The Human Brain

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What are you? Look deep inside yourself and ask, "What am I?" You could say you are a man or a woman, a human, a primate, an animal. But what 'you' really are is a MIND.

For ages humanity has been exploring the landscape of the mind, but it was just recently that we realized the mind is the result of physical processes happening in an organ in your skull. Let's explore the mysteries of the human brain together. Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners (9781451628258): Michael Erard. Memory Is Not a Recording Device: How Technology Shaped Our Metaphors for Remembering. By Maria Popova Debunking the myth that memory is about “reliving” a permanent record stored in a filing cabinet.

Memory Is Not a Recording Device: How Technology Shaped Our Metaphors for Remembering

Last year, Joshua Foer set out to hack his memory. Why We Seek the New: A History and Future of Neophilia. By Maria Popova What five-year-old Albert Einstein can teach us about serendipity and the filter bubble of information.

Why We Seek the New: A History and Future of Neophilia

A newborn baby would stare at a new image for an average of 41 seconds before becoming bored and tuning out on repeated showings — that’s how hard-wired our affinity for novelty is. In New: Understanding Our Need for Novelty and Change, behavioral science writer Winifred Gallagher — whose treatise on the myth of multitasking you might recall — explores the evolutionary, biological, psychological, and cultural forces that drive our deep-seated neophilia, our tendency to ceaselessly seek out the new and different. Brain Preservation Now! Brain Preservation Foundation. Mind reading is possible! “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google Three motives drive neuroscience research: the clinician’s urge to heal, the analyst’s urge to understand, and the engineer’s urge to improve.

Understanding and repairing the brain have always gone along with wanting to improve it, and proponents of human enhancement have eagerly anticipated the brain supremacy. Could brain techniques like neuroimaging be used to extend or transcend natural human capacities, for instance by allowing us more direct access to other minds? Are neuroscientists the next great architects? ARCHITECTS HAVE BEEN talking for years about “biophilic” design, “evidence based” design, design informed by the work of psychologists.

Are neuroscientists the next great architects?

But last May, at the profession’s annual convention, John Zeisel and fellow panelists were trying to explain neuroscience to a packed ballroom. The late-afternoon session pushed well past the end of the day; questions just kept coming. Touring the brain. Evolution has created a staggering range of organisms, each with features cleverly honed for its environmental niche.

Touring the brain

But while evolution is a fantastic creator, adding almost whatever is needed, it is surprisingly lazy at tidying up after itself, at pruning what is no longer required. In the bacterial world, where margins for survival may be razor sharp, things are more efficient. But most animals carry with them a surplus of obsolete features, such as the astronomical quantities of pathological DNA interlopers that sit in every cell in our bodies.

But there are also more large-scale examples of detritus we endure. For instance, whenever we get cold, our hair duly stands on end to create a buffer of trapped air around our skins, as if such an action would make any difference to keep us cocooned from the cold—it doesn’t (unlike other primates, we simply don’t have enough hair to make this automatic response functional). Home - Organization for Human Brain Mapping. The Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) is the primary international organization dedicated to using neuroimaging to discover the organization of the human brain.

Home - Organization for Human Brain Mapping

Message From the Chair: Steve Smith, FMRIB Centre, Oxford University It’s hard to believe we are already three months into 2014 and that the OHBM’S 20th Annual Meeting is right around the corner. Over 2,600 of your colleagues have already registered to attend the meeting in June, Hamburg, Germany. Although early registration has now ended, standard registration remains open until Friday, May 16th. After that date, you will be able to register onsite at the CCH. Did a Copying Mistake Build Man's Brain? A copying error appears to be responsible for critical features of the human brain that distinguish us from our closest primate kin, new research finds.

Did a Copying Mistake Build Man's Brain?

When tested out in mice, researchers found this "error" caused the rodents' brain cells to move into place faster and enabled more connections between brain cells. When any cell divides, it first copies its entire genome. During this process, it can make errors. The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity. By Maria Popova Hume was a neuroscientist, or what early aviation has to do with the psychology of identity.

