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  • March 15, 2014
  • 12:40 PM

The Power of Conscious Intention Proven At Last?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A neuroscience paper published before Christmas draw my eye with the expansive title: “How Thoughts Give Rise to Action“ Subtitled “Conscious Motor Intention Increases the Excitability of Target-Specific Motor Circuits”, the article’s abstract was no less bold, concluding that: These results indicate that conscious intentions govern motor function… until today, it was unclear whether conscious […]The post The Power of Conscious Intention Proven At Last? ........ Read more »

  • March 3, 2014
  • 10:00 AM

Creatine: Guest Post from Beauty by the Geeks

by Alex Giffen in Antisense Science

Creatine. A molecular gem that you’ve probably heard of in the context of exercise and working out in the gym. Creatine is used as a supplement by gym-goers and sporty folk when they want to get more out of their workout. It comes from both endogenous and exogenous sources, being produced in the liver and coming from dietary meat and fish.

It’s a compound which can give a runner that extra bit of explosive energy or a weight-lifter a little more strength. This nitrogenous organic........ Read more »

Bemben MG, & Lamont HS. (2005) Creatine supplementation and exercise performance: recent findings. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 35(2), 107-25. PMID: 15707376  

Brosnan JT, da Silva RP, & Brosnan ME. (2011) The metabolic burden of creatine synthesis. Amino acids, 40(5), 1325-31. PMID: 21387089  

Cooper R, Naclerio F, Allgrove J, & Jimenez A. (2012) Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 33. PMID: 22817979  

  • February 23, 2014
  • 02:08 PM

Disconnecting Consciousness from the External Environment

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

An very interesting report from a group of French neurosurgeons sheds light on the neural basis of consciousness and dreams. Guillaume Herbet and colleagues describe the case of a 45 year old man in whom electrical stimulation of a particular spot in the brain “induced a dramatic alteration of conscious experience in a highly reproducible […]The post Disconnecting Consciousness from the External Environment appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Herbet G, Lafargue G, de Champfleur NM, Moritz-Gasser S, le Bars E, Bonnetblanc F, & Duffau H. (2014) Disrupting posterior cingulate connectivity disconnects consciousness from the external environment. Neuropsychologia, 239-244. PMID: 24508051  

  • January 22, 2014
  • 04:52 PM

We Are Each A Community

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Lactobacillus (the purple rod-shaped things) is a common bacterial species in reproductive tracts. Image by Janice Carr from the CDC at Wikimedia Commons. In our world of antibacterial soaps, we have learned that bacteria are evil, dirty, sickness-causing agents to be eliminated at all costs. Although some bacteria can cause sickness, bacteria in general are actually a critical component of animal bodies. A human body has ten times as many bacterial cells as human cells and a hundred times........ Read more »

Archie, E.A., & Theis, K.R. (2011) Animal behaviour meets microbial ecology. Animal Behaviour, 425-436. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.05.029  

  • January 20, 2014
  • 12:45 AM

Kooky history of the quantum mind: reviving realism

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

One of my hobbies in undergrad was to spend time reading and editing Wikipedia. Towards the end of my studies, I started to specialize in going through Wikipedia’s fat-tail, removing articles to non-notable individuals, and trying to counter pseudoscientists, kooks, and cranks. Trying to understand why people subscribe to pseudoscience; how to demarcate real and […]... Read more »

  • January 15, 2014
  • 06:51 AM

Differences in rhythmic cognition between human and non-human primates?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Despite their genetic proximity, human and non-human primates differ in their capacity for beat induction, which is the ability to perceive a regular pulse in music or auditory stimuli and accordingly align motor skills by way of foot-tapping or dancing.... Read more »

Merchant, H., & Honing, H. (2013) Are non-human primates capable of rhythmic entrainment? Evidence for the gradual audiomotor evolution hypothesis. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7(274). info:/

  • January 5, 2014
  • 06:11 PM

Known Unknowns

by Rebecca Schwarzlose in Garden of the Mind

Why no one can say how much is safe to drink while pregnant... Read more »

  • January 1, 2014
  • 05:52 PM

Metabolism and Body Size Influence the Perception of Movement and Time

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Zoetropes like this one have been used for almost 2000 years. If you look in the slits from the side, the image appears to be animated. Image by Andrew Dunn at Wikimedia Commons.When we watch TV or a movie, we are essentially watching a series of still images presented in rapid succession… so rapid, in fact, that we perceive them to be a single moving image. The ability of movie-makers to convince us that still images are fluid in time is based on our physiology. Specifically, moving-pictures,........ Read more »

  • December 31, 2013
  • 05:45 PM

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Missing Replication

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

In 1959 at the University of Cambridge, C.P. Snow delivered his (now infamous) Rede lecture on the Two Cultures of science and humanities (or his derogatory term for the latter — ‘literary intellectuals’). Although Snow was both a writer and a scientist, his lecture was largely anti-humanities. It is unclear if the divide between science […]... Read more »

Kempster, P.A. (2006) Looking for clues. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 13(2), 178-180. DOI: 10.1016/j.jocn.2005.03.021  

  • December 29, 2013
  • 10:23 AM

Rhythm cognition in humans vs monkeys explained?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

This week a theoretical paper will come out in Frontiers in Neuroscience that reviews the literature on rhythm and timing in humans and nonhuman primates observing different species to species behavior in interval-based timing versus beat-based timing.... Read more »

