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Brain

Impaired emotional processing affects moral judgements. People with damage to a key emotion-processing region of the brain also make moral decisions based on the greater good of the community, unclouded by concerns over harming an individual.
posted by semmi on Mar 27, 2007 - 48 comments

Sgt. Wells's New Skull

Sgt. Wells's New Skull. In the epidemic of brain injuries coming out of the war, Army neurosurgeons had never seen someone survive such a devastating wound. But Brian Wells jokes that he just left part of his head in Iraq. Someday, he says, he'll have to go back and get it.
posted by srboisvert on Mar 15, 2007 - 21 comments

My Brain Made Me

Neurolaw - The Brain on the Stand
posted by Gyan on Mar 11, 2007 - 8 comments

Ken Wilber stops his brain waves!

Ken Wilber can stop his brain waves on demand. This (WMV) is the famous EEG machine recording where Ken Wilber enters various meditative states, one of which is a type of "thoughtless," "image-less," or "formless" state, whose correlate is that his brainwaves come to an almost complete stop, as clearly recorded on this portable electroencephalograph (EEG) machine. Seeing somebody's brainwaves flatline in about 4 seconds is a sight not easily forgotten! Also on YouTube.
posted by skepticX on Mar 7, 2007 - 68 comments

Sea squirts are totally sweet

Sea Squirt Regrows Entire Body from One Blood Vessel. Most famous as the creature that settles down and eats its own brain (though that is not exactly correct), it appears the humble sea squirt has spectacular regenerative abilities as well, thanks to regeneration niches packed with stem cells. All glory to the sea squirt!
posted by homunculus on Mar 6, 2007 - 19 comments

Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt Puzzle I've been nutting my way through some of these puzzles with some difficulty but with a great deal of fun. Thought I would share...
posted by gnomesb on Feb 12, 2007 - 63 comments

9:34 AM: Now I am superlatively, actually awake.

Life without memory (multi-part YouTube): the extraordinary case of Clive Wearing.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jan 29, 2007 - 39 comments

"I'm having a stroke...wow, this is so cool."

"I didn't know I couldn't speak until I tried to speak out loud. I could still hear in my mind myself saying 'this is Jill, I need help'...so when I tried to speak I went wvur wvur wvur and so I sounded like a golden retriever."

In 1996 neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor had a rare kind of stroke (an AVM) that allowed her to maintain consciousness and analyze the effects of half her brain shutting down over the course of four hours. She was interviewed today (mp3) on Sound Medicine and discussed losing her language abilities and the ability to differentiate between herself and the outside world while gaining control over the rebuilding of her mind.
posted by ztdavis on Jan 28, 2007 - 36 comments

The Art of Psychiatry

Dictionary of Disorder - shaping the DSM
posted by Gyan on Jan 13, 2007 - 13 comments

Temple Grandin

The Woman Who Thinks Like A Cow. A documentary about Temple Grandin (previously discussed here and here.) [Via MindHacks.]
posted by homunculus on Dec 18, 2006 - 42 comments

Control of a Humanoid Robot By Means Of A Brain-Computer Interface

Dr. Rajesh Rao of the University of Washington has created a brain-computer interface that allows a human to control a small humanoid robot (video link) through brain activity alone.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 18, 2006 - 19 comments

It's all in your head

Ramón y Cajal fathered a new science with his elegant sketches of neurons. Since then, the brain has been visualized in a variety of ways: from the microscopic to the functional, from the abstract to the beautiful. The connectome, intellectual heir to the human genome project and proteomics, aims to map the entire brain network as a means of understanding cognition and behavior. Pick your favorite brain metaphor here.
posted by logicpunk on Dec 6, 2006 - 9 comments

Hemispherectomy

Video of a hemispherectomy, a neurosurgical procedure to remove a hemisphere of the brain, on a 6-year-old girl with epilepsy. Previous post about the procedure. [Via Mind Hacks.]
posted by homunculus on Dec 6, 2006 - 31 comments

