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Neuroscience for Everyone!

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Our New Book “How Your Brain Works” Launched at SfN 2022!

We almost ran out of pens at the world’s biggest neuroscience conference! This year’s Society for Neuroscience (SfN) was the first in-person meeting since 2019. And we’re really happy that it happened. Firstly, we’ve so missed the nerdy vibes of sci-comm bustle. Secondly, taking a stroll under palms in sunny San Diego feels really nice in November! Last but not least, it would have been downright impossible to sign copies of our new book online.

Because that’s right, our new book, “How Your Brain Works: Neuroscience Experiments for Everyone” written by our co-founders, Drs. Greg Gage and Tim Marzullo, has just been released by MIT Press! It’s a lengthy volume yet easy to digest, and even easier to keep open as you fiddle with electrodes, insects or your own nervous system in your classroom or home lab.

The book contains over 50 experiments you can do anywhere you want if you have one of our SpikerBoxes. But even if you don’t, you can always flex your engineering abilities and DIY one using our open-source schematics!

The classroom-ready, open-ended experiments include:

  • What does our brain do when we exercise or hold our breath?
  • How do our brains tell our bodies to jump, dance, or sing?
  • How fast do signals travel down a neuron?
  • Can we really enhance our memories during sleep?
  • How does the brain get your attention?
  • How do brain stimulators (used in treating Parkinson’s disease) really work?
  • How long does it take the brain to decide?
  • And many more!
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DIY Neuroscience at 2022 USA Fencing Nationals: Where Science Meets Foil & Epee

supriya nair presenting her neurofencing research at 2022 us fencing nationals
Neurofencing presentation at 2022 USA Fencing Nationals. (Image credit: Jayraj Nair)

What do neuroscience and fencing have in common? This was a question asked—and answered!— by Supriya Nair, high-schooler and neurofencer from Washington State. After winning WA State Science Fair two years in a row using our gear, this young scientist took the opportunity to present her neurofencing research at US Fencing Nationals in Minneapolis—and volunteered to become our brand ambassador while at it!

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New Peer-Reviewed Paper on Fish Play Behavior (Classroom-Friendly Experiment!)

fish in aquarium chasing the laser pointer

Cats and dogs aren’t the only pets fond of chasing things that run away from them. Aquarium fish do it too, as shown in our new peer-reviewed paper that came out just last week in the “Animals” journal! Out of 66 fish species observed, nearly 90% showed interest in or set out to chase moving laser pointed dots.

What makes us especially proud is that the paper came as culmination of a yearlong research that began as our last year’s Fellow Sofia Eisenbeiser’s summer project. As scientists know it all too well, a single year is pretty fast and couldn’t make us more proud!

Another reason for pride is the fact that this research adds another layer of proof to what we’ve been saying all along: (neuro)science doesn’t have to cost a fortune. This particular experiment only requires a couple of things that many people already have: a fish tank with some inhabitants (the more, the merrier!) and a laser pointer or two. Incredibly easy to replicate in, say, your biology classroom!

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