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Tag Archives: brain

How Dance Illuminates the Mind – The Brain Areas of Dance

Myself - enjoying that tribal, visceral, joyous experience of dancing with friends.

Myself – enjoying that tribal, visceral, joyous experience of dancing with friends.

Today marks the beginning of National Dance Week here in Canada, so I thought it would be fun to write about the neuroscience of dance!

Dancing beautifully integrates complex movement and motor learning, rhythmic musical synchronization, creative emotional expression, and interpersonal communication.

Because of this complexity, studying the neural basis of dance is a challenge – but one with important implications.

Uncovering the neural mechanisms of dance can offer insight into the most complex workings of the human brain, revealing applications to rehabilitation and therapy. It’s even suggested by some to be part of the “next wave” in neuroscience, studying complex behaviour like art rather than simpler phenomenon.

So how do we study the neuroscience of dance?

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Science – that s**t works! Bionic eyes, hands, and more…

sciencecandoit

yes it can, t-rex!

While this website is primarily about movement and the science thereof, I’ve decided to start doing my part in popularizing science in general.

For instance, when a few good news stories pop up about science, I’ll report them in a new series of articles I’ve entitled: Science – that s**t works!

In this instalment:Continue Reading

Secrets Of The Mind – PBS NOVA Documentary


I remember seeing this during my undergraduate degree in neuroscience. I was absolutely blown away at the time, and it has had a powerful influence on my thinking ever since. It originally broadcast in 2001 – which is a long time in the world of neuroscience – but it’s still relevant today.

“Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran, an eloquent neuroscientist, is fascinated by patients who have unusual abilities or defects in the way they perceive the world. These include such puzzling phenomena as the phantom pain experienced in a missing, amputated limb, or the inability to recognize a familiar face following a stroke. From these strange cases, Ramachandran is building a novel vision of how the brain works. In “Secrets of the Mind,” NOVA dramatizes the intimate stories of Ramachandran’s encounters with his extraordinary patients.” – PBS

In other words, here’s why the brain is so awesome:Continue Reading

How Does the Brain Work? – NOVA ScienceNOW

I often write about neuroscience on this site. Sometimes I forget that it’s not common knowledge for everyone! For instance, what is the brain, and how does it work?

Here’s a great video from PBS – NOVA ScienceNOW with Neil deGrasse Tyson:

“How Does the Brain Work?”

Get your learn on!!! It’s very well done – entertaining and educating. Read below for some of my commentary on the topics discussed, and what I think are some important lessons.

Watch How Does the Brain Work? on PBS. See more from NOVA scienceNOW.

If the embedded video doesn’t work, try this link: http://video.pbs.org/video/1757221034/

Commentary: Continue Reading

Chronic Pain Hope – Brain Changes can be Reversed

an abnormal brain.

Chronic pain isn’t just an injury that won’t get better. Remember: damage doesn’t really ’cause’ pain.

In fact, chronic pain is often defined as pain that lasts longer than the expected time of healing.

One of the reasons pain persists is that the brain re-wires itself to change pain perception. This is known as ‘Central Sensitization’. The changes are actually significant enough that they can be detected through brain imaging! 1

It’s almost like a ‘pain memory’ 2. Like an over-reaction of your brains job to protect you from danger by giving you pain. It can make safely moving in a certain way cause pain, because your brain remembers that being a painful movement before.

But don’t let this worry you. Fascinating (and exciting) new research has shown that not only is this pain treatable, but these changes in the brain can actually be reversed!

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