Backyard Brains Logo

Neuroscience for Everyone!

+1 (855) GET-SPIKES (855-438-7745)


items ()

Sleeping Beauty v2.0: A Reimagination of the Classic, by BYB Intern DJ Marta, ft. C. Roach

Hey, it’s the other intern, Marta. I’m the one that has been performing experiments on the circadian rhythm of the cockroaches. It’s like Sleeping Beauty, but with cockroaches! The last time I wrote a blog, I was using the Blaberus Discoidalis, but because the Periplaneta Americana deemed to be the better choice, since “they’re more active”, that’s the breed that I got stuck with. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great for my experiment, but they require a high amount of concentration and dedication to put them in a box without them running away…

Anyway, back to my experiment… I have made much progress in the past 4 weeks ago (more…)


Meet the BYB Lab Tech, Jake! The Guy Behind the Guy, Behind the Guy

My name is Jake Robbins and I have been working behind the scenes here at Backyard Brains this summer as a lab tech. I recently graduated from Novi High School, and will be attending Michigan State University this fall. My job at Backyard Brains has mostly consisted of working on much of the software coding involved in the intern’s experiments.

As the summer started off, I was working almost exclusively with Marta and her circadian rhythm project, learning how to use the arduino to spy on her test subjects around the clock. We tried all kinds of sensors in the cockroach bin to detect their motion over night. PIR motion sensors weren’t sensitive enough to detect the cockroaches and IR emitter/detectors weren’t practical due to high amounts of data analysis that would be required. When we first tried using an IR reflective sensor with a hamster wheel, (more…)


Cockroaches… In the Dungeon! Thought You Ought to Know….

PEPPERMINT IS THE NEW VANILLA: CHANGING OLFACTORY MEMORIES THROUGH OPERANT CONDITIONING IN COCKROACHES (my working paper title, you dig it?)

Hey all, it’s Alex again! I have completed quite a bit since my previous post. If you already forgot about who I am (you monster!), I’m the intern performing the operant conditioning research on cockroaches! I’m trying to get them to favor the taste of peppermint (which they naturally dislike) over vanilla (which they naturally love). Picking up where I left off last, remember that box I laser cut? That was my testing and housing environment and it started me off on a good foot. I have run preference tests with the Americana cockroaches with mixed positive and negative results. Initially I got a lot of (more…)