Friday, May 22, 2009

evoked potential

I'm not saying I miss my old job or anything crazy like that. And those hard-core neuroscience seminars that made my eyes bleed, I could live quite happily without ever sitting through one of those again. But I do miss the language sometimes.

I miss the way some of those phrases rolled off the tongue - medial temporal lobe, dentate gyrus, caudate nucleus, CA1 pyramidal neurons.

Pure poetry, as long as no one asks you to explain them.


I think it's rather fitting that sensory-motor behaviour in the absence of conscious sensation has a nam
e: Zombie Agent (A stereotyped, rapid, and effortless sensory-motor behavior that does not give rise to a conscious sensation. Consciousness for this behavior may come later or not at all.)

This being Friday and all, I feel the need coming on for a list. Here's mine:

bad tempered zombie's top five favourite neuroscience phrases
corpus callosum
penumbra
synaptic plasticity
hemiplegia
basal ganglia


How do you feel about jargon?
Did you ever miss it after leaving it behind?

20 comments:

Charlie said...

I've always been amused by the technical term for a stroke: a CVA, or cerebral vascular accident.

WOMAN: "My husband died of an accident."
MAN: "Automobile? Fell off a ladder?"
WOMAN: "No, his brain accidentally exploded."

As far as jargon from my previous job, I don't miss it because I still use it: damn, hell, shit . . .

Allison said...

I miss using postmodern and material culture on a regular basis. Again, don't ask me to explain them. ;)

John Mutford said...

I miss airline industry lingo, like the phonetic alphabet, zulu time, and airport codes (YZF, YEG, YFB and so on).

Gifted Typist said...

Oh oh oh Zombie, penumbra is one of my fave words but I always think of it as an astronomical term and here I come to find out it's a neurological term. Beautiful words, the lot

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I hate it when my brain accidentally explodes, Charlie, it's far worse than when I explode it on purpose.
That's the useful kind of jargon that is transferrable to almost any situation. Very useful words indeed.

But what do they mean, Al? Just do what I do, and use them regardless. If we all used words correctly all the time, where would be the challenge in that?

Airline lingo! I love those codes and the alphabet thing too, John. I feel so officious when I use them. But what's zulu time?

I guess penumbra can be used in a lot of situations, Gifted. In neuroscience, it refers to the area outside of the core region directly affected by the stroke, an area that is often recruited into the stroke region as the damage spreads - known as maturation phenomenon.
How is it used in astronomy?

John Mutford said...

Sorry, also known as GMT or Greenich Mean Time. I used to work in "flight operations" and when the pilots called me with their times, it was in zulu. But to contact our maintenance and ground crews, I had to convert it into military time, or depending on the education level, citizen time. At first it was a pain in the ass having to convert, especially when daylight savings time kicked in, but I got the hang of it.

kelly said...

sometimes you don't realize when you are using lingo it becomes so entrenched in your everyday life. A couple for me could be:
halligan
big red
irons
B.A.

kelly said...

oh from my university days..I remember the latin name to one plant just because it rolls off the tongue

potentella fruiticosa

Barbara Bruederlin said...

See? I learned something from you today, John. I love it when that happens, despite all my best efforts.
Didn't you ever get freaked out at that job? All those lives in planes?

I have no idea what any of those words mean, Kelly, but they're kinda sexy.
I have one Latin name I remember from university as well. Chelonia Midas = green sea turtle, which I memorized because my friend Darryll kept singing it to the tune of My Sharona while we were studying. The Knack are the only reason I passed Zoology.

kelly said...

sad to say nothing sexy about any of those

halligan = tool for prying, piercing, forceable entry etc
big red = 4" line from hydrant to truck..its red
irons = halligan and flat axe strapped together, often useful together
B.A. = breathing apparatus....short for self contained breathing aparatus

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Darned useful though, Kelly!

BeckEye said...

Corpus Callosum sounds like a death metal band name.

Grumpy Old Bastard said...

Favorite Geology Terms:

Subduction
Orogeny
Mass Wasting
P-Waves
Horst and Grabben

Peas,

GOB

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm surprised nobody has used it yet, Beckeye. You'd think there would be loads of former neuroscientists turned heavy metal drummers out there, just scooping up those names.

Oooooh, I like those, GOB! Especially Horst and Grabben - isn't that a coffee chain?

Deb said...

Well, since the extent of the jargon at my last job consisted of things like "would you like the extra with that?" and "double play?", not really much to miss there.

But your lingo is blowing my brains out at this very moment.

(What do I do when the WV is a question mark again?)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It always blew my brains out too, Deb. I always had a love/hate relationship with that medical jargon.

Gifted Typist said...

The area of light that surrounds a planetary body. I heard Margaret Atwood us it very eloquently once

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Peggy can be pretty darned eloquent when she puts her mind to it, Gifted. And that definition makes sense, too, ties right in with the medical one.

justacoolcat said...

"What a bunch of penumbra" shall be my new saying.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's great for any occasion, JustA!