It is not often that I encounter a scientific article that excites me, but the article published by Rodrigo Quiroga in Nature Reviews Neuroscience (August 2012, Volume 13, 587-597) did just that. In his article, Quiroga describes his discovery of Jennifer Aniston neurons in the medial temporal lobes of human patients. These neurons are interesting […]
About John Pinel
John Pinel, the author of Biopsychology, obtained his Ph.D. from McGill University in Montreal and worked briefly at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before taking a faculty position at the University of British Columbia, where he is currently Professor Emeritus.
Professor Pinel is an award-winning teacher and the author of over 200 scientific papers. However, he feels that Biopsychology is his major career-related accomplishment. "It ties together everything I love about my job; students, teaching, writing, and research." Pinel attributes much of his success to his wife Maggie who is an artist and professional designer. Over the years, they have collaborated on many projects, and the quality of Biopsychology’s illustrations is largely attributable to her skill and effort.
Pinel is an enthusiastic West African drummer who performs at local clubs, festivals, and drum circles with Nigerian drum master Kwasi Iruoje. For relaxation, he loves to cuddle his three cats: Rastaman, Sambala, and Squeak.
Entries by John Pinel
In the US, the incidence of obesity (The World Health Organization defines ‘obesity’ as a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 30) has almost tripled in the last fifty years. In 1960, the percentage of the US population that was obese was 13%. By 2010, that figure was 36%. It is estimated that by […]
Several different seizure types were described in Chapter 10 of . The purpose of this blog post is to provide you with one or more video examples of each seizure type. Partial Seizures Let’s begin with partial seizures. If you recall, partial seizures are seizures that do not involve the entire brain. There are […]
Remarkably, individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) are more likely to be savants: intellectually handicapped individuals who display amazing and specific cognitive or artistic abilities (e.g., feats of memory, naming the day of the week for any future or past date, identifying prime numbers, drawing, and playing musical instruments). Roughly 10% of individuals with ASD display some savant abilities–these cases account […]
The following is an excellent documentary video about the topic of dreaming, from the television series BBC Horizons. <coming soon> <coming soon>
In Chapter 13, you learned of the Case of the Twin Who Lost His Penis. The real name of the twin in that case study is David Reimer. The following video, from the BBC series Horizons, is an excellent documentary of the life and experiences of David and his family. <coming soon> <coming […]
Ethical issues are never straightforward. Is the stress on nonhuman animals caused by being research subjects outweighed by the potential benefits of the research? Web sites addressing this question often fall into one of two categories: those that argue that the ethics of research on nonhuman animals is a complex issue that needs careful […]
Chapter 7 of introduced you to the change blindness phenomenon. However, to really appreciate the phenomenon, you need video–something that is easy in a blog post but not so easy in a printed textbook. As you learned, in demonstrations of change blindness, participants are asked to identify the differences between two alternating images–the images […]
In Chapter 6 of , you read about the results of scientific work that sought to characterize the receptive fields of visual system neurons. This blog post provides a more detailed explanation of how vision neuroscientists characterize the receptive fields of neurons. An obvious place to start any discussion of receptive field mapping methods […]
Coming February 28th! This post will discuss recent research on Jennifer Aniston Neurons (also known as ‘Concept Cells’). In the mean time, please browse my other blog posts. <coming soon> <coming soon>