Neil Gaiman, a best-selling fiction author, once was posed with the question, which is simple enough in essence, of where he got his magnificent ideas from. This question, which is recurrently asked to writers, prompted Mr Gaiman to write a blog on the subject. In the blog post he answered the question with the sincerest … Continue reading Where do ideas come from?
In contention to the idea that brain death is lethal, researchers have successfully revived the disembodied brains of pigs - four hours after their initial termination. Although it was not clear how wide spread the revival was within the brains’ numerous regions, or whether consciousness is also capable to being reinstated, the study does raise … Continue reading Pigs for Brains
How is it that we get overwhelmed when watching someone cry, or feel a coating of inspiration when we see a face filled with hope? And, are we the only animal to exert an empathic response to those emotional cues? A study published last week by Carrillo and colleagues uncovers the potential mechanism that allows … Continue reading Looking at Pain in the Mirror: pain mirror neurons found in rats.
A study of brains aged between 43 and 87 suggests our brain cells remain alive-and-generating throughout our lives. The tentative finding could mean that age-worn brains could be more resilient to damage than we originally believed. Although the renewal and repair of tissues and organs throughout our body, even during old age, is relatively common … Continue reading Old brain, new cells
Sam Harris has attempted to demonstrate that one’s atheism does not preclude a journey into the spiritual. Harris, however, has not turned to God for enlightenment, instead, he looks to consciousness and our capacity for experience; he believes its high time that religion be relinquished from any claim of being spiritual. In his book, Waking … Continue reading Book review of “Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion” by Sam Harris
Each of our neurons compute inordinate amounts of information in compartmentalised sections, according to one of the first recordings of electrical activity in human brain cells. Our understanding of neurons (brain cells) is almost exclusively from investigation into our small mammalian friends - the rodent. A study Published in the journal Cell, however, has revealed … Continue reading Democratic Dendrites
We blink yet our conscious theatre appears to still hold in mind a holistic and constant image of our surroundings. It follows, then, that the brain must coalesce and retain visual information for short periods of time, allowing the formation of an uninterrupted stream of vision – a useful feature of the human brain. Neuroscientists … Continue reading Why Darkness Doesn’t Descend
Cattell, in the 1960’s, defined two sets of intelligence that were inextricably linked: that of fluid and crystallised intelligence. According to Cattell, one’s aptitude to solve for novel problems, apply cognitive tools to new situations and identify patterns, outlines their fluid intelligence. Crystallised intelligence, on the other hand, envelops one’s ability to take what they … Continue reading How intelligent are we? Its for our cells to decide.
Often, when someone dashes a smile your way, you reciprocally dash one back, regardless of whether that person is categorised as a stranger or a friend to you – a social reflex you might say, or something of a contagion i.e. when one-person smiles, that communique is irrevocably passed on. You would have thought, as … Continue reading We are unconscious perceivers of emotion.
Depression: a disease neuroscientist and author, Robert Sapolsky, calls the “bread and butter of human misery,” and what psychologist, Martin Seligman, has referred to as “the common cold of psychopathology.” Common being the operative word, as it is estimated that 5 to 20 per cent of us will suffer a major, life threatening, depression at … Continue reading Anhedonia Venom