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Oliver Sacks: What hallucination reveals about our minds

Oliver Sacks: What hallucination reveals about our minds

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What is DiSC®? Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness DiSC® is the leading personal assessment tool used by over 1 million people every year to improve work productivity, teamwork and communication. The DiSC profile is a non-judgemental tool used for discussion of people's behavioral differences. If you participate in a DiSC program, you'll be asked to complete a series of questions that produce a detailed report about your personality and behavior.

Scientists extract images directly from brain Researchers from Japan's ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have developed new brain analysis technology that can reconstruct the images inside a person's mind and display them on a computer monitor, it was announced on December 11. According to the researchers, further development of the technology may soon make it possible to view other people's dreams while they sleep. The scientists were able to reconstruct various images viewed by a person by analyzing changes in their cerebral blood flow.

The neuroscientific study of hallucinogens Recently, an important and landmark paper was published in PLoS ONE (hooray open access!) titled, "Investigating the Mechanisms of Hallucinogen-Induced Visions Using 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA): A Randomized Controlled Trial in Humans". It sounds daunting, but trust me, it's a very cool, approachable study. Now, in the spirit of full-disclosure, the lead author Dr. Matthew Baggott (hereafter referred to as "Matt"), is a friend of mine from grad school and he's been kind enough to grant me a very thorough interview for this post. Letter-Color Synaesthesia For as long as I can remember, I've had this implicit sense of a relationship between letters and colors. To me, every letter seems to have a color of its own. When I think of a word, I am aware of its color and the color of its component letters. The phenomenon is consistent enough that I can rely on it to help me remember things like phone numbers and proper names. I call it my letter-color synaesthesia.

Brain Wave Entrainment and Hypnosis During hypnosis the brain shows a characteristic sequence of brain wave activity. This can now be artificially reproduced through the use of audio tones; a process known as brain wave entrainment. If you are in a particular state, for example, very anxious, then you will produce a unique 'signature' of brainwaves. This applies equally to other states, such as learning and the focused concentration of competitive sport. These are states that can take a long time and a lot of physical effort to attain. It is an appealing idea that all that hard work and application could be bypassed and the perfect mental state produced through rapid artificial means.

50 Lessons I wish I had learned earlier Welcome to our blog! Here you'll find bits and pieces of wisdom learned from cycling 17,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina together as a family. Hope it inspires you to live your dream! My book about our journey, Changing Gears, is now released!

Technology Review: Brain Coprocessors Ed Boyden, an Assistant Professor, Biological Engineering, and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the MIT Media Lab, will give a presentation on using light to study and treat brain disorders at 3.30pm on Wednesday at EmTech 2010. Watch a live feed of the session here. The last few decades have seen a surge of invention of technologies that enable the observation or perturbation of information in the brain. Functional MRI, which measures blood flow changes associated with brain activity, is being explored for purposes as diverse as lie detection, prediction of human decision making, and assessment of language recovery after stroke. Implanted electrical stimulators, which enable control of neural circuit activity, are borne by hundreds of thousands of people to treat conditions such as deafness, Parkinson’s disease, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Stimulating brain with electricity aids learning speed 20 September 2011Last updated at 11:52 By Leila Battison Science reporter The brain can change its structure in response to experience and practice Electrically stimulating the brain can help to speed up the process of learning, scientists have shown. Applying a small current to specific parts of the brain can increase its activity, making learning easier. Researchers from the University of Oxford have studied the changing structure of the brain in stroke patients and in healthy adults. 12.08.2010 - Our brains are wired so we can better hear ourselves speak, new study shows Like the mute button on the TV remote control, our brains filter out unwanted noise so we can focus on what we’re listening to. But when it comes to following our own speech, a new brain study from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that instead of one homogenous mute button, we have a network of volume settings that can selectively silence and amplify the sounds we make and hear. Activity in the auditory cortex when we speak and listen is amplified in some regions of the brain and muted in others.

Norman Doidge: The Neuroplasticity Revolution (An Update) Bio Norman Doidge Norman Doidge, M.D., is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, researcher, author, essayist and poet. He is on the Research Faculty at Columbia University's Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, in New York, and the University of Toronto's Department of Psychiatry. He is a native of Toronto. To download this program become a Front Row member.

Memory Improvement Techniques - Improve Your Memory with MindTools © VeerPRZEMYSLAW PRZYBYLSKI Use these techniques to improve your memory. The tools in this section help you to improve your memory. They help you both to remember facts accurately and to remember the structure of information. The tools are split into two sections. Neuroscientists reveal magicians' secrets - Technology & science - Science - LiveScience NEW YORK — There is a place for magic in science. Five years ago, on a trip to Las Vegas, neuroscientists Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde realized that a partnership was in order with a profession that has an older and more intuitive understanding of how the human brain works. Magicians, it seems, have an advantage over neuroscientists. "Scientists have only studied cognitive illusions for a few decades. Magicians have studied them for hundreds, if not thousands, of years," Martinez-Conde told the audience during a recent presentation here at the New York Academy of Sciences. [ Video: Your Brain on Magic ]

Wellcome Image of the Month: Celebration of the brain Recently, the Wellcome Trust supported a play called 2401 Objects. It tells the story of Henry Molaison, who suffered from epilepsy and underwent experimental surgery in an attempt to cure his frequent and often disruptive seizures. Unbeknown to Henry at the time, the operation was set to become one of the most influential case studies in the history of neuroscience research. Less Empathy Toward Outsiders: Brain Differences Reinforce Preferences For Those In Same Social Group An observer feels more empathy for someone in pain when that person is in the same social group, according to new research in the July 1 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The study shows that perceiving others in pain activates a part of the brain associated with empathy and emotion more if the observer and the observed are the same race. The findings may show that unconscious prejudices against outside groups exist at a basic level.

Oliver Sacks talks about the Bonnet syndrome: visual hallucinations caused by randomly firing neurons. The Bonnet hallucinations are distinct from psychotic hallucinations and hallucinations caused by 'temporal lobe epilepsy'. Dr. Sacks discusses how neuron firing in specific areas, cells, or groups of cells, as observed with fMRI, cause different types of images. Dr. Sacks' presentation connects to the overview VS Ramachandran gave about low-tech clinical neurology[VS Ramachandran on your mind | TED]. Would Christopher de Charms' approach of exercising the brain while viewing it via fMRI[Christopher deCharms looks inside the brain | TED] help patients with Bonnet syndrome? by kaspervandenberg Dec 1

Oliver Sacks is a VERY entertaining guy. His books are fascinating. by shinywen Aug 1

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