337 posts tagged with brain.
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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

DOWNTIME for the BRAIN

"Having felt what it’s like to have all the backlog of experiences cleared out of my head, I’m intolerant of letting it build up a backlog again. It feels too good when it’s all clean and clear. Another way of talking about this is to say that the frantic, amped up feeling of too much seeking clears away. When we are seeking all the time, we are intaking new material constantly without ever actually dealing with it."
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas on Nov 30, 2012 - 31 comments

What's gonna happen outside the window next?

Noam Chomsky on Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong
posted by cthuljew on Nov 18, 2012 - 55 comments

CO2 make dumb

Have you ever been in a room with lots of people and not great ventilation. Or even a room with normal ventilation. You may be cognitively impaired due to elevated levels of CO2 once considered safe now thought enough to make you a little dumb. 600ppm is now thought too much, but “there are plenty of buildings where you could easily see 2,500 ppm of CO2 — or close to it — even with ventilation designs that are fully compliant with current standards.. classrooms frequently exceed 1,000ppm." [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Oct 18, 2012 - 50 comments

It's a jungle in there

It's the hottest new metaphor for the brain, they say. Your brain is a rain forest. [more inside]
posted by Twang on Oct 11, 2012 - 39 comments

Always wondered if Tom went on to work in banking.

John D. Fitzgerald had written three fictionalized memoirs of his family's life in the late 19th-century Utah west before the night he happened to regale a group of friends with childhood stories of his money-crazed brother, Tom. At their urging, he crafted a funny and clever series of children's books chronicling the adventures of The Great Brain. Like countless other readers, the blogger and researcher behind Finding Fitzgerald (and its companion blog and Facebook page) has been fascinated with discovering the real settings and stories behind the books. And the truly committed can even watch Jimmy Osmond in the 1978 film adaptation.
posted by Miko on Oct 10, 2012 - 40 comments

"Beyond the Brain"

"Beyond the Brain" In the 1990s, scientists declared that schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses were pure brain disorders that would eventually yield to drugs. Now they are recognizing that social factors are among the causes, and must be part of the cure.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies on Sep 20, 2012 - 28 comments

Don't even Blink...

Your brain on pseudoscience: the rise of popular neurobollocks
posted by Artw on Sep 14, 2012 - 64 comments

Grape Apes: The Origins of Morality

Chimp Fights and Trolley Rides from Radiolab's morality episode: "try to answer tough moral quandaries. The questions--which force you to decide between homicidal scenarios--are the same ones being asked by Dr. Joshua Greene. He'll tell us about using modern brain scanning techniques to take snapshots of the brain as it struggles to resolve these moral conflicts. And he'll describe what he sees in these images: quite literally, a battle taking place in the brain. It's 'inner chimp' versus a calculator-wielding rationale."
posted by kliuless on Sep 2, 2012 - 36 comments

A Watched Clock Never Moves

Have you ever wondered why you don't see motion blur when your eyes flick to a new position? Why, if you sit in front of a mirror and watch yourself, you never see your eyes move? That is saccadic masking, one of the lies your brain tells to avoid confusing you. Have you noticed that the first tick after glancing at a clock with a second hand can take more than one second? No, it's not just you! That's a related phenomenon called chronostasis, or more commonly the stopped clock illusion.
posted by gilrain on Aug 16, 2012 - 46 comments

How I Hacked My Brain With Adderall

How I Hacked My Brain With Adderall
posted by secretdark on Jul 26, 2012 - 108 comments

I would just show you my butt, right now.

Ze Frank previously and Rainn Wilson talk about the Teen Brain.
posted by lazaruslong on Jul 11, 2012 - 28 comments

The man in your picture is almost unrecognizable

Former all pro NFL running back, 38 year old Priest Holmes feels that all NFL players suffer from the violence of the game, but believes running backs are at an increased risk if they average dozens of carries a game for years at a time. Holmes recalled how hits changed the color of the sky. Another former NFL running back, 32 year old Jamal Lewis talked about his memory losses and head trauma. Both men could encounter the cognitive decline lesser known former Chargers running back 45 year old Steve Hendrickson has experienced. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Jul 8, 2012 - 68 comments

Sleep Deprivation Amps Up the Brain

Sleep deprivation making you feel jumpy? It's not in your head. Human cortical excitability increases with time awake. [Abstract and link to full paper.]
posted by stoneweaver on Jul 3, 2012 - 12 comments

Debunking the Myth of Intuition

"Can doctors and investment advisers be trusted? And do we live more for experiences or memories? In a SPIEGEL interview, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman discusses the innate weakness of human thought, deceptive memories and the misleading power of intuition."
posted by vidur on Jun 3, 2012 - 43 comments

Hit me Einstein, one more time!

