Features

Neurological Correlates Allow Us to Predict Human Behavior
Neurological Correlates Allow Us to Predict Human Behavior
Paul J. Zak | Oct 1, 2020
A combination of factors, from oxytocin release as an indicator of emotional investment to cortisol and other hormones that correlate with attention, can forecast what people will do after an experience.
T Cells and Neurons Talk to Each Other
T Cells and Neurons Talk to Each Other
Ashley Yeager | Oct 1, 2020
Conversations between the immune and central nervous systems are proving to be essential for the healthy social behavior, learning, and memory.
The Surgisphere Scandal: What Went Wrong?
The Surgisphere Scandal: What Went Wrong?
Catherine Offord | Oct 1, 2020
The high-profile retractions of two COVID-19 studies stunned the scientific community earlier this year and prompted calls for reviews of how science is conducted, published, and acted upon. The warning signs had been there all along.

Contributors

Contributors
Contributors
Contributors
Meet some of the people featured in the October 2020 issue of The Scientist.

Editorial

Wielding Fear
Wielding Fear
Wielding Fear
The primordial emotion is apt to run amok. But harnessing it can lead to responsible behavior and sound thinking.

Speaking of Science

Ten Minute Sabbatical
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse.

Critic at Large

Opinion: Scientists Must Battle the Disinformation Pandemic
Opinion: Scientists Must Battle the Disinformation Pandemic
Opinion: Scientists Must Battle the Disinformation Pandemic
Fighting the spread of an infectious disease goes hand in hand with stemming the dissemination of lies, bad science, and misdirection.

Notebook

The Brain’s Immune Cells Stand Sentinel Against Viral Invasion
The Brain’s Immune Cells Stand Sentinel Against Viral Invasion
The Brain’s Immune Cells Stand Sentinel Against Viral Invasion
Some viruses, possibly even SARS-CoV-2, can sneak into the brain through the nose. Recent studies show that microglia are ready for them when they do.
Curiosity and Hunger Are Driven by the Same Brain Regions
Curiosity and Hunger Are Driven by the Same Brain Regions
Curiosity and Hunger Are Driven by the Same Brain Regions
Researchers tease out the effects of the two cravings by having participants gamble for the chance to satisfy them.

The Literature

Neural Connections Bolstered in Monkeys That Lift Weights
Neural Connections Bolstered in Monkeys That Lift Weights
Neural Connections Bolstered in Monkeys That Lift Weights
A study in two macaques reveals the importance of increasing connectivity between muscles and the reticulospinal tract that runs from the brain stem down the spinal cord.
Non-Concussive Head Hits Influence the Brain’s Microstructure
Non-Concussive Head Hits Influence the Brain’s Microstructure
Non-Concussive Head Hits Influence the Brain’s Microstructure
Comparing the brain scans of high-impact rugby players with those of athletes in noncontact sports, such as rowing and swimming, revealed tiny, yet significant, differences in the brain’s white matter.
Clues to the Origin and Function of the Brain’s Alpha Waves
Clues to the Origin and Function of the Brain’s Alpha Waves
Clues to the Origin and Function of the Brain’s Alpha Waves
Patterns of neural activity known as alpha waves, long thought to originate in the thalamus, may actually stem from a different brain region entirely.

Scientist to Watch

Michelle Gray Tracks Huntington’s in Different Brain Cells
Michelle Gray Tracks Huntington’s in Different Brain Cells
Michelle Gray Tracks Huntington’s in Different Brain Cells
The University of Alabama at Birmingham neuroscientist aims to determine which cells are most important in prompting the disease’s initiation and progression.

Bio Business

The Rise of BCI Enables Advances in Neuroscience
The Rise of BCI Enables Advances in Neuroscience
The Rise of BCI Enables Advances in Neuroscience
A nascent but growing consumer market for brain-computer interface technology is driving the development of sleek new tools for decoding brain activity.

Reading Frames

Opinion: What Animals Can Teach Us About Fear
Opinion: What Animals Can Teach Us About Fear
Opinion: What Animals Can Teach Us About Fear
Fear binds us to our human and nonhuman ancestors. Understanding the emotion can help us grapple with challenges we face today.

Foundations

Scientist as Subject
Scientist as Subject
Scientist as Subject
In the past, it was not uncommon for researcher to test their experimental therapeutics and vaccines on themselves. Some even volunteered to be exposed to pathogen-carrying vectors.

Infographics

Infographic: Measurements that Predict People’s Behavior
Infographic: Measurements that Predict People’s Behavior
Infographic: Measurements that Predict People’s Behavior
Changes in blood levels of oxytocin and adrenocorticotropic hormone and patterns of neural activity predict how much money people will donate to a cause with high accuracy.
Timeline: When Bad Research Changes Public Health Strategy
Timeline: When Bad Research Changes Public Health Strategy
Timeline: When Bad Research Changes Public Health Strategy
Illinois-based Surgisphere Corporation had a brief moment in the limelight this year following its infamous study of hydroxychloroquine. But the impact of the company’s deception reverberated across world.
Infographic: How Cytokines Flow into and out of the Brain
Infographic: How Cytokines Flow into and out of the Brain
Infographic: How Cytokines Flow into and out of the Brain
Several routes exist for immune cells to communicate with neurons in the central nervous system, though T cells rarely come in direct contact with neural tissue.
Infographic: How Weight Lifting Changes Monkeys’ Neural Connections
Infographic: How Weight Lifting Changes Monkeys’ Neural Connections
Infographic: How Weight Lifting Changes Monkeys’ Neural Connections
After weeks of training, the muscles of two macaques exhibited greater responses to stimulation of the reticulospinal tract in the brain stem than they had before, suggesting that strengthening the neural pathway is key to getting stronger.