the part that, in my opinion,...... Read more »

  • July 14, 2014
  • 11:08 PM

Post-traumatic amnesia: why Kramer can’t remember his play in the World Cup Final

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image: It was 17 minutes into his second World Cup appearance when German midfielder Christoph Kramer slammed brutally into his Argentine opponent. Kramer’s head swerved...... Read more »

  • July 4, 2014
  • 07:13 PM

No, emotions aren’t really contagious over Facebook

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image: Ellis Hamburger, the Verge You’ve probably heard the news: Facebook and Cornell University teamed up to manipulate your Facebook feed and toy with your emotions. The...... Read more »

Kramer AD, Guillory JE, & Hancock JT. (2014) Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(24), 8788-90. PMID: 24889601  

  • July 3, 2014
  • 11:25 PM

Bass lays down the beat

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image: Fender Jazz Bass Try tapping your finger to a song – any song. Are you focusing on the melodious vocals, or the strong pulsating beat...... Read more »

  • July 2, 2014
  • 12:33 AM

Fire together, wire together: building a memory with long-term potentiation

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

When an axon of cell A is near enough to excite a cell B and repeatedly or persistently takes part in firing it, some growth process or metabolic change takes place...... Read more »

Nabavi S, Fox R, Proulx CD, Lin JY, Tsien RY, & Malinow R. (2014) Engineering a memory with LTD and LTP. Nature. PMID: 24896183  

  • June 29, 2014
  • 05:44 PM

“Tanning is addictive”: um, not quite

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

“Repeated visits to the beach or tanning salon could be signs of an addiction, according to a study in mice.” – Nature, Research highlights doi:10.1038/510447e....... Read more »

Fell GL, Robinson KC, Mao J, Woolf CJ, & Fisher DE. (2014) Skin β-Endorphin Mediates Addiction to UV Light. Cell, 157(7), 1527-34. PMID: 24949966  

  • June 29, 2014
  • 01:02 AM

Recognizing faces with amnesia

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credit: National Geographic The hippocampus encodes the stories of your life: the faces you’ve seen, the places you’ve been and the words you’ve read...... Read more »

Smith CN, Jeneson A, Frascino JC, Kirwan CB, Hopkins RO, & Squire LR. (2014) When recognition memory is independent of hippocampal function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 24958865  

  • June 25, 2014
  • 07:58 PM

Time weaves memories into patterns

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

When I get a craving for Cote d’Or chocolate, I always hit up London Drugs. It’s not the only grocer around that carries the brand,...... Read more »

Richards BA, Xia F, Santoro A, Husse J, Woodin MA, Josselyn SA, & Frankland PW. (2014) Patterns across multiple memories are identified over time. Nature neuroscience. PMID: 24880213  

  • June 23, 2014
  • 12:28 AM

The rainbow diet pills: there and back again

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

* This post contains spoilers for Requiem for a Dream. Last night I re-watched Requiem for a Dream, a Darren Aronofsky masterpiece that is perhaps...... Read more »

Cohen PA, Goday A, & Swann JP. (2012) The return of rainbow diet pills. American journal of public health, 102(9), 1676-86. PMID: 22813089  

  • April 27, 2014
  • 09:15 PM

Mice inherit fathers’ trauma through small RNAs?

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

When it comes to inheritance, you’re getting more than just DNA. Life experiences – famine, stress, fear and even drug use – can all leave...... Read more »

Gapp K, Jawaid A, Sarkies P, Bohacek J, Pelczar P, Prados J, Farinelli L, Miska E, & Mansuy IM. (2014) Implication of sperm RNAs in transgenerational inheritance of the effects of early trauma in mice. Nature neuroscience, 17(5), 667-9. PMID: 24728267  

  • April 19, 2014
  • 02:54 AM

Brain oscillations bind smell to memory

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credit: Pixar As a foodie, one scene in Pixar’s Ratatouille particularly resonated with me: Anton Ego, the acerbic food critic, takes one bite out...... Read more »

  • March 2, 2014
  • 04:00 PM

How do we perceive musical beats?

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Have you ever found yourself subconsciously nodding your head, tapping a finger or matching your footsteps to the beat of a tune? You’re not alone....... Read more »

  • February 19, 2014
  • 01:45 PM

Custom Targeting Beacons Harness Cellular Executioners to Fight Disease

by Shelly in Neurorexia

I'm over at the Canadian Science Writers' Association today, talking about a new way to wipe out undesirable proteins with custom-designed molecules. "Undesirable" can mean many things, from mutated proteins in neurodegenerative diseases to proteins that cause cell death after a stroke or trauma to the brain. This post is a bit different than usual as it talks about my own recently published research. Hat tip to Colin Schultz for his excellent edits to my original draft, whic........ Read more »

  • February 12, 2014
  • 04:28 PM

What happens in the brain when you learn a mnemonic?

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

This is part of a series exploring the brains behind exceptional memory: to what extent is it natural and learnt? How fast can a complete...... Read more »

Nyberg L, Sandblom J, Jones S, Neely AS, Petersson KM, Ingvar M, & Bäckman L. (2003) Neural correlates of training-related memory improvement in adulthood and aging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(23), 13728-33. PMID: 14597711  

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