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MIND Guest Blog


Commentary invited by editors of Scientific American Mind
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    The editors of Scientific American MIND regularly encounter perspectives on science and technology that we believe our readers would find thought-provoking, fascinating, debatable and challenging. The MIND Guest blog is a forum for such opinions. The views expressed belong to the author and are not necessarily shared by Scientific American. Follow on Twitter @sciammind.
  • Technology May Lift Severe Depression, but Full Recovery Takes Time

    Courtesy of Dave Gingrich via Flickr.

    This blog is the last in a series of guest posts on technology and the brain to celebrate Scientific American Mind’s 10-year anniversary. The magazine’s special November/December issue similarly highlights the interface between code and thought in profiling a future, more digital YOU. I have been a practicing psychiatrist at the Cleveland Clinic since 1989. [...]

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    In the Future Your Therapy and Education Will Be Tailored to Your Brain

    Courtesy of Brian Gates.

    This blog is the sixth in a series of guest posts on technology and the brain to celebrate Scientific American Mind’s 10-year anniversary. The magazine’s special November/December issue similarly highlights the interface between code and thought in profiling a future, more digital YOU. Ask any two people about any process in their lives, be it [...]

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    Simply Shining a Light Can Reveal the Brain’s Structure

    Pseudo-colored angiogram of a rodent somatosensory cortex with surface vessels in yellow and orange and deep vessels in green. Credits: Vivek Srinivasan and Harsha Radhakrishnan.

    This blog is the fifth in a series of guest posts on technology and the brain to celebrate Scientific American Mind’s 10-year anniversary. The magazine’s special November/December issue similarly highlights the interface between code and thought in profiling a future, more digital YOU. Imagine having to spot a single grain of cereal at the bottom [...]

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    Giving the Brain a Buzz: The Ultimate in Self-Help or a Dangerous Distraction?

    The  tDCS device on the left can localize stimulation to a smaller area than the one on the right. Each machine connects to electrode cap. Credit: Joe Moran.

    This blog is the fourth in a series of guest posts on technology and the brain to celebrate Scientific American Mind’s 10-year anniversary. The magazine’s special November/December issue similarly highlights the interface between code and thought in profiling a future, more digital YOU. Imagine a medical device that is so simple to build and cheap [...]

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    Can Video Games Diagnose Cognitive Deficits?

    Five brain-training games available as an iPad “app” from Lumosity were evaluated as tests of cognitive dysfunction in cirrhosis: (a) Circles is a test of spatial orientation, information processing speed and attention. Colored circles appear one at a time and a user must decide whether each is a match when compared with the circle that showed up earlier. (b) Color Match evaluates selective attention, cognitive flexibility and processing speed. The names of two colors appear and the test-taker must decide whether or not the top word names the font color of the bottom word. (c) Memory Matrix taps visuospatial memory. A pattern of tiles appears on a grid; when the pattern disappears, a test-taker attempts to recreate it. (d) Lost in Migration examines attention as well as visual field and focus. Five birds appear and a user indicates the direction of flight of the center bird. (e) Chalkboard Challenge involves quantitative reasoning. A player must determine which arithmetic figure has the greatest value between two choices.

    This blog is the third in a series of guest posts on technology and the brain to celebrate Scientific American Mind’s 10-year anniversary. The magazine’s special November/December issue similarly highlights the interface between code and thought in profiling a future, more digital YOU. Video games are an increasingly common pastime, especially for children, adolescents and [...]

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    A Hubble Telescope for the Mind

    These fluorescently labeled neurons in the mouse somatosensory cortex are those that project to other regions of the brain.

    This blog is the second in a series of guest posts on technology and the brain to celebrate Scientific American Mind’s 10-year anniversary. The magazine’s special November/December issue similarly highlights the interface between code and thought in profiling a future, more digital YOU. All of our mental experience is born from the coordinated electrical activity [...]

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    Expert Cancer Care May Soon Be Everywhere, Thanks to Watson

    Watson. Courtesy of IBM.

    Editor’s note: This blog is the first in a series of guest posts on technology and the brain to celebrate Scientific American Mind’s 10-year anniversary. The magazine’s special November/December issue similarly highlights the interface between code and thought in profiling a future, more digital YOU. “You know my methods, Watson.” – Sherlock Holmes Even those [...]

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    Finding the “Ideal” Partner When You Feel Insecure

    Credit: InnovatedCaptures/Thinkstock/iStock

    Many people – too many people – are drained by efforts to cover up their sense that they are essentially inadequate and flawed. This causes many problems in their lives, including feeling chronically distressed about their intimate relationships. The good news is that there are ways to help alleviate these problems. One part of the [...]

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    5 Ways to Overcome Dating Anxiety

    Valentine's brunch. (Amit Gupta via Flickr)

    Anxiety disorders are the most common psychological disorder in the US, affecting 18 percent of the adult population. Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is the third-most-common psychological disorder, affecting 15 million men and women in the US. The DSM-5 defines social anxiety as the “persistent fear of one or more situations in which the person is [...]

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    Why We Wonder Why

    Humans are curious creatures, and our curiosity drives a search for explanations. So while this search may fit squarely in the realm of science, it is hardly confined to the pursuits of scientists and intellectuals. Even preschoolers ask why, and indeed may do so to the exasperation of adults. Yet adults seek to understand things, [...]

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