Neuroscience Can Reliably Read Our Minds

It finally happened. Neuroscience technology can now reliably read our minds. Its an accepted fact that is no longer in dispute. Scientists working at the University of California, Berkeley, have successfully decoded brain activities into audible sounds. In other words, our inner thoughts can be translated into sounds clearly articulated by a computer. Needless to say, there are a whole lot of caveats attached to this claim. For a start, in order to make this kind of reading possible, it requires some 256 electrodes be surgically attached to the scalps of at least 15 volunteers. Furthermore, theres a minefield of ethical issues attached to this endeavor that needs to be sorted out.


Source: http://www.fastcompany.com/1814327/neuromarketing-buyology-branding-marketing-martin-lindstrom-decoded-brain-activities

Your Brain is Automatic. You Are Free.

Michael Gazzaniga, one of the world’s leading researchers in cognitive neuroscience, describes the mystery of free will:If you think about it this way, if you are a Martian coming by earth and looking at all these humans and then looking at how they work you wouldntit would never dawn on you to say, Well, now, this thing needs free will! What are you talking about?Whether you are a parent, a philosopher, or the CEO of Facebook, it’s a concept that youll inevitably have to bang your head against — the individual right to choose what one does, what one doesn’t do, what one is exposed to. Most of us are certain that we have free will, though what exactly this amounts to is much less certain, says theencyclopedia of philosophy.


Source: http://bigthink.com/ideas/42384

A pretty woman stops men behaving badly

If the man in your life is suddenly on his best behaviour, have a look around.Men apparently become nicer, kinder and more caring when there is a beautiful woman nearby.Women, however, feel less of a need to impress and remain true to themselves, even when there is a handsome chap hovering in the wings.


Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2095721/Why-pretty-woman-stops-men-behaving-badly–fairer-sex-different-story.html

People are batteries that can power your robotic hearts

A new range of artificial, electrically-powered organs are now under development, including hearts, kidneys, and bladder sphincter, and work has begun on fully-functioning artificial limbs such as hands, fingers, and even eyes. But they all have one Achilles heel: they need electricity to run.  The fuel cells are made from a compressed push of enzymes and carbon nanotubes.

At heart, biofuel cells are incredibly simple. They are made of two special electrodes – one is endowed with the ability to remove electrons from glucose, the other with the ability to donate electrons to molecules of oxygen and hydrogen, producing water.

Pop these electrodes into a solution containing glucose and oxygen, and one will start to rip electrons off the glucose and the other will start dumping electrons onto oxygen. Connect the electrodes to a circuit and they produce a net flow of electrons from one electrode to the other via the circuit – resulting in an electrical current.Glucose and oxygen are both freely available in the human body, so hypothetically, a biofuel cell could keep working indefinitely. “A battery consumes the energy stored in it, and when it’s finished, it’s finished. A biofuel cell in theory can work without limits because it consumes substances that come from physiological fluids, and are constantly being replenished,” said Dr Cosnier.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15305579

