Sunday, November 17, 2019

Specific neurons map location in the human brain

Illustration of parts of the brain - EPS VECTOR format also available in my portfolio.



Individual neurons appear to function as 'memory-trace cells' that track spatial memory. Virtual-reality tasks tested the patients' memory for object location. Spatial cognition is represented by "place cells" and "grid cells" in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex (EC), located in the side of the brain (so-called temporal lobe). The EC is also one of the first regions of the brain affected by the onset of Alzheimer 's disease. The new study has shown that individual neurons are connected to specific memories during recall, functioning as a GPS.

In the study, implanted electrodes were hooked to individual neurons in neurosurgical patients. The patients were asked to remember locations in a virtual-reality (VR) environment. Specific "memory-trace cells" tuned their activity to a particular place. Acting like a GPS, the neurons recorded the position in space and its memory. The activity of these neurons unmistakably identified the memory. 

The interconnection of space and memory in the brain tracks our experiences, which enables us to make fast decisions. Diseases, like Alzheimer's, may cause memory deficits by disrupting the activity of location cells. Enhancing flexibility to change might improve your resilience to the disease.


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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The importance of sleep for your body and your mind



Sleep is so critical for our bodies and minds that sleep deprivation can cause death without any morphological changes to the brain. It strengthens the immune system and helps regulate metabolism. It can clear out toxins that build up in the brain and prevent neurodegenerative diseases. All phases of sleep, from the lightest slumber to the deepest unconsciousness, are essential processes that allow our minds and bodies to recover from the messiness of our day. In the process, sleep improves learning and memory. 

Sleep deprivation makes us less intelligent, more forgetful. It makes our immune system function less efficiently, increasing the likelihood of disease. Abnormal sleep seems to play a role in many diseases like heart conditions, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Lack of sleep appears to damage gene function, the production of some hormones, and leads to premature aging and even early death.



Read more: 

You Need to Prioritize Sleep









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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Social change must go hand in hand with technological transformation

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Since the formation of the first city-states in ancient Mesopotamia, social structures went through an impressive evolution in search of a progressive and democratic social structure. Because technological progress has been closely intertwined with social changes in the past, the breathtaking speed of technological transformation is indicative of an incoming social upheaval. Increasing social tension in many parts of the world indicates that only serious reforms can address the current economic and social problems.

The internet represents the roughness and lawlessness of the wild west. Patients records are not safe in Hospitals, interference from foreign governments taints democratic elections, and company security is uncertain, in spite of enormous investments. The stability of financial systems depends on government intervention.

We are at a threshold of a dramatic technological leap that requires unprecedented changes in the social structure. Automatization is about to replace tedious jobs with positions that require creativity and intelligent decision-making. The incoming block technologies will increase the safety and security of social institutions and financial systems. The combination of cheap energy and mechanization will make significant increases in GDP possible.

Hundred years ago, social security and access to health care gave dignity to the aging population. In the twenty-first century, we need to extend similar protection to everyone. A security net from catastrophic events, such as major diseases will reduce crime, it will reduce bureaucracy, and it will liberate the human intellect. To protect the social fabric, the introduction of the universal basic income is necessary, as well. I believe the above changes will liberate the phenomenal human intellect. Because we do not trust the security of our future, we devote immense mental power to cheat others and the system. Trust in our government institutions, companies, the internet, and each other is only possible by feeling underlying security in the future. When people work for the common good instead, we will achieve incredible progress.





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Saturday, November 2, 2019

Mental Energy and the social brain





According to the philosopher Thomas Nagel, our greatest intellectual challenge is to explain the physical basis of mental processes. The physics of the mind is becoming a popular subject of scientific investigation. In emotional animals, a brain-based self-regulating system produces motivation. By integrating the animal's past, and present, the mind projects sensory experience to anticipate the future.

The brain's self-regulation is based on its ground state, the so-called resting-state networks. These dense connectivity hubs integrate information. The reliance on the continually changing mental and brain state on the constancy of the resting-state indicates its crucial importance for life. Stimulus evokes a repeating period, but the brain recovers its resting-state automatically. The evoked cycle is the energy cycle of the brain, which permits thermodynamic considerations. Thermodynamics examines the relationship between all forms of energy.

Every evoked cycle changes the complexity of the brain's neural network and mental energy. Mental energy or intrinsic motivation is a long-term ability based on mental fluidity that allows trust, belief, and confidence. It enables a consistent exertion of mental effort toward achievement. It increases future freedom, predicts enhanced performance, learning, and creativity, and it plays a vital role in personality development and wellness across life.  

Positive emotions evoke a cycle that increases mental energy and mental freedom. They increase confidence, trust, immune function, and other parameters of health. Confidence and ambition are drivers of progress because ambitious people choose more challenging jobs, they solve more challenging problems and pick the hard, more thorough path toward success.

When we form negative emotions, the cycle runs in the reverse direction. Therefore, it accumulates information, which reduces mental energy. Information-rich states reconstruct the past and cause regret, rumination, and remorse, which cause anxiety, insecurity, and depression. The lack of mental energy might play a role in psychiatric diseases and might be a detectable first signal before functional and anatomical changes. Publications by respected laboratories show that the loss of mental energy might be the harbinger of AD, schizophrenia, other mental diseases, and immune problems. 

