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Neurocomic: A Graphic Novel About How the Brain Works

Neurocomic: A Graphic Novel About How the Brain Works
by Maria Popova From the caves of memory to the castles of deception, by way of naughty neurotransmitters and giddy ganglia. Scientists are only just beginning to understand how the brain works — from what transpires in it while we sleep to how to optimize its memory to what love does to it to how music affects it — and the rest of us fall somewhere on the spectrum between fascinated and confused when it comes to the intricate inner workings of our master-controller. From British indie press Nobrow — who also brought us Freud’s graphic biography, those lovely illustrated chronicles of the Space Race and aviation, as well as Blexbolex’s magnificent No Man’s Land — comes Neurocomic (public library), a graphic novel about how the brain works. We take a stroll through a forest of neurons, then learn about neuroplasticity. This wonderful trailer for the film about the project, directed by Richard Wyllie, takes us behind the scenes of the duo’s marvelous collaboration and creative process: Related:  BrainiackatecaragherHow the Brain Works

BioPhotons ~ Secrets of the Human Energy Field Revealed! Leading Russian Scientists believe we have the power to influence the world around us through our energetic fields, and now they have the science to prove it. Using a technology that they have developed, they are leading the worlds research in the awareness and understanding that our Consciousness is a fundamental part of our material world.

Stop Overthinking What is holding people back from the life that they truly want to live? I’d say that one very common and destructive thing is that they think too much. They overthink every little problem until it becomes bigger and scarier and it actually is. Overthink positive things until they don’t look so positive anymore. Or overanalyze and deconstruct things and so the happiness that comes from just enjoying something in the moment disappears. Now, thinking things through can be a great thing of course. I know. But in the past 8 years or so I have learned how to make this issue so small that it very rarely pops up anymore. In this article I would like to share 9 habits that have helped me in a big, big way to become a simpler and smarter thinker and to live a happier and less fearful life. 1. It is very easy to fall into the trap of overthinking minor things in life. So when you are thinking and thinking about something ask yourself: Will this matter in 5 years? 2. Here’s what have worked for me. 3. 4.

The Science of How Memory Works by Maria Popova What the four “slave” systems of the mind have to do with riding a bicycle. “Whatever becomes of [old memories], in the long intervals of consciousness?” Henry James wistfully pondered upon turning fifty. “They are like the lines of a letter written in sympathetic ink; hold the letter to the fire for a while and the grateful warmth brings out the invisible words.” In The Guardian of All Things: The Epic Story of Human Memory (public library) technology writer Michael S. Illustration from 'Neurocomic,' a graphic novel about how the brain works. One of the most astounding facts Malone points out is that memory — that is, the creation of memories — is the result of a biochemical reaction that takes place inside neurons, one particularly common among neurons responsible for our senses. One popular theory holds that short-term memory consists of four “slave” systems. Chemically, we have a pretty good idea how memories are encoded and retained in brain neurons. Share on Tumblr

The Science of Smell: How the Most Direct of Our Senses Works by Maria Popova Why the 23,040 breaths we take each day are the most powerful yet perplexing route to our emotional memory. “Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes,” Anna Quindlen advised in her indispensable Short Guide to a Happy Life. Susan Sontag listed “linen” and “the smell of newly mown grass” among her favorite things. “A man may have lived all of his life in the gray,” John Steinbeck wrote in his beautiful meditation on the meaning of life, “and then — the glory — so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose.” That’s precisely what science historian Diane Ackerman explores in A Natural History of the Senses (public library), her 1990 prequel to the equally fantastic A Natural History of Love. Illustration by Wendy MacNaughton from 'The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert.' Each day, we breathe about 23,040 times and move around 438 cubic feet of air.

How Languages We Speak Affect The Way We Think Keith Chen (TED Talk: Could your language affect your ability to save money?) might be an economist, but he wants to talk about language. For instance, he points out, in Chinese, saying “this is my uncle” is not as straightforward as you might think. In Chinese, you have no choice but to encode more information about said uncle. The language requires that you denote the side the uncle is on, whether he’s related by marriage or birth and, if it’s your father’s brother, whether he’s older or younger. “All of this information is obligatory. This got Chen wondering: Is there a connection between language and how we think and behave? While “futured languages,” like English, distinguish between the past, present and future, “futureless languages” like Chinese use the same phrasing to describe the events of yesterday, today and tomorrow. But that’s only the beginning. Featured illustration via iStock.

Synesthesia Spotlight: 3 Visualizations of Music by Maria Popova What Vivaldi has to do with motion graphics, John Coltrane and skyscrapers of color. Synesthesia is a rare neurological condition that leads stimulation in one sensory pathway to trigger an experience in another. Basically, a short-circuiting in the brain that enables such strange phenomena like perceiving letters and numbers as inherently colored (color-graphemic synesthesia) or hearing sounds in response to visual motion. More than 60 types of synesthesia have been identified, with one of the most common being the cross-sensory experience of color and sound — “hearing” color or “seeing” music. These neurological eccentricities, however, can often be a source of tremendous artistic inspiration. Israeli artist and jazz musician Michal Levy (who also happens to be a dear friend) is an actual synesthetic: When she listens to music, she sees shapes and colors as different tones, pitches, frequencies, harmonies, and other elements of the melody unfold. Share on Tumblr

