Your brain uses lots of different pathways to communicate – which form complex networks in your brain. Creativity depends on the cooperation of two competing networks: one that generates spontaneous thoughts (the default mode network) and the executive control center of the brain that governs everything else. Our random, free-flowing thoughts that are worthy of further exploration pop into our consciousness when they’re recruited by the executive control network.
The world’s most detailed scan of the brain’s internal wiring has been produced by scientists at Cardiff University.
Not only does the scan show the direction of the messaging, but also the density of the brain’s wiring.
Conventional scans clearly show lesions - areas of damage - in the brain of MS patients.But this advanced scan, showing axonal density, can help explain how the lesions affect motor and cognitive pathways - which can trigger movement problems and extreme fatigue.
Prof Derek Jones, CUBRIC’s director, said it was like getting hold of the Hubble telescope when you’ve been using binoculars. “The promise for researchers is that we can start to look at structure and function together for the first time,” he said.
No one was to blame for what happened… It was all a matter of missed connections, bad timing, blundering in the dark. We were always in the right place at the wrong time, the wrong place at the right time, always just missing each other, always just a few inches from figuring the whole thing out. That’s what the story boils down to, I think. A series of lost chances. All the pieces were there from the beginning, but no one knew how to put them together.
Pay attention to the slight movements of your eyes as you think about your favourite childhood cartoon character. Or a song you’re sick of hearing. Imagine how you may look in 20 years time. Your favourite ice cream flavour? It’s likely your eyes shifted slightly as you thought because your eye movements are linked to certain areas of your brain. Someone trying to lie about a made up conversation may shift their eyes to the left or someone having an internal debate may have their eyes cast downwards to the right.
Of course, this is not completely foolproof as our eyes are constantly moving and are affected by a number of environmental stimuli such as light, sound or even pressure to maintain eye contact in a conversation but this serves as a general guide.
Whether its exams, work or relationships modern life is pretty stressful stuff. It’s not uncommon for us to turn to food to relieve the often heavy emotional burdens life presents us with. But what drives us to do it? And why are some foods classed as “comfort foods”? More posts like this about the human brain and behaviour on @tobeagenius
As you know, I started university this year and since then I have made some embarrassing descisions as a result of alcohol consumption. Making this educational infographic about the science behind drunkeness balances it all out right..?
While it’s absolutely important to examine the demographics of the candidate pool when evaluating the results of a psychological experiment, you’ve also gotta keep in mind the most basic source of selection bias: psychological experiments are 100% biased toward the sort of people who agree to participate in psychological experiments.
In some cultures, it’s traditional for elders to smoke weed, a practice said to help them pass on knowledge. A study done by Andreas Zimmer at the university of Bonn, Germany seems to add truth to this tradtion. The investigators are studying the endocannabinoid system, which helps balance out our bodies’ response to stress. Mice whose endocannabinoid system don’t work properly age faster, leading Zimmer to investigate if stimulating the system may have the opposite effect. Zimmer’s team is now planning trials to see if these observations can be replicated in humans.
In 1926, psychologist Sigmund Freud theorised that infants develop an attachment to their caregivers due to what he called ‘cupboard love’- the idea that the infant becomes attached simply because that individual fulfills its need for food. Harry Harlow’s experiment with infant macaque monkeys seem to show a different and somewhat heartwarming reality.
Harlow took new-born macaque monkeys and placed them in cages with “surrogate” mothers. As shown above, one mother was made of wire with an attached feeding bottle whilst the other was made of a soft and cuddly cloth yet no feeding bottle. If the ‘cupboard love’ theory was correct, the baby monkeys would remain with the mother that provided food.
This was not the case, however. For the duration of the experiment, the macque monkeys spent the majority of their time with the cloth mothers, who they also instinctively clung to when frightening looking objects were placed in their cage. This experiment showed the great importance of contact comfort in developing strong bonds between a child and their parents. Contemporary advice from psychologists and doctors had warned parents against rocking or picking up a crying child but the results of this experiment were so conclusive they changed the approach to parenting in the western world.