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Insight into the Seat of Human Consciousness. BOSTON – For millennia, philosophers have struggled to define human consciousness.

Insight into the Seat of Human Consciousness

Now, a team of researchers led by neurologists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has pinpointed the regions of the brain that may play a role maintaining it. Their findings, which have already garnered multiple awards from the American Academy of Neurology, were published today in that society’s journal, Neurology. “For the first time, we have found a connection between the brainstem region involved in arousal and regions involved in awareness, two prerequisites for consciousness,” said Michael D.

Fox, MD, PhD, Director of the Laboratory for Brain Network Imaging and Modulation and the Associate Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at BIDMC. “A lot of pieces of evidence all came together to point to this network playing a role in human consciousness.” Classical neurology holds that arousal and awareness are two critical components of consciousness.


Perception. Vision. Creativiy. What's It Like to See Ideas as Shapes? One spring evening in the mid 2000s, Jonathan Jackson and Andy Linscott sat on some seaside rocks near their college campus, smoking the kind of cigarettes reserved for heartbreak.

What's It Like to See Ideas as Shapes?

Linscott was, by his own admission, “emotionally spewing” over a girl, and Jackson was consoling him. Jackson had always been a particularly good listener. But in the middle of their talk, he did something Linscott found deeply odd. “He got up and jumped over to this much higher rock,” Linscott says. “He was like, ‘Andy, I’m listening, I just want to get a different angle. For Jackson, moving physically to think differently about an idea seemed totally natural.

Oliver Sacks: What hallucination reveals about our minds. James Flynn: Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents' Alex Wissner-Gross: A new equation for intelligence. The Analysis of Mind, by Bertrand Russell. Here Are 5 Infuriating Examples of Facts Making People Dumber. On Monday, I reported on the latest study to take a bite out of the idea of human rationality.

Here Are 5 Infuriating Examples of Facts Making People Dumber

In a paper just published in Pediatrics, Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth University and his colleagues showed that presenting people with information confirming the safety of vaccines triggered a "backfire effect," in which people who already distrusted vaccines actually became less likely to say they would vaccinate their kids. Unfortunately, this is hardly the only example of such a frustrating response being documented by researchers. Nyhan and his coauthor, Jason Reifler of the University of Exeter, have captured several others, as have other researchers. Here are some examples: 1. 2. 3. 4. THE BRAIN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. The model of the triune brain proposed by MacLean in 1970 is a useful piece of shorthand for the complex evolutionary history of the human brain.


But the brain's combination of reptilian, paleomammalian and neomammalian structures is far more intricate than a mere set of nested Russian dolls. Ever since the first mammals appeared more than 200 million years ago, the cerebral cortex has assumed greater and greater importance compared with the brain's other, older structures.

Because these structures had proven their effectiveness for meeting certain fundamental needs, there was no reason for them to disappear. Instead, evolution favoured a process of building expansions and additions, rather than rebuilding everything from the bottom up. THE BRAIN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. Fish's thoughts filmed for first time. Researchers Capture A Zebrafish's Thought Process On Video. What's in a thought?

Researchers Capture A Zebrafish's Thought Process On Video

When it comes to the zebrafish, now you can see for yourself. For the first time, Japanese researchers have captured video of thoughts moving through a zebrafish's brain. By genetically modifying a transparent zebrafish larvae to create a glow in reaction to calcium ions--which skyrocket during neuron activity--scientists could track the regions in the fish's brain activated by the thought process. Researchers released a paramecium, a single-celled zebrafish food source shaped like a grain of rice, and watched the glowing neurological response from the fish. 5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think.

Keith Chen (TED Talk: Could your language affect your ability to save money?)

5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think

Might be an economist, but he wants to talk about language. The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science. Illustration: Jonathon Rosen "A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change.

The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science

Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point. " Emotional_dog_and_rational_tail.pdf. The Brains of the Animal Kingdom. How consciousness works – Michael Graziano. Scientific talks can get a little dry, so I try to mix it up. I take out my giant hairy orangutan puppet, do some ventriloquism and quickly become entangled in an argument. I’ll be explaining my theory about how the brain — a biological machine — generates consciousness. Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong. Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory. Dan Dennett: The illusion of consciousness. The War on Reason - Paul Bloom. Aristotle’s definition of man as a rational animal has recently taken quite a beating.

The War on Reason - Paul Bloom

Part of the attack comes from neuroscience. Pretty, multicolored fMRI maps make clear that our mental lives can be observed in the activity of our neurons, and we’ve made considerable progress in reading someone’s thoughts by looking at those maps. It’s clear, too, that damage to the brain can impair the most-intimate aspects of ourselves, such as the capacity to make moral judgments or to inhibit bad actions. To some scholars, the neural basis of mental life suggests that rational deliberation and free choice are illusions.