neural responses

Singapore Sling

Pairing: Harry Styles X Reader

Rating: NC-17

Character count: 35,696 / Word Count: 6,521

Your duties as maid of honour were fairly simple: maximise alcohol and minimise stress, keep an eye on the bride-to-be, and above all else, have things under control. You’ve promised yourself to keep this wedding a fuckup-free zone, anticipating smooth sailing from the moment you land in Antigua. When danger emerges on the horizon in the form of a denim-clad devil dressed in Gucci and gold, things take a turn—nothing in the MOH handbook has prepared you for what to do in the event that you unwittingly sleep with the best man.

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Asian American and Pacific Islander Month: Why a career in science?

“I’ve always wanted to pursue new ideas, and science has been a great place to do that. I’ve considered a lot of career options throughout high school and college, but the ability to pursue my curiosities while still doing meaningful work has made science a great place to be.”

– Aaron James Dy, MIT


“I am from a mixed family with very different beliefs and cultures, so I got interested in neuroscience because I found it fascinating that people can have the same basic anatomy, yet are so extremely diverse.”

– Sarah Health, Columbia University


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Fear

Pairing: ReaderXReid

Prompt: The two of you are the only two still awake on the plane during the long flight back to Quantico after a case closed. You discuss several topics, however the biggest one is fears.

Warning: talks about drowning

A/N: I feel like I’ve been sort of having a weird writers block lately so sorry if this story sorta sucks. 


“What’s your biggest fear?” you asked Spencer after several moments of the two of you sitting in silence, your last conversation about the plausibility of extraterrestrial life having just died out.

The flight had only taken off an hour and a half ago and already everyone was out like a light. Everyone except for you and Spencer of course, considering you two still had the internal clocks of college students who didn’t understand that 3am was a late time to go to sleep at. 

“Biggest fear?” Spencer asked, furrowing his brow slightly. “I don’t really think about fear, it’s simply a neural response in the amygdala and it’s a rather unbeneficial one at that. Fear often stops us from doing things that make us happy in life.” he spoke softly, putting his elbow up on the back of the jets sofa and placing his head in his hand.

“Well some people view fear as a motivator.” you retorted, raising an eyebrow as you shifted your body to face Spencer’s more. You loved talking to him, even if it was him proving you wrong or him rattling off Derek’s phone number for you. Something about his voice was intoxicating to you. No matter what he was saying you would be hooked.

“It may be a motivator for some but it’s a very low level motivator. You do something because you’re afraid of punishment not because you want to do something. And if you want to do something than fear wouldn’t even be involved in it at all.”

“What about sky diving? I think that would be fun but I’m terrified to do it.” you responded back, stumping Spencer for a second, his eyes falling down to look at the small space in between the two of your bodies on the sofa. 

“But in that situation fear is stopping you from doing it.” Spencer retorted, bringing his eyes back up to yours, his gaze freezing for a brief moment on your lips.

“No it’s not, I’m going skydiving in two weeks.” you chuckled, knowing you had stumped him once again however also knowing that if you didn’t end it right now that the debate would continue for the rest of the plane ride. “But let’s ignore all that, what is your biggest fear? Everyone has one.”

“I don’t know.” Spencer responded after a moment of racking his brain for a time he was truly scared. “What’s yours?”

“Probably drowning.” you responded in a heart beat, knowing exactly what it was that got your heart racing. “When I was a kid I was at the beach one day with my parents and I was swimming around when a riptide came and it started washing me out into the ocean.” you spoke, recalling the incident that had happened to you when you were younger. “I started breathing in water because I couldn’t get my head above water. Then my dad’s hand came out of no where and he grabbed me and pulled me up out of the water.” you paused, a small chill running down your spine. “I never liked water much after that.”

Spencer looked at you for a moment, his lips slightly parted as his brain comprehended the story that he had never heard before.

“So what’s your biggest fear?” you asked once again, hoping that you telling him about yours might help him think of one.

He looked at you for a moment before answering. 

“Having something bad happen to someone I love.”

