Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!




Encouraging productive interaction among people from diverse perspectives, promoting new and continual exploration of issues relating to mental health and broader issues relating to the body/brain/mind/self, and facilitating the new openings which emerge from the sharing of perspectives.



Materials here are offered from a neurobiological perspective and are intended to highlight the ways in which biology provides a useful way of thinking about brain and behavior, including but not limited to issues of mental health.


On Serendip

The "Nature" of Desire - a research project by Rachel Berman '01. "...The way we conceptualize, say 'the urge to love' is ...beautiful? Sad? Uplifting? All these are human constructs of the brain. So what's left to say about the 'nature' of the 'urge to love'?"

Time to Think? - The question in a larger context: Brain=behavior? "...the finding that thinking 'takes time' had a significant impact, suggesting that thinking, like other aspects of behavior/human experience, actually had a material basis..."
Ambiguous Figures - "...'ambiguity' is not only the province of the artist or the enjoyer of novelty..."

Healing the Soul in the Age of the Brain: Becoming Conscious in an Unconscious World - by Elio Frattaroli - chapter one.

The Relevance of the Brain for Psychotherapy (and Vice Versa), With Particular Reference to Human Development

Depression ... or (better?) Thinking About Mood - notes from a talk.

Diversity and Deviance: A Biological Perspective - by Paul Grobstein in Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin, Spring 1989; "... if we look around and try to describe life as we actually see it, its most obvious characteristic is not order. It is instead diversity..."

Mind and Body: Rene Descartes to William James - by Robert H. Wozniak.

"She Blinded Me With Science": A Critical Analysis of the Scientific Model of Health - by Georgia Griffin '05

Genes, Brains, and Being Social: The Gregarious Brain - a short essay and public on-line discussion from the Brain Stories blog

*NEW* Mental Health and the Brain Working Group, Spring 2009 - a conversation with particular attention to brain research and experiences from the inside.

Elsewhere on the web
Tourette's syndrome and creativity by Oliver Sacks, in the British Medical Journal

Looking For Spinoza by Antonio Damasio - chapter one

Brain Briefings - newsletters linking discoveries in neuroscience and clinical applications

Architecture and The Mind - Consciousness - describes various ways to think about consciousness

Mental Health: A Report by the Surgeon General

The National Institute of Mental Health

Viewpoint On The Brain Disorder in Autism - discusses patterns in the neurobiology of those diagnosed with autism

Gender and Brain Imaging brief overview of opinions on neurobiological differences between males and females

Some Thoughts about the Brain/Mind/Language Interface - a historical survey of the approaches to the neural basis of language and the modularity question; supports the view that language is autonomous and independent of other cognitive processes

Brain, Language and the Origin of Human Mental Functions - a discussion of language, "mental functions", and self consciousness

Language and Brain: Neurocognitive Linguistics - considers how linguistics and the brain sciences are merged to better understand both language and the brain

Brain-Compatible Learning - a general site concerning how brain research may be relevant to education

Brain Research and Education: Neuroscience Research Has Impact for Education Policy - a general article discussing brain research and education

How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School - an on-line text provided by The National Academies Press

In Search of Brain-Based Education - an extensive survey of brain-based education; "...The 'In Search of...' television series is no way to present history, Mr. Bruer points out, and the brain-based education literature is not the way to present the science of learning..."

The Myth of the First Three Years: A New Understanding of Early Brain Development and Lifelong Learning by John T. Bruer - chapter one

Stimulant Medication and AD/HD - a descriptive article

Mind, Medicine and the Placebo Effect

The Placebo Effect - a survey from The Skeptic's Dictionary

Database of papers on consciousness

Neuroanatomy and Neuropathology Laboratory - a resource


Current materials
Can Animals Be Gay? (NY Times)

Study links women's fashion sense to ovulation (The Guardian)

Visualizing Schizophrenia (NY Times)

Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain (Nature Neuroscience)

You’re Bored, but Your Brain Is Tuned In (NY Times)

Awakening to Sleep (NY Times)

A Neuroscientific Look at Speaking in Tongues (NY Times)

Is Hysteria Real? Brain Images Say Yes (NY Times)

To Fight Stuttering, Doctors Look at the Brain (NY Times)

Detecting awarness in the Vegetative State (Science), Mental Activity Seen in a Brain Gravely Injured (NY Times)- fMRIs suggest responsive neural activity in brain-injured patient.


In the spirit of Serendip, thoughts, contributions, and ideas for additions/changes are both invited and encouraged. Visitors are welcomed to post comments and thoughts using the form below or may also submit comments directly to Serendip.




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