328 posts tagged with brain.
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"Why is empathizing across groups so much more difficult?"

The Brain’s Empathy Gap: [New York Times]
Can mapping neural pathways help us make friends with our enemies?

posted by Fizz on Mar 21, 2015 - 4 comments

It looks like a brain...

The Heslington Brain is a well-preserved 2600 year old brain that was found in an Iron Age excavation site in York in 2008. Its preservation was likely due to the low-oxygen environment of the mud in which it was found. The fact that the man was decapitated and the body disposed of elsewhere protected the brain from the ravages of gut bacteria as well. [more inside]
posted by Blue Jello Elf on Mar 10, 2015 - 19 comments

Forgetting Fear

Repairing Bad Memories
[Daniela Schiller] explained how recent research, including her own, has shown that memories are not unchanging physical traces in the brain. Instead, they are malleable constructs that may be rebuilt every time they are recalled. The research suggests, she said, that doctors (and psychotherapists) might be able to use this knowledge to help patients block the fearful emotions they experience when recalling a traumatic event, converting chronic sources of debilitating anxiety into benign trips down memory lane. And then Schiller went back to what she had been doing, which was providing a slamming, rhythmic beat on drums and backup vocals for the Amygdaloids(previously), a rock band composed of New York City neuroscientists.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 9, 2015 - 4 comments

Bringing Boredom Back

Inspired by recent research on how boredom and mind-wandering contribute to creativity, public radio show New Tech City is launching a pro-boredom project. Bored and Brilliant invites participants to track how they use their phones to prevent moments of mental idleness, to try to reclaim free brain space and find oases of time, complete a week of creativity challenges, and contribute their responses to the conversation. BrainPickings' Maria Popova and artist Nina Katchadourian (who both joined the project's launch party to talk about how they"owe their careers" to boredom)and RadioLab's Jad Abumrad.
posted by Miko on Jan 25, 2015 - 21 comments

Embodied Cognition

The Deep Mind of Demis Hassabis - "The big thing is what we call transfer learning. You've mastered one domain of things, how do you abstract that into something that's almost like a library of knowledge that you can now usefully apply in a new domain? That's the key to general knowledge. At the moment, we are good at processing perceptual information and then picking an action based on that. But when it goes to the next level, the concept level, nobody has been able to do that." (previously: 1,2) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 19, 2015 - 9 comments

The Secret History Of Thoughts

Locked-In Man - "Martin Pistorius spent more than a decade unable to move or communicate, fearing he would be alone, trapped, forever. NPR's new show Invisibilia tells how his mind helped him create a new life."
posted by kliuless on Jan 11, 2015 - 21 comments

Meet Portia

Portia is a jumping spider that eats other spiders, through complex layers[PDF] of visual recognition and planned, trial-and-error[PDF, html] movement, even losing sight of it's target. How does a hunter get to be smarter than the prey, while having the same number of neurons, not even as many as a honeybee? Well, that's the interesting part ... [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 28, 2014 - 7 comments

Speculative questions from research into mental illness

Could depression be an infectious disease? Might hallucinogenic mushrooms be an effective treatment for depression (New York Times link)? Do antipsychotic drugs hinder long-term recovery from episodes of schizophrenia?
posted by alex1965 on Nov 30, 2014 - 49 comments

hyperconnected: your brain on shrooms

How Tripping On Mushrooms Changes The Brain - "New research [pdf] suggests that psilocybin, the main psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, sprouts new links across previously disconnected brain regions, temporarily altering the brain's entire organizational framework." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 28, 2014 - 84 comments

The caudate nucleus

What goes on in the brains of simultaneous interpreters. Miles told me about an agricultural meeting at which delegates discussed frozen bull’s semen; a French interpreter translated this as “matelot congelés”, or ‘deep-frozen sailors’. (via) [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi on Nov 23, 2014 - 12 comments

Migrating cerebral lesions indicate sparganosis

"The patient tested negative for HIV, tuberculosis, lime disease, syphilis, coccidioides, histoplasma and cryptococcus." After four years of MRIs, a person's mysterious headaches, seizures and altered sense of smell and memory are diagnosed as a tapeworm growing throughout his brain.
posted by a lungful of dragon on Nov 23, 2014 - 50 comments

NFL Concussion Settlement

How much is a brain worth to the NFL? FRONTLINE reporter Jason Breslow hosts a three minute video on the latest development between the NFL and former players. What's the monetary value of a human brain in this context? [more inside]
posted by Mayor Curley on Nov 22, 2014 - 37 comments

Real science, all the way from Scotland.

