The awesomeness of ocular anatomy and physiology: the scleral membrane and the oculocephalic reflex as defenses against insult

Today brings one of those dismal events that afflict us all from time-to-time: a stupid accident that makes you deeply thankful for that combined achievement of evolution – a tough scleral membrane and the oculocephalic reflex. Moving furniture outside, I manage to stab myself in the dorsolateral aspect of my right eye while bending down to… Read More

Hangover nation: What is it about Ireland and drink?

A piece I did for the Irish Examiner a little while back: We drink too much in Ireland. As a nation, we consistently place highly in the global heavy drinking league. Excess alcohol consumption causes many problems. It is, for example, the major cause of death in men aged 35 to 50 in Ireland. A HSE report… Read More

Suppressing the encoding of new information in memory: a behavioral study derived from principles of hippocampal function.

Take-home message: We show here that mixing tasks that involve executive control (the n-back task, requiring continual updating and discarding of information held presently ‘in mind’) inhibits dramatically performance on an explicit memory task (associative memory: face-name pair learning), but not performance on control recognition memory tasks. We therefore provide further behavioural evidence that memory subsystems… Read More