stufftoblowyourmind:

In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and Robert continue their discussion of the overlap between shamanism and cognitive neuroscience. In particular, what sort of hallucinatory experiences do substances like DMT, psilocybin and salvia grant users? Why do humans have trace elements of DMT in their bodies? All these questions and more will be discussed. 

Related Content:

The Scientist and the Shaman: My Egoic Mind (podcast)

Touching the Void: Psychedelics and Death (podcast)

Artatomical: Alex Grey’s Psychedelic ‘Dying’

Did Ebenezer Scrooge take a mountain of DMT?

What’s in a witches brew? (podcast)

Dock Ellis’ 1970 LSD No-hitter

Acid Flashbacks (podcast)

The Acid Flashbacks of True Detective (video)

stufftoblowyourmind:

Decide to watch this video from Julie. Then dive into the science of that decision…

(Source: stufftoblowyourmind.com)

stufftoblowyourmind:

What is consciousness? Can we test for it? And how to we rectify the seemingly disparate realities of physical brain and immaterial mind? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie consider the hard problem of human consciousness and the philosophic warnings of the New Mysterians.

Related Content:

Heartbeat in the Brain, Hole in the Skull (podcast)

The Science of Brain Wiping (podcast)

Neural Pixie Dust (podcast)

Poking Einstein’s Brain (podcast)

This is Your Brain on Meditation (podcast)

Change Your Mind the Hard Way (podcast)

jtotheizzoe:

pbsdigitalstudios:

This week It’s Okay to be Smart and BrainCraft have teamed up to teach us about our brains!

Watch “Why Your Brain Is In Your Head” on Joe’s channel here: http://youtu.be/qdNE4WygyAk

Watch “This Is How Your Brain Grows” on Vanessa’s channel here: http://youtu.be/aucscX191vQ

Check out this week’s It’s Okay To Be Smart!!!

I teamed up with the awesome neuroscience channel BrainCraft this week to bring you two awesome brain stories!! And while you’re at it, enjoy these GIF(t)s!

stufftoblowyourmind:

Step into the information elevator with Holly Frey from History Stuff and learn about proprioception — how your brain knows where your body is and what happens when there’s a kink in the brain circuitry. Hint: Woo-woo stuff.

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I hope that you’ll join me on the elevator and hurl through time and space as we explore themes like atomic collapse and humans smelling humans, all while accompanied by delicious HowStuffWorks staff members. Yes, that’s right. Delicious. - Julie

brainstuffshow:

Remember our article about erasing & restoring memory? Jonathan’s delves further in this week’s Fw: Thinking!

How Amnesia Works

Those movies where someone gets hit on the head and can’t remember who they are anymore? They’re actually not too far off from the reality of amnesia. Learn everything about this bizarre and life-robbing condition with Josh and Chuck in this Stuff You Should Know podcast.

And there’s still time to cast your vote for the SYSK podcast to win a Webby Award! Vote here.

stufftoblowyourmind:

The Shadow People: Do strange shadow people haunt the corners of our existence, or is there a scientific answer within the human brain? Join Robert and guests Ben and Matt of Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know as they discuss the answers.

(Source: stufftoblowyourmind.com)

neurosciencestuff:

New ideas change your brain cells
A new University of British Columbia study identifies an important molecular change that occurs in the brain when we learn and remember.
Published this month in Nature Neuroscience, the research shows that learning stimulates our brain cells in a manner that causes a small fatty acid to attach to delta-catenin, a protein in the brain. This biochemical modification is essential in producing the changes in brain cell connectivity associated with learning, the study finds.
In animal models, the scientists found almost twice the amount of modified delta-catenin in the brain after learning about new environments. While delta-catenin has previously been linked to learning, this study is the first to describe the protein’s role in the molecular mechanism behind memory formation.
“More work is needed, but this discovery gives us a much better understanding of the tools our brains use to learn and remember, and provides insight into how these processes become disrupted in neurological diseases,” says co-author Shernaz Bamji, an associate professor in UBC’s Life Sciences Institute.
It may also provide an explanation for some mental disabilities, the researchers say. People born without the gene have a severe form of mental retardation called Cri-du-chat syndrome, a rare genetic disorder named for the high-pitched cat-like cry of affected infants. Disruption of the delta-catenin gene has also been observed in some patients with schizophrenia.
“Brain activity can change both the structure of this protein, as well as its function,” says Stefano Brigidi, first author of the article and a PhD candidate Bamji’s laboratory. “When we introduced a mutation that blocked the biochemical modification that occurs in healthy subjects, we abolished the structural changes in brain’s cells that are known to be important for memory formation.”
Background 
According to the researchers, more work is needed to fully establish the importance of delta-catenin in building the brain connectivity behind learning and memory. Disruptions to these nerve cell connections are also believed to cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington disease. Understanding the biochemical processes that are important for maintaining these connections may help address the abnormalities in nerve cells that occur in these disease states.
(Image: Shutterstock)

neurosciencestuff:

New ideas change your brain cells

A new University of British Columbia study identifies an important molecular change that occurs in the brain when we learn and remember.

Published this month in Nature Neuroscience, the research shows that learning stimulates our brain cells in a manner that causes a small fatty acid to attach to delta-catenin, a protein in the brain. This biochemical modification is essential in producing the changes in brain cell connectivity associated with learning, the study finds.

In animal models, the scientists found almost twice the amount of modified delta-catenin in the brain after learning about new environments. While delta-catenin has previously been linked to learning, this study is the first to describe the protein’s role in the molecular mechanism behind memory formation.

“More work is needed, but this discovery gives us a much better understanding of the tools our brains use to learn and remember, and provides insight into how these processes become disrupted in neurological diseases,” says co-author Shernaz Bamji, an associate professor in UBC’s Life Sciences Institute.

It may also provide an explanation for some mental disabilities, the researchers say. People born without the gene have a severe form of mental retardation called Cri-du-chat syndrome, a rare genetic disorder named for the high-pitched cat-like cry of affected infants. Disruption of the delta-catenin gene has also been observed in some patients with schizophrenia.

“Brain activity can change both the structure of this protein, as well as its function,” says Stefano Brigidi, first author of the article and a PhD candidate Bamji’s laboratory. “When we introduced a mutation that blocked the biochemical modification that occurs in healthy subjects, we abolished the structural changes in brain’s cells that are known to be important for memory formation.”

Background

According to the researchers, more work is needed to fully establish the importance of delta-catenin in building the brain connectivity behind learning and memory. Disruptions to these nerve cell connections are also believed to cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington disease. Understanding the biochemical processes that are important for maintaining these connections may help address the abnormalities in nerve cells that occur in these disease states.

(Image: Shutterstock)

stufftoblowyourmind:

The Night Janitors of the Brain: Do you think other species ever look at humans and raise an eyebrow at the amount of sleep we need? Do cockroaches and eyelash mites leave messages on our foreheads in microscopic Sharpies? Perhaps “I just popped on an apex predator’s head.” We may be the most successful species in existence, but that doesn’t mean sleep is just another one of our “choices” as a human being. It is a necessity for survival, even though it requires immobility and vulnerability. Prepare to meet the night janitors of the human brain.

(Source: stufftoblowyourmind.com)

stufftoblowyourmind:

Fig. 131 - Method of removing the brain after it is severed from the body.

(Source: vtomilk)