Psychology of Trust in Work and Love by Maria Popova The science of why tit-for-tat isn’t the best strategy for cooperation and why you should hear out your hunches. “When you trust people to help you, they often do,” Amanda Palmer asserted in her beautiful meditation on the art of asking without shame. DeSteno, who has previously studied the osmosis of good and evil in all of us and the psychology of compassion and resilience, argues that matters of trust occupy an enormous amount of our mental energies and influence, directly or indirectly, practically every aspect of our everyday lives. Unlike many other puzzles we confront, questions of trust don’t just involve attempting to grasp and analyze a perplexing concept. Unlike many forms of communication, issues of trust are often characterized by a competition or battle…. Indeed, trust shapes how we love and how we learn, why we succeed and why we falter, what we buy and what we leave behind. He begins at the beginning, with a definition of what trust actually is:

The Backfire Effect: The Psychology of Why We Have a Hard Time Changing Our Minds by Maria Popova How the disconnect between information and insight explains our dangerous self-righteousness. “Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind,” I wrote in reflecting on the 7 most important things I learned in 7 years of Brain Pickings. It’s a conundrum most of us grapple with — on the one hand, the awareness that personal growth means transcending our smaller selves as we reach for a more dimensional, intelligent, and enlightened understanding of the world, and on the other hand, the excruciating growing pains of evolving or completely abandoning our former, more inferior beliefs as we integrate new knowledge and insight into our comprehension of how life works. That discomfort, in fact, can be so intolerable that we often go to great lengths to disguise or deny our changing beliefs by paying less attention to information that contradicts our present convictions and more to that which confirms them. So where does this leave us? Donating = Loving

How to Optimize Your Brain: Why Refining Emotional Recall is the Secret to Better Memory by Maria Popova “You are what you remember — your very identity depends on all of the events, people and places you can recall.” We’ve seen the many ways in which our memory can be our merciless traitor: it is not a recording device but a practitioner of creative plagiarism, a terrible timekeeper, and the bent backbone in the anatomy of lying. How, then, can this essential human faculty become our ally? In The Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So Well (public library) — a compendium of pragmatic advice on such modern fixations and timeless aspirations as how to create a great company culture (courtesy of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh) to how to be funny (courtesy of Alec Baldwin) to how to fight for justice (courtesy of Constance Rice) — neurologist, neuropsychiatrist, and prolific brain-book author Richard Restak offers some vital tips on how to optimize your brain, central to which is honing the capacity and performance of your memory: Donating = Loving

The Psychology Of Color "Color has long been understood to be something which appeals greatly to our visual senses, and it is frequently a tool utilized in marketing. Countless studies have found that particular colors have their own effects on consumers, with some colors stimulating areas of the brain in ways which will either promote excitement or tranquility. In this manner, corporations and popular businesses and brands can easily target their market simply by picking the right combination of colors to visualize their marketing campaign, logo, content and website. How are you incorporating color into your website design?" Take a look at the below infographic and learn how colors influence people.Click image to enlarge. Ultimately, the use of color in marketing and business can be fine tuned dependent on one's need. Courtesy of: homestead.

Brainman: Inside the Mind of an Autistic Savant by Maria Popova What the circumference of a circle has to do with on-demand polyglotism. With all the recent buzz about pitting a supercomputer against the sharpest human brains, it’s worth pausing and taking a moment of awe at the rare superhuman brains that serve as a reminder of mankind’s dormant potential. Entralled by Tammet’s exceptional brain, which makes him one of only about 50 such autistic savants living in the world today, scientists embark on a series of experiments testing the limits — or, as it turns out, the seeming limitlessness — of his cognitive prowess. I’m seeing things in my head, like mental sparks firing up, and it’s not until the very last moment that those sparks tell me what on earth they mean.” ~ Daneil Tammet What makes Tammet so remarkable isn’t merely that he was able to learn Icelandic in a single week, or that he broke the European record by reciting the number pi up to the 22,514th digit, or that he has accute synesthesia. Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr

Psychological Facts Psychology is a powerful thing. It’s responsible for so much of what we do in life whether we’re conscious of it or not. Luckily, we’re here to help enlighten you about your own brain. Here are eight powerful psychological facts that will help you understand a lot more about life. 1). Colors. Ever wondered why certains brands pick the colors they do for their logos? 2.) When complementing a child it’s better to focus on the hard work they put in to achieve the result rather than praising their intelligence. 3.) Video gamers are better at lucid dreaming than non-gamers. 4.) A pair of watching eyes whether real or not will make us all more honest, according to research from the University of New Castle. On the days when printed eyes were at the top of the price list rather than a picture of flowers the staff paid more for their coffee. 5.) When you’re in an argument be careful using the word “you”. 6.) Need a yes? When you’re asking someone for something make sure you nod your head. 7.) 8.)

How to Train Your Brain to Stay Focused As an entrepreneur, you have a lot on your plate. Staying focused can be tough with a constant stream of employees, clients, emails, and phone calls demanding your attention. Amid the noise, understanding your brain’s limitations and working around them can improve your focus and increase your productivity. Our brains are finely attuned to distraction, so today's digital environment makes it especially hard to focus. Related: 8 Tips for Finding Focus and Nixing Distractions While multitasking is an important skill, it also has a downside. To make matters worse, distraction feels great. Related: The Truth About Multitasking: How Your Brain Processes Information Ultimately, the goal is not constant focus, but a short period of distraction-free time every day. Try these three tips to help you become more focused and productive: 1. In order to focus effectively, reverse the order. 2. Related: 4 Ways to Disconnect and Get More Done Without Unplugging Completely 3.

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