background preloader

How does my brain work?

How does my brain work?

La neurociencia del poder de la voluntad: glucosa, ejercicio… y ¿magia? “El hombre puede hacer lo que quiere, pero no puede querer lo que quiere”, Arthur Schopenhauer. Algunas películas –quién no recuerda a Rocky Balboa levantándose de la lona y siempre reaccionando en el último round– nos han hecho ver la voluntad humana como un recurso inagotable, que entre más se usa más se manifiesta –en una especie de lucha épica con nosotros mismos. Y aunque esta visión no necesariamente esté equivocada, neurocientíficos han propuesto una teoría que sugiere que la voluntad es un recurso cerebral limitado, ligado al consumo de glucosa. En su libro Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, coescrito con John Tiernet, el psicólogo Roy Baumeister plantea que la voluntad se alimenta de un suministro limitado de químicos que se acumulan en el cerebro: es “una forma medible de energía mental que se consume al usarla, igual a la gasolina en un auto”. Tierney y Baumeister esbozan una teoría de la administración de la voluntad: es importante llevársela leve.

Clearing the Mind: How the Brain Cuts the Clutter | Mind, Brain & Senses Newly discovered neurons in the front of the brain act as the bouncers at the doors of the senses, letting in only the most important of the trillions of signals our bodies receive. Problems with these neurons could be the source of some symptoms of diseases like attention deficit disorder and schizophrenia. "The brain doesn't have enough capacity to process all the information that is coming into your senses," said study researcher Julio Martinez-Trujillo, of McGill University in Montreal. "We found that there are some cells, some neurons in the prefrontal cortex, which have the ability to suppress the information that you aren't interested in. They are like filters." Humans are constantly taking in huge streams of data from each of our senses. A cluttered mind This "brain clutter," or inability to filter out unnecessary information, is a possible mechanism of diseases like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia. Mindful monkeys

Are all new things a mash-up of what came before? A Q&A with Kirby Ferguson In today’s TEDTalk, director Kirby Ferguson outlines a bold vision of creativity — that it’s not about dreaming up a new song, a new piece of art or a new form of technology in a vacuum, but instead about remixing what has come before. In his fast-paced talk, Kirby reveals that many of our most iconic thinkers — from Henry Ford to Bob Dylan — embraced this idea of what it means to create. As we watched Kirby’s talk, a slew of questions popped to mind. What does this mean for creative people? Can we reach a point where ideas become too self-referential? Is every song a cover song? We have this intuitive notion of creativity, of this brilliant genius who creates something totally new and wows everybody. It’s copying, then transforming and combining. It’s sort of like building a platform and then building a platform on top of that and then building a platform on top of that and getting higher and higher that way. You’re suggesting that creativity happens on a spectrum. It’s interesting.

Draw It To Know It - Neuroanatomy Tutorials Neuroanatomy is a nightmare for most medical students. The complex array of nuclei, ganglia, tracts, lobes, Brodmann areas and cortical layers seem to the uninitiated as the height of useless trivia. My own memory of my neuroanatomy class in medical school is vivid. Our professor ordered each member of the class to buy a set of colored pencils; the kind you had in third grade. Each color was coded for particular structures (red for the caudate, green for the putamen, yellow for the claustrum and burnt sienna of for the globus pallidus). At our senior play, which poked fun at our professors, a beleaguered medical student was asked to name the components of the basal ganglia. And yet, no one can practice even rudimentary neurology without some basic understanding of the neuroanatomy. In his wonderful book, Neuroanatomy: Draw It to Know It, neurologist Adam Fisch applies my old neuroanatomy professor's colored pencil idea in a manner that actually works, and it's fun!

