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Everything posted by gib65

  1. Hello, I'm looking for studies that show the effect of selective rearing on various brain functions. What I understand by "selective rearing" is the phenomenon by which certain groups of neurons (that is, certain brain centers) develop more fully (i.e. acquire more neurons devoted to performing the function of that group or brain center) when they are stimulated more frequently. As an example, I've heard it said that children who are reared in a music rich environment will be more likely to develop a talent for music because all the music they are exposed to stimulates the music centers in the brain and brings about higher-than-average development of that center. I'm looking for as many studies as I can showing selective rearing at work on as many brain centers as possible. Can anyone help me by directing me to any such studies?
  2. This is all very stimulating conversation, but I'd like to get back to the original question: is there any evidence in the psychological sciences that supports the theory that women, being the more emotional sex, are thereby less rational, and also whether they have better emotional management skills than men.
  3. I second that. My guess is that it's always been an obvious fact (to both sexes) that women are more emotional, and it was therefore assumed that this made them less rational (i.e. heightened emotion = clouded rationality). But this is probably men projecting upon women what happens to themselves under emotional duress, and it was an easy excuse to claim proof that their perspective of women's irrational ways of thinking (because of what you just said--that either sex is irrational to the other) is accurate. Not implausible, if you ask me, but still just an assumption. This is not to say that emotion doesn't cloud rational judgment for the female sex, but that there may be no grounds to assume it happens to the same degree in women as it happens in men.
  4. There is a centry-old myth that men are more rational, women more emotional. Is this really true? While I have no doubt that women are more emotional than men, I don't think this impedes on their rationality. Speaking only from my personal encounters with women, their higher emotionality is compensated for by better emotional management skills. That is, they seem better equiped to manage their emotions and express them is socially and practically acceptable ways. They don't as often go off the hinge as men do. So with this better skill at managing emotions, perhaps their faculties of rationality and logic remain safe and untampered? I don't know. First, I'm asking whether the men-as-rational/women-as-emotion myth is supported by any evidence, and second, whether any evidence exists to support my interpretation that women are better equipped to manage their emotions, and if this means they can be just as rational as men.
  5. I barely understand the mathematics behind this (I am the farthest thing from an expert in this field) but I think I get the gist of what you're saying. I guess another way of asking this question is: does the quantum indeterminacy that applies to photons and other particles (with respect to their positions in space) apply equally to neutrinos... and I guess your answer is yes. But in respect to any force? Or any means of interaction whatsoever?
  6. Hello, A couple questions on neutrinos: 1) do they travel like photons? That is to say, as waves? 2) do they influence/interact with each other like charged particles do? For example, two electrons will repel each other due to their mutual negative charge. Do neutrinos affect each other in some way like this?
  7. Thanks everyone, that answers my question.
  8. I remember hearing several years ago that the existence of dark matter wasn't quite known, that scientists weren't yet comfortable talking about it as though it had been proven conclusively. Now-a-days, whenever I hear reputable sources talking about the subject, it's talked about as though it has finally become an established fact. My question: does the scientific community generally regard the existence of dark matter "proven"? If so, was this shift recent? What are some of the examples of evidence that recently came in (or have been in for a while) that encouraged scientist to take the attitude of certainty about dark matter's existence?
  9. Can you get interfaces that allow you to manipulate those formuli?
  10. Really? Well, that shoots down my idea. I had an idea for an App: a program that would allow you to bring up any scientific formula you want and would allow you to manipulate it in various ways. But if there's just that many formuli out there, it may turn out to be too big a project (not to mention too big to be loaded onto a computer).
  11. Is there a listing somewhere with all the formula of science recorded - something like the guiness book of world records except for all known scientific formuli?
  12. I understand that when one measures a particle's position, that measurement affects its momentum, and therefore its momentum becomes uncertain, but I don't understand how it works the other way around. How does measuring its momentum result in uncertainty about its position? Don't you need precise position measurements in order to get a measurement of momentum? I mean, maybe I'm thinking of this wrong, but isn't momentum measured by first taking a position measurement and a short time later taking another position measurement? Wouldn't you then calculate the velocity based on the distance traveled over the time between measurements and multiply by the particles mass to get its momentum? So you gather precise position measurements AND you gather, based on that, precise momentum measurements. Am I missing something?
  13. Yes, it's the startle response that I'm thinking of as associated with fear. But this "deciding whether or not the image is scary" sounds more like what we do when we get the impression that the image "looks" scary. This can be done in the absence of the actual feeling of fear, such as when we look at the poster for a horror movie.