Keep yourself happy, and your mind will reward you with achievement and health. 


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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

How to introduce order into your life

photo of man hugging tan dog



A regular daily feeding and walking schedule can effectively rehabilitate abused and neglected dogs. Children also thrive on the predictability and organization in their lives. Consolidating our daily, weekly routine into a regular, predictable activity provides a reassuring balance, which can reduce stress. Breaking up big tasks into manageable steps with deadlines increases the likelihood of completion. Organizing tasks based on importance and urgency allows you to manage your workflow effectively. 

The mind projects expectations for the future based on experiences; even without a detailed plan, it constructs action steps toward clear objectives. Freeing yourself of regrets, pains, and mental chaos can form an orientation toward goals. 

PERSONAL WEAKNESS Procrastination, things providing immediate gratification, often handicaps accomplishments. Some people have difficulty starting expansive projects. Some others have trouble streamlining and finishing their work. Perfection, the constant upgrading of expectations, and subjective reasons can postpone your finish time indefinitely. Rain-in your shortcomings by maintaining a strict discipline throughout the project. 

FINANCES You are the center of your universe. Honor your unique position with your financial choices. Increase your access to time by getting services, gadgets that save time spent on mindless tasks. Empty entertainments are like empty calories; they leave you spent and scattered. Experiences of beauty, learning, happiness, and joy improve your mental strength, patience, and persistence. 

Our financial security greatly influences our attitude toward money. As starvation creates an insatiable appetite for food, a constant lack generates a scarcity mindset, which increases the tendency to accumulate clutter. The resulting penny-pinching, the use of coupons, watching for deals and garage sales, causes aimlessness and lack of focus. 

Confident about their welfare, the wealthy have a greater appreciation for the quality of life by choosing vacations and entertainments. Their relaxed attitude encourages choices toward well-being and wealth, whereas the poor are locked in an endless struggle for survival.

Picture credit: Eric Wand


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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The thermodynamic Brain and Mental Energy





The connection between the mind and the brain is a fascinating puzzle. Idealism, represented by Kant, Hegel asserts the primacy of consciousness, whereas materialists, such as Dennett, and Churchland considers the mind an illusion produced by brain circuits and mechanisms. Incongruences between the mind and the brain-inspired dualism, a separation of physical and mental states.
The psyche was not subject to a scientific investigation until recent scholarly work on the physics of the mind. In emotional animals, the brain produces motivation. A temporal projection of sensory experience integrates the organism's past, present, and future into an abstract mental world.
The brain's self-regulation sustains a ground energy state, the so-called resting-state networks (RSNs). Their activity increases in the absence of external stimuli. Information integration formulates a highly abstract representation.
Neuronal activation is built on the resting potential, and the brain’s evoked states are founded on the resting state. The recurring activation cycle in both systems is governed by thermodynamic principles, such as the reversed Carnot or the Carnot cycle, a theoretical ideal thermodynamic cycle. The first process controls the future and enhances intellect and future freedom of action, whereas the second one reconstructs the past. Emotional states are related to the brain's energy level.
Because the resting states maintain the constancy of the self while representing the energy potential of the mind, the effort is relative. Reduction of mental energy might be a diagnostic tool before the occurrence of functional and anatomical changes in Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, psychiatric disorders, and immune problems.
Establishing the energy nature of emotional states can inspire progress in neurology, psychiatry, psychology, and social sciences. Greater understanding of the thermodynamic processes of the brain’s intelligent computational power will allow the development of novel techniques and applications in the rapidly changing fields of AI and robotics.




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Sunday, September 1, 2019

The importance of happiness

Image result for happiness images


In hierarchic societies of the past, the economic necessity to use brute force and tedious work made intellect unnecessary and even dangerous. In the past one hundred years, we experienced a breathtaking technological transformation. Hard physical labor was replaced by machines, whereas human intellectual involvement is increasingly important at every level in the corporate world and society.

The recognition that conflicts and problems between employees tax morale, degrade efficiency, and shorten the time spent on work led to increasing awareness and focus on the human side of the work environment. However, changing personal behavior is a generational problem, which originates in the home environment. In their first years, children absorb behavioral, emotional, and intellectual patterns by observing and copying the family environment. This powerful mental legacy hands the cultural fabric of society to the next generation. Unfortunately, parents also project accumulated fears and less than perfect emotional coping mechanisms onto their children. Thus, children grow up with a rigid mindset from the past and carry emotional triggers that predispose them to failure in modern society.

Emotional instability leads to attention problems, which make it impossible to absorb the school material and handicap a person’s ability to achieve his full potential. People are often willing to hold onto a job that they do not like, in the hope to buy happiness. However, satisfaction is not a commodity that can be purchased, but it is the result of an active, optimistic life. In this sense, happiness means doing meaningful work and satisfying the thirst for the betterment of the self. It is a dynamic, challenging state that feeds on accomplishments. It is a feeling of being an organic part of family, community, and society. It is a constant mental growth that leads to confidence and a belief in the future.

The American Constitution names the pursuit of happiness as a human right. I believe, in the not too distant future, well-being itself is going to be a human right.




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