What Will I Say Next? An excerpt from How Could Conscious Experiences Affect Brains? by Max Velmans
…In speech, for example, the tongue may make as many as twelve adjustments of shape per second—adjustments which need to be precisely coordinated with other rapid, dynamic changes within the articulatory system. According to Lenneberg (1967), within one minute of discourse as many as ten to fifteen thousand neuromuscular events occur… Continue Reading
Plastic Alternatives Update I recently discovered two new products that I’ve added to my list of plastic alternative recommendations: a water bottle for kids and a toddler sippy cup. Click below to see the full list.
“I’m Saving Lives”
A couple of weeks ago, I was rear-ended by a driver who was texting. I felt immediate relief that the accident hadn’t been worse and that my kids weren’t in the car with me. But then I started to think about all the people who haven’t been so lucky—all the people who have died, or lost a child, as a result of mindless cell phone use… Continue Reading
The Power of Believing That You Can Improve A TEDx Norrkoping Talk by Carol Dweck
Dr. Dweck explains the power of responding to children with “Not Yet” when they’re having trouble understanding. If they are told “Not Yet”, they experience a problem as one they can solve given time and guidance, rather than something they have “failed”. Instead of setting children up for failure, low self-esteem, and cheating, we can help them become curious, interested in learning, and excited by a challenge!
2015 TED Talk: How Our Microbes Make Us Who We Are By Rob Knight This is a truly fascinating subject, and it reminds me of the research on parasites that affect behavior. If you’re interested in reading more, there was a great article in the New York Times by Natalie Angier in 2007: In Parasite Survival, Ploys to Get Help From a Host
My Plastic Alternative Recommendations After reading the recent Mother Jones article “The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics,” I started to take health concerns about plastic more seriously. Previously, I figured that the problem of BPA had been addressed, and that as long as products were free of this toxic ingredient, our sippy cups, bottles, and containers were safe. However, it turns out that even more hazardous chemicals are being used in the production of plastics, and when the same guys (literally) who tried to help protect the tobacco industry are now helping protect the plastics industry, we know we have a problem. I’ve spent some time looking for alternative products for our children, and I thought others might benefit from my research and trial and error.
A Tour of the Andromeda Galaxy On January 5, NASA released an image of the Andromeda galaxy, our closest galactic neighbour, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The full image is made up of 411 Hubble images, takes you through a 100 million stars and travels over more than 40,000 light years. The awe inspiring video below by @daveachuk zooms in on the photo. There are no words…
Sebastian Seung’s Quest to Map the Human Brain
by Gareth Cook Using crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence, a Princeton neuroscientist is hoping to map the intricate wiring of the human brain. If he succeeds, could we live forever as data?
Your Inner Fish An excerpt from Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5 Billion-Year
History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin
… No matter how different the species look as adults, as tiny embryos they all go through the same stages of development. To fully appreciate the importance of this, we need to look again at our first three weeks after conception…
The Emotional Past An excerpt from Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are by Joseph LeDoux
…According to the mood congruity hypothesis, memories are more easily retrieved when the emotional state at the time of memory formation matches the state at the time of retrieval. For example, we are more likely to remember sad than happy events when depressed…
Watching The Movie Of Our Life An excerpt from The Mind’s Past, by Michael Gazzaniga
Starting in the mid-1950’s, although not publishing his results until the mid-1960’s, Benjamin Libet tweaked the scientific world with the question, “How long must a stimulus occur before we become conscious of it?”…