June 29, 2008
The Initial Potential
Fellow neuronerds may have guessed the humour in the post title; a neural event (like a thought, for instance) happens due to neurons communicating with each other by sending electrical impulses called 'action potentials'. You could say that the action potential is the beginning of a process that leads to a thought, hence the title of this post that inaugurates this blog! Hee hee ha ha, we can all stop laughing at my geekiness now.
But anyway, I decided to keep a blog of my own after realising how many other blogs there were that were devoted to science subjects. I do have a few favourite blogs that I like to read but not all of them really hit the spot and make me go, "whoa! I just learnt something amazing!" So I hope to do that with this blog, and I'm not claiming to be a big expert on science or something. I would just like to create a space where readers can share my sense of "whoa!" when I read a piece of neuroscience news that actually has an impact on people's daily lives or something else that is relevant. During my years as a psychology undergraduate and even now as a neuropsychologist-in-training, I regularly come across little pieces of "whoa!" that tend to stop me in my tracks and, like, think about stuff for a minute.
Some time ago I was chatting to a friend who made a very good point about the general inaccessibility of scientific articles. His argument went something like: "You scientists always tend to talk in hoity-toity ways and it'd be nice if things were explained clearly." After years of suffering neural meltdown every time I read an academic paper, I can share this guy's pain and agree that there is a major problem with the presentation of scientific data and they way it contributes to public education. And again I'm not claiming to be an expert who can do this, but let's hope that this will be a place where things that interest me in the neurosciences will be explained clearly enough so that a substantial number of people can join me in sitting back and exclaiming "whoa!"
Enter The Dragon..