On Sept. 13, 1848, at around 4:30 p.m., the time of day when the mind might start wandering, a railroad foreman named Phineas Gage filled a drill hole with gunpowder and turned his head to check on his men. It was the last normal moment of his life. Other victims in the annals of medicine are almost always referred to by initials or pseudonyms. Not Gage: His is the most famous name in neuroscience. How ironic, then, that we know so little else about the man—and that much of what we think we know, especially about his life unraveling after his accident, is probably bunk.
—Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient
by Sam Kean.
posted by Kattullus
on May 13, 2014 -
Gender Swap - Experiment with The Machine to be Another.
"Gender Swap is an experiment that uses The Machine to be Another
system as a platform for embodiment experience (a neuroscience technique in which users can feel themselves like if they were in a different body). In order to create the brain illusion we use the immersive Head Mounted Display Oculus Rift
, and first-person cameras. To create this perception
, both users have to syncronize their movements. If one does not correspond to the movement of the other, the embodiment experience does not work. It means that both users have to constantly agree on every movement they make. Throughout this experiment, we aim to investigate issues like Gender Identity, Queer Theory, feminist technoscience, Intimacy and Mutual Respect." [NSFW, Via]
posted by homunculus
on Jan 21, 2014 -
In a rare study involving direct brain stimulation,
Michael Greicius, a neurologist at Stanford University, and collaborators say they have uncovered direct evidence that a brain region known as the anterior midcingulate cortex and its surrounding network play a central role in motivation and a readiness to act.
posted by headspace
on Dec 8, 2013 -
Why does music feel so good? "Music moves people of all cultures, in a way that doesn’t seem to happen with other animals. Nobody really understands why listening to music — which, unlike sex or food, has no intrinsic value — can trigger such profoundly rewarding experiences. Salimpoor and other neuroscientists are trying to figure it out with the help of brain scanners."
posted by Defying Gravity
on Apr 15, 2013 -
Is Psychometric g a Myth?
- "As an online discussion about IQ or general intelligence grows longer, the probability of someone linking to statistician Cosma Shalizi's essay g, a Statistical Myth
approaches 1. Usually the link is accompanied by an assertion to the effect that Shalizi offers a definitive refutation of the concept of general mental ability, or psychometric g
." [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Apr 11, 2013 -
The two aspects of empathy
, cognitive and affective, as described succinctly and clearly by neuroscientist Simon Baron Cohen. Ever wondered how chronically abusive people seem to have X-ray vision knowing just what cruel thing to say to hurt most? It's because they have greater cognitive empathy and less - or very little - affective empathy
. Psychologist, Daniel Goleman adds another aspect of empathy
into the picture, compassionate empathy
posted by nickyskye
on Mar 26, 2013 -
Jennie Linn McCormack "isn’t the only woman in recent years to be prosecuted for ending her own pregnancy. But her case could change the trajectory of abortion law in the United States": The Rise of DIY Abortions
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jan 3, 2013 -
Heaven is Real: A Doctor's Experience of the Afterlife. As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences...In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated, I experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.
posted by shivohum
on Oct 12, 2012 -
"People prefer music that deviates from perfection in a natural way." Researchers into rhythm
are trying to figure out the nature of these deviations, and what implications this has for audio engineering and neuroscience.
posted by EvaDestruction
on Jul 23, 2012 -
What can be done to prevent another financial meltdown? While some cry for armed revolution, others are whispering for incremental changes that could have a substantial impact on how high finance works – or doesn't.
John Coates, a former Wall Street derivatives trader
and now a neuroscientist
at the University of Cambridge, has done novel research on how testosterone
skews the thinking – and thus the behavior – of traders, inspiring them to take on more risk
than benefits society. His research is now available in a book
Would programs that encourage more women to enter – and/or climb the ranks of – trading groups make finance more responsible?
(If this strikes you as biological determinism, there are other lines of inquiry that may be headed in the same direction: how managers exploit subordinates
in ways that shape overall behavior and could be modified via both incentives and regulation; how cheating happens
and the best ways to prevent it.)
posted by noway
on Jul 7, 2012 -
"Adrian Owen still gets animated when he talks about patient 23.
The patient was only 24 years old when his life was devastated by a car accident. Alive but unresponsive, he had been languishing in what neurologists refer to as a vegetative state for five years, when Owen, a neuro-scientist then at the University of Cambridge, UK, and his colleagues at the University of Liège in Belgium, put him into a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and started asking him questions. Incredibly, he provided answers."
posted by jquinby
on Jun 15, 2012 -
Isaac Chotiner reviews Jonah Lehrer's Imagine: How Creativity Works. Imagine is really a pop-science book, which these days usually means that it is an exercise in laboratory-approved self-help. Like Malcolm Gladwell and David Brooks, Lehrer writes self-help for people who would be embarrassed to be seen reading it. For this reason, their chestnuts must be roasted in “studies” and given a scientific gloss. The surrender to brain science is particularly zeitgeisty.
posted by shivohum
on Jun 13, 2012 -
Out-of-body experience: Master of illusion
: Out-of-body experiences are just part of Ehrsson's repertoire. He has convinced people that they have swapped bodies with another person, gained a third arm, shrunk to the size of a doll or grown to giant proportions.
[ . . . ]
But Ehrsson's unorthodox apparatus amount to more than cheap trickery. They are part of his quest to understand how people come to experience a sense of self, located within their own bodies. The feeling of body ownership is so ingrained that few people ever think about it — and those scientists and philosophers who do have assumed that it was unassailable.
[ . . . ]
Ehrsson's work also intrigues neuroscientists and philosophers because it turns a slippery, metaphysical construct — the self — into something that scientists can dissect.
posted by troll
on Jan 3, 2012 -
Are you tired of reading about how neuroscientists have discovered the area of the brain devoted to a single, oddly-specific function, but lack access to the sophisticated neuroimaging technologies needed to refute them? NeuroSynth
has you covered. [more inside]
posted by logicpunk
on Nov 18, 2011 -