Brain Myth – Your Memory Is An Exact Account of What You See and Experience


Myth 2: Your Memory Is An Exact Account of What You See and Experience

Some of us have better memories than others, but no memory is perfect. If you need proof, close your eyes and try to imagine the face of someone you know. In fact, try to imagine your own face. While you’ll be able to conjure up a decent idea of the way you or anyone else looks, you won’t be able to envision every last detail. This is because our memories don’t recall anything we see, hear, sell, taste, or touch with much detail at all. Instead, as psychologist Dan Gilbert points out in his book Stumbling On Happiness, our brains record the seemingly necessary details and fill in the rest when it’s time to remember:[T]he elaborate tapestry of our experience is not stored in memory-at least not in its entirety. Rather, it is compressed for storage by first being reduced to a few critical threads, such as a summary phrase (“Dinner was disappointing”) or a small set of key features (tough steak, corked wine, snotty waiter). Later, when we want to remember our experience, our brains quickly reweave the tapestry by fabricating-not by actually retrieving-the bulk of the information that we experience as a memory. This fabrication happens so quickly and effortlessly that we have the illusion (as a good magician’s audience always does) that the entire thing was in our heads the entire time.Gilbert’s conclusions come from memory researcher Daniel Schacter, who believes the construction of memory is very similar to the way we imagine the future:We have argued in recently that memory plays a critical role in allowing individuals to imagine or simulate events that might occur in their personal futures. We have further suggested that understanding memory’s role in future event simulation may be important for understanding the constructive nature of memory, because the former requires a system that allows flexible recombination of elements of past experience, which may also contribute to memory errors.While a little common sense and life experience can demonstrate the imperfections in your (and everyone else’s) memory, Schacter’s research points to two important things: we’re no good at recalling past events or imagining the future because our process for doing either is essentially the sameat least as far as our brain functionality is concerned. While this points to much more of a problem than a solution, it certainly helps to remember that no memory is perfect and we’re all designed to recall with error. Next time someone gets something wrong, it’s at least worth remembering that.


Source: http://lifehacker.com/5867049/nine-stubborn-brain-myths-that-just-wont-die-debunked-by-science

Brain Myths: Left-Brained People Are Organized, Right-Brained People Are Creative

 

Myth 1: Left-Brained People Are Organized, Right-Brained People Are Creative

We’re a stubborn people who become set in our ways, so it’s no wonder we want to believe that our inclination towards creativity or organized thinking is decided at birth. The right- or left-brained myth suggests we’re simply fulfilling a version of our genetic destiny and we should accept our strengths and weaknesses as part of who we are. But as Lisa Collier Cool points out in her article for Yahoo Health, we’re not really right- or left-brained at all:This myth began in the 1800s, where doctors discovered that injury to one side of the brain frequently caused loss of specific abilities. Brain scan experiments, however, show that the two halves of the brain are much more intricately linked than was originally thought, so problem-solving or creative tasks fire up activity in regions of both hemispheres of the brain, not just half. It is true that the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa, so a right-brain injury can cause disability on the left side of the body.More recently this myth has been used as an attempt to explain creativity, dyslexia, and even homosexuality in left-handed people, but the origin of the southpaw is still a mystery. Whether or not there is a compelling link between right- or left-handedness and specific common traits remains to be seen, but rest-assured that being more creative or more organized doesn’t inhibit you from having a talent for both.

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5867049/nine-stubborn-brain-myths-that-just-wont-die-debunked-by-science

What is Reality and the Reality Matrix?

A New Theory of Reality

What is Reality?

Our brain receives data from our senses:

  • Visual data from our eyes
  • Auditory data from our ears
  • Gustatory data from our tongue
  • Olfactory data from our nose
  • Somatosensory data from our skin and nerves

Our brain takes all this data and creates a virtual world experience that we call reality.

We remember state in the form of engrams or memories which allow us to perceive change.

How do we change reality?

With intention, we take actions that change “reality” which at its basic levels alters our data stream which changes our stored state of what we remember.

When we go to sleep, our brain is explicitly cutting off our senses and creating a feedback loop where a brain generated reality is fed into the input of those senses creating an alternative world that we call “dreaming”.

When we are dreaming, we typical believe we are in “reality” except when we are lucid and are able to realize we are in this sleep dream state, in which case we are able to create and control our “dream world” with explicit intention.

To put it simply, when we believe it is not reality we create our experience explicitly. So either reality has external rules and structure that we must follow or our consciousness creates them when we believe we are in “reality”.

So at it’s most basic level, reality is a very personal and subjective data stream that we are able to influence through intention and attention.

What is Time?

Now let’s think about time. Conventional thought is that time flows naturally in the forward direction in progression of one event after the next. The term “time travel” is used to convey moving your awareness to a different event in the sequence either in the future or the past of where you think you are now (where your attention is).

If we completely throw away this concept of time and time travel, then we can posit something much more interesting and reflective of what we really experience.

