March 26, 2013
Meme Engine: Blindness and Super-Vision

memeengine:

image

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Attentive readers will know that I have begun a new book: “The man who mistook his wife for a hat”, by Oliver Sacks. The title is not a clever metaphor. Oliver Sacks is a neurologist, and the book contains many case studies involving patients with right-brain injuries of various sorts,…

Please do follow the link to the page of memeengine. His blog favors the heady philosophical puzzles encountered in cognitive science, but don’t let that put you off. No matter how opaque or convoluted the subject, MemeEngine’s clear prose never fails to engage and edify his readers.

February 5, 2013
metaconscious:

One of the stranger personality assessments.

This test is actually used to sort out humans from replicants, so to ensure your privacy, please park your chewing gum over your webcam before proceeding.

metaconscious:

One of the stranger personality assessments.

This test is actually used to sort out humans from replicants, so to ensure your privacy, please park your chewing gum over your webcam before proceeding.

(Source: metaconscious)

May 15, 2012
"The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens into that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was a conscious ego, and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach."

Carl Jung, The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man (via frenchtwist)

March 20, 2012

"Some years ago some psychologists did a study in which they sat some Buddhists monks and some regular folks in a room and wired them up to EEG machines to record their brain activity. They told everyone to relax, then introduced a repetitive stimulus, a loudly ticking clock, into the room. The normal folks’ EEG showed that their brains stopped reacting to the stimulus after a few seconds. But the Buddhists just kept on mentally registering the tick every time it happened. Psychologists and journalists never quite know how to interpret that finding, though it’s often cited. It’s a simple matter. Buddhists pay attention to their lives. Ordinary folks figure they have better things to think about."
—anonymous (found here via ageofreason)

November 22, 2011
metaconscious:

Amnesiac cellist astounds doctors with musical memory
German musician who lost nearly all memory after contracting herpes encephalitis can learn new pieces of music
A professional cellist who lost nearly all of his memory after a virus destroyed parts of his brain has astonished doctors with his remarkable recall of music.
The 71-year-old, known only as PM, had played with a major German orchestra before contracting the infection that devastated his brain’s memory centres in 2005.
The illness left the musician with such profound amnesia he could remember almost nothing of his past and was unable to plan for the future. The only people he recognised were his brother and a care worker.
“He can hardly remember a thing. He has no memory of any personal or professional events,” Carsten Finke, a neurologist at Charité university hospital in Berlin , told the Guardian. “He is living in the moment, more or less. He has lost his whole life.”
Doctors made their discovery when they tested PM’s ability to recall musical information and found he could identify the scales, rhythms and intervals of pieces they played him. The man went on to score normally on a standard test for musical memory.
But it was later tests that surprised doctors most, when the cellist showed he could learn new pieces of music, even though he failed to remember simple information, such as the layout of his flat, who his doctors were and what medicines he should take.
The case could help doctors understand how different kinds of memories are stored in the brain. Finke cites another patient who in 1996 lost all comprehension for music after having surgery that damaged his superior temporal gyrus.
“Musical memory seems to be stored independently, at least partially, of other types of memory,” Finke said.
Doctors now hope that PM’s ability to learn music can be used to improve his rehabilitation. One idea is to use musical notes to signify people and various tasks, such as taking medicine or calling someone.
“He cannot remember most of the things we will tell him, but musical aspects he can learn and remember, so it might be a gateway to reach this patient and allow him to learn new things,” Finke said.
Professor Alan Baddeley , who studies human memory at the University of York, said the case was similar to that of Clive Wearing,  the British conductor and musician who became deeply amnesiac after contracting herpes encephalitis in 1985. Wearing can still play and conduct a choir despite having no recollection of his musical training, or much of his life before 1985.
“Dramatic cases like this make a point that memory isn’t unitary. Musical memory is a skill, like riding a bicycle,” Baddeley said.
(via Guardian)

metaconscious:

Amnesiac cellist astounds doctors with musical memory

German musician who lost nearly all memory after contracting herpes encephalitis can learn new pieces of music

A professional cellist who lost nearly all of his memory after a virus destroyed parts of his brain has astonished doctors with his remarkable recall of music.

The 71-year-old, known only as PM, had played with a major German orchestra before contracting the infection that devastated his brain’s memory centres in 2005.

