Beach soccer with a Nobel laureate

Between sessions at the Winter Neural Plasticity conference in Barbados, soccer on the beach with Mario Capecchi (3rd from right, with socks).

Paul on Brain Matters

When I visited the University of Texas, I had the pleasure of chatting with Anthony Lacagnina (from Michael Drew‘s lab). He and his colleagues have been producing the Brain Matters podcast for over a year, and have now interviewed lots of neuroscientists. If you’re interested in hearing about neurogenesis, forgetting, and football (soccer) then listen away (also here on itunes, episode 23).


That special time of the year...

The Josselyn/Frankland lab celebrated Festivus in style yesterday at the traditional location (The Red Room on Spadina). Handed the festivus pole, Colleen launched into a long list of grievances in spectacular fashion, before taking on all-comers in the feats of strength. More pictures are posted here.

A farewell to John

John Howland has spent the last 4 months in the lab as hipster-in-residence a visiting scientist during his sabbatical from the University of Saskatchewan. It’s been a complete pleasure having John in the lab, and we are sad to see you go!

New mini-review: Memory allocation

Which neurons become part of an engram or memory trace? Is this process random? Or are neurons ‘pre-selected’? In this short review published in Neuropsychopharmacology, we discuss the rules of allocation. A pdf version is available here.


Our lab by Lina

Lina took to the whiteboard yesterday…

New paper: Lost scent

Our new paper published last week in the Journal of Neuroscience. Below: Clarified olfactory bulbs (J. Epp).

Commentary: Too connected

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are thought to be caused by the abnormal development or dysfunction of synapses. Consistent with these many genes that code for key synaptic proteins confer increased risk for ASD. Adding to story, a new study shows that deleting an ASD-risk gene called Sema5A causes neurons to form more connections in mice, and also alters how these mutant mice interact with one another. Justin Kenney wrote a commentary on this paper, and it is published in eLife.

SfN day 5: posters

Clockwise from top left: Axel, Chen, Liz, Leo and Asim.

SfN day 4: The faces of SfN

From top left: 1) Steve Ramirez and Karim Nader; 2) Kiriana Cowansage and Josh Johansen; 3) Jonathan Britt and Kay Tye; 4) Jaideep Bains and Shernaz Bamji; 5) Natalie Tronson and Satoshi Kida; 6) Megan and Hayley from the Matt Hill lab.