(last updated Sept. 2007)
Originally put up in the fall of '95, this website is now in its 6th edition. Naturally, each edition has involved the major addition of content. However, minor changes and additions occur all the time. Apart from the added content, the 6th edition introduces a complete makeover of the site's appearance and navigation system.
I am a research scientist. I received my Ph.D. in 1993 and have worked in over 6 laboratories, and have collabourated again with an equal number of labs. I have been publishing for a little over a decade and a half, accumulating some 30 articles and book chapters on the neuroplasticity phenomena discussed on this site. My published work has received over 1000 citations from other published authors in the learning and memory field. Various editions of this site have been referenced in college textbooks, linked to in the syllabi of undergraduate courses, referenced in published articles, and listed by other research labs as a resource. More about me and my work can be found through the "about eric" link.
The articles are largely directed towards graduate students, who may be starting out in one of the outlined fields, or upper level undergraduates writing "indepth" literature papers on the topics. As such, "Page O'Neuroplasticity" is a basic research and resource site and although the phenomena discussed are often used to model normal learning and/or neurological diseases, it is not intended to be of immediate clinical relevance, nor am I qualified to give neurological advice. Thus, the site is largely directed towards an academic audience and the articles are intended as a starting resource. However, that being said, I have received information requests from undergraduates doing research papers, colleagues setting up labs, *.com businesses looking for hot biotechnologies, and the occasional member of the general public, who are simply curious. Given the limits and constraints, I try to answer most questions in a timely fashion. As a result, I have assisted/mentored/advised people throughout North America, as well as far away as Wales, Brazil, Australia, France and Italy. Since the site is academic in nature and articles are intended as a starting resource, an emphasis has been made on references, and accessibility to the reference information.
The articles retain a traditional linear and somewhat historical flow and can be printed out in their entirety. As such, I have refrained from breaking up the articles into numerous smaller pages, as a consequence I still use frames to hold the menu systems in place. Regardless, attempts have been made to take advantage of non-linearity of HTML, as evidenced by the cross links within and between the articles. This of course is old news to most of those undergrads, who've now grown up with the web, but it is still the most revolutionary thing permitted by the web. All the articles are hand coded in HTML without the aid of web publishing programs like Frontpage or Dreamweaver. Admittedly, when needed, I've stolen bits and pieces of Cascading Style Sheets(CSS) from other sites and adapted them for my own, such as the pull down menus. So it just goes to show what can be done with a few pics and a very basic text editor.
At the beginning of the 1990s, I remember being excited by the appearance of knowledge-based CDs, like "Encarta", which through simple links allowed you to meander through information, following a path based on your own whims, and not that of the alphabet. On a separate thread, I was aware of the text net originally set up by ARPA, and was becoming an avid fan of gopher, poking around the text net with Archie and Veronica. A third thread had me resentfully learning UNIX during my first postdoc at McGill. My UNIX guru at the time was Serge Arsenault, a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology. One day in the summer of '95, he showed me "Mosaic", one of the earliest web browsers... ...and that was it, it was all over, the medium presentation and communication potential was just too much, I had to make a web page. By the end of the week I had bought a book on HTML, and by the end of the summer I had the first edition of "Page O'Neuroplasticity" up and running. Since then, everytime I have moved labs, I have moved the site, and in doing so, have expanded it along with my interests. As such, the site has travelled great distances from McGill in Montreal, to New Zealand, to Brooklyn NYC, Houston Texas, and now back to NY,NY. Hopefully, having forked out the bucks to register my domain name, the site may now have its final address, regardless of the actual host.
So, I hope the pages are as informative and fun to read as they were to make.
If you have any questions, or find any errors, feel free to e-mail me at...
Eric L. Hargreaves