Archive for the ‘Brain’ Category

Ancient Sea Creature Brain Discovered in China

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Anomalocaridids.

That’s the name for a bucket of strange insect-like creatures with terrifying pincers that crawled around on the ground billions of years ago and ate other, not-as-scary insect-like creatures with only semi-terrifying pincers that crawled around on the ground billions of years ago.

Chinese scientists have recently discovered the fossilized brain tissue of a group of animals called Lyrarapax unguispinus, a fun group of nasty creatures that have no modern day relatives save for a much smaller worm that isn’t quite as terrifying found in the tropics.

Dear scientists…just keep working on the cute, furry woolly mammoth. These don’t need to come back.

Ever.

[Washington Post]

Man Hears People Speak Before Their Lips Move!

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Who hasn’t made fun of old, out-of-sync kung fu movies or Godzilla movies?

But what if you woke up one day and that’s how you actually saw/heard the world?

That’s currently how only one person ever known to science now hears/sees the world.

After surgery for a heart problem, the guy, simply known as PH started noticing something odd:

“I was staying with my daughter and they like to have the television on in their house. I turned to my daughter and said ‘you ought to get a decent telly, one where the sound and programme are synchronised’. I gave a little chuckle. But they said ‘there’s nothing wrong with the TV I told my daughter her living room TV was out of sync. Then I noticed the kitchen telly was also dubbed badly. Suddenly I noticed that her voice was out of sync too. It wasn’t the TV, it was me.”

While there is a TON of medical terminology that we could throw around here to explain in detail what’s going on, we’ll simplify it.

PH actually hears people BEFORE he sees their lips move! Not only that but PH also realized that it’s not just other people he’s looking at as they speak..it’s his own words too! PH hears the words he’s saying BEFORE he feels his jaw move!

Since light and sound move at different speeds from the point of origin our brain is set up to process them so that they all sync. While no one’s really sure how the brain makes all this work, scientists are even more confused now that PH and his unique situation has entered the playing field.

Scientists are continuing to study what’s happened to PH because he’s the only person in the world to ever have this happen…

Unless it’s triggered in all of us while we watch late-night kung fu and Godzilla movies.

[New Scientist]

Researchers Record the Moment of Inception…in a Hungry Zebrafish. We’re Next!

Friday, February 1st, 2013

‘Squirrel!’

Ever wonder what it looked like at the inception point of a thought? Like when your watching ‘fail videos’ online and you do that mental cringe at the exact moment that you’re watching someone sledding down a hill on an oil-pan and suddenly the shot pans far enough to see the gaggle of unattentive people about to meet said oil-pan driver?

Wonder no more!

Researchers in Japan have actually filmed that ‘Oh $#%*!’ moment…

In a zebrafish.

Watch the video. That sudden flash of light takes place the moment the fish noticed food being put into the tank. Zebrafish aren’t going to be taking over the world anytime soon with all of their incredible cerebral abilities, but that was the point of this…to record the inception of a thought in a more simple brain simply to see if it could be done.

A double-transgenic larva was embedded in agarose, and a spot was presented on an LCD display placed on the right-eye side. Ca2+ signals were detected on the left tectum upon appearance (ON) and disappearance (OFF) of the spot. The spot was shown for the first 3 s in this 6 s movie. The video is shown at 3x real time.

Experiments are expected to take place on more advanced brains way too soon.

We could sit around all day and come up with scenarios about this stunning breakthrough.

But if you were a zebrafish, we’d already know that.

[Gizmodo]

Doctors Put Woman’s Skull In Her Belly!

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Hell’s Canyon is a name where you actually expect weird stuff to happen on a regular basis. Knowing that Hell’s Canyon is in Idaho only makes it worse.

For 36 year-old American beauty queen Jamie Hilton it got worse.

During a fishing trip to Hell’s Canyon with her husband, Jamie stumbled and slammed her head causing severe swelling and other complications.

In an attempt to save her life, doctors removed a quarter of her skull to prevent the swelling from causing any more damage.

When the mother of three, a former Mrs Idaho, woke from the operation she found a lump in her stomach and a large portion of her head missing. Mrs Hilton posted a photo of the skull in her abdomen on her blog entitled ‘Miracles… believe in them’ as well as a photo showing a scar running the length of her head.

That’s where her little skull-friend stayed too…for 42 days!

When Jamie had recovered from the first portion of the surgery, it was time to remove the incubating skull-piece from her belly and return it to her dome. You’d think science and medicine would’ve come up with some kind of awesome adhesive at this point like ‘Gorilla Bone & Organ Glue” but nah…

Using industrial strength staples, doctors stapled the skull piece back into place, sewed her pretty little noggin’s fleshy covering back up and called it a day.

Jamie is currently in recovery, doing well and happy as can be.

Guess who’s going to be the ‘astronaut at the table’ when it comes to her interview at the next beauty pageant? Yup…the chick who carried her own skull in her belly like a baby.

Winning!

[Metro.Co.UK]

I Know Kung-Fu: Super Fast, Unconscious Matrix-Style Learning Possible

Monday, December 12th, 2011
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New research out of Boston University and the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan suggests that the kind of super-fast “information upload” style learning upgrades imagined in the Matrix films could be a reality.

…researchers could use decoded functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to induce brain activity patterns to match a previously known target state and thereby improve performance on visual tasks…

The finding brings up an inevitable question. Is hypnosis or a type of automated learning a potential outcome of the research?

“In theory, hypnosis or a type of automated learning is a potential outcome,” said Kawato. “However, in this study we confirmed the validity of our method only in visual perceptual learning. So we have to test if the method works in other types of learning in the future. At the same time, we have to be careful so that this method is not used in an unethical way.”

In fact, the results during experimentation were most prominent on those who did not know what skills they would be learning from their fMRI. In testing, they showed an improved aptitude at the tasks after the treatment.

[NSF.gov]

New Illusion Demonstrates How Our Brains Construct A 3D Illusion From 2D Image

Thursday, December 8th, 2011
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New research has shown the there are specific, consistent patterns that create the illusion of 3D images in our brains. It is created by stimulating specific nerve cells. Researchers created a 2D image designed to excite those nerves specifically and found surprising results.

“We created the images by taking random noise and smearing it out across the image in specific patterns. It’s a bit like finger painting, except it’s done by computer”, explains Roland Fleming, Professor of Psychology at the University of Giessen. “The way the texture gets smeared out is not the way texture behaves in the real 3D world. But it allows us to selectively stimulate so-called ‘complex cells’ in visual cortex, which measure the local 2D orientation of patterns in the retinal image”.

The cells in question read boundaries in images.

[Medical Express]