Merchant, H., & Honing, H. (2013) Are non-human primates capable of rhythmic entrainment? Evidence for the gradual audiomotor evolution hypothesis. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7(274). info:/

  • December 27, 2013
  • 01:12 PM

Determinism and Indeterminism

by Perikis Livas in Chilon

If the discussion about a determinist or an indeterminist nature already becomes acute at the level of physics and even more intense if it concerns the question of life and the evolution of its forms, the debate reveals its greatest importance when it refers to consciousness and the freedom of the human being.
Further Reading and links... Read more »

Franck, Juan F., & Vanney, Claudia E. (2013) Determinism and Indeterminism: From Neuroscience to Philosophy. Austral University. info:/

  • December 22, 2013
  • 08:04 AM

Quantum Theory Won’t Save The Soul

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Could quantum mechanics save the soul? In the light of 20th century physics, is free will plausible? Such as been the hope of some philosophers, scientists (and pretenders to those titles) – but neuroscientist Peter Clarke argues that it’s just not happening, in an interesting new paper: Neuroscience, quantum indeterminism and the Cartesian soul Clarke […]The post Quantum Theory Won’t Save The Soul appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • November 28, 2013
  • 04:45 PM

Ashtanga Yoga – The Intensely Physical & Athletic Yoga

by Mansi Goel in Workout Trends

Ashtanga Yoga, the eight limbed yoga, is not just a set of breath synchronized physical exercises but a complete way of life, a rich philosophical way[1]. Beginners complain about its difficulty level, some raise question, that if yoga aims at freeing yourself then why is it itself bound by rules?

Well, all I can say is you gotta understand the principle and embody them to know the true meaning of freedom everyone so screams about.

History & Origin

The founder of yoga, as we all know, w........ Read more »

Javnbakht, M., Hejazi Kenari, R., & Ghasemi, M. (2009) Effects of yoga on depression and anxiety of women. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 15(2), 102-104. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2009.01.003  

  • November 15, 2013
  • 10:45 AM

Random Brain Waves Save Free Will?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A new paper adds to the perennial free will debate, by casting doubt on the famous Libet experiment. Back in 1983, neuroscientists led by Benjamin Libet found that, about two seconds before someone presses a button ‘of their own free will’, a negative electrical potential – dubbed the Readiness Potential (RP) – began to build […]The post Random Brain Waves Save Free Will? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • November 6, 2013
  • 04:00 AM

Are all models wrong?

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

George E. P. Box is famous for the quote: “all models are wrong, but some are useful” (Box, 1979). A statement that many modelers swear by, often for the wrong reasons — usually they want preserve their pet models beyond the point of usefulness. It is also a statement that some popular conceptions of science […]... Read more »

Box, G. E. P. (1979) Robustness in the strategy of scientific model building. Robustness in statistics. info:/

  • October 27, 2013
  • 07:56 AM

When equipment fails: paws and assess

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Photo: Steven PamThere is an industry in Australia that relies on an integral piece of equipment, but the system behind product development process is flawed, and lives are at stake. From farm dogs to military explosive detection dogs, guide dogs to greyhounds, Australia’s working and sporting dog industry claims a 50-70% fail rate as normal. The welfare of these dogs is intimately linked to their working performance. It can be an emotive topic, so let’s take the emotion out of it and o........ Read more »

  • October 23, 2013
  • 12:29 PM

Are Dolphins More Intelligent than Humans?

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Years ago when I was in the Navy, whenever we pulled out of port I’d watch dolphins glide along in front of our ship jumping out of the water in spectacular fashion. Their sheer power and beauty are difficult to describe unless you’ve witnessed them first-hand. As I’d watch them swim along in such graceful … Read More →... Read more »

  • October 20, 2013
  • 07:18 AM

The Colorful Case of the Philosophical Zombie?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

The philosophical zombie, or p-zombie, is a hypothetical creature which is indistinguishable from a normal human, except that it has no conscious experience. Whether a p-zombie could exist, and whether it even makes sense to ask that question, are popular dinner-table topics of conversation amongst philosophers of mind. A new case report from Swiss neurologists […]The post The Colorful Case of the Philosophical Zombie? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • October 19, 2013
  • 04:44 PM

Why Spinoza Was Excommunicated

by Perikis Livas in Chilon

...Spinoza seems to have taken his herem in stride. By this point he had lost his religious faith such as it was, and, as his secular philosophical studies progressed under the direction of Franciscus van den Enden, his Latin tutor, he was drifting away from engagement with Jewish religious traditions and toward ancient and modern republican political theory, classical Latin literature, and especially the writings of René Descartes, the great French philosopher...... Read more »

Steven Nadler. (2013) Why Spinoza Was Excommunicated. Humanities. info:/

  • October 19, 2013
  • 07:29 AM

The Selective Clearance of Senescent Cells – a Promising Target for Ageing

by Robert Seymour in NeuroFractal

When cells are put under stress (e.g. UV light, ionising radiation, reactive oxygen species) they undergo a process known as cellular senescence in which cell division (mitosis) is arrested. This is thought to contribute to ageing. In their 2013 paper Naylor and colleagues outline a strategy to selectively remove in vivo senescent cells expressing p16Ink4A .... Read more »

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