Originally posted by marvelprincesspants

anonymous asked:

sorry but i still don't see how or why i need to place such a value on cognition when it is a derivative process of biology. you claim that reality is the computations of libido and that consciousness is made of up of emotions interrelating, but that does not touch upon the purely biochemical substrate that underlies all of this subjectivity, ie cells and cell-cell communications, which are driven by natural law which cannot be ascribed emotions without anthropomorphizing??? continued -->

like you’ve been saying that mind deserves to be as important as matter when matter literally makes up the entirety of the hardware of the brain that allows any form of cognition to exist. I also have problems with how you describe emotions as devoid of information processing, as this denies the interrelation between instinctual neural response and instinctual action, which require limbic computation (ie emoting) without direct activation of cortical (higher) thought in many species???

also implying that biology cannot completely describe cognition in biochemical terms relies on a fallacy of logic as well imo like you believe that matter cannot fully encompass mind but like? where’s the proof for that?? like all i’m seeing is a bunch of subjective and self-referential theories that form a tautological circle…

also you have never answered what i guess is my most important underlying question; why does the mind need to be venerated and valued in philosophy, and isnt that just egotism to make your experiences as real or important as physical law? also i see you in the comments calling me a simple byproduct of capitalist isolationism. thats some real low-brow, low-level, low-care analysis right there lol

at the end of the day i think you don’t know enough about science and i don’t know enough about philosophy for us to ever agree on what is important or what is real in the universe at large. i can’t get past my bias of seeing your philosophy as neo-animism and i don’t see you understanding my views as anything more than a cheap capitalist lie so like i said, peace and blessing and goodbye lol. thanks for the informative but unproductive convo…

I’m sticking this all together to respond because basically all of your points have a unity in terms of how I would respond. Sorry that it makes this all very wall of text-ish, but I suppose it’s an accurate representation of the intensity of discussion we’ve reached.

Why do I put such value on cognition, the mind, emotions, etc. in a word subjectivity? The question in itself has the answer. I’m valuing. What we are doing is very much so caught up in a subjective process involving issues of valuation and desire through and through. I’ve diagnosed your type of thinking - which is in its fundamental suppositions the dominant manner of thinking in regards to these metaphysical matters - as a product of capitalist alienation not for the sake of a petty slight. The big point is what you view as so much so not human, your physical laws, are just a certain way to talk about the results of experiments done by humans, and it’s humans that are doing all the talking. So while I explicitly point out the primary source of all that I’m discussing - my own human experience - you are talking about abstractions from such as if they were things standing on their own. Humans work together out of their own individual desires to make certain useful models of the world to achieve ends according to their desires. You take from this process and accord an ultimate reality, an “underlying reality” to the abstraction, and what’s more, you treat this very result of valuation as proof that there’s an ultimate ground free of such. It makes sense to me to see this as all ultimately dominating our concepts of the world because the basic way we organize makes it so that everywhere we view the results of the worker’s labor power as abstracted from their willing activity, and accorded a higher reality - everywhere we separate the value of the work of wage laborers for capitalist’s profit and the value of the care and nurturing done in the domestic sphere to produce those very workers, and when it comes down it it’s the abstract “value” of profit that’s given the great transcendent position, while concrete love is but a mere means to the end.

My philosophizing is an attempt to make not just another field alongside the disparate sciences, but a manner of talking about the world that allows for us to describe the subject matter of every science as all having one concrete world as their real ground. That means I want a model that fully includes and does not explain away biochemical interactions OR our very discussion here as we are experiencing it, but shows how they interact, and in a sense are one. My fundamental point isn’t that mind should be as important as matter. It’s that mind should be seen AS matter, just as matter should be seen as mind. We need to be able to see the world in terms of all being the same kind of existence, all able to connect together. And, when it comes down to it, scientific phenomena are but abstractions, as in they are the product of human abstractions, thoroughly human just as much as any direct experience, while direct experience is concrete and particular. So, the biggest goal of all should be to see how the abstractions of physics can be thought of as similar to the concreteness of value-experience.

