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How someone with synesthesia might perceive certain letters and numbers. Synesthesia (also spelled synæsthesia or synaesthesia , plural synesthesiæ or synæsthesiæ ), from the ancient Greek σύν (syn), "together," and αἴσθησις (aisthēsis), " sensation ," is a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] People who report such experiences are known as synesthetes. Recently, difficulties have been recognized in finding an adequate definition of synesthesia, [ 5 ] [ 6 ] as many different phenomena have been covered by this term and in many cases the term synesthesia ("union of senses") seems to be a misnomer. A more accurate term for the phenomenon may be ideasthesia .
He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which. Douglas Adams He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.
"How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people -- first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving... "I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves -- this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth.
May 6, 2011 — A team of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students has created a system that pairs an EEG headset with a 3-D theatrical flying harness, allowing users to "fly" by controlling their thoughts. The "Infinity Simulator" will make its debut with an art installation in which participants rise into the air -- and trigger light, sound, and video effects -- by calming their thoughts. Creative director and Rensselaer MFA candidate Yehuda Duenyas describes the "Infinity Simulator" as a platform similar to a gaming console -- like the Wii or the Kinect -- writ large. "Instead of you sitting and controlling gaming content, it's a whole system that can control live elements -- so you can control 3-D rigging, sound, lights, and video," said Duenyas, who works under the moniker "xxxy." "It's a system for creating hybrids of theater, installation, game, and ride."
Sep. 29, 2011 — A single high dose of the hallucinogen psilocybin, the active ingredient in so-called "magic mushrooms," was enough to bring about a measurable personality change lasting at least a year in nearly 60 percent of the 51 participants in a new study, according to the Johns Hopkins researchers who conducted it. Lasting change was found in the part of the personality known as openness, which includes traits related to imagination, aesthetics, feelings, abstract ideas and general broad-mindedness. Changes in these traits, measured on a widely used and scientifically validated personality inventory, were larger in magnitude than changes typically observed in healthy adults over decades of life experiences, the scientists say.
To investigate the neural substrates that underlie spontaneous musical performance, we examined improvisation in professional jazz pianists using functional MRI. By employing two paradigms that differed widely in musical complexity, we found that improvisation (compared to production of over-learned musical sequences) was consistently characterized by a dissociated pattern of activity in the prefrontal cortex: extensive deactivation of dorsolateral prefrontal and lateral orbital regions with focal activation of the medial prefrontal (frontal polar) cortex. Such a pattern may reflect a combination of psychological processes required for spontaneous improvisation, in which internally motivated, stimulus-independent behaviors unfold in the absence of central processes that typically mediate self-monitoring and conscious volitional control of ongoing performance.
The Stone is a forum for contemporary philosophers on issues both timely and timeless. What is art? What does art reveal about human nature? The trend these days is to approach such questions in the key of neuroscience.
Barbara Browning At its core, improvisation demands an ongoing interaction with shifting tight places, whether created by power relations, social norms, aesthetic traditions, or physical technique. Improvised dance literally involves giving shape to oneself and deciding how to move in relation to an unsteady landscape. (Danielle Goldman, I Want to Be Ready: Improvised Dance as a Practice of Freedom , 146) De fato, tanto no jazz quanto no samba , atua de modo especial a síncopa, incitando o ouvinte a preencher o tempo vazio com a marcação corporal – palmas, meneios, balanços, dança.
Scientists measure dream content for the first time: Dreams activate the brain in a similar way to real actionsOct. 28, 2011 — The ability to dream is a fascinating aspect of the human mind. However, how the images and emotions that we experience so intensively when we dream form in our heads remains a mystery. Up to now it has not been possible to measure dream content. Max Planck scientists working with colleagues from the Charité hospital in Berlin have now succeeded, for the first time, in analysing the activity of the brain during dreaming.
Nov. 1, 2011 — A study using a procedure called the rubber hand illusion has found striking new evidence that people experiencing schizophrenia have a weakened sense of body ownership and has produced the first case of a spontaneous, out-of-body experience in the laboratory. These findings suggest that movement therapy, which trains people to be focused and centered on their own bodies, including some forms of yoga and dance, could be helpful for many of the2.2 million people in the United States who suffer from this mental disorder. The study, which appears in the Oct. 31 issue of the scientific journal Public Library of Science One , measured the strength of body ownership of 24 schizophrenia patients and 21 matched control subjects by testing their susceptibility to the "rubber hand illusion" or RHI. This tactile illusion, which was discovered in 1998, is induced by simultaneously stroking a visible rubber hand and the subject's hidden hand.
Nov. 7, 2011 — A new study in Psychological Science , a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, published online October 26 addresses the influence of age-related stereotypes on memory performance and memory errors in older adults. Ayanna Thomas, assistant professor of psychology and director of the Cognitive Aging and Memory Lab at Tufts University, and co-author Stacey J. Dubois, a former graduate student at Tufts, set out to investigate how implicitly held negative stereotypes about aging could influence memory performance in older adults.
Nov. 12, 2011 — Does understanding emotions depend on the language we speak, or is our perception the same regardless of language and culture? According to a new study by researchers from the MPI for Psycholinguistics and the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, you don't need to have words for emotions to understand them. The results of the study were published online on October 17 in Emotion , a journal of the American Psychological Association.