You could double the number of synaptic connections in a very simple neurocircuit as a result of experience and learning. The reason for that was that long-term memory alters the expression of genes in nerve cells, which is the cause of the growth of new synaptic connections. When you see that at the cellular level, you realize that the brain can change because of experience. It gives you a different feeling about how nature and nurture interact. They are not separate processes.
Eric R. Kandel, Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist.
This is a short video in which neuroscientist Ramachandran makes a really great work at explaining the fascination of mirror neurons.
[…] there is no real independent self,aloof from other human beings, inspecting the world,inspecting other people.You are, in fact, connected not just via Facebook and Internet,you’re actually quite literally connected by your neurons.And there is whole chains of neurons around this room, talking to each other.And there is no real distinctivenessof your consciousness from somebody else’s consciousness.
I’ve received a lot of questions about this today, I suggest everyone interested to watch this.
The Fairy Fellers’ Master-Stroke by Richard Dadd (1817-1886). Richard Dadd was an Enlish painter who developed a mental illness, something like skizophrenia, and underwent a dramatic personality change becoming delusional and violent. He murdered his father and attempted to kill another man. His life and work are the subject of a book by Nicholas Tromans.
Frans de Wall, a biologist and “monkey watcher”, author of The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society, says that human morality has its biological basis in the need to cooperate to survive, reproduce, and pass genes.
For most of the last century one of the central dogmas of neuroscience was that the brain couldn’t grow new cells once embryonic development was ended. In 1980 Fernando Notthebhom found evidence that “the adult canary brain undergoes seasonal changes in size. Males sing to serenade females, but the song-producing brain regions decrease dramatically in size after breeding season. The following spring, they are regenerated by neurogenesis so the male can learn new songs." Nowadays adult neurogenesis is one of the hottest topics in neuroscience.
In 1374 strange episodes were reported across Europe. People started dancing, uncontrollably, screaming, shouting and singing, appearing to neither see or hear nothing but their hallucinations. These events are known as dancing plague.
Are babies super?A reasoned critique to development psychology studies claiming babies have incredible hidden abilities.
The great snare of the psychologist is the confusion of his own standpoint with that of the mental fact about which he is making his report. I shall hereafter call this the ‘psychologist’s fallacy’ par excellence.
The failing in recognizing the difference between a proportionate response to a devastating emotional event and a mental illness carry the risk to make a caricature of psychiatry. Psychiatrists must think better.
Ray Kurzweil is convinced that ”[…] by 2020 we’ll have computers that are powerful enough to simulate the human brain […] By 2029 […] we will have completed the reverse engineering of the human brain.”