When a Blow to the Head Creates a Sudden Genius
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 19, 2012 - 29 comments

Tapeworms Living Inside People's Brains

Tapeworms Living Inside People's Brains
posted by Foci for Analysis on May 16, 2012 - 140 comments

A traditional brain on a computer

SynthNet is a brain emulator. Unlike most modern software neural networks, it works at the electrochemical level. Each neural structure in it is generated from a genetic virtual machine that executes instructions in a genetic assembly language.
SynthNet is at an early stage, but right now, it can emulate a classic fear-conditioning experiment.

posted by ignignokt on May 9, 2012 - 31 comments

Near Death, explained

"...Pam agreed to die in order to save her life—and in the process had what is perhaps the most famous case of independent corroboration of out of body experience (OBE) perceptions on record...Pam later said, she felt herself “pop” out of her body and hover above it, watching as doctors worked on her body. Although she no longer had use of her eyes and ears, she described her observations in terms of her senses and perceptions...with considerable accuracy.

NDE studies [such as these] suggest that after physical death, mind and consciousness may continue in a transcendent level of reality that normally is not accessible to our senses and awareness."
Near Death, explained. [more inside]
posted by anazgnos on Apr 23, 2012 - 111 comments

Ain't no spoon or fork or knife.

“There are no images and no representations in our minds,” he insisted. “Our visual experience of the world is a continuum between see-er and seen united in a shared process of seeing.”

I was curious, if only because, as a novelist I’d always supposed I was dealing in images, imagery. This stuff might have implications. So we had a beer together.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Apr 19, 2012 - 25 comments

Aha! The anatomy of insight, like a rolling stone.

How do we have insights, and where does inspiration come from? Jonah Lehrer goes inside Bob Dylan's brain to find out...the "neural correlate of insight": the anterior superior temporal gyrus (aSTG). This small fold of tissue, located on the surface of the right hemisphere just above the ear, became unusually active in the seconds before the epiphany. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Apr 7, 2012 - 22 comments

What a beautiful mind you have.

High resolution wiring diagram of a brain.
posted by Packed Lunch on Mar 29, 2012 - 28 comments

the neurochemistry of attraction and rejection

Your Brain in Love and Lust - This Valentine's Day, Scientific American traces the flow of chemicals in the brain during different phases of romance and describes surprising insights from the science of attraction.
posted by nickyskye on Feb 14, 2012 - 1 comment

Does Football have a future? Or, perhaps, should Football have a future?

Does Football have a Future?: Football players are anywhere from five to nineteen times more likely than a member of the general population to suffer from a dementia-like illness. This is likely a result of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (picture), neurodegeneration caused by receiving multiple concussions or even subconcussions that are not detectable around time of impact. CTE has been linked to other mood and behavior changes, including suicidal depression (a great review of the medical literature generally), and has been found in football players as young as 21. And, of course, there is the sometimes debilitating physical disability (either acutely or later in life) from playing a hard-contact sport. The NFL has a long history of adjusting safety standards in bits and pieces (e.g., legalization of the forward pass) to meet public concern over potential injury and disability from playing the sport, though still to some degree publicly denies a connection between football and brain damage. New Yorker writer Ben McGrath talks to football players (past and present), their families (often left behind by untimely death or dementia-twilight), franchise heads, and doctors to explore this history, the crushing legacy of sports injuries, and the question of whether it is possible to reform the rules to minimize the risk of concussion and thus the risk of CTE (if any such risk is acceptable). Would it still be football if such changes were to tone down the violence? (Yes, No [from iconoclast Buzz Bissinger]) And, uncomfortably: is the sport of football unethical for its players, even if entered into on their own volition? (previously in the New Yorker; previously on MetaFilter 1, 2, 3) [more inside]
posted by Keter on Feb 13, 2012 - 117 comments

Can Sex Ever Be Casual?

Psychology Today delves into the societal and psychological issues raised by casual sex.
posted by reenum on Jan 26, 2012 - 32 comments

Sinusitis or brain-eating amoeba, you decide!

We've talked about using neti pots in the past. From Louisiana comes this cautionary instruction on proper technique!
posted by Runes on Dec 16, 2011 - 77 comments

Human GPS

"Piloting London’s distinctive black cabs (taxis to everyone else) is no easy feat. To earn the privilege, drivers have to pass an intense intellectual ordeal, known charmingly as The Knowledge. Ever since 1865, they’ve had to memorise the location of every street within six miles of Charing Cross – all 25,000 of the capital’s arteries, veins and capillaries. They also need to know the locations of 20,000 landmarks – museums, police stations, theatres, clubs, and more – and 320 routes that connect everything up." Acquiring The Knowledge changes the brains of those who acquire it.
posted by vidur on Dec 8, 2011 - 73 comments

