Religious Experiences Shrink Part of the Brain The article, “Religious factors and hippocampal atrophy in late life,” by Amy Owen and colleagues at Duke University represents an important advance in our growing understanding of the relationship between the brain and religion. The study, published March 30 in PLoS One, showed greater atrophy in the hippocampus in individuals who identify with specific religious groups as well as those with no religious affiliation. It is a surprising result, given that many prior studies have shown religion to have potentially beneficial effects on brain function, anxiety, and depression. A number of studies have evaluated the acute effects of religious practices, such as meditation and prayer, on the human brain. In this study, Owen et al. used MRI to measure the volume of the hippocampus, a central structure of the limbic system that is involved in emotion as well as in memory formation. This is an interesting hypothesis. Thus, Owen and her colleagues certainly pose a plausible hypothesis.
Top 10 Amazing Facts About Dreams Facts This afternoon I had a (very rare) nap. During that nap I had a lucid dream (most of which I no longer remember). As I was waking up, I was thinking about my dream and thought that it would be a great idea to write a list about dreams for the site. So, here are the top 10 amazing facts about dreams. 10. People who become blind after birth can see images in their dreams. 9. Within 5 minutes of waking, half of your dream if forgotten. In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. [...] Curiously, Robert Louis Stevenson came up with the story of Doctor Jeckyll and Mr. 8. Every human being dreams (except in cases of extreme psychological disorder) but men and women have different dreams and different physical reactions. 7. 6. 5. A full 12% of sighted people dream exclusively in black and white. 4. If you dream about some particular subject it is not often that the dream is about that.
Peanut Butter is Green Save to del.icio.us — tags food peanutbutter environment Add to Stumbleupon One of the daily decisions we all face is what to eat. How do we eat well and in a way that’s good for the environment — and at the same time have meals that are easy to fix and taste good? One food that fits all this is the simple Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. Eating a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich instead of a grilled cheese or chicken sandwich saves 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. I bet you didn’t realize that eating three Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches could have the same environmental impact as switching your showers to a low-flow shower head. This is the type of information we want to share. In addition to being better for the environment, they’re also very healthy as long as you don’t eat too much. According to the WebMD article, “It is hard to believe that something so wonderful could also be good for you.” Again, according to Bonci, the serving size is 2 tablespoons. Next Actions:
Sleepy brain waves predict dream recall : Neurophilosophy THE patterns of brain waves that occur during sleep can predict the likelihood that dreams will be successfully recalled upon waking up, according to a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The research provides the first evidence of a ‘signature’ pattern of brain activity associated with dream recall. It also provides further insight into the brain mechanisms underlying dreaming, and into the relationship between our dreams and our memories. Cristina Marzano of the Sleep Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of Rome and her colleagues recruited 65 students, selected on the basis of their sleeping habits. All of them had a regular sleep ‘routine’, going to bed at around the same time, and sleeping for an average of seven-and-a-half hours, every night. On the second night, the researchers used electroencephalography (EEG) to measure the participants’ brain waves while they slept, and woke them up during specific types of sleep. Marzano, C., et al. (2011).
The biology of dreaming - StumbleUpon o one would normally consider David Maurice, Ph.D., professor of ocular physiology in the Department of Ophthalmology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, a revolutionary. Nevertheless, he has reignited a decades-long controversy that could spark a revolutionary re-evaluation of an entire field of behavioral research. Dr. What Maurice has done is to suggest an alternative explanation for the phenomenon known as REM sleep, the stage in which the eyes rapidly move and most dreams occur. "Without REM," Maurice told 21stC, "our corneas would starve and suffocate while we are asleep with our eyes closed." Maurice's interest in REM began a few years ago. Often an idea from one scientific realm has important consequences to another, and Maurice's hypothesis has ramifications for a cross-disciplinary controversy in the fields of cognitive neurobiology and dream research. "What is at stake here is a theory of dreams that is scientifically valid," Dr. Interpretation vs. observation Drs. 1.
Celsius & Fahrenheit Origins A Straight Dope Classic from Cecil's Storehouse of Human Knowledge December 15, 1989 Dear Cecil: Everybody knows 0 degrees on the Celsius scale is the freezing point of water and 100 degrees is the boiling point. — Leslie, Montreal, Quebec Cecil replies: Researchers have gone to their graves trying to figure out what old man Fahrenheit was up to, Leslie. Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686-1736) was a German instrument maker who invented the first practical mercury thermometer. Romer had decided that the boiling point of water should be 60 degrees, which at least had the strength of numerological tradition behind it (60 minutes in an hour, right?). D.G., simple soul that he was, thought this cockeyed system was the soul of elegance. By and by Fahrenheit got ready to present his scale to London's Royal Society, the scientific big leagues of the day. Later Fahrenheit established that the boiling point of water came in at 212 degrees. Now for a little bonus info. — Cecil Adams
Human echolocation activates visual parts of the brain : Neurophilosophy WE all know that bats and dolphins use echolocation to navigate, by producing high frequency bursts of clicks and interpreting the sound waves that bounce off objects in their surroundings. Less well known is that humans can also learn to echolocate. With enough training, people can use this ability to do extraordinary things. Teenager Ben Underwood, who died of cancer in 2009, was one of a small number of blind people to master it. Very little research has been done on human echolocation, and nothing is known about the underlying brain mechanisms. Psychologist Lore Thaler of the University of Western Ontario and her colleagues recruited two expert echolocators for the new study. The researchers seated their participants in a sealed room, placed various objects in front of them, and asked them to produce echolocation clicks. EB and LB could accurately determine the size, shape, position and movements of objects in both situations. Related: Thaler, L., et al. (2011).
The Evolution of REM Dreaming New studies reveal that more animals are dreaming than we thought. In fact, all mammals and birds have REM, and if J.M. Siegel is correct, reptiles may have REM as well. REM, or Rapid Eye Movement sleep is a regularly occurring stage of sleep in which, when people are awakened and asked, dreams are often reported. In this stage of sleep, which occurs about six times a night for an average of twenty minutes each, our eyes move under our eyelids as if we were awaking and scanning some scene, hence the designation Rapid Eye Movement sleep. After the 1953 discovery of REM in humans by modern science, researchers began testing other species for REM and searching for signs of dreaming in all kinds of creatures. A theory developed that dreaming was an evolutionary advance to keep the mammalian brain warm and alert and to not let it sink too deeply into inactivity. Who's dreaming the most? Sleep itself is somewhat different for every species. J. Just what this means is unclear. Conclusions
10 Minutes Of Staring at Boobs Daily Prolongs Man's Life by 5 Years Listen, guys, now we know why Pamela Anderson made her transplants: to make us healthier. "Angels of mercy" like Jordan just prolong our life and Hugh Hefner knows it. A German research published in New England Journal of Medicine and Weekly World News said that men staring at women's breasts in fact prolong their lives with years. "Just 10 minutes of staring at the charms of a well-endowed female such as Baywatch actress Pamela Lee is equivalent to a 30-minute aerobics work-out," said author Dr. The team led by Weatherby was made up of researchers at three hospitals in Frankfurt, Germany, and found this results after monitoring for 5 years the health of 200 male subjects, half of whom were asked to look at busty females daily, while the other half had to abstain from doing so. For five years, the boob oglers presented a lower blood pressure, slower resting pulse rates and decreased risk of coronary artery disease. "Sexual excitement gets the heart pumping and improves blood circulation.