How extreme isolation warps the mind Among other things, extreme isolation can warp our perception of time, lead to both visual and auditory hallucinations, and impair our social functioning.
How our 'divided brain' shapes our behaviour, culture and society. Iain McGilchrist explains, in a new animation from the RSA. Previously and previously.
Oliver Sacks is surviving cancer of the eye, ocular melanoma. In his latest book, The Mind’s Eye, he "tells the stories of people who are able to navigate the world and communicate with others despite losing what many of us consider indispensable senses and abilities." In the interview, Sacks talks about his diagnosis, the after-effects of his radiation treatment (which include hallucinations that resolve themselves into words if he "smokes a little pot"), his apprenticeships with poets W.H. Auden and Thom Gunn, and the importance of science writing in an age when the authority of science is being undermined by religious zealots. Via MeFi's own, Steve Silberman, digaman. [more inside]
Excellent BBC Brain Story series available online. One of the best TV series on psychology and neuroscience ever produced, the BBC's Brain Story, is available on public bittorrent servers for download. It is a six part series covering virtually every area of contemporary neuropsychology, including the major researchers, discoveries, techniques and even many of the patients who have been the subjects of classic case studies that have helped us understand the curious effects of brain injury.
If you've ever thought that music can be an extremely intuitive and effective way to communicate things, then Stanford Professor Jonathan Berger (samples of his music) is doing some research that might interest you. (via)
27-year-old professional recorder player can not only see colours when hearing music but can taste musical notes (see chart for details). More on synaesthesia, which has appeared here, here and here. [courtesy of CBC]
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. "