Posts Tagged: ‘brains’
During pregnancy, many women experience a period of forgetfulness or absentmindedness nicknamed “mommy brain,” and as I detailed in How Motherhood Works, those might be inconvenient symptoms of brain remodeling underway. In 2010, when some Yale scientists examined fMRI scans of new moms’ brains, they discovered small but significant structural changes the hypothalamus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex — areas specifically involved with motivation and reward. As I explain in the delightful video below, those alterations offer evidence that what we think of as “maternal instinct” might be neurologically hardwired into new mom’s brains:
If you were born a baby spider, things would have turned out much differently for you. You’d have been mostly brain, for example. Researchers have long suspected that tiny spiders — the young of which are routinely born deformed yet grow into normally proportioned adults — are born with very large brains. Now they know it, thanks to what I imagine is research that amounted to dissecting deformed spider babies carried out by arachnid specialists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, down Panama way.
Albert Einstein was a genius deserving of our respect, so just how did his brain wind up on a cross-country road trip to hang with the author of “Naked Lunch?”
In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I give Einstein’s head cheese a serious poking to discuss the secrets of all the gray and white matter inside that skull of yours.
Check your stereotypes at the door, gentle reader, because not every zombie is an indiscriminate brain gobbler. When there’s no more room in Hell (or Whole Foods), zombie foodies will walk the Earth and you better believe they won’t be caught dead munching on fast-food grey matter.
To satisfy their unholy cravings, many of the world’s more food conscious undead cultivate their own premium, local-grown human brains in backyard nurseries, cranium cellars or Brooklyn rooftop gardens. But just how long does a ravenous zombie have to wait for a full-grown brain?
There are a few ways an organic object can become preserved way beyond the normal time it takes for similar material to normally decompose. For a bone surrounded by sediment, the marrow and other organic material within the bone decomposes and is replaced by microscopic minerals. The structure of the bone holds its shape, but the bone essentially turns into a fossil rock from the inside out.
I might have to even trade out my current book for Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender*, if only because it deals with something that Molly and I regularly run into while researching for Stuff Mom Never Told You. Since we spend so much time dissecting the wonderful and confusing differences between boys and girls, men and women, we probably have a lot of lessons to learn from Fine’s reexamination of the academic studies that we often pull from.
In movies and stories, zombies are undead menaces that lurch around mindlessly, in search of flesh — and braaaaaains! Where did the idea for zombies originate? Do they exist outside of fiction? Tune in to this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to find out.
When it comes to gender differences, there’s no subject more fraught than our brains. Are men really better at reading maps? Are women wired to gab? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to get to the heart of the matter (brain matter, that is).
Recent Postings by Category
- Thank You and Best Wishes to Marshall Brain
- Contest – Design a $300 house and win $25,000
- How the Philtrum works – the place under your nose where your face comes together
The Coolest Stuff on the Planet
- Why can a 5 foot 8 inch man dunk a basketball on a 10 foot rim while some people of taller stature can’t?
- What happens to our sun once it runs out of fuel?
- How do we know the age of the universe?
Stuff Mom Never Told You
Stuff to Blow Your Mind
- Blow Your Mind: Slay Your Paper Tigers
- Space Religion: Cao Dai and the 72 Inhabited Exoplanets
- Blow the Mind: Objects of Love
Stuff You Should Know
- “In The Neighborhood” by Jon Stewart Mosman
- “Frame Story” by Adam Pracht
- “Thanatos” by Christopher Vincola
The Stuff of Genius
- Show Notes: Heart-stopping Last Laps of Racing
- Never say Never: Jaguar XJ220 Spotted in the Wild!
- What’s your pick for the 2013 Indianapolis 500 pace car?
- PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 152: Final Episodes
- PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 151: Mailbag!
- PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 150: Barbie!
Stuff They Don't Want You To Know
Stuff to Change the World
- Who will own the Arctic?
- Obesity: The New Global Crisis
- Bill Gates Makes For A Pretty Decent Cartoon
Stuff You Missed in History Class
- Missed in History: The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
- Missed in History: The Disappearance of Judge Crater
- Missed in History: Maurice Duplessis