Mikki Hebl at TEDxRiceU

Click here for a link out to: Modern Discrimination: Subtle but Significant: Mikki Hebl at TEDxRiceU – YouTube.

Represent! This is one of our brilliant professors at Rice University discussing research in her field. Mikki is a fantastic teacher and mentor, and I have been lucky enough to take one of her courses on Professional Issues during my time here at Rice.

Give it a listen – she always has something interesting (and usually very profound) to say!


Sensory Neurons Identified as Critical to Sense of Touch

While studying the sense of touch, scientists at Duke Medicine have pinpointed specific neurons that appear to regulate perception.

The sensory neurons are characterized by thin spikes, and based on their volume, these protrusions determine the cells’ sensitivity to force.”

Click here for link out to full article on Neuroscience News.





The latest on multisensory integration

Temporal correlation counts! Very interesting read on combining information from sights and sounds to make sense of our surroundings. Click the title below for a nice overview via Medical News Today. 

Researchers Discover How The Brain Merges Sights And Sounds.

For the official abstract and links to the full article, click here for the Pub Med listing, or see the following reference:

Cesare V. Parise, Charles Spence, & Marc O. Ernst. (2011). When correlation implies causation in multisensory Integration. Current Biology. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.11.039

And…if you’re interested in more reading about sight and sound integration, here’s another cool one:

Watkins, S., Shams, L., Tanaka, S., Haynes, J. D., & Rees, G. (2006). Sound alters activity in human V1 in association with illusory visual perception. Neuroimage. 31(3). 1247-1256. PMID 16556505.

Two brain halves, one perception

Just like a married couple – COMMUNICATION is key. Check out how the brain’s intra-hemispheric communication is a big part of how we perceive our environment. Here’s a quick blurb:

“ScienceDaily (Sep. 1, 2011) — Our brain is divided into two hemispheres, which are linked through only a few connections. However, we do not seem to have a problem to create a coherent image of our environment — our perception is not “split” in two halves. For the seamless unity of our subjective experience, information from both hemispheres needs to be efficiently integrated. The corpus callosum, the largest fibre bundle connecting the left and right side of our brain, plays a major role in this process. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt investigated whether differences between individuals in the anatomy of the corpus callosum would predict how observers perceive a visual stimulus for which the left and right hemisphere need to cooperate. As their results indicate, the characteristics of specific callosal fibre tracts are related to the subjective experience of individuals.”

Click here for the full article at ScienceDaily.