Wednesday, December 19, 2012
neurosciencestuff:

Why Music Moves Us
Universal emotions like anger, sadness and happiness are expressed nearly the same in both music and movement across cultures, according to new research.
The researchers found that when Dartmouth undergraduates and members of a remote Cambodian hill tribe were asked to use sliding bars to adjust traits such as the speed, pitch, or regularity of music, they used the same types of characteristics to express primal emotions. What’s more, the same types of patterns were used to express the same emotions in animations of movement in both cultures.
“The kinds of dynamics you find in movement, you find also in music and they’re used in the same way to provide the same kind of meaning,” said study co-author Thalia Wheatley, a neuroscientist at Dartmouth University.
The findings suggest music’s intense power may lie in the fact it is processed by ancient brain circuitry used to read emotion in our movement.
“The study suggests why music is so fundamental and engaging for us,” said Jonathan Schooler, a professor of brain and psychological sciences at the University of California at Santa Barbara, who was not involved in the study. “It takes advantage of some very, very basic and, in some sense, primitive systems that understand how motion relates to emotion.”
Universal emotions
Why people love music has been an enduring mystery. Scientists have found that animals like different music than humans and that brain regions stimulated by food, sex and love also light up when we listen to music. Musicians even read emotions better than nonmusicians.
Past studies showed that the same brain areas were activated when people read emotion in both music and movement. That made Wheatley wonder how the two were connected.
To find out, Wheatley and her colleagues asked 50 Dartmouth undergraduates to manipulate five slider bars to change characteristics of an animated bouncy ball to make it look happy, sad, angry, peaceful or scared.
“We just say ‘Make Mr. Ball look angry or make Mr. Ball look happy,’” she told LiveScience.
To create different emotions in “Mr. Ball,” the students could use the slider bars to affect how often the ball bounced, how often it made big bounces, whether it went up or down more often and how smoothly it moved.
Another 50 students could use similar slider bars to adjust the pitch trajectory, tempo, consonance (repetition), musical jumps and jitteriness of music to capture those same emotions.
The students tended to put the slider bars in roughly the same positions whether they were creating angry music or angry moving balls.
To see if these trends held across cultures, Wheatley’s team traveled to the remote highlands of Cambodia and asked about 85 members of the Kreung tribe to perform the same task. Kreung music sounds radically different from Western music, with gongs and an instrument called a mem that sounds a bit like an insect buzzing, Wheatley said. None of the tribes’ people had any exposure to Western music or media, she added.
Interestingly, the Kreung tended to put the slider bars in roughly the same positions as Americans did to capture different emotions, and the position of the sliders was very similar for both music and emotions.
The findings suggest that music taps into the brain networks and regions that we use to understand emotion in people’s movements. That may explain why music has such power to move us — it’s activating deep-seated brain regions that are used to process emotion, Wheatley said.
“Emotion is the same thing no matter whether it’s coming in through our eyes or ears,” she said.

neurosciencestuff:

Why Music Moves Us

Universal emotions like anger, sadness and happiness are expressed nearly the same in both music and movement across cultures, according to new research.

The researchers found that when Dartmouth undergraduates and members of a remote Cambodian hill tribe were asked to use sliding bars to adjust traits such as the speed, pitch, or regularity of music, they used the same types of characteristics to express primal emotions. What’s more, the same types of patterns were used to express the same emotions in animations of movement in both cultures.

“The kinds of dynamics you find in movement, you find also in music and they’re used in the same way to provide the same kind of meaning,” said study co-author Thalia Wheatley, a neuroscientist at Dartmouth University.

The findings suggest music’s intense power may lie in the fact it is processed by ancient brain circuitry used to read emotion in our movement.

“The study suggests why music is so fundamental and engaging for us,” said Jonathan Schooler, a professor of brain and psychological sciences at the University of California at Santa Barbara, who was not involved in the study. “It takes advantage of some very, very basic and, in some sense, primitive systems that understand how motion relates to emotion.”

Universal emotions

Why people love music has been an enduring mystery. Scientists have found that animals like different music than humans and that brain regions stimulated by food, sex and love also light up when we listen to music. Musicians even read emotions better than nonmusicians.

Past studies showed that the same brain areas were activated when people read emotion in both music and movement. That made Wheatley wonder how the two were connected.

To find out, Wheatley and her colleagues asked 50 Dartmouth undergraduates to manipulate five slider bars to change characteristics of an animated bouncy ball to make it look happy, sad, angry, peaceful or scared.

“We just say ‘Make Mr. Ball look angry or make Mr. Ball look happy,’” she told LiveScience.

To create different emotions in “Mr. Ball,” the students could use the slider bars to affect how often the ball bounced, how often it made big bounces, whether it went up or down more often and how smoothly it moved.

Another 50 students could use similar slider bars to adjust the pitch trajectory, tempo, consonance (repetition), musical jumps and jitteriness of music to capture those same emotions.

The students tended to put the slider bars in roughly the same positions whether they were creating angry music or angry moving balls.

To see if these trends held across cultures, Wheatley’s team traveled to the remote highlands of Cambodia and asked about 85 members of the Kreung tribe to perform the same task. Kreung music sounds radically different from Western music, with gongs and an instrument called a mem that sounds a bit like an insect buzzing, Wheatley said. None of the tribes