Posted inNonfiction, Quotes

The Early Roots of Surgery

The first recorded cases of cancer show how the Ancient Egyptians used cauterisation (using red-hot instruments to burn off tissue and seal off wounds) to destroy tumours and to treat a variety of infections, diseases and bleeding lesions. Until the mid-18th century, surgery was the only effective option for addressing several conditions. But it was […]

Posted inNonfiction, Quotes

Looking at Five Generations of a Single Dutch Family to Understand the Genetics of Violence

A short piece published in BBC Magazine explored the science of whether murderers are born or made. A British neurocriminologist named Adrian Raine has made a career out of studying the brains of violent criminals. Raine was the first person to conduct a brain imaging study on murderers, and has since scanned the brains of numerous homicidal individuals, looking for similarities. […]

Posted inNonfiction, Quotes

‘We Don’t Know What Is Changing in the Hippocampi of Taxi Drivers.’

A study by neurologists at University College London found that the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for spatial navigation, of a London cabby is significantly larger than those in the rest of the human population—a result of the intense memorization and route-finding undertaken while doing The Knowledge. The study involved taking regular brain […]

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Researchers study a small group of patients who underwent surgery that split their brains: Through studies of this group, neuroscientists now know that the healthy brain can look like two markedly different machines, cabled together and exchanging a torrent of data. But when the primary cable is severed, information — a word, an object, a […]