Confirmando la precognición a través de la pornografía A lo largo de la historia científica, por alguna lamentable razón, pocos son los investigadores que osan coquetear con posibilidades en torno a premisas que son, peyorativamente, consideradas en el rubro de lo paranormal. Sin embargo, además de que cada vez hay más aventureros científicos que juegan con posibilidades “extravagantes”, lo cierto es que siempre ha habido mentes lúcidas que exploran con seriedad y más allá de la charlatanería esos castigados límites del conocimiento humano. Tal es el caso del profesor emérito Daryl J. Bem, investigador de la prestigiada Universidad de Cornell y quien desde hace décadas ha dedicado su talento a profundizar en temáticas como la percepción extrasensorial y fenómenos psíquicos. Y entre los tópicos que más han llamado el interés de Bem se encuentran los fenómenos conocidos como precognición y premonición. El profesor Bem llevó a cabo una serie de nueve experimentos involucrando a más de mil voluntarios.

The Neurocritic: The Dark Side of Diagnosis by Brain Scan Daniel Amen: Pioneer or profiteer?: Psychiatrist Daniel Amen uses brain scans to diagnose mental illness. Most peers say that’s bonkers. Right on the heels of a Molecular Psychiatry paper that asked, "Why has it taken so long for biological psychiatry to develop clinical tests and what to do about it?" Daniel Amen is the most popular psychiatrist in America. SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) is a relatively inexpensive cousin of PET scanning (positron emission tomography) with lower spatial resolution.1 There is no peer reviewed literature that establishes SPECT as a reliable method of diagnosing psychiatric disorders. Amen is well-known to regular PBS viewers, because his informercial "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life" [and others] is on regular rotation during fund raisers.2 In a critical piece by Robert Burton, one neuroimaging expert was quoted as saying: In his Washington Post article, author Neely Tucker assembled an impressive list of naysayers: Dr.

You Could Soon Read An Entire Harry Potter Book In Under 90 Minutes With This App Soon you could read all 309 pages of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in under 77 minutes. Yes, you. To get through it that quickly (a pace of 1,000 words a minute) you'll have to use an about-to-be released app and forgo the idea of reading page by page. With Spritz, which is coming to the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Gear 2 watch, words appear one at a time in rapid succession. This allows you to read at speeds of between 250 and 1,000 words per minute. Try reading this at 250 wpm: Pretty easy, right? After you have 350 wpm mastered, try 500 wpm below: Spritz goes all the way up to 1,000 wpm, but there isn't a visual for that yet. Spritz isn't the first to suggest reading one word at a time. The one-word-at-a-time technology is particularly good for smaller devices like smartphones and smartwatches. Boston-based Spritz, which says its been in "Stealth Mode" for nearly three years, is working on licensing its technology to software developers, ebook makers and even wearables.

Brain Rules ..:: DMT - THE SPIRIT MOLECULE | DOCUMENTARY ::.. Some Body: How Yoga Taught Me To Finally Respect My Physical Self For the first time, I saw my body as something actual rather than as an abstraction. I realized it was just as important as my mind. It was my vessel, the only mode of transport I have. If I was going to make any sense at all of the small corner of reality that I’ve been given, I was going to have to use my body, and become as fully aware of its processes as possible. All my practice was leading up to this: The desire to have greater physical self-knowledge. The body, rather than an impediment to happiness, is in fact a source of endless wonder. The Neuroscience of Decision Making In an attempt to put matter over mind, researchers are beginning to decipher what exactly is happening in our brains when we are making decisions. Our thoughts, though abstract and vaporous in form, are determined by the actions of specific neuronal circuits in our brains. The interdisciplinary field known as “decision neuroscience” is uncovering those circuits, thereby mapping thinking on a cellular level. Although still a young field, research in this area has exploded in the last decade, with findings suggesting it is possible to parse out the complexity of thinking into its individual components and decipher how they are integrated when we ponder. Recently, three experts in decision neuroscience discussed their work, describing the genesis of this cutting-edge field and why it incorporates several disciplines. DAEYEOL LEE, PhD, Department of Neurobiology and Kavli Institute for Neuroscience, Yale University School of Medicine C. C. WANG: Yes.