Tala Ko

Posts Tagged ‘brain

Messing with your body clock may have bad effects on learning and retention. (I’m looking at you, Gella and Mikko.)
clipped from www.sciencedaily.com
The circadian rhythm that quietly pulses inside us all, guiding our daily cycle from sleep to wakefulness and back to sleep again, may be doing much more
hamsters whose circadian system was disabled by a new technique Ruby and his colleagues developed consistently failed to demonstrate the same evidence of remembering their environment as hamsters with normally functioning circadian systems.
hinge on the amount of a neurochemical called GABA, which acts to inhibit brain activity
circadian clock controls the daily cycle of sleep and wakefulness by inhibiting different parts of the brain by releasing GABA
if the hippocampus – the part of the brain where memories are stored – is overly inhibited, then the circuits responsible for memory storage don’t function properly
performed terribly on a simple learning task, even though they’re getting loads of sleep
circadian system really is necessary for something that is deeply important: learning
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It seems that belief in some kind of afterlife isn’t learned.

This is a great article, with plenty of scientific and philosophical food for thought. I just clipped two quotes that struck me, plus something about the Baby Mouse study; I highly recommend you check out the whole article at the source.

clipped from www.sciam.com
Consider the rather startling fact that you will never know you have died. You may feel yourself slipping away, but it isn’t as though there will be a “you” around who is capable of ascertaining that, once all is said and done, it has actually happened. Just to remind you, you need a working cerebral cortex to harbor propositional knowledge of any sort, including the fact that you’ve died—and once you’ve died your brain is about as phenomenally generative as a head of lettuce.
clipped from www.sciam.com
Because we have never consciously been without consciousness, even our best simulations of true nothingness just aren’t good enough.
clipped from www.sciam.com
The simulation-constraint hypothesis posits that this type of thinking is innate and unlearned.
One couldn’t say that the preschoolers lacked a concept of death, therefore, because nearly all of the kids realized that biological imperatives no longer applied after death. Rather they seemed to have trouble using this knowledge to theorize about related mental functions.
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