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Archive for March, 2013

Brain is a simple device

14.03.2013 1 comment

The video of a live brain at work is mind-blowing. From this video we can see how signals propagate through the brain. There is a lot we know about the brain, but there is still a lot we don’t know. Here are some of the things we do know:

  • It works in primitive animals, too. It just can’t process as much data as ours.
  • Apes are not as intelligent as we are. We evolved to be more intelligent than apes. This indicates that the basic architecture of the brain is encoded in DNA.
  • Some information is encoded in the DNA as well. Many animals immediately know what to do right after they are “born”, e.g. newborn lizards know how to hunt and zebras know how to walk.
  • When we sleep, the brain sorts all the information and learns. Sleep works like a feedback loop for learning.
  • Some time ago I read somewhere, but I can’t find the link right now, that only certain patterns of information passing through the brain is valid. For example, when single neurons fire, they are ignored. When they fire randomly, they are also ignored. But when nearby neurons fire together, they fire like a wave and the wave passes through the brain – then the actual processing happens. This explains why animals are better at seeing movement than seeing static images.

These and the video of a live brain at work may lead to the conclusion that overall the brain is quite simple, in its own complexity. Processing happens when the signals are passing through the layers of neurons in the brain. Brain is also a memory device, so the passing signals may retrieve information or may store it or enforce it during learning feedback loops.

The question that bothers me is: how do we think? I suspect thoughts are output through the same routes as speech, but instead of reaching the speech apparatus (vocal cords, face) they go back to the brain as input. That would explain why we often think as if we were leading a monologue, speaking to ourselves.

The more interesting thing is how the actual thought processing happens which leads to ideas and solutions. I suspect the information is just passing through appropriate parts of the brain which process it. The information is probably routed based on its type (numbers, words, images, etc.).

So how do you think?

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Categories: Universe

Daylight jetlag

12.03.2013 Leave a comment

Daylight saving is a popular topic these days. There is no proof that daylight saving really helps with anything nor that it has ever helped save energy. Yet all who live in daylight saving zones have to suffer from it.

The result of moving clocks one hour backward or forward is that most people experience a jetlag-like effect, because their rhythm has to suddenly change. So during the spring daylight saving event many people feel tired for a few days before they adjust.

Perhaps it’s time for legislators around the world to stop this madness?

Categories: Universe