Neurons and the Noise of Life

Written by: Captain Skellett // June 18th, 2009 // How Things Work

Do you ever think about your brain? Wonder what’s going on up there, how it all works, how all the billions of things you do every day – make coffee, drink coffee, work to deadlines, get stressed, go out and party, walk down the street – turn from thoughts in your head to actions? Do you ever think about thinking? I bet you do, I know I do. It makes my head hurt sometimes just thinking about it.

Yesterday I stumbled across two awesome articles that gave me some answers.

The first is a very cool background on neurotransmitters and neurons – the actual biochemistry of how your brain works on the small scale. It’s chockful of pretty pictures, and by the fun-to-read Sci at Neurotopia, and it’s the easiest way you’ll learn about neurotransmitters ๐Ÿ™‚

The second is about how imperfect your brain is – it’s easy to think about molecular stuff and assume that it all happens on pinpoint precision, like clockwork. How many times have you heard your brain described as a computer? Well, it’s really not – it’s a biological system with plenty of flaws and mistakes, it just happens to have a nice stack of methods to make up for them. Carl Zimmer wrote this awesome article for about how noisy your neurons can be, and how you make sense from all the babble (oh, and his blog is here). It’s one of the most interesting articles I’ve read all year, and blow me down with a feather if it’s not June already.

In other news, I bought a computer today ๐Ÿ™‚ A fancy new mac. Now all I need is to connect to the net and there’ll be no need to stay late at work to get my blog on! Man am I excited! And think of all the iTunes and customised backgrounds and icons! Not to mention I can take pictures and do heaps more photoshopping to bring you posts which are better, stronger, faster than before. It’s going to be freaking sweet!

Captain Skellett

I be Captain Skellett. Me blog started in April 2009 when I was working full time and didnโ€™t get a chance to talk science. Now I have changed jobs and talk science all the time, but that doesnโ€™t stop me blogging. More About Captain Skellett   Google


5 Responses to “Neurons and the Noise of Life”

  1. psi*psi says:

    ooooo! new mac!!! what kind? and what kind of photoshopping software will you be using? i need to find a good replacement for paint shop pro, which won’t run on my mac :,(

    noisy neurons totally explain those days when i put the coffee grounds in the coffee mug instead of the french press…

    Captain Skellett Reply:

    A 24 inch iMac, just the base model, which I think will be plenty of grunt for me (plus the screen will be huge which is awesome) ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m gonna get the adobe suite, so I’ll probably just use adobe photoshop I reckon, and I’m hoping to get some video editing software as well so I can make some movies. I’ve tried making some flash animations for the blog, but it’s so beyond me and my non-existant flash skillz. What kind of mac do you have? It’s so true – once you go mac you don’t go back ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. lindsay says:

    wow – you bought your computer!!! lokking forward to seeing it !

  3. Luke says:

    Yay for new computers. I love my mac.
    I hate iTunes though. I am running windows virtually whilst on my mac so I can use an open source music player called foobar. Much much better.

    Anyway. We need to catch up. You, nic, Gemma Ben etc. been too long.

    ๐Ÿ™‚ *hugs

    Captain Skellett Reply:

    lol, as if you hate iTunes! You crazy.

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