Neuroscientists Need to Communicate Their Research to the Public More Effectively

September 3, 2010 § 2 Comments

Dumb it down a little for the press please, but we are not all like Homer, here.

Communicating science can be difficult, and for neuroscientists, it is particularly challenging because the subject matter—how our brains work—is highly complex. Research is often reported inaccurately because many journalists who cover neuroscience have little understanding of the field. Instead of enhancing the public understanding of neuroscience, media coverage of brain research often propagates misinformation. Read the full story…

via Talkin’ Brains – Dana Foundation.

Whos hand is that?

August 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

Mo Costandi posted a fun article one could use to trick friends but, the science behind it is what is intriguing to me.

“DO you think that you perceive your body and the world around you as they really are? If your answer to that question is “yes”, then think again. Our perceptions are little more than the brain’s best guess of the nature of reality, constructed from fragments of information it receives through the senses. “Read the full post (it has video)

via Illusions of bodily awareness adapted for the pub : Neurophilosophy.

You Fall in Love Because Your Brain is a Jellyfish, Lizard, and Mouse Ice Cream Cone | Science Not Fiction | Discover Magazine

August 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

Check out this wonderfully creative article on human evolution by Kyle Munkittrick. I love the picture.

“Human beings are the peak of evolution, right? Our advanced brains allow us to poke one another on Facebook, send rockets to the moon, and order complex drinks at Starbucks. We can even fall in love. How are we able to do all of that? NPR’s Science Podcast has been doing a running series “The Human Edge” in which they discuss various things about humans that make us, well, human. NPR’s John Hamilton tackled brain evolution and how we humans still carry parts of other animal brains within us. Feel that pebble in your shoe? Thank a jellyfish. Ever duck before a rogue Frisbee collides with your noggin? Thank a lizard. Remember where you left your keys? Thank a mouse.”… Read the full story

via You Fall in Love Because Your Brain is a Jellyfish, Lizard, and Mouse Ice Cream Cone | Science Not Fiction | Discover Magazine.

Finding My Mind

August 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

While drinking my morning coffee, I watched a documentary I had waiting on TiVo for a few days called Finding My Mind.  In it, Oxford University professor for the Public Understanding of Science, Marcus du Sautoy, takes a journey deep into his own brain; a willing guinea pig for some of the most extraordinary experiments known to neuroscience.

What stood out most for me were his interviews with Christof Koch and John-Dylan Haynes.

Koch states that individual nerve cells and single neurons can process information. He has written a text-book on the subject. These cells networking together produce the  Neuronal correlates of consciousness (NCC).

Haynes work on Unconscious decisions in the brain is very exciting. In the documentary, Haynes showed Sautory that his subconscious brain was making decisions up to six seconds before his conscience brain. Haynes seemed quite disturbed by this fact. As if this somehow nullified the idea of free will. I think once he realized that his unconscious was simply him, he was OK.

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.
Buddha

Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?

August 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

Warning I'm not listeningYes, I just quoted Jackie Chan from Rush Hour 2.  Hey, that is the thought that popped into my brain while I was reading this article. What can I say?

I just can’t get over how cool the brain is. It seems like every day science learns a dozen marvelous new things about how our brains work.

“We know that real verbal communications requires both a speaker and a listener (often they go back and forth, but not always). This involves both the production of speech, AND the perception and comprehension of what someone else is saying to you. The question is, HOW does that happen?” Read Full Story…

via Conversations really DO take two. | Neurotic Physiology.

Internet overload

August 13, 2010 § 1 Comment

I have been spending far too much time on the internet the past few months. Between twitter, RSS and my blog, I spend almost no time with my husband anymore. I miss him. He is my favorite person in the world and frankly, my reason for living.

Worst of all I realized this morning that I have spiraled into a deep depression.  Depression is nothing new for me. I am Bi-polar. However, for the last few years, I have been in a “place in my life” where my depressions were simply a chemical imbalance in my brain. I felt the all the symptoms of depression, but because I was otherwise happy with my life, they were just like any other symptoms I have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

This morning however I realized I wasn’t happy anymore.  Nothing fundamental has changed in my life. All that has changed is my “online” life. Like most people I follow people with similar interests to my own. I wanted to learn, share ideas, understand what was going on in my head.

I followed scientists, and skeptics which let to atheists. Eventually my circle grew to include “spoonies”. In the beginning I was very careful to only follow people who were positive, or at the very least not outright negative. That did not last long.

I am now spending hours(yes hours, partially blind) every day reading through hundreds posts and articles of people bitching and moaning about how terrible the world is, just to find a few good tidbits of information. And looking back at my own posts, I have started doing it too. I don’t want to be that person. Please don’t take that the wrong way. I am not saying people’s problems are not important. They are very real issues and they should be discussed. The internet is the right forum to discus them.  The problem is mine. I should not be reading them.  Fuck, I was yelling at the news on TV last night. I need to make some serious changes to my internet habits starting today.

I suppose this post is for the few people who actually follow me on a regular basis. I am not leaving the internet. I am not giving up my blog or twitter. I will simply be scaling things back.

May peace and joy be with you.

PJ

Reinforcements ordered in the war on brains

August 10, 2010 § 3 Comments

I am not a regular viewer of Rachel Maddow, but thanks to @darwinsbulldog I saw this and had to share it.

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