The illness left the musician with such profound amnesia he could remember almost nothing of his past and was unable to plan for the future. The only people he recognised were his brother and a care worker.

“He can hardly remember a thing. He has no memory of any personal or professional events,” Carsten Finke, a neurologist at Charité university hospital in Berlin , told the Guardian. “He is living in the moment, more or less. He has lost his whole life.”

Doctors made their discovery when they tested PM’s ability to recall musical information and found he could identify the scales, rhythms and intervals of pieces they played him. The man went on to score normally on a standard test for musical memory.

But it was later tests that surprised doctors most, when the cellist showed he could learn new pieces of music, even though he failed to remember simple information, such as the layout of his flat, who his doctors were and what medicines he should take.

The case could help doctors understand how different kinds of memories are stored in the brain. Finke cites another patient who in 1996 lost all comprehension for music after having surgery that damaged his superior temporal gyrus.

“Musical memory seems to be stored independently, at least partially, of other types of memory,” Finke said.

Doctors now hope that PM’s ability to learn music can be used to improve his rehabilitation. One idea is to use musical notes to signify people and various tasks, such as taking medicine or calling someone.

“He cannot remember most of the things we will tell him, but musical aspects he can learn and remember, so it might be a gateway to reach this patient and allow him to learn new things,” Finke said.

Professor Alan Baddeley , who studies human memory at the University of York, said the case was similar to that of Clive Wearing,  the British conductor and musician who became deeply amnesiac after contracting herpes encephalitis in 1985. Wearing can still play and conduct a choir despite having no recollection of his musical training, or much of his life before 1985.

“Dramatic cases like this make a point that memory isn’t unitary. Musical memory is a skill, like riding a bicycle,” Baddeley said.

(via Guardian)

(Source: metaconscious)

November 19, 2011
Are You Firmly In Charge? Are You Sure?

majidrazvi:

Consider the vast percentage of your actions that are unintentional!

Your heart’s just pumpin’ along for eighty years, the lungs huff puff all day every day, and here we are self-identifying as a tiny invisible voice that spouts mostly-nonsense and may or may not have causal efficacy.

We troll ourselves 24/7.

(via majidrazvi-deactivated20121111)

November 14, 2011

freudiunslip:

Brand new RSA animation: “The Divided Brain”

Everything you think you know about the brain is probably wrong and based on old research that’s become popular wisdom.


(Source: iheartchaos, via auroralights-rory)

October 23, 2011
xezene:

“The life of [a] man is a dubious experiment. It is a tremendous phenomenon only in numerical terms. Individually, it is so fleeting, so insufficient, that it is literally a miracle that anything can exist and develop at all.Life has always seemed to me like a plant  that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the  rhizome. The part that appears  above ground lasts only a single summer.  Then it withers away — an  ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the  impression of absolute  nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we  see is the blossom, which  passes. The rhizome remains.In the  end the only events in my life worth telling are those when the imperishable world irrupted into this transitory one. All other memories of travels, people, and my surroundings have paled beside these interior happenings. Many people have participated in the story of our   times and written about it; if the reader wants an account of that, let him turn to them or get somebody to tell it to him. Recollection of the outward events of my life has largely faded or disappeared. But my encounters with the “other” reality, my bouts with the unconscious, are indelibly engraved upon my memory. In that realm there has always been wealth in abundance, and everything else has lost importance by comparison.”Carl Jung

xezene:

“The life of [a] man is a dubious experiment. It is a tremendous phenomenon only in numerical terms. Individually, it is so fleeting, so insufficient, that it is literally a miracle that anything can exist and develop at all.

Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away — an ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains.

In the end the only events in my life worth telling are those when the imperishable world irrupted into this transitory one. All other memories of travels, people, and my surroundings have paled beside these interior happenings. Many people have participated in the story of our times and written about it; if the reader wants an account of that, let him turn to them or get somebody to tell it to him. Recollection of the outward events of my life has largely faded or disappeared. But my encounters with the “other” reality, my bouts with the unconscious, are indelibly engraved upon my memory. In that realm there has always been wealth in abundance, and everything else has lost importance by comparison.”

Carl Jung

(via suburban-gerbil-deactivated2013)

September 10, 2011

Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

Money is a sufficient motivation for menial tasks. However, monetary rewards only interfere with higher-order cognitive tasks (!)

Might our future be post-economic?

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