Time is a data stream of input into our senses and, when we direct our attention to a different data stream, we have a different reality.

What is the Reality Matrix?

In essense, we could be simple static entities using intention, attention and self-reflection to change the content of our data stream thereby forming a reality with a variable time rate (sequence of discrete events) and even arbitrary content within the universal content of history (both past and future).

We perceive time as a thread of events. An event at the lowest level are sub-atomic particles interacting with each other in a certain way and producing a new arrangement resulting from quantum uncertainty (which is to say we don’t know what happens at that level). Quantum mechanics poses that every possible outcome is true when a event is in a quantum superposition. This means everything happened. So we have a universe where there is a matrix of every single possible arrangement of reality in which our consciousness travels a multi-dimensional path through this space time matrix. Our consciousness, our attention collapses the superposition and creates a path through the matrix we call our history and life situation.

We have certain cognitive tools available to us for whatever unknown reason. Those tools allow us to navigate a path through the reality matrix which is what we call “living”. Some examples of tools we use are “walking”, “manipulating”, “looking”, “talking”. All these are simply abstractions of an unknown mechanism that moves our consciousness through the reality matrix creating the illusion of causality.

To use a simple analogy, You’re standing in a city with a standard grid street layout at the cross section of street 1, avenue 1… and you were just born. You walk a block and you’re at street 1, avenue 2… you just experienced a month of life with all the richness, joy and pain that block provided. Now you have a choice, you can got to street 1, avenue 3 or street 2, avenue 2. Both cross sections exist, but your consciousness can only go to one place because that is the nature of our single threaded experience of time.

But all nodes are available to you if you have the right tools and use them in such a way to enter that node.

The Existential Universe

At the most highest level we could simply be the universe with infinite threads of consciousness traveling EVERY single path on the reality matrix. This level is pointless to talk about since we are limited to a single threads of something we can’t perceive or comprehend.

Shadows and Mirrors

We’re really trying to see ourselves, where are we… what is consciousness. But you cannot perceive yourself, so we can never truly know. We are looking at mirrors and shadows to create models of what we can barely piece together by looking at the impact we make on our data stream of reality which is constantly shifting us to different nodes on the Reality Matrix.

If we take what we perceive as absolute reality, then we are deluding ourselves.

Of course what I’ve written here is by definition a finite model of an infinite reality.


Notes:

  • This article is alive.  I welcome feedback and I will update this theory from time to time.
  • If you share this article, I will get more feedback and update it more often
  • Please comment and share this article

Brain Talking to Itself a Sign of Counsciousness

Scientists have long hunted for a pattern of brain activity that signals consciousness, but a reliable marker has proved elusive. For many years theorists have argued that the answer lies in the prefrontal cortex, a region of high-level processing located behind the forehead; neural signals that reach this area were thought to emerge from unconscious obscurity into our awareness. Recent research, however, supports the idea that consciousness is a conversation rather than a revelation, with no single brain structure leading the dialogue.


Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-conversation-in-the-brain

Legal Synthetic Marijuana 3 to 5 Times More Potent Than The Real Thing

Marijuana, K2 and other synthetic marijuana variants contain active chemicals that cause psychoactive effects when consumed. They are part of a class of compounds known as cannabinoids. The cannabinoid in marijuana is the naturally occurring delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. The Johnson County Crime Lab in Kansas has identified two synthetic cannabinoids in K2: JWH-018 and JWH-073. Cannabinoids act by binding to two types of nerve receptors known as CB1 and CB2. Both receptors are linked to proteins that regulate neurotransmission


Source: http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2010/02/17/legal-substance-mimic-marijuana-has-harmful-effects/

Lab Created Marijuana Can’t Be Detected by Drug Tests

increased availability and use of synthetic cannabinoids, which when smoked mimic the effects of marijuana but typically cant be detected in drug tests.

Source: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2011/11/18/what-is-synthetic-pot-and-whys-it-causing-heart-attacks-in-teenagers

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