Depth psychology. Jungian symbolism. Psychedelic drugs. Mystery religions. fMRI scans. Dream states vs. awake states. Functional connectomics. Animal consciousness. Neural correlates of the ego and the unconscious mind. All in a one-hour conversation. On Episode 16 of The Connectome Podcast, … Continue reading “Your Brain on LSD” – Podcast 16: Robin Carhart-Harris
New neuroscience discoveries about consciousness keep popping up all the time — but where’s the line between abstract philosophy and hard science? On Episode 14 of The Connectome Podcast, Ben is joined by Bernard Baars, one of the founding fathers … Continue reading “The Hard Science of Consciousness Research” – Podcast 14: Bernard Baars
On the second Connectome podcast, I muse about three of the hottest topics in neuroscience today: what “consciousness” might be, how it relates to dreams, and how drugs can play some strange tricks on that relationship. Click here to play or download: If the SoundCloud link doesn’t play, you can download the original mp3. Enjoy, and feel free to email us questions and suggestions for next time! (Produced by Devin O’Neill at The Armageddon Club) Continue reading “Consciousness, Dreams & Drugs” — Podcast 2
I’ve just returned from a thrilling weekend at the BIL Conference in Long Beach, California (yes, the pun on “TED” is very intentional) where I met all kinds of smart, fun people – including lots of folks who share my love for braaaiiins! So I thought I’d introduce you guys to some of the friends I made. I think you’ll be as surprised – and as excited – as I am. Backyard Brains Their motto is “neuroscience for everyone” – how cool is that? They sell affordable kits that let you experiment at home with the nervous systems of insects … Continue reading Neuroscience Friends!
Yup, this is what we’re doing today. I finally got to see Deathly Hallows Part 2, and it got me thinking about neuroscience like frickin’ everything always does, and I came home and wrote an essay about the nature of consciousness in the Harry Potter universe. And we’re going to talk about it, because it’s the holidays and can we please just pull it together and act like a normal family for the length of one blog post? Thank you. I really mean it. Besides, I guarantee you that this stuff is gonna bug you too once I’ve brought it … Continue reading Harry Potter and the Nature of the Self
The brain activity of lucid dreamers – people who become aware that they’re in a dream state – shows some interesting similarities with that of people who are awake, says a new study. By studying the brain activity of lucid dreamers under electroencephalograms (EEGs) and fMRI scans, researchers have found that activity in the somatosensory and motor cortices – regions crucial for touch and movement, respectively – show very similar activation patterns during lucid dreams to those they display when people make or imagine those same movements while awake. Though dreams have fascinated philosophers and scientists since the dawn of history … Continue reading Brain Scans & Lucid Dreams
For the first time, scientists have successfully communicated with patients trapped in vegetative bodies. As a report published in the journal NeuroImage explains, these patients’ thought patterns come through quite clearly on an fMRI scanner, and they’re able to respond to questions in ways that demonstrate that they understand what’s being asked: To answer yes, [one patient] was told to think of playing tennis, a motor activity. To answer no, he was told to think of wandering from room to room in his home, visualising everything he would expect to see there, creating activity in the part of the brain governing spatial … Continue reading Inside the Vegetative Mind