Acute effects of a deep-fried Mars bar on brain vasculature [more inside]
posted by infini on Nov 11, 2014 - 29 comments

запомнить практики запоминать практика запоминать практику

Time after time, professors in mathematics and the sciences have told me that building well-ingrained chunks of expertise through practice and repetition was absolutely vital to their succes Understanding doesn’t build fluency; instead, fluency builds understanding. In fact, I believe that true understanding of a complex subject comes only from fluency.
posted by sammyo on Oct 3, 2014 - 19 comments

76 of 79 Deceased NFL Players Found to Have Brain Disease

76 of 79 Deceased NFL Players Found to Have Brain Disease [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Oct 1, 2014 - 85 comments

The Future Gets Closer, Part VII

Direct brain-to-brain communication in humans has been demonstrated for the first time. DARPA begins work on miniaturized implants to control and regulate the nervous system. Researchers study using brain signals to operate drones. [more inside]
posted by StrikeTheViol on Sep 3, 2014 - 56 comments

If we're not in pain, we're not alive

You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website], the long-delayed "sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 25, 2014 - 84 comments

DIY Brain Stimulation

Inside the Strange New World of DIY Brain Stimulation. "Inspired by scientific studies, ordinary people are buying and building devices to send electrical current into their brains. Some say it has improved their memory and focus. Others have found relief from depression and chronic pain. But are they getting ahead of the science?" [Via]
posted by homunculus on May 7, 2014 - 42 comments

The Mind Readers

Thousands remain trapped between life and death. Three scientists are working to free them.
Another story from Mosaic Science via Longreads.
Extras:
A Measure of Consciousness
Proof of Life
Near-death Experience
posted by Joe in Australia on Apr 26, 2014 - 9 comments

Surfing Superheroes to the Rescue

AJ Lindner, a 6-year-old fan of Spider Man and other superheroes, recently underwent surgery for brain cancer. Facing the start of chemotherapy, which requires him to keep out of the water, the avid young swimmer had one wish: he wanted to go surfing. But the waters off Long Island were too cold. After a plea for a child-sized wetsuit went out on Facebook, a “Justice League” of surfers went to work to fulfill the boy’s dream.
posted by etaoin on Apr 25, 2014 - 14 comments

Gut Feeling

The future of psychiatry may be inside your stomach.
posted by monospace on Apr 14, 2014 - 29 comments

How Concussion Put Me On The Bench For Good

Soccer Broke My Brain [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 11, 2014 - 51 comments

The Box

Twilight in the Box. "The suicide statistics, the squalor and the recidivism haven’t ended solitary confinement. Maybe the brain studies will." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Feb 28, 2014 - 24 comments

Supernormal Stimuli

Is Your Brain Truly Ready for Junk Food, Porn, or the Internet?
posted by Cash4Lead on Feb 9, 2014 - 103 comments

The Unfixed Brain

In this teaching video, Suzanne Stensaas, Ph.D., demonstrates the properties and anatomy of an unfixed brain, showing its squishiness and vulnerability. [WARNING: The video contains graphic images, a human brain from a recent autopsy.]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 19, 2013 - 38 comments

Control a cockroach from your smartphone? There's an app for that.

After a TED Talk demonstration and a successful Kickstarter, Backyard Brains plans to release a kit instructing kids to strap a miniature backpack to cockroaches and insert electrodes into its brain, allowing the cockroach to be controlled by a smartphone app. Some scientists are less than pleased with the ethics of the project.
posted by meowzilla on Nov 8, 2013 - 128 comments

Automation turns us from actors into observers

Nicholas Carr's latest article for The Atlantic posits that automation presents risks, specifically of losing skill and talent. "The lack of awareness and the degradation of know-how raise the odds that when something goes wrong, the operator will react ineptly. The assumption that the human will be the weakest link in the system becomes self-fulfilling."
posted by Athanassiel on Nov 2, 2013 - 92 comments

New information from a very old brain

Some sites are calling this the oldest brain found. However, there have been other finds and at least one major site in Florida that holds older remains. The trick now is to extract DNA and information that can aid in medical advances.
posted by Eicats on Oct 29, 2013 - 18 comments

Why Sleep Deprivation Can Destroy You

In a nutshell, this new study provides evidence that we need a certain amount of sleep every night, because the brain takes this time to rid itself of toxic metabolic byproducts, which would otherwise accumulate in the brain and impair brain function, destroy neurons — and potentially cause neurodegenerative disorders.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 19, 2013 - 87 comments

My mind to your mind; my thoughts to your thoughts.