A slightly more minor and specific point: I’m not saying emotion is deprived of content that can be considered, abstractly, as information processing. My argument is that the reality of that is that it’s an emotional processing and thus one always caught up in valuations and desires. When you talk of “the interrelation between instinctual neural response and instinctual action, which require limbic computation (ie emoting) without direct activation of cortical (higher) thought in many species” that’s, I’d argue, a description of various processes of feeling organized in specialized ways, and it in fact is evidence for what I’ve suggested: that our higher-end thought is a product of various bodily organizations of emotional and desiring activity that already exist in and for themselves. An instinctual action exists because there’s a necessity to will an animal body a certain way as fast as possible. It’s thoroughly willing activity.

anonymous asked:

I realize that question came so wonderfully out of the blue, sorry-- I mean, you seem to know him? And by the looks of the surprise on his face...

“I know his work. I’m a Pokemon Behaviorist Professor and specialize in ethology but it’s a multidisciplinary field. There’s a lot of overlap with biology, psychology, ecology, anthropology, and physiology, and learning the laws pertaining to these fields and updating scientific advances is a constant process. I used to read through academic research from my peers a lot and Kukui’s understudy work on the neural circuit response in relation to STAB moves was interesting to say the least!”

“…You thought that?”

“…Wow, what a Reversal this is turning out to be! You really are here in the flesh! For not being a ghost type, you got a strong Astonish attack, Professor Mohn!”

“Well I say you need to work on that Inner Focus more.”

“Hah! It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, sir!”

“Ha ha, the pleasure is mine, Kukui.”

False Data

Geth do not generate false data… as a rule. Lying is a learned behavior, and for most of their history the geth had no one from whom to learn this distinctly organic habit. The geth gestalt known as Legion was the first of his kind since the Morning War to spend any significant time in the company of organics, and during this period he came to understand the utility and expediency of generating small quantities of harmless false data.

Humans would call it a ‘white lie.’

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anonymous asked:

Does my cat actually love me or is it a farce?

I don’t know about your specific cat, but yes cats (like all animals with a developed mesocortex) are almost certainly capable of love. Recent MRIs of dogs showed very similar neural activity in response to seeing ‘their person’ as humans experience when seeing someone they love, and cats share all of the same brain structures. If your cat is always hanging out around/on you, and wants your attention, and pets, and to play with you, and purrs when you visit them and when you cuddle up together, then yes, I expect your cat loves you very much. Go give it a hug.

Nerves move to avoid damage

New data presented by Marinko Rade in his doctoral thesis can help explain the insurgence of widespread syndromes such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Sciatica. He showed that neural movements can be measured using non-invasive techniques, also applicable in diagnostics and rehabilitation planning.

For the results published as part of his thesis, he has been awarded the “Young Scientist Award 2013” by the Finnish Spine Society, and the “2014 Young Investigator Award” by the world top-rated scientific journal Spine.

Work or hobbies can put a strain on nerves

Daily motions can be extremely various in terms of movements of peripheral nerves. Office workers can be writing for hours on computer keyboards, repeatedly compressing the median nerve in its pathway into the carpal tunnel, but not all of them will develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Water polo and handball players are vulnerable for stretching of the median nerve around the glenohumeral joint and in front of the elbow during the preparation for a shoot, but not all of them will become symptomatic and develop peripheral neuritis. Auto mechanics are prone for compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel in a similar way as keyboard workers do but not all of them will eventually need medical help. Marinko Rade’s doctoral thesis helps us better understand the reasons behind all this.

Nerves move, this is why

It has been widely showed on cadavers that nerves move. But why should nerves move within the body in the first place? It is believed they move in order to avoid potentially harmful mechanical forces such as tension and compression. So nerves slide longitudinally to avoid tensile forces and transversally within our body to avoid compression. However, it has not been known whether the direction and magnitude of such movements can be measured and predicted in patients. Marinko Rade showed in his dissertation that neural movements can indeed be quantified and also predicted, and moreover, using non-invasive techniques.

His research offered new data on the subject, particularly in aspects that have not been studied before, namely spinal cord movement and muscular protective effects during limb movements that produce excursion of nerve tissues. Research on living patients now being possible, cadavers may be a thing of the past.

