Lovatt reasoned that if she could live with a dolphin around the clock, nurturing its interest in making human-like sounds, like a mother teaching a child to speak, they'd have more success. - stories from the NASA- funded project to teach Dolphins to talk using LSD (among other methods. )
President Obama recently announced a big new effort to map and understand the human brain. [more inside]
Pictures of some brains from the Texas State Mental Hospital. (Not for the squemish.) "I walked into a storage closet filled with approximately one-hundred human brains, none of them normal, taken from patients at the Texas State Mental Hospital. The brains sat in large jars of fluid, each labeled with a date of death or autopsy, a brief description in Latin, and a case number."
Hey! The Bad Brains have a new album out! You can give it a spin here at ye olde You Tubes.
Return of the Living Dead (NSFW) is one of the greatest zombie movies ever made. Not only does it have loads of great looking zombies in it, it's one of the few zombie movies, besides its sequel, that has a perfect blend of humor and horror.
The Eat Your Heart Out Cake Shop (NSFW), with cakes graphically illustrating medical conditions and symptoms of disease, will be open from October 26th-28th at London's Pathology Museum at St Bart's Hospital. [more inside]
Neuro Images posts images of brains and art based on them. Some of them are beautiful; some of them are grotesque; some of them are confronting or sad (the complete series is here); and some of them are strangely reminiscent. (previously)
Rise of the Neuronovel. Marco Roth at N+1 argues that the recent interest of contemporary novels (Motherless Brooklyn, Saturday, Atmospheric Disturbances) in the disordered wetware of their characters represents a defeat for fiction. "...the new genre of the neuronovel, which looks on the face of it to expand the writ of literature, appears as another sign of the novel’s diminishing purview." Jonah Lehrer responds to Roth and Roth responds back.
A four part series on the science of zombies: ethics of the undead, how zombie biology would work, can you kill the undead, everything you ever wanted to know about zombies. From Discover Magazine's blog Science Not Fiction
I really have to ask, I don't mean to be rude, but would you gamblers please stop smoking vulture brains?. I mean, I know you think it brings you luck, but you're killing them, you know?
“Animal brains have to be illegal, They’re a gateway to human brains.” - Those Below, short fiction by horror writer Jeremy C. Shipp.
The Neuroscience of McGriddles: Evolutionary biology offers hypotheses about why we enjoy eating. "When you eat at McDonald's, a big part of the pleasure comes from the fact that the food is sustenance, fuel, energy. Even mediocre food is a little rewarding."
Like eating brains? I know you do. Why not add some new dishes to your collection of recipes that use the "fifth quarter?" [more inside]
Zombies don't run, says Simon Pegg. Well ours do, says Charlie Brooker, director of Deadset. (also some stuff about the election and skeletor and stuff)
So you thought that old cliche about civil servants having only half a brain was just a conservative canard? Well, think again.
Neanderthal Lovin’! New research from evolutionary scientist Bruce Lahn suggests that humans and the now extinct Neanderthal species mixed, and humans snatched up a valuable brain gene in the process. (The gene, MCPH1, and Lahn, discussed last year on MeFi) This comes on the tails of yet another new study providing morphological evidence that there was nontrivial interbreeding between humans and Neanderthals in Eurasia, despite the fact that Neanderthals may have been genetically closer to chimps than humans. Contrary to popular imagination, though, the Neanderthal species had bigger brains and sophisticated intellects, at least roughly on par with that of human beings. The gene regulates brain size during development, but its exact utility to humans is still unknown (and controversial). The origin of this gene and the question of Neanderthal mixing will soon be answered more definitively by the, just launched, 2 year project to map the Neanderthal genome, headed by Svante Pääbo (profiled in recent Smithsonian and Wired articles). Pääbo calls Lahn’s study "the most compelling case to date for a genetic contribution of Neandertals to modern humans."