Radiohead

Music in the Head
posted by persona non grata on Oct 4, 2006 - 24 comments

Metafilter of the brain

Neuroscience Gateway - "a comprehensive source for the latest research, news and events in neuroscience and genomics research"
posted by Gyan on Oct 2, 2006 - 6 comments

"Sleeplessness . . . befogs the reason, undermines the will, and the human being ceases to be himself, to be his own 'I.' "

Most everybody's asleep in Grover's Corners. There are a few lights on: Shorty Hawkins, down at the depot, has just watched the Albany train go by. And at the livery stable somebody's setting up late and talking. -- Yes, it's clearing up. There are the stars - doing their old, old crisscross journeys in the sky. Scholars haven't settled the matter yet, but they seem to think there are no living beings up there. Just chalk... or fire. Only this one is straining away, straining away all the time to make something of itself. The strain's so bad that every sixteen hours everybody lies down and gets a rest. Hm... Eleven o'clock in Grover's Corners. -- You get a good rest, too. Good night.
posted by orthogonality on Sep 18, 2006 - 20 comments

What Are They Thinking?

Vegetative Patient 'Communicates' Sort of.
posted by MarshallPoe on Sep 8, 2006 - 25 comments

"Einsteinbrain!"

Japanese professor Kenji Sugimoto has a long-standing fascination with the brain of Albert Einstein. In the early nineties he travelled to the United States in search of it. This bizarre 1994 documentary (YouTube, multiple parts) by Kevin Hull (UK) chronicles his quest. Fake or real? [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 1, 2006 - 12 comments

Is Medicalization Aversion Disorder a real disease?

Psychiatry by Prescription - Do psychotropic drugs blur the boundaries between illness and health?
posted by Gyan on Aug 26, 2006 - 39 comments

Perihelion

Text messaging for teenage girls is like an orgasm explains neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine. The doctor from Yale provides the science behind why male and female brains are different in architecture and chemical composition.
posted by The Jesse Helms on Aug 8, 2006 - 82 comments

scifilter

Man comes out of coma (or minimally conscious state) after 20 years. Apparently his brain grew entirely new structures not found in normal brains.
posted by Paris Hilton on Jul 4, 2006 - 28 comments

Hemispherectomy

Living with half a brain - hemispherectomy, probably the most radical procedure in neurosurgery
posted by Gyan on Jun 29, 2006 - 50 comments

... would love to take part in a scientific brain experiment.

So, how many subjects are there in a split brain? I know that at least one more mefi user is interested. To get some background information, play this little game from nobelprize.org. Personally, I think they (even though the layout is strange - for an edu site) have it right: [more inside]
posted by vertriebskonzept on Jun 1, 2006 - 7 comments

Brain research.

The Pain in the Brain. (NYT)
posted by semmi on May 14, 2006 - 36 comments

Switching off self-awareness

Researchers have found that prolonged concentration on a difficult task actually switches off a person's self awareness. Fancy experiencing this sensation for yourself? That would be an oxymoron in existence. Just lay back and let the orgasm take hold.
posted by 0bvious on Apr 20, 2006 - 31 comments

singularity gets just slightly closer

Italian & German researchers have created a "neuro-chip" for linking computers with mammalian neurons (A NewScientist, LiveScience, MSN). They added neuron gluing proteins to the chip to attract the sodium pores, and genetically modified the neurons to add more sodium pores.

