Pages tagged “brain”

11 May 2014


I recently bought a brain-shaped piggy bank. (I do like brains). I thought that was a pretty “niche” thing to buy and sell on the internet. Until I saw this. At the time of writing, four people have reviewed it!

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11 Jul 2013


…or how to 3D print your own brain. I recently got hold of an MRI scan of my head. Not the sort of thing that’s easy to do for yourself! I volunteered at the MRC Brain Sciences Unit and asked (very) nicely. If you get your hands on a Nifti file (.nii or .nii.gz), here are some fun things you can do with it. View your brain in Mango Mango is a great, free download for Windows, Mac or Linux.

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18 Jun 2013

Further brainery

Earlier this week I volunteered again at the MRC Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. This time I had my performance measured in two types of task, before and after transcranial direct current stimulation. Did having a current of about 2000mA passed through my occipital lobe lateral occipital cortex for 20 minutes improve my performance? I’m not supposed to say, I’m afraid. Like last time, it wasn’t entirely a pleasant experience, especially having electrodes and electricity in yer heed.

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18 Apr 2013

On Easter Eggs and Pigeon Brains

Not too long ago, it was Easter. I’ve written before about my belief that using a computer ruins your working memory. Well, setting an (indoor) Easter Egg hunt for my wife generated another data point in favour of my hypothesis. I found myself really struggling to remember where the eggs were: these were eggs that I’d hidden, myself, less than 10 minutes previously. Try it for yourself: hide 20 eggs round your house, in places sufficiently obscure that your other half would have fun finding them.

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02 Mar 2013

Grey matter

I went for a voluntary brain scan yesterday, at Cambridge’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit on Chaucer Road. Having been interested in brains for ages, and after going to their lectures last year during Science Week, it was the natural thing to do. They’re always on the lookout for volunteers. Undergoing an fMRI scan is not a pleasant experience, but it’s really alright. It’s surprisingly tiring to lie still on your back for 50 minutes.

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