More individual rehabilitation planning

In the first part of his doctoral thesis Marinko Rade explored the use of magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural movements into the thoraco-lumbar vertebral canal of in-vivo and structurally intact asymptomatic human subjects. He showed that those movements can be predicted and used in clinical practice to perform diagnosis and plan a very specific rehabilitation process.

In the second part of his doctoral thesis he focused on electrophysiological methods to quantify the muscular reactions in response to neural stress following the hypothesis that the muscles may be reflexively activated in order to protect the peripheral nerves in the most logical way; by shortening their pathway and opposing the harmful body movement. From the results it seems that it is indeed like that.

“In order to explore the normal neural adaptation mechanisms, the principle of no-harm has to be respected, that is, the investigation methodologies have to be non-invasive,” Marinko Rade says.

He adds that the aim of his dissertation is not only to present plain data, but to try to shift the clinician’s concept of nerves passively enclosed in tunnels delimited by bones, ligaments and muscles,  to the concept of nerves sliding and moving freely in those tunnels in order to avoid potentially harmful mechanical forces as tension and compression arising from interfacing structures, and increase the awareness of the fact that those movements can be measured, understood, predicted and also possibly used at our advantage in our everyday clinical practice.

“It is theorized that the preservation of a free sliding of the neural structures in the anatomical tunnels might be the conditio sine qua non for maintaining an asymptomatic situation. If this will be achieved, then this thesis will have served its purpose.”

Tracking the Source of "Selective Attention" Problems in Brain-Injured Vets

An estimated 15-20 percent of U.S. troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from some form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) sustained during their deployment, with most injuries caused by blast waves from exploded military ordnance. The obvious cognitive symptoms of minor TBI – including learning and memory problems – can dissipate within just a few days. But blast-exposed veterans may continue to have problems performing simple auditory tasks that require them to focus attention on one sound source and ignore others, an ability known as “selective auditory attention.”

According to a new study by a team of Boston University (BU) neuroscientists, such apparent “hearing” problems actually may be caused by diffuse injury to the brain’s prefrontal lobe – work that will be described at the 167th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, to be held May 5-9, 2014 in Providence, Rhode Island.

“This kind of injury can make it impossible to converse in everyday social settings, and thus is a truly devastating problem that can contribute to social isolation and depression,” explains computational neuroscientist Scott Bressler, a graduate student in BU’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, led by biomedical engineering professor Barbara Shinn-Cunningham.

For the study, Bressler, Shinn-Cunningham and their colleagues – in collaboration with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder expert Yelena Bogdanova of VA Healthcare Boston – presented a selective auditory attention task to 10 vets with mild TBI and to 17 control subjects without brain injuries. Notably, on average, veterans had hearing within a normal range.

In the task, three different melody streams, each comprised of two notes, were simultaneously presented to the subjects from three different perceived directions (this variation in directionality was achieved by differing the timing of the signals that reached the left and right ears). The subjects were then asked to identify the “shape” of the melodies (i.e., “going up,” “going down,” or “zig-zagging”) while their brain activity was measured by electrodes on the scalp.

“Whenever a new sound begins, the auditory cortex responds, encoding the sound onset,” Bressler explains. “Attentional focus, however, changes the strength of this response: when a listener is attending to a particular sound source, the neural activity in response to that sound is greater.” This change of the neural response occurs because the brain’s “executive control” regions, located in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, send signals to the auditory sensory regions of the brain, modulating their response.

The researchers found that blast-exposed veterans with TBI performed worse on the task – that is, they had difficulty controlling auditory attention – “and in all of the TBI veterans who performed well enough for us to measure their neural activity, 6 out of our 10 initial subjects, the brain response showed weak or no attention-related modulation of auditory responses,” Bressler says.

“Our hope is that some of our findings can be used to develop methods to assess and quantify TBI, identifying specific factors that contribute to difficulties communicating in everyday settings,” he says. “By identifying these factors on an individual basis, we may be able to define rehabilitation approaches and coping strategies tailored to the individual.”

