The Synapse vol 1, issue 4

Welcome to the 4th edition of The Synapse, a blog carnival for all things mind and brain held every two weeks. A little shorter than normal this round, due to the fact that there’s a grant deadline tomorrow and a lot of regulars are busy busy little monkeys, self included.
The neurophilosopher presents Artificial animals controlled by a “brain” in a culture dish posted at The neurophilosopher. Nifty pics of rat cortical neurons grown on an electrode array are included.
Mind Hacks brings us a poignant topic, the Neuropsychology of combat and chemical warfare where the effects of chronic arousal and stress are linked to cognitive changes.
Pure Pedantry delivers some exciting tidbits relating to Adult neural and oligodendrocyte stem cells, and a particularly nice piece about the role of Akt signaling in Parkinson’s Disease, where new hypotheses for explaining PD etiology are discussed.
Sandy G from The Mousetrap comes through with two entries this round. His first submission is sure to spark some interesting discussion as it deals with IQ, heritability, and environment. His second submission deals with the question of whether primate vision evolved to detect snakes in Eve’s Lasting Legacy: the Serpent and the Apple.
Blog Around the Clock gives us a nice breakdown of the role of different photopigments in vision, and does a nice phylogenetic comparison to explain why Compared to your pet iguana, you’re practically blind.
Finally, The Neurocritic posts on Antipsychiatry pseudoscience in the journal PLoS Medicine. He also discusses brain imaging and the neural correlates of mystical experience in nuns.
Thanks to all who submitted content. The next edition of The Synapse will be hosted at Retrospectacle on August 20th. Please email your posts to
Also, the next edition of Encephalon is coming up, so get some submissions ready!!!