Neuroscience

Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

What the New Science of Touch Says About Ourselves

"The foundation of human relationships is all touch... There are four years of touch exchanged between mother and baby... Our bodies are membranes in the world, with sensation and meaning passing seamlessly through them. Our experience of our bodies—the things they feel, the moves they make, and the textures and the people they touch—is our primary experience of our minds."[Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Embodied Cognition: Why Our Brains Are Not Computers

“"Intellectual history shows that since it’s hard to understand the brain, we’re tempted to say it’s whatever the hottest new thing in technology is... Yet a brain, the miraculous mushy gray matter that it is, is not a switchboard or hydraulic pump or mill or slate or computer. A brain is a brain — inside of a body. And it’s within that body, and with that body, that a brain (and its human) navigate the world." [Read Article]

Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

A Woman’s Experience Working Among Men

"Of course, individuals are going to have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, but science does provide some broad insight into differences between men and women. '...on average, men are more likely better at learning and performing a single task at hand, like cycling or navigating directions, whereas women have superior memory and social cognition skills, making them more equipped for multitasking and creating solutions that work for a group.'” [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Incarnated Cognition: The Brain-Body Divide is Wrong

"A broad, burgeoning field called embodied cognition... argues that cognitive processes aren’t separate from senses and motor functions... 'The body, the gut, the senses, the immune system, the lymphatic system, are so instantaneously and so complicatedly interacting with the brain that you can’t draw a line across the neck and say ‘above the line it’s smart and below the line it’s menial' ...Most of Western culture is tilted toward an abstracted intelligence that ignores or denigrates sensorimotor knowledge” [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

The Loss of Wonder

"Our ability to access information is becoming nearly unlimited. It’s an amazing human achievement that is a testament to our cleverness and to the power of applied math and engineering. But what does the loss of that gap in time between wondering and knowing mean to your brain? Soon, with the right kind of brain interface we may even be able to think of a question and the answer will pop into our heads. Then it’s goodbye to the wonder gap..." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Does Memory Manipulation Technology for PTSD Go Too Far?

"...Let’s take the concept of erasing memories that are associated with a traumatic event... [T]his technology could make the difference between a life of pain and suffering or recovery and growth. Who wouldn’t want that?  [But] what happens when we are granted the god-like power to potentially alter our memories when they are so integral to our identity, our consciousness, and the essence of what it means to be human?" [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Marilynne Robinson: Don’t Let Neuroscience Banish Mystery From Human Life

" I find the soul a valuable concept, a statement of the dignity of a human life and of the unutterable gravity of human action and experience... I am not prepared to concede objectivity to the arbitrarily reductionist model of reality that has so long claimed, and been granted, this virtue. The new cosmologies open so many ways of reconceiving the universe(s) that all sorts of speculations are respectable now... These new cosmologies preclude almost nothing, except 'the physical' as a special category. The physicality enshrined by neuroscientists as the measure of all things is not objectivity, but instead a pure artifact of the scale at which, and the means by which, we and our devices perceive. So to invoke it as the test and standard of reality is quintessentially anthropocentric." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

The Epigenetic Revolution: How Experience Affects Our DNA

"There’s a quote in Ezekiel, 'The fathers ate sour grapes, and the children’s teeth were set on edge.' So, the Jewish culture and religion has understood that children bear the burden of their parents’ legacy. Fair or unfair, it’s a fact. It’s a cultural fact. It’s a biological fact. Everyone is born with a unique set of genes. The task is to refine from these traits the best self that we can have and not get distracted by the traits that are weaker; build up the traits that are stronger. We all have the same job to do." [Read Article]