Are you aware that the bulk of current scientific knowledge has been discovered in the past ten years? And that many of the most original results have appeared in the last year? Can you imagine where we will be ten years from now? This blog is intended to be an exploration of a paradigm shift I expect to see in the scientific understanding of the connection between mind and the material world. Posts will look at scientific discoveries, as they appear, in the fields of neuroscience, animal behavior, microbiology, molecular biology, evolution and biophysics, and explore their relevance to the emerging view of mind as an integral aspect of nature.


Vocal Learning Similarities in Songbirds and Humans

Artistic Birds

As more animals are found to have advanced cognitive ability, it is clear that the human brain is not the model for all advanced abilities. There are animals that have greater capacities; and those with similar capacities can use very different brain structures. Intelligence evolved a number of different ways. Last week 28…


Complexity of the Glia Neuromuscular Junction

B0004108 Poly-innervated neuromuscular junctions

Most of us take bodily movement for granted. But, in fact, it is a very complex collaboration of many different systems—the long nerves of the pyramidal system, the fine-tuning of the extrapyramidal system and constant sensory feedback. The partnership of nerve and muscle occurs at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ)….


Neuronal Networks and Brain Waves

Synapse

Along with 80 billion neurons and 800 trillion constantly changing connections, individual neurons use very precise rhythms and groups of neurons oscillating together in very specific frequencies. The perplexing relationship of neuronal networks and brain waves is critical to future understanding of the brain. The many…


Neuron Networks in Healthy and Diseased Brains

Network

The dream of mapping the brain rests on the notion that the trillions of connections between 80 billion neurons form networks that are correlated with mental states. Please see the post, Limits of Current Neuroscience, for a discussion of the many complications in this approach, including the importance of brain waves,…


Does Cognitive Ability Improve In Old Age

AS0000186F02 Elderly lady, portrait

While decrease in physical strength and speed are seen in the elderly, brain changes are less clear. There is a common belief that the elderly gradually loose some mental capacities. But, is this true? Recent research shows the surprising fact that elderly brains are often better than younger brains for many tasks. This is…