Student Webinar on the Senses

In elementary school, we learn about the five senses and their vital importance to appreciating life. Taste, smell, touch, hearing, and vision are all vital to survival, and even with the absence of one or more, our bodies compensate by strengthening the senses we do have. But what about using our senses in a more advanced setting, like mind reading?

That idea was addressed in “Sense and Sensibilities,” a Brain Awareness Week webinar last Tuesday by students at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). They took turns explaining the mechanisms behind our senses and explored the extraordinary ways in which our touch, hearing, and vision can be used.

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Brain Observatory Not Just Brains

Nearly three years ago, one of the most-storied neuroscience patients passed away. Known in the literature at Patient HM, Henry Molaison had proved willing, time and again, to sit through the tests of researchers seeking to know why he could not form lasting memories. Every moment, every person he met, seemed new to him, every time. He even agreed, over and over, to donate his brain, so the probing could continue even into his body itself. His data was a catalyst for current theories of memory formation, and his willingness to participate has been a catalyst for even more. [See also our story, “Famous Patient Continues Contribution to the Science of Memory”]

AnneseSfN12.1200At the recent SfN meeting, Jacopo Annese of UCSD
showed the range of views he and colleagues have obtained as part of the Brain
Observatory Project.

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