Entries by Steven Barnes

Early-life Trauma Compromises Childrens’ Ability to Process Emotions and May Predict Neuropsychiatric Illness Later in Life

A substantial amount of research demonstrates that an early-life trauma can profoundly compromise the way in which emotional information is processed, and can predict neuropsychiatric illness, in adulthood. In a recent fMRI study published in the Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Marusak et al (2015) hypothesized that children who experienced trauma would have a more difficult time […]

High Motivation Linked to Creativity in Bipolar Disorder

A considerable amount of research suggests that bipolar disorder (BD) is linked to creativity. However, not much is known yet about the underlying mechanisms that may facilitate heightened creativity among those with BD or those at risk for developing it. Many have speculated that creative abilities associated with BD may be influenced by cognitive advantages […]

Psychedelic Drugs: A catalyst for mental illness or urban myth?

  For nearly 6000 years, people have  experimented with psychedelic drugs  (e.g., LSD, psilocybin, peyote) as a means  of enhancing mental and spiritual  experiences, and to achieve greater self  insight and growth. More than 30 million  adults in the United States have reported  trying a psychedelic drug at least once in  their life time. Psychedelics […]

What Neural Systems are Involved in Lucid Dreaming?

  For most people, voluntary action, critical thinking, and an awareness of the minds present state are either very limited or completely absent while dreaming. Interestingly, however, those engaged in a lucid dream are able to access these metacognitive skills which can then be used to influence the content of their dreams. In a recent […]

Daniel Fishkin: Tinnitus Installation

Daniel Fishkin’s Tinnitus installation was just featured in the scientific journal Nature.  Read about it here (you need a subscription to read the entire article). To view an installation comparable to the one featured in Nature, you can visit this page.  If you want to listen to an audio snippet, you can do so below. I […]


  Coming February 20 This post will discuss the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V) of the American Psychiatric Association. In the mean time, please browse my other blog posts.   <coming soon> <coming soon>

Ephaptic Communication

  As you read in Chapter 4 of , neurons can send messages to each other at chemical synapses, via neurotransmitters, and at electrical synapses through gap junctions. But can neurons communicate in other ways? Recent research suggests that neurons transmit electronic signals through the extracellular space, and that such signals can affect the functioning […]

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