The best in neuroscience from around the web this week:

The Atlantic Monthly – One Head, Two Brains [SIMPLE SCIENCE / LONG READ]

ARE YOU LEFT-BRAINED OR RIGHT-BRAINED? You’re neither, those categories don’t exist. But certain brain functions are confined to either left or right hemispheres. Read here about split-brain patients who have had their corpus callosum severed, preventing most communication between the two hemispheres and producing some weird outcomes. And if that leaves you wanting more info on the corpus callosum, check out QBI Professor Linda Richards’ lab page!


Brain Blogger – Our Mental Abilities Are Not Entirely Exceptional [SIMPLE SCIENCE / SHORT READ]

NOTHING SPECIAL? Right or not, I have this feeling that we tend to rate the human species just a bit more highly than we should. Chimps, dogs and cats probably do the same. This article summarises a few studies that just might chip away at our sense of awesomeness.


Brain Decoder – Why We Like to Touch Soft, Fluffy Things [SIMPLE SCIENCE / LONG READ]

A SOFT SPOT: How does having moist fingertips influence your sense of touch? How does your personality affect how much you like soft things? This article explains the science behind our fifth sense, and the parallels between pleasurable and painful sensations.


Neuroscience News – Memories More Accessible After a Good Night’s Sleep [SIMPLE SCIENCE / MEDIUM READ]

ALIVE, ALERT, AWAKE: Struggling to recall new facts that you’ve learnt? New research suggests that you sleep on it. Scientists have found that in situations where people forgot facts over the course of 12 hours of being awake, a night’s sleep almost doubled their chances of remembering previously unrecalled material.


Singularity Hub – How Tiny Lab-Grown Human Brains Are Giving Big Insights Into Autism [MEDIUM SCIENCE / MEDIUM READ]

LITTLE BRAINS A BIG DEAL: Researchers have used human skin cells from autistic and non-autistic patients to create “mini-brains”, allowing them to study human disease factors in a dish. After comparing genes in autistic and non-autistic mini-brains, they show that if too much of a particular gene product (FOXG1) is made, the brain organoids change appearance from normal to autistic.