Brain doctors, doing their thing

Brain Tumors: symptoms, types, a man who hunts them (and what drives him) and a vivid video of the removal of one.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 4, 2011 - 23 comments

Scientists Discover fMRI Area of the Brain

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 - 12 comments

Zombies: The Invertebrates

Wasps create cockroach zombies, viruses produce zombie caterpillars, deep-sea zombie worms live off decaying whale bones, South American flies 'infect' ants with brain-sucking larvae.
posted by Laminda on Oct 31, 2011 - 19 comments

VisualCortexFilter: Hubel and Wiesel have a chat

Professors David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel (Nobel Prize 1981; Hubel's lecture; Wiesel's lecture) are responsible for "accidentally (YT)" (other movies) discovering a fundamental property of how the visual areas of the brain process information: single neurons respond to lines and edges of objects in visual space (pdf). This was an enormous leap forward in our understanding of visual cortex, and demonstrated that a cortical neuron can form outputs that are more complex than any of its inputs. They went on to pioneer the field of plasticity (or learning) in cortex. Here they sit together for an hour and chat about the early days of exploring the visual cortex.
posted by FrereKhan on Oct 27, 2011 - 8 comments

Why do we sleep?

Why do we sleep?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 26, 2011 - 68 comments

Doctor Volga, forgive me!

CHARGEMAN KEN episode 35: DYNAMITE IN THE BRAIN (Youtube, 5:19)
...in which our poorly-animated, generic 70s anime boy superhero finds a unique way to thwart the villains' plans. (Via the excellent let's anime.) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 25, 2011 - 15 comments

"I hope this is all just incompetence."

The statistical error that neuroscience researchers get wrong at least half the time. Ben Goldacre of Bad Science explains this mistake, which was made in about half of 157 academic neuroscience papers in which there was an opportunity to make it. The culprit doesn't seem to be any specific journal, since the sample included five different neuroscience journals.
posted by John Cohen on Oct 14, 2011 - 71 comments

The Walk Again Project

Body suit may soon enable the paralyzed to walk. "In a busy lab at Duke University, Dr. Miguel Nicolelis is merging brain science with engineering in a bid to create something fantastical: a full-body prosthetic device that would allow those immobilized by injury to walk again. On Wednesday, Nicolelis and an international group of collaborators declared that they had cleared a key hurdle on the path toward that goal, demonstrating they could bypass the body's complex network of nerve endings and supply the sensation of touch directly to the brains of monkeys."
posted by homunculus on Oct 6, 2011 - 37 comments

Might as well face it, you're addicted to i

In a New York Times op-ed called "You Love Your iPhone. Literally." branding consultant Martin Lindstrom says that his fMRI experiments show that iPhone users' brains "responded to the sound of their phones as they would respond to the presence or proximity of a girlfriend, boyfriend or family member ... they loved their iPhones." The piece has drawn intense criticism from neuroscientists, who have called it "complete crap", "terrible, terrible", and "truly hideous".
posted by Horace Rumpole on Oct 2, 2011 - 82 comments

I know what you're thinking...

UC Berkeley researchers have successfully used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to decode and reconstruct people’s dynamic visual experiences - in this case, watching Hollywood movie trailers.
posted by gman on Sep 22, 2011 - 62 comments

"Mr. Cortex, We Love You!"

In the early 1960s, actor/comedian/writer/composer/TV-star Steve Allen recorded How to Think, an educational album about the brain and the mind. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Sep 6, 2011 - 12 comments

Putting Des Cartes before the horse

"The modern and contemporary philosophical tradition, which has emphasized the specialness and security of self-knowledge, especially self-knowledge of the stream of conscious experience, and in comparison the relative insecurity or derivativeness of our knowledge of the physical world around us, has the epistemic situation upside-down" - Eric Schwitzgebel (Previously)
posted by Gyan on Sep 1, 2011 - 32 comments

A face as seen from inside a cat's brain

A face as seen from inside a cat's brain. UC Berkeley scientist Yang Dan says she can connect to the neurons in a cat's brain and record what the cat sees. [more inside]
posted by Termite on Aug 10, 2011 - 115 comments

The Brain on Trial.

The Brain on Trial. Advances in brain science are calling into question the volition behind many criminal acts. A leading neuroscientist describes how the foundations of our criminal-justice system are beginning to crumble, and proposes a new way forward for law and order.
"We may someday find that many types of bad behavior have a basic biological explanation—as has happened with schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, and mania."
[more inside]
posted by Eideteker on Jul 15, 2011 - 99 comments

Computational Theology

Author and Mefi's Own Charles Stross presents Three Arguments Against The Singularity
posted by The Whelk on Jun 24, 2011 - 188 comments

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