In the short term, the work is expected to aid the pharmaceutical industry in testing the effects of drugs on neurons, assist basic research into the workings of the brain, and perhaps help treat neurological disorders. In the long term, numerous sci-fi technologies are slightly closers, such as computers with living components, useful brain implants, and Beowulf clusters of humans.
posted by jeffburdges on Mar 29, 2006 - 15 comments

MIT researchers play Borg God

New hope for blind hamsters. According to the Guardian, scientists at MIT have repaired brain damage and restored eyesight to rodents using nanotechnology. In the study, minute particles were injected into damaged parts of the brain, and subsequently arranged themselves into a "scaffold" gel throughout the damaged area. The scaffold allowed severed nerves to regrow and form new connections. 75% of test animals' injuries were improved with the new technique. (The article did not note if the test subjects offered any resistance to the therapeutic measures.)
posted by rob511 on Mar 14, 2006 - 18 comments

Mind control

Typing with your brain. A new device, picture d here, allows people to type with only their thoughts, though only slowly. Add this to the monkey-brain controlled robot arm (avi), and the soon-to-be commercially available BrainGate implant, [previously], and you've got, well, an interesting future...
posted by blahblahblah on Mar 8, 2006 - 18 comments

The Reinvention of the Self

Neurogenesis Neurogenesis, the birth of new brain cells, was something we were all taught was impossible after a certain point. Professor Elizabeth Gould, doctor of psychology at Princeton, has claimed that it happens all the time. (more) Now, she and her team at Princeton are saying not only is our brain always changing, stress and environment directly affect brain development.
posted by blacklite on Mar 4, 2006 - 27 comments

Meditators have bigger brains

Meditation found to increase brain size (maybe) according to research led by Harvard neuroscientist Sara Lazar. Meanwhile, Atheist Manifesto author Sam Harris recently went on a meditation retreat and seemed to find it pleasant enough.
posted by homunculus on Feb 22, 2006 - 79 comments

Safe mutilation

Some British nurses want patients who are intent on harming themselves to be provided with clean blades so that they can cut themselves more safely.
posted by daksya on Feb 5, 2006 - 51 comments

I'm blue, da boo dee, da boo die...

Blue Gene bears Blue Brain beats Deep Blue. Dr. Henry Markram answers questions in the FAQ. Neurons are beautiful. Blue Gene/L is now the fastest supercomputer in the world. IBM Research rocks. Deep Blue beat Kasparov almost a decade ago. Feeling Blue?
posted by reflection on Jan 29, 2006 - 10 comments

Networks part 2

Visualising Networks is fun. So are Monkey Networks (ppt). Dolphin Networks (pdf). Ant networks can aide network design. Does the Brain Work Like the Internet? Can the Internet Think? The Social Superorganism and its Global Brain? Webog Inequality. A City Is Not a Tree. The I Ching, a network of 384 pathways. The Whole, the Parts, and the Holes. Heterarchy, the secret of Japan, Inc.? Sense/non-sense;hierarchy/heterarchy... Heterachy and Heirarchy: Two Complimenatary categorises of description (pdf). Summary: "Our most significant problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking at which we produced them." (attributed to Einstein)
posted by MetaMonkey on Jan 26, 2006 - 5 comments

Henry's Brain

The strange story of Henry M. Henry was able to hold information in storage for very short periods of time. Most people can retain about seven pieces of information (a telephone number, for example) in memory for about thirty seconds, and Henry scored normally on these kinds of tasks. Thus, his working memory (or scratch-pad memory) seemed unaffected by the loss of his hippocampus. The main problem for Henry was converting short-term memories into permanent storage, a process called consolidation. Henry's case is one of the most studied brain-damage cases [PDF] ever. A fascinating story about one man's struggle with brain surgery.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Jan 25, 2006 - 17 comments

Cancel MetaFilter

Political thinking isn't really 'thinking'. Neuroscientists have now tracked what happens in the politically partisan brain when it tries to digest damning facts about favored candidates or criticisms of them. The process is almost entirely emotional and unconscious, and there are flares of activity in the brain's pleasure centers when unwelcome information is being rejected. Via Slate. This jives with past research about the difference between democrat’s and republican’s brains.
posted by ND¢ on Jan 24, 2006 - 50 comments

Don't Even Think About Lying

Don't Even Think About Lying fMRI is poised to transform the security industry, the judicial system, and our fundamental notions of privacy. I'm in a lab at Columbia University, where scientists are using the technology to analyze the cognitive differences between truth and lies. By mapping the neural circuits behind deception, researchers are turning fMRI into a new kind of lie detector that's more probing and accurate than the polygraph, the standard lie-detection tool employed by law enforcement and intelligence agencies for nearly a century.
posted by robbyrobs on Jan 5, 2006 - 62 comments

Better living through MIND CONTROL

ESB (Electrical Stimulation of the Brain) can be used to create feelings of intense euphoria and (in some unintentional cases) paranoia. Since we don't know too much about what's inside our skulls, to what extent should we be allowed to control it?
posted by pantsrobot on Dec 27, 2005 - 23 comments

The concept of the Transhuman: human, the self, consciousness and their effects on the law

The first Transhuman Conference On the Law of Transhuman Persons: Whether or not you believe humans are set to evolve into gods, or AI is destined to achieve self-awareness the idea of the Transhuman is a thought provoking concept. Philosophers have debated the nature of the self, of the human for millennia. Is it time to start drafting new laws to govern all possible sentient beings on this planet? or is it all just a science of fiction? a comfortable humanist illusion?
posted by 0bvious on Dec 13, 2005 - 37 comments

Does this mean we could make a "bat" man?

Holy Chimera - Fred Gage has spliced human brain cells into mice.
posted by sourbrew on Dec 12, 2005 - 33 comments

This so called reality

If the universe is a hologram and the healthy human brain a valve of consciousness then where'd this mental infinity come from? Are we simply living the simulacrum? Or does Pi protect us all, forever, infinitely?
posted by 0bvious on Nov 22, 2005 - 39 comments

Seductive Solutions for Rough Illnesses

Serotonin and Depression: A Disconnect between the Advertisements and the Scientific Literature
posted by daksya on Nov 8, 2005 - 60 comments

This post is dressed in blue

To invoke Fast and the Furious: It's not how you play the game that matters, it's the color of your uniform
posted by daksya on Oct 29, 2005 - 21 comments

Science of Sleep

Nature has a somewhat technical but free supplement on sleep
posted by Gyan on Oct 29, 2005 - 19 comments

The machine that makes you more smarter

The machine that makes you a savant. (NY Times, No registration copy here) Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation sounds sketchy at first, but there is growing evidence this device developed for brain mapping can change and maybe even enhance mental functions, and may (or may not) be especially useful against depression. The results of the first major US trials will come out in 2006, as discussed in this MIT Tech Review article (PDF). Are you ready for one at home?
posted by blahblahblah on Oct 24, 2005 - 43 comments

synapses

What a Tangled Web We Weave ...
posted by nofundy on Oct 19, 2005 - 6 comments

This plant, what can't it do.

Here are three things that can help your brain grow new cells.
It's no wonder college makes you smarter.
posted by Mr_Zero on Oct 14, 2005 - 33 comments

Gargantuan Man Has Tumor

He's got ginormous size, monstrous handles, and a floor-dunk. He also has a tumor. Fortunately for basketball fans, the kindness of strangers is what's saving Sun Ming Ming. (not related to the rich Ming).
posted by HiveMind on Sep 14, 2005 - 9 comments

hack your brain

hack your brain An insightful post on "ourselves". A interesting metaphor: your brain as an OS.
posted by omega on Sep 10, 2005 - 66 comments

"My mind is my own church." ~ Thomas Paine

Mind Reading.
posted by Citizen Premier on Aug 7, 2005 - 14 comments

Psychoactive Drugs for the Future

Psychoactive Drugs for the Future Could brain-boosting drugs become as common as coffee?
UK government group Foresight have just released their 'Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs Project' in which the aim was to evaluate:
"How can we manage the use of psychoactive substances in the future to best advantage for the individual, the community and society?"
The report can be viewed in its entirety from here. Direct link to the Executive Summary (.pdf) via
posted by peacay on Jul 15, 2005 - 31 comments

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