Study of 35 million users of brain-training software finds alcohol and sleep linked to cognitive performance.
Online games offer trove of brain data
Gene switches make prairie voles fall in love
Epigenetic changes affect neurotransmitters that lead to pair-bond formation.
Starfish sacrifice arms to beat the heat
You can tell when a starfish is too hot – it loses an arm.
Hearing changes could be ancient in the human line
Comparison between hominins suggests modern middle-ear bones evolved early.
So you’ve seen an academic give a lecture at Hay-On-Wye, or something? That’s nice. With Guerilla Science I worked with neuroscientists, architects and carpenters to build a giant maze in the middle of Shangri-La and fill it with giant rat scientists, conducting real olfactory experiments on the citizens of Glastonbury – in the middle of the Hell field. See more about Lab Rats here and all the photos here.
The Curtains of Love
The very first magazine story I ever wrote, for Shameless magazine, was about a touchy subject: vaginal plastic surgery. I discovered then that some men, in fact, prefer long labia. Their term of endearment – “the curtains of love” – always stuck with me. Eight years later, I had the unparalleled privilege of bringing the idea to life, creating a sultry, silken shrine to the vulva as part of the Secret Cinema’s homage to Brazil. The centrepiece: a spectacular patchwork quilt of hand-made vulva – including several knitted models fashioned by 91-year-old women. Read all about the Curtains Of Love on the GS website here.
Secret Cinema: Brazil
This spring, the Secret Cinema transformed a 14-storey office block into the dystopian world of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. With my side project Guerilla Science – always eager to bring science to new habitats in unexpected ways – we brought a range of creations to crank all the levels up to red. This was not only the biggest Secret Cinema production in history, it was also our biggest project of the year. Exhausted? Yes. Was it worth it? Oh god, yes. Read all about the unparalleled production on the GS website here and see all the photographs here.
The Sonic Tour of the Brain
This weekend I held events at The Barbican for their Brain Waves weekender, an intense cornucopia of cultural offerings exploring neuroscience and art at one of London’s biggest and most adventurous cultural institutions. Chuffed? You bet. I created an audio tour exploring the question: what does the brain sound like? You can listen to the Sonic Tour of the Brain on the Guerilla Science website.
My good friends over at The Monitors (whom you should already be following, if you care at all about good music and good writing) asked me to join them for their monthly podcast, theming it around science.
“Sure we could do a science podcast – or you guys could just make dick jokes for an hour, as per usual,” I said. “Let me know.”