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Tag Archives: science

How Pain Works, Part III – Nociception

Larger version below!

Larger version below!

The science of pain is actually very interesting, and involves everything from chemistry to cultural studies and everything in between. It can get complicated, but we’ll keep things simple and understandable while remaining as accurate as possible. Here we will start with some of the basic science of how potential pain is detected and transmitted through the body.

If you missed the last few “How Pain Works” articles, visit the pain education sectionContinue Reading

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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Dancing Makes You Smarter? How Dancing may Prevent Dementia

don't make any assumptions - this man is actually less demented because of this!

Don’t make any assumptions – this man is actually less demented than you even realize!

Making the rounds throughout social media is a popular statistic claiming that dancing makes you smarter. Specifically, it cites a study that found that elderly people who dance frequently had a substantially lower risk of developing dementia.

At first glance, I happened to agree – duh! of course dancing makes you smarter! I may be a little biased though… so I’ve looked into the study further.

As usual, some of the statistics in these social media memes are wrong – but it turns out the actual study is positive and has some interesting information!Continue Reading

Nutrition Skepticism – Worry less and be healthy


Fact: strawberries are powerful myth producing agents because they’re pretty and taste really good.

Q: Why don’t I write much about nutrition?

A: I barely believe anything I read about it.

After spending the last decade with my head in the ‘health and fitness’ industry, I’ve developed a healthy skepticism – literally. It’s probably because I’ve seen so many fads come and go, myths busted, and contradictory research. Now, I take most of what I read with a grain of salt – and I’m probably healthier because of it.

Here’s why:Continue Reading

Lab Fun – I get my brain stimulated with TMS!

Ever see those inductive current phone chargers? Those pads you simply place your phone on to charge them up without any wires? They work through electromagnetic currents. Very cool stuff. Even cooler? Using essentially the same idea to stimulate your brain.

Okay, maybe some of you won’t think it’s cool. But I did. So I volunteered to have it done to me!

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive (no wires/ surgury/ chemicals) method of depolarizing (causing electrical stimulation) of brain tissue. Its only been around for about 30 years or so, but it’s growing in popularity as a method of studying the brain, and perhaps even treating particular conditions.

Here I am getting zapped:


looks like I don’t even lift

Continue Reading