01/14/2013 18:03:33
Marcus Woo
When offered spinach or a cookie, how do you decide which to eat? Do you go for the healthy choice or the tasty one? To study the science of decision making, researchers in the lab of Caltech neuroeconomist Antonio Rangel analyze what happens inside people's brains as they choose between various kinds of food. The researchers typically use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure the changes in oxygen flow through the brain; these changes serve as proxies for spikes or dips in brain activity. Recently, however, investigators have started using a new technique that may better tease out how you choose between the spinach or the cookie—a decision that's often made in a fraction of a second.
01/13/2013 16:09:32
Kimm Fesenmaier
The brain needs its surroundings to be just right. That is, unlike some internal organs, such as the liver, which can process just about anything that comes its way, the brain needs to be protected and to have a chemical environment with the right balance of proteins, sugars, salts, and other metabolites.
08/31/2012 07:00:00
Andrew Allan

Mark your calendars: The next TEDxCaltech will take place on Friday, January 18, 2013.


02/22/2011 08:00:00
Allison Benter

TEDxCaltech brought together innovators, explorers, teachers, and learners for a day of collaboration, conversation, and celebration. The TEDxCaltech speakers introduced groundbreaking new ideas, shared inspiring stories, and gave us a glimpse of the technology of the future. Over half of the talks can now be viewed at online at tedxcaltech.com and youtube.com/caltech; additional videos will be posted one per day until all are available to the public.

01/14/2011 16:00:00
Allison Benter

In recognition of the 50-year anniversaries of Richard Feynman's visionary talk "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom" and the inauguration of his revolutionary "Feynman Lectures on Physics," the Institute is now hosting TEDxCaltech. The event will be streamed online throughout the day at tedxcaltech.com.

01/13/2011 08:00:00
Marcus Woo

More than 50 years ago, at a meeting of the American Physical Society hosted by Caltech, Richard Feynman gave a talk called “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom.” In his visionary speech, Feynman discussed the technological promise of tiny machines as small as a few atoms. This promise has grown into a full-fledged discipline we now know as nanoscience, and it is the subject of TEDxCaltech’s last session, “Nanoscience and Future Biology.”

01/10/2011 08:00:00

Far beyond the limits of human vision lie two worlds of breathtaking complexity and almost overpowering beauty. One stretches endlessly across the imaginary landscapes of mathematics; the other dives deep into the nano-realm. Graduate student Dennis Callahan, a frequent visitor to both worlds, has amassed an award-winning travelogue of photos. At Friday's TEDxCaltech conference on campus, he'll haul out the virtual slide projector and take his audience on a magical microscopy tour.

01/06/2011 08:00:00
Marcus Woo

If your New Year's resolution is to be more organized and orderly, maybe you should take a cue from the universe. With planets, stars, and galaxies, the cosmos is surprisingly orderly—or in physics parlance, in a state of low entropy. At the time of the Big Bang, the universe had even less entropy. Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at Caltech, will examine this mystery at next week's TEDxCaltech. In separate talks, Caltech physicists Kip Thorne and John Preskill will also discuss Richard Feynman's legacy.


01/04/2011 08:00:00

A chipper little robot has recently been seen skulking around Chandler Dining Hall on the Caltech campus. But it's not there to flirt with the pretty cash register: it's learning how to move smoothly through crowds—without causing a scene, wasting time, or getting in anyone's way. Graduate student Peter Trautman, who will speak at next week's TEDxCaltech conference, says his little automaton of the Automat has already uncovered many interesting truths about how robots ought to behave around people . . . and vice versa.

12/29/2010 08:00:00

Caltech scientists recently demonstrated a robot that is capable of following a trail of chemical breadcrumbs. The surprising twist: the robot consists of a single molecule. The three-legged "molecular spider" can traverse a DNA origami landscape from one end to the other (albeit rather ploddingly), turning corners as needed and stopping when it reaches its destination. Graduate student Nadine Dabby will describe the tiny traveler at January's TEDxCaltech conference, where she is a featured speaker.

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