Some TBI patients also go on to develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – a debilitating progressive degenerative disease with symptoms that include dementia, memory loss and depression – which can now only be definitively diagnosed after death. “With any luck,” Bressler adds, “neurobehavioral research like ours may help identify patients at risk of developing CTE long before their symptoms manifest.”

how to get things done

>have a to-do list.  write one first thing every day.  

>include all the items you didn’t get done the previous day.  if you got nothing done yesterday copy it all out.  

>if you have a running project and you want to work on it a little every day, literally just write it on your list every single day.  write it, work a little, cross it off.  do it again tomorrow.  repeat until done.  

>develop an obsessive interest in the positive neural response that comes from crossing off items on your list.

Brain responses found to originate from previously unknown source

Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University have made an important discovery about the human auditory system and how to study it, findings that could lead to better testing and diagnosis of hearing-related disorders.

The researchers detected frequency-following responses (FFR) coming from a part of the brain not previously known to emit them. FFRs are neural signals generated in the brain when people hear sounds.

To help pinpoint the source of FFRs, the team used magnetoencephalography (MEG), a technique that allowed them to determine the source of the FFR, because it is not affected by interference from brain and skull tissues like electroencephalography (EEG), the more commonly used method to study electrical signals in the brain.

Twenty people were selected to take part in the study after testing showed they were neurologically healthy and had normal hearing. Subjects’ neural responses to sound were measured using MEG, which records fluctuations in magnetic fields caused by neural activity.

From the MEG signal, researchers were able to detect FFR signals coming from the auditory cortex, in addition to the known sub-cortical generators, something that had not previously been detected.

The discovery of FFRs originating from the auditory cortex better informs research on neuroplasticity and its potential to improve auditory processing.

Neuroplasticity is the ability of our brain to adapt to external stimuli with training. For example, studies have shown that children exposed to music have better language skills, possibly due to subcortical sound processing. The ability to understand speech in a noisy environment has also been shown to improve with musical training.

The effects of training on the brain have been inferred using FFR. A better understanding of FFR and its origins will therefore allow researchers to more accurately measure how the brain changes with experience.

FFR has also been used to study learning disabilities and autism. Children with these disorders have been shown to have altered FFRs, a finding attributed to functional impairments at the brainstem level. The researchers’ findings provide a clearer picture of how FFRs are generated, and thus aids further research into hearing-related disorders.

“Traditionally FFRs were called the ‘auditory brainstem responses’, so we were very surprised when our method revealed that they also included a big contribution from the cortex,” says Robert Zatorre, Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University, and senior author. “This changes everything, because now we know to look both in the brainstem and in the cortex for effects related to enhanced hearing, due to musical training for instance, or for effects related to impaired hearing, as in aging, or some disorders.”

“I think we’ll be able to learn something new about several disorders,” says Emily Coffey, a PhD candidate with Robert Zatorre at the MNI and first author of the paper. “We will be able to more effectively think about and test treatments because this technique allows us to observe the interactions of components of the auditory system as we process sound, and maybe target training to improve poorly functioning parts.”

In addition to the discovery of new FFR origins, the use of MEG to pinpoint FFR origin is itself an important step forward for research into the human auditory system.

Previously, MEG was considered unsuited to study early auditory responses in the brain, as the strength of the signal decreases rapidly as distance from the sensors increases. To study deeper parts of the brain such as the brainstem, EEG was the preferred method. However, advances in MEG technology over the past decade allowed the team to gather accurate data about the origins of FFRs using MEG.

The researchers recorded responses to 12,000 sounds per person to average out the effect of random noise. They also applied some of the latest distributed source modelling techniques, allowing them to mathematically reconstruct where the signal was coming from in the brain.

Because of these new MEG methods, scientists will now be able to look at FFR sources separately, and figure out where changes and differences in the FFR can be found.

“We have opened up a new research area by developing a new tool,” says Coffey. “Researchers will be able to ask new and useful questions about how the auditory system is organized and what has gone wrong when it’s not working properly.”