Aphantasia is a condition where one does not possess a functioning mind's eye and cannot voluntarily visualize imagery. The phenomenon was first described by Francis Galton in 1880 but has since remained largely unstudied. Interest in the phenomenon renewed after the publication of a study in 2015 conducted by a team led by Professor Adam Zeman of the University of Exeter, which also coined the term aphantasia. Research on the condition is still scarce.
- "Aphantasia" | 2019-06-24 | 85 Upvotes 72 Comments
Bicameralism (the condition of being divided into "two-chambers") is a hypothesis in psychology that argues that the human mind once operated in a state in which cognitive functions were divided between one part of the brain which appears to be "speaking", and a second part which listens and obeys—a bicameral mind. The term was coined by Julian Jaynes, who presented the idea in his 1976 book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, wherein he made the case that a bicameral mentality was the normal and ubiquitous state of the human mind as recently as 3,000 years ago, near the end of the Mediterranean bronze age.
- "Bicameralism (Psychology)" | 2019-07-06 | 51 Upvotes 29 Comments
The enteric nervous system (ENS) or intrinsic nervous system is one of the main divisions of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and consists of a mesh-like system of neurons that governs the function of the gastrointestinal tract. It is capable of acting independently of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, although it may be influenced by them. The ENS is also called the second brain.It is derived from neural crest cells.
The enteric nervous system is capable of operating independently of the brain and spinal cord, but does rely on innervation from the autonomic nervous system via the vagus nerve and prevertebral ganglia in healthy subjects. However, studies have shown that the system is operable with a severed vagus nerve. The neurons of the enteric nervous system control the motor functions of the system, in addition to the secretion of gastrointestinal enzymes. These neurons communicate through many neurotransmitters similar to the CNS, including acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin. The large presence of serotonin and dopamine in the gut are key areas of research for neurogastroenterologists.
- "Enteric nervous system" | 2017-12-02 | 18 Upvotes 6 Comments
The hypothesis of linguistic relativity, part of relativism, also known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis , or Whorfianism is a principle claiming that the structure of a language affects its speakers' world view or cognition, and thus people's perceptions are relative to their spoken language.
The principle is often defined in one of two versions: the strong hypothesis, which was held by some of the early linguists before World War II, and the weak hypothesis, mostly held by some of the modern linguists.
- The strong version says that language determines thought and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories.
- The weak version says that linguistic categories and usage only influence thought and decisions.
The principle had been accepted and then abandoned by linguists during the early 20th century following the changing perceptions of social acceptance for the other especially after World War II. The origin of formulated arguments against the acceptance of linguistic relativity are attributed to Noam Chomsky.
- "The reason why Blub programmers have such a hard time picking up more powerful languages." | 2007-09-29 | 7 Upvotes 28 Comments
Modafinil, sold under the brand name Provigil among others, is a medication to treat sleepiness due to narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, or obstructive sleep apnea. While it has seen off-label use as a purported cognitive enhancer, the research on its effectiveness for this use is not conclusive. It is taken by mouth.
Common side effects include headache, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and nausea. Serious side effects may include allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, Stevens–Johnson syndrome, misuse, and hallucinations. It is unclear if use during pregnancy is safe. The amount of medication used may need to be adjusted in those with kidney or liver problems. It is not recommended in those with an arrhythmia, significant hypertension, or left ventricular hypertrophy. How it works is not entirely clear. One possibility is that it may affect the areas of the brain involved with the sleep cycle.
Modafinil was approved for medical use in the United States in 1998. In the United States it is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance. In the United Kingdom it is a prescription only medication. It is available as a generic medication. In the United Kingdom it costs the NHS about £105.21 a month as of 2018. In the United States the wholesale cost per month is about US$34.20 as of 2018. In 2016, it was the 284th most prescribed medication in the United States, with more than a million prescriptions.
- "Modafinil" | 2010-07-17 | 17 Upvotes 23 Comments
Pain in babies, and whether babies feel pain, has been a large subject of debate within the medical profession for centuries. Prior to the late nineteenth century it was generally considered that babies hurt more easily than adults. It was only in the last quarter of the 20th century that scientific techniques finally established babies definitely do experience pain – probably more than adults – and developed reliable means of assessing and of treating it. As recently as 1999, it was commonly stated that babies could not feel pain until they were a year old, but today it is believed newborns and likely even fetuses beyond a certain age can experience pain.