At the University of Washington, researchers have performed what they believe is the first noninvasive human-to-human brain interface. [more inside]
posted by cairdeas on Aug 28, 2013 - 57 comments

League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth

The New York Times is reporting that pressure from the NFL led ESPN to pull out of an investigative project with FRONTLINE regarding head injuries in American Football. The two-part investigative report and book will reveal how the NFL, over a period of nearly two decades, sought to cover up and deny mounting evidence of the connection between football and brain damage. ESPN has a $15.2 Billion deal with the NFL. (Football concussions previously: 1, 2, and 3)
posted by Public Policy on Aug 23, 2013 - 84 comments

Mouseunculus

Mouseunculus: How The Brain Draws A Little You. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jul 25, 2013 - 16 comments

Cognitive hiccups

Our Brains Weren’t Hardwired To Catch Con Artists [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 30, 2013 - 80 comments

Might you be the plaything of Descartes’ evil demon?

How You Know You Are Not a Brain In a Vat [PDF] [more inside]
posted by not_the_water on Jun 25, 2013 - 104 comments

"a certain... moral flexibility would be the only way to describe it"

Our Inconsistent Ethical Instincts
We like to believe that the principled side of the equation is rooted in deep, reasoned conviction. But a growing wealth of research shows that those values often prove to be finicky, inconsistent intuitions, swayed by ethically irrelevant factors. What you say now you might disagree with in five minutes. And such wavering has implications for both public policy and our personal lives.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 18, 2013 - 26 comments

The neurons that shaped civilization. Empathy & types of mirror neurons.

"There is no real independent self, aloof from other human beings, inspecting the world, inspecting other people. You are, in fact, connected not just via Facebook and internet, you’re actually quite literally connected by your neurons." — V S Ramachandran
posted by nickyskye on Jun 8, 2013 - 19 comments

"I cried the first time I held a Nintendo 3DS."

Not Hugo, but the 3DS lets George Kokoris see in 3D.
posted by cthuljew on Apr 30, 2013 - 32 comments

What's The Question About Your Field That You Dread Being Asked?

"Maybe it's a sore point: your field should have an answer (people think you do) but there isn't one yet. Perhaps it's simple to pose but hard to answer. Or it's a question that belies a deep misunderstanding: the best answer is to question the question."
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 14, 2013 - 259 comments

Intelligence Tests

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 - 113 comments

Brains have never looked so pretty

Karl Deisseroth and his team at Stanford University [previously] have developed a completely new technique to make a brain perfectly see-through. They call it CLARITY, and the result has to be seen to be believed. [more inside]
posted by harujion on Apr 10, 2013 - 43 comments

BRAIN Initiative

President Obama recently announced a big new effort to map and understand the human brain. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 8, 2013 - 22 comments

the squidgy 1.5kg lump of pink stuff in our heads

NeuroBollocks: Debunking pseudo-neuroscience so you don't have to.
posted by cthuljew on Mar 31, 2013 - 18 comments

flashing fish brains

When cutting edge microscopy meets cutting edge genetics: flashing fish brains [more inside]
posted by kisch mokusch on Mar 19, 2013 - 23 comments

Acquired Savant Syndrome

When Brain Damage Unlocks The Genius Within. [Single page view] "Brain damage has unleashed extraordinary talents in a small group of otherwise ordinary individuals. Will science find a way for everyone to tap their inner virtuoso?" [Via]
posted by homunculus on Feb 22, 2013 - 22 comments

the power and beauty of mathematics

An eternity of infinities (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 2, 2013 - 23 comments

What a thought looks like

Researchers at Japan's National Institute of Genetics have succeeded in imaging neuronal activity in a fish's brain. They showed a genetically modified (to enable easier imaging) fish some food and "correlate[d] neuronal activity in the brain with prey capture behavior." The video is short but cool. (A link to the study abstract in Current Biology)
posted by Sleeper on Feb 1, 2013 - 14 comments

Are you awake?

What does it mean to be conscious? The point of view of anesthesiology.
posted by Obscure Reference on Jan 5, 2013 - 42 comments

PTS Discussion

The newest segment in the Charlie Rose Brain Series, addressing Post-Traumatic Stress (SL Video) [more inside]
posted by beisny on Dec 18, 2012 - 6 comments

Deciphering the Tools of Nature’s Zombies

Deciphering the Tools of Nature’s Zombies: The ability of parasites to alter the behaviour of their hosts fascinates both scientists and non-scientists alike. One reason that this topic resonates with so many is that it touches on core philosophical issues such as the existence of free will. If the mind is merely a machine, then it can be controlled by any entity that understands the code and has access to the machinery. This special issue of The Journal of Experimental Biology highlights some of the best-understood examples of parasite-induced changes in host brain and behaviour, encompassing both invertebrate and vertebrate hosts and micro- and macro-parasites. Full issue annotated inside: [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 9, 2012 - 13 comments

SPAUN of the living

The simulated brain - "First computer model to produce complex behaviour performs almost as well as humans at simple number tasks." [1,2,3,4,5,etc.]
posted by kliuless on Dec 8, 2012 - 22 comments

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