Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Monkeys experience body illusions also

In recent years, scientists have discovered that the brain’s image of its body, known as the body schema, is extraordinarily malleable — for instance, people can be fooled into thinking a rubber hand is part of their bodies. Now for … Continue reading

Categories: Neuroscience | Leave a comment

Registering surprise and learning from it are different processes

Much of life is predictable. Every day the sun comes up in the east. When we use a toaster bread goes in cool and soft, pops up warm and crispy. Our brains build models of how the world works, helping … Continue reading

Categories: Neuroscience | Leave a comment

Quantumness of water molecules might explain unexpected behaviors

Water is vital to life as we know it, but there is still a great deal unknown when it comes to correctly modeling its properties. Now researchers have discovered room-temperature water may be even more bizarre than once suspected — … Continue reading

Categories: Chemistry | Leave a comment

Cheaters always prosper, to a point

Is it better to cooperate or cheat? To work for the good of others, or focus on yourself? This classic self vs. group conflict is a common musing of game theorists and experimental economics known as the “public goods dilemma.” … Continue reading

Categories: Ecology | Evolution | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Plant toxins help fight pest insects

Forests regularly get devastated by outbreaks of pest insects, whose numbers can go from virtually undetectable to extraordinarily high. Plants can release toxins as protection, but these were largely believed to play little role in fighting such outbreaks, since the … Continue reading

Categories: Ecology | Leave a comment

Can flies at a rock concert hear the next day?

When the crowd filters out of the concert hall at the end of a loud, live rock concert, each person’s ears have paid a toll. Whether a concert-goer hears a ringing, speaks a little louder in the car ride home, … Continue reading

Categories: Neuroscience | 1 Comment

Some frogs hears with their mouths

One of the world’s smallest frogs, the one-centimeter-long Gardiner’s Seychelle frog, lacks a middle ear with an eardrum yet it can hear. Scientists now find it can use its mouth and bones to hear, findings detailed this week in the … Continue reading

Categories: Evolution | 1 Comment

Top predators can restore the health of an ecosystem

Seagrass beds are key homes for fish and many other ocean species, help protect coasts from storms and waves, and soak up carbon dioxide from seawater and the atmosphere. However, seagrass meadows are declining worldwide, often due to algae smothering … Continue reading

Categories: Ecology | Leave a comment