The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity

We’ve already seen that the notions of stable character and fixed personality are a myth. And yet, our culture is wired for labels and checkboxes, eager to neatly file people away into categorical cabinets and thrown into furor over the slightest inkling of multiplicity. Take, for instance, Howard Hughes, at once a legendary aviator, movie mogul, tycoon, and socialite, and a reclusive billionaire housebound by his deathly phobia of dirt. How Physics and Neuroscience Dictate Your "Free" Will. In a remote corner of the universe, on a small blue planet gravitating around a humdrum sun in the outer districts of the Milky Way, organisms arose from the primordial mud and ooze in an epic struggle for survival that spanned aeons.

How Physics and Neuroscience Dictate Your "Free" Will

Despite all evidence to the contrary, these bipedal creatures thought of themselves as extraordinarily privileged, occupying a unique place in a cosmos of a trillion trillion stars. Conceited as they were, they believed that they, and only they, could escape the iron law of cause and effect that governs everything. We’re wired to sing. Poor Alfred Russel Wallace!

We’re wired to sing

Virtually unknown these days compared to Darwin, Wallace was one of the 19th century’s greatest biologists and perhaps the preeminent field naturalist of all time. Those who have heard of Wallace know him primarily as the codiscoverer, with Darwin, of natural selection. But whereas Darwin had laboriously worked out the details, with copious examples from the living world, over a period of decades, Wallace literally came upon the principle of natural selection in a kind of brainstorm, a moment of epiphany while he lay in a malarial fever at a remote island campsite in what is today Indonesia.

Human brain. The human brain has the same general structure as the brains of other mammals, but has a more developed cortex than any other.

Human brain

Large animals such as whales and elephants have larger brains in absolute terms, but when measured using the encephalization quotient which compensates for body size, the human brain is almost twice as large as the brain of the bottlenose dolphin, and three times as large as the brain of a chimpanzee. Much of the expansion comes from the part of the brain called the cerebral cortex, especially the frontal lobes, which are associated with executive functions such as self-control, planning, reasoning, and abstract thought.

The Brain: The Mystery of Consciousness. The young women had survived the car crash, after a fashion. In the five months since parts of her brain had been crushed, she could open her eyes but didn't respond to sights, sounds or jabs. In the jargon of neurology, she was judged to be in a persistent vegetative state. In crueler everyday language, she was a vegetable. So picture the astonishment of British and Belgian scientists as they scanned her brain using a kind of MRI that detects blood flow to active parts of the brain. When they recited sentences, the parts involved in language lit up. Is language the brains operating system? The Blogs at HowStuffWorks.

So my wife and I were discussing Josh and Chuck’s recent podcast on our culture’s dire need for innovators, teleportation and a universal language. We both agreed on the first count, but were split on the other two. Setting aside the ethical and possibly gene-splicing issues of teleportation, I just couldn’t get behind the idea of a universal language. Memetics. This article is related to the study of self-replicating units of culture, not to be confused with Mimesis. Memetics is a theory of mental content based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution, originating from the popularization of Richard Dawkins' 1976 book The Selfish Gene.[1] Proponents describe memetics as an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer. The meme, analogous to a gene, was conceived as a "unit of culture" (an idea, belief, pattern of behaviour, etc.) which is "hosted" in the minds of one or more individuals, and which can reproduce itself, thereby jumping from mind to mind.

Thus what would otherwise be regarded as one individual influencing another to adopt a belief is seen as an idea-replicator reproducing itself in a new host. Phobias: New Research on How to Fix Irrational Fears. Let's get this out of the way right up front: I'm afraid of people eating. Some people are scared of snakes or flying or heights or other things that can actually be dangerous. I'm filled with overpowering, irrational dread by the sight or sound of another human being eating or drinking. It doesn't make any more sense to me than it does to you. 7 Mind-Bending Facts About Dreams. Thinking in foreign language makes decisions more rational.

In brief. Human Brain Project - Simulation. Open Connectome Project. Brain Scanner Being Used To Give Stephen Hawking A New Voice. Generating Text from Functional Brain Images. Scientists Use Brain Waves To Eavesdrop On What We Hear. Table of Contents, Section 1: Neuroscience Online: An Electronic Textbook for the Neurosciences.