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So far Oxford has created 20 blog entries.
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Behavioral Profiling and Genetic Engineering: In Search of Animal Models for Autism Spectrum Disorder

ASD is a socially debilitating condition with an extraordinarily high rate of heritability. The prominent role of genetics in ASD has prompted scientists to search for genetic candidates for the disorder, a process that often involves the development of genetically engineered mice. For example, if a genetic mutation is identified through human studies as a […]

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The Neurobiology of Voodoo Death

We have probably all said at some point in our lives that some­thing nearly scared us to death. A roller coaster, a haunted house, a near-missed traffic accident, a sensitive text that was sent to the wrong person, an exam that we had somehow forgotten—our lives seem to be filled with stressful experi­ences. If you […]

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Optogenetics: Shining a Light on the Brain’s Sleep–Wake Circuits

The Stanford neuroscientist Karl Deisseroth and his graduate student, Ed Boyden, were intrigued by the observation that certain algae could convert light into electrical energy, as photoreceptors in your eyes do. If these photoreceptive properties could be transferred to specific neurons in the brain, then those neurons could be controlled by light. By isolating the […]

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The Frozen Addicts

In the summer of 1982, six individuals found themselves in emergency rooms in the San Jose, California, area with odd symptoms. Although these patients were young adults, they were “frozen” as if they had advanced Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder that limits movement and typically affects older individuals. In these mysterious cases, the movement restriction […]

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The Brain in Technicolor

Considering the vast number of cells in the nervous system, it is mind-boggling to comprehend how they all ultimately connect to form functioning neural networks. Clusters of neurons in the cerebellum, for example, form connections with populations of cell bodies in the prefrontal cortex. In humans, nearly 90 billion neurons have to establish connections to […]

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The Experimental Wedding

When science writer Linda Geddes met fellow science writer Nic Fleming, it was the beginning of a life-changing neuroendocrine experiment. Their interactions and emotional ties became more serious over time, leading to dating and, finally, a marriage proposal. To celebrate their union, they decided that the ceremony would take place in the beautiful countryside of […]

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A Nicotine Vaccine?

With so many people dying from diseases related to nicotine addiction and cigarette smoking, pharmaceutical companies are motivated to develop drugs to help smokers kick the habit. Approaches such as nicotine gum and patches have been approved for general use, but they have not been effective in helping people quit smoking. Up to 70% of […]

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Brain Scene Investigation: Runaway Motivation

As a graduate student, I ran across a motivational mystery involving some odd rat behavior: a series of articles by William Pare at the Maryland Veterans Hospital on the topic of activity-stress (Pare, 1975, 1976, 1977). I’ve been conducting research on this topic and considering the underlying motivational factors ever since.

The activity-stress research condition involved […]

The importance of learning about the brain

Kelly Lambert (Ph.D University of Georgia) authored Biological Psychology. Biological Psychology, while respecting the traditional content in biopsychology, introduces new and emerging themes that are redefining the field. Although behavioral neuroscience has many aspects, the theme of context is especially relevant and the introductory chapter of this text classifies as part of “context” both environmental […]

Brain scene investigations, illustrations, and other features of Biological Psychology

Kelly Lambert (Ph.D University of Georgia) authored Biological Psychology. Biological Psychology, while respecting the traditional content in biopsychology, introduces new and emerging themes that are redefining the field. Although behavioral neuroscience has many aspects, the theme of context is especially relevant and the introductory chapter of this text classifies as part of “context” both environmental […]