We Are All Bewildered Machines

Bewilderment is the antidote to scientific reductionism. BY KEVIN BERGER When did you realize you were a machine? A fancy machine, for sure. But one whose parts and operations can be described like the components of a computer. I remember a day in 2012 when this thought pierced me to the bone. I was in the lab of John Donoghue at Brown University. Donoghue is a professor of neuroscience and a pioneer in the development of brain-computer interfaces. With easygoing authority, Donoghue was detailing for me the ways he and his colleagues taught Cathy Hutchinson, a 58-year-old woman who had … Continue reading We Are All Bewildered Machines

Our Brains Could Actually Have Bacteria Living Inside, New Evidence Suggests

Bacteria in a slice of brain tissue, to the left of a blood vessel (Roberts et al) by PETER DOCKRILL The microbes that inhabit the human gut are thought to be responsible for many things, affecting our health, our genes, and even our emotions. Scientists are continually making new discoveries about the scale and influence of the human microbiome, but the latest evidence is particularly startling: this thriving bacterial kingdom might not be alone, but could be linked to a separate “human brain microbiome” that resides in your head. The findings, which are only preliminary at this stage, were recently presented at a poster session at the Neuroscience … Continue reading Our Brains Could Actually Have Bacteria Living Inside, New Evidence Suggests

I Have 13 Identities: What It’s Like to Live With Multiple Personality Disorder

GETTY IMAGESJONATHAN KNOWLES Now called dissociative identity disorder, it’s one of the most misunderstood mental health conditions. Here, a deep-dive into the realities. By Rose Minutaglio Maybe it was ghosts. That was one possible explanation for what was happening to Amelia Joubert. Other guesses, some from doctors, some from family: voices, anxiety, an imaginary friend, schizophrenia—or maybe it was nothing at all. Here’s what Amelia had to go on: Sometimes she would get a test back and not remember taking it, items would end up in her shopping cart that she didn’t recall putting there, it would be Friday when she … Continue reading I Have 13 Identities: What It’s Like to Live With Multiple Personality Disorder

Is ‘mindfulness’ all in your head?

(iStock)  By Dr. Henry I. Miller, Mia Zaharna  How many times have you heard someone say to a person who is angry and agitated, “Hey, take a few deep breaths and chill.” Well, it works, and there’s now a physiological explanation for it.  And for the popularity of the “mindfulness” phenomenon, which has spread rapidly worldwide. (A Google search for the word yields more than 138 million hits!) Located deep in the brainstem, there is a tiny cluster of neurons that links respiration to feelings of relaxation, attention, excitement and anxiety. Called the “pacemaker for breathing,” it communicates the activity in the brain’s … Continue reading Is ‘mindfulness’ all in your head?

What makes us? Nature or nurture? The DNA debate comes back to life

image edited by Fernando Kaskais Bobby Shafran, Eddy Galland and David Kellman, three identical twin brothers who are the subject of the new documentary Three Identical Strangers. Photograph: Neon Films An extraordinary new documentary about identical triplets who were separated at birth has reignited the debate over the dominance of DNA in controlling our behaviour and the way we live our lives by Robin McKie Robert Shafran’s first inkling that his life would soon be turned on its head occurred on his first day at college in upstate New York in 1980. His fellow students greeted him like a long-lost friend. … Continue reading What makes us? Nature or nurture? The DNA debate comes back to life

Psychopaths are attracted to other psychopaths

New psychological research suggests that psychopaths are attracted to others with their same disposition. by MIKE COLAGROSSI A study found that people with psychopathic traits are more likely to be attracted to others on the same psychopathic spectrum. Psychopathic qualities include lack of empathy, lack of remorse, and other antisocial traits. Psychopathic traits aren’t that attractive to non-psychopathic individuals. There’s nothing in our society that rings more alarm bells than the prospect of psychopathic behavior. These traits are the most undesirable qualities a person can have. Impulsive, cold, removed and more likely to commit aggressive and antisocial acts, the image … Continue reading Psychopaths are attracted to other psychopaths

Our children are being exposed to 10,000 chemicals through the food they eat

 by: Isabelle Z. (Natural News) If you’ve ever taken the time to look over the ingredients label on food products, there’s a good chance you’ve found some words you aren’t familiar with. While many people look out for the bad ingredients that grab a lot of headlines, like high-fructose corn syrup and nitrates, there are a lot of others that seem to slip under most people’s radar. If an unfamiliar ingredient is near the bottom of the ingredients list, many people simply shrug it off and assume the product contains so little of the ingredient in question that it won’t make … Continue reading Our children are being exposed to 10,000 chemicals through the food they eat