  14. Hello, Please have a look at the diagram below. I made this. I'm trying to illustrate the pathways visual information takes in the case of fear stimuli. For example, seeing sharp fangs and piercing eyes. I'm trying to demonstrate how the fear reaction occurs independently of the actual seeing of the stimulus. I want to know if my diagram is correct. I'm trying to dispell the natural assumption that we get scared at sights like sharp fangs and piercing eyes because they look scary. Since the fear occurs (at the amygdala) prior to seeing the stimulus (in the visual cortex), it can't be the sight of the stimulus that scares us - it can only be a correlate. I would like to know if the diagram looks accurate to you.
  15. According to this article, the belief that alcohol kills brain cells is a myth. I thought this was a scientifically established fact. Is it not?
  16. Being introduced to the brain science, one typically learns about line detector neurons in area V1. But I don't recall learning about curve detector neurons. Are there any?
  17. For those who don't know, ayahuasca is a medicinal beverage with a long history among the amazonian shamans of central and south america. It typically consists of two brews which can be taken separately (one after the other) or mixed together. The first is a brew made from simmering the MAOI containing vine Banisteriopsis caapi in warm water, and the second is made the same way (simmering in warm water) with any of a variety of N,N-DMT containing plants (psychotria viridis, diplopterys cabrerana, mimosa hostilis, etc.). The caapi is important because without an MAOI, the N,N-DMT containing plant will not be psychoactive. At the site www.ayahuasca.com, there is a quote that describes the experience as follows: "It is an X-ray machine, not only of the health, but of the virtue, maturity, humility, and equilibrium of the person. Since very few of us are saints, the shock between what you think yourself to be and what you really are produces strong reactions... The truth is not that yajé is too strong for us, but that we are too weak for it... [it] is a battle and the field of combat is in your guts... All you have to do is to let the vine carry out its work, but without a sufficient experience... you are stuck between the nausea and your fear, which produces an unbearable anguish, because it is a nightmare that seems to have no end. The evil spirits that you see in this fix, which are reflections of the battle between the true and false self, take on a life of their own, so as well as the physical pain and distress of self-recognition, you have to deal with monsters.... The feedback between [the drinker's] fear and the fire in the guts drives the suffering into a spiraling descent, a circle so vicious and dizzying that he sometimes believes it will terminate in death.... There were still times when the terror was absolute, instants of dread that I will carry to my grave." -- Jimmy Weiskopf source: http://forums.ayahuasca.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=13107 Nonetheless, those who have gone through the experience swear by its healing power and many claim that their lives are better off for it. The shamans who practice the use of ayahuasca 'dreaming' (as they call it) are fully convinced that the plants involved are alive with spirit and communicate with the user and indeed are responsible for the "unbearable anguish" the subject undergoes. My question is this: what would a trained doctor in modern western (i.e. North American or European) think of this? Would he/she ever give credence to this practice or the practitioner's claims? I mean, first of all, both brews (the caapi and the DMT containing one) make one sick to the stomach and with enough will result in vomiting. Any doctor from the western tradition would take that as a sign that you are ingesting something that isn't good for you. Then there's the psychological toll: these are truly hellish experiences and can result in PTSD. Again, doesn't look good from a modern western perspective. Also, taking MAOIs is not like eating candy. Those who practice ayahuasca drinking properly know that there is a rigid diet to be followed at least a day before and after the consumption of ayahuasca. If this diet is not followed, the subject may suffer from hypertension, intense headache, and in rare cases death. Finally, the plain fact is that it's a drug! Marijuana or acid can give you profound spiritually uplifting and life changing experiences. Does that mean doctors should go ahead and recommend it to people like they do health food and exercise? Now I don't mean to convey any disrespect to other cultures' traditions, beliefs, or practices, but I see no reason not to allow myself to be disillusioned here. They are a culture, one among the world's plethora of them, and like any culture around the world and throughout history, they have their own beliefs, values, spirituality, practices, and if there's one thing that history teaches, it's that cultures can be... well, they can be wrong. They can be dramatically wrong. So from a modern western scientific perspective, how would medical experts look upon the practice and taking ayahuasca?
  18. That makes sense then. The photon doesn't have to start at some speed less than c because it is going at c the moment it is created.
  19. Yes, but where was that photon before it was emitted? Was it created at the moment of emission?
  20. So then what happens when the electron emits the photon? Is the photon created ex-nihilo?
  21. So then is the problem solved by saying m=0? That would mean F=0, which would mean it takes no force to get a photon moving, which means that a could be anything (even infinit), which means it could go from 0 to c in no time. Is it right to think of a photon as at rest before it is emitted by an electron (or at least going at the same speed as the electron)? Is the photon 'in' the electron?
  22. When a photon is emitted from an electron, is it instantly traveling at c? Doesn't this contradict F=ma*? Or, in other words, doesn't an object have to accelerate if it is to go from one speed (such as rest) to another (such as c)? *I know photons can be considered massless, but then why are they pulled down by gravity?
  23. What do you mean by this? How is "most of its mass" at rest at any point in the spaceship's travels? And how does this solve the paradox?
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