Category Archives: Meat & Potatoes

Here you will find my interpretation of the gist of the papers I review. That includes the infamous take-home message, how the work fits into the greater scientific context, as well as any inspirational high points or particularly egregious affronts.

Altered Neural Connectivity in Alzheimer’s

What you see in the header image of The Naive Observer is part of a dendrite. Dendrites are the information collecting arms of neurons. Neurons also put out another long, snaking and highly branched arm called an axon, which carries … Continue reading

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Neurons that Change Shape! Implications for Treatment of Depression?

For a long time, neuroscientific dogma dictated that the brain is hardwired. This was cemented by the venerable father of cellular neuroscience, Ramon y Cajal, when he said: “Nerve paths are something fixed, ended, immutable. Everything may die; nothing may … Continue reading

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A Weird Synapse In Our Ears Gets Weirder

So far on The Naive Observer I’ve written mostly about large scale mapping of connections in the brain. While, as you have hopefully read, I think that neuroscience is going to be hugely advanced by untangling the brain on the … Continue reading

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Crash Course In Functional Connectomics

I unabashedly overstate that to understand the brain we need a wiring diagram of it. This is the goal of the burgeoning field of connectomics – to generate an all encompassing brain wiring diagram or connectome. Lately though, after some … Continue reading

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A Map of 16,000 Fruit Fly Neurons

To understand how the brain works we need a wiring diagram of it. If we ever get there, this diagram will give us hints about how information is processed, synthesized and perhaps even stored, and eventually will bring us closer … Continue reading

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The Naive Observer Grand Opening

Welcome all to the Naive Observer. In the next couple weeks I’m going to squeeze a lot into a short period of time. Hopefully by doing that I’ll give you a relatively comprehensive impression of what I want to do … Continue reading

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Using Rabies Virus to Study Neural Circuits

Despite our best efforts, we still have no idea how the brain works. It must have something to do with the circuitry – the connections – and the tiny electrical impulses, but how that combo results in experience, perception, cognition … Continue reading

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