- "As recently as 1999, we thought babies couldn't feel pain till they were 1yo" | 2018-10-12 | 10 Upvotes 7 Comments
Psychedelic agents in creative problem-solving experiment was a study designed to evaluate whether the use of a psychedelic substance with supportive setting can lead to improvement of performance in solving professional problems. The altered performance was measured by subjective reports, questionnaires, the obtained solutions for the professional problems and psychometric data using the Purdue Creativity, the Miller Object Visualization, and the Witkins Embedded Figures tests. This experiment was a pilot that was to be followed by control studies as part of exploratory studies on uses for psychedelic drugs, that were interrupted early in 1966 when the Food and Drug Administration declared a moratorium on research with human subjects, as a strategy in combating illicit use.
- "Psychedelics in problem-solving experiment" | 2014-08-30 | 167 Upvotes 47 Comments
Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals. Early symptoms can include fever and tingling at the site of exposure. These symptoms are followed by one or more of the following symptoms: violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, an inability to move parts of the body, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Once symptoms appear, the result is nearly always death. The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months, but can vary from less than one week to more than one year. The time depends on the distance the virus must travel along peripheral nerves to reach the central nervous system.
Rabies is caused by lyssaviruses, including the rabies virus and Australian bat lyssavirus. It is spread when an infected animal bites or scratches a human or other animal. Saliva from an infected animal can also transmit rabies if the saliva comes into contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose. Globally, dogs are the most common animal involved. In countries where dogs commonly have the disease, more than 99% of rabies cases are the direct result of dog bites. In the Americas, bat bites are the most common source of rabies infections in humans, and less than 5% of cases are from dogs. Rodents are very rarely infected with rabies. The disease can be diagnosed only after the start of symptoms.
Animal control and vaccination programs have decreased the risk of rabies from dogs in a number of regions of the world. Immunizing people before they are exposed is recommended for those at high risk, including those who work with bats or who spend prolonged periods in areas of the world where rabies is common. In people who have been exposed to rabies, the rabies vaccine and sometimes rabies immunoglobulin are effective in preventing the disease if the person receives the treatment before the start of rabies symptoms. Washing bites and scratches for 15 minutes with soap and water, povidone-iodine, or detergent may reduce the number of viral particles and may be somewhat effective at preventing transmission. As of 2016, only fourteen people had survived a rabies infection after showing symptoms.
Rabies caused about 17,400 human deaths worldwide in 2015. More than 95% of human deaths from rabies occur in Africa and Asia. About 40% of deaths occur in children under the age of 15. Rabies is present in more than 150 countries and on all continents but Antarctica. More than 3 billion people live in regions of the world where rabies occurs. A number of countries, including Australia and Japan, as well as much of Western Europe, do not have rabies among dogs. Many Pacific islands do not have rabies at all. It is classified as a neglected tropical disease.
- "Milwaukee Protocol" | 2015-12-14 | 31 Upvotes 2 Comments
- "Milwaukee protocol (treating rabies without the vaccine)" | 2009-08-12 | 12 Upvotes 1 Comments
Saccadic masking, also known as (visual) saccadic suppression, is the phenomenon in visual perception where the brain selectively blocks visual processing during eye movements in such a way that neither the motion of the eye (and subsequent motion blur of the image) nor the gap in visual perception is noticeable to the viewer.
The phenomenon was first described by Erdmann and Dodge in 1898, when it was noticed during unrelated experiments that an observer could never see the motion of their own eyes. This can easily be duplicated by looking into a mirror, and looking from one eye to another. The eyes can never be observed in motion, yet an external observer clearly sees the motion of the eyes.
The phenomenon is often used to help explain a temporal illusion by the name of chronostasis, which momentarily occurs following a rapid eye-movement.
- "Saccadic masking" | 2014-08-03 | 10 Upvotes 1 Comments
The Weber–Fechner law refers to two related hypotheses in the field of psychophysics, known as Weber's law and Fechner's law. Both laws relate to human perception, more specifically the relation between the actual change in a physical stimulus and the perceived change. This includes stimuli to all senses: vision, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.
- "Weber–Fechner law" | 2018-06-13 | 32 Upvotes 6 Comments