We've seen zombie flash mobs and zombie flash games (this awesome post deserves a resurrection - pun intended - for Halloween)... even zombie awareness products and laser controlled headless zombie flies. But do zombies really exist? This video makes a sound case.
This old post aboutknitted brains got me thinking, they'd be a delicious treat for some knitted zombies, like the cast of Dawn of the Dead (or Shaun of the Dead). For those of you non-zombie *but still made of wool* types, there's this fine selection of knitted foods.
We recently saw people playing at being zombies, which is fun and all, but wouldn't you rather kill zombies than be one? I sure as hell would, so there's [more inside]
The neurophysiology of political reasoning: "Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want, and then they get massively reinforced for it, with the elimination of negative emotional states and activation of positive ones." But where do we get our initial biases? (via)
Genes Reveal Recent Human Brain Evolution. Two important new papers in the journal Science (available here) from the evolutionary geneticist and rising star, Bruce T. Lahn (see this recent profile from The Scientist), are potentially the tips of some very large icebergs. The papers document how two genes related to brain properties that underwent strong selection during the course of hominid evolution, have continued undergoing strong selection since the emergence of anatomically modern man. The papers wonderfully illustrate how biological evolution is an ongoing process as well as the artificial distinction between “micro” and “macro” evolution, and promise to be controversial for two reasons: First, the brain genes underwent the strongest selection during two periods of cultural and technological efflorescence (roughly 37,000 and 5,800 years ago). Second, the genes are distributed very differently in modern human population groups, existing at very high frequencies in some groups and being very rare in others, ensuring that the modern function of these genes will be a source of more research and much impassioned debate. More observations from anthropologist John Hawks.
wow..and it can fly a flight sim using only the power of its mind.....via boing boing
Mindguard... protects your mind by actively jamming and/or scrambling psychotronic mind-control signals and removing harmful engrammic pollutants from your brain. It also has the ability to scan for and decipher into English specific signals so you can see exactly Who wants to control you and what They are trying to make you think.
I am John's brain. Amusingly written, yet astutely raising an important point. What exactly are we to do about consciousness? Although clearly different theories abound, one must still ponder whether or not the problem is even solvable in the first place. Where then can we turn to for our solution? Why, bicamerality, of course.
2003 Reith Lectures. Neuroscientist Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, Director of the Centre for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, talks about a number of fascinating neurological disorders and the insights they provide into mental functioning.
How male or female is your brain? Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen argues in today's Guardian that the male and female brains tend to be hard-wired for different kinds of thinking - empathising (more common in females) or systemising (more common in males). Take the test.
World's first brain prosthesis revealed. Well, first hippocampus replacement at least. If this is not a dead end for science (which I doubt), I am gonna get my soul fully digitalized in 2020, then spreading it on the whole net with some new version of a code-red virus. :-)
Nasa plans to read the minds of terrorists... NASA wants to use "noninvasive neuro-electric sensors," imbedded in gates, to collect tiny electric signals that all brains and hearts transmit. Computers would apply statistical algorithms to correlate physiologic patterns with computerized data on travel routines, criminal background and credit information from "hundreds to thousands of data sources," NASA documents say
Turning on a single gene makes mouse brains grow huge, and fold in the skull similarly to human brains. Fancy discussing Derida over tea with a rodent? more inside...
Okay, so you can smell my brains... which is sort of required viewing to, uh... enjoy the sequel. Which may or may not be safe for work, depending on how your employer feels about animated kitty porn.
Your Brain on God. "After restoring everything to its proper working position, the techies exit, and I'm left sitting inside the utterly silent, utterly black vault. A few commands are typed into a computer outside the chamber, and selected electromagnetic fields begin gently thrumming my brain's temporal lobes. The fields are no more intense than what you'd get as by-product from an ordinary blow-dryer, but what's coming is anything but ordinary. My lobes are about to be bathed with precise wavelength patterns that are supposed to affect my mind in a stunning way, artificially inducing the sensation that I am seeing God. "
Yes, you have two brains. It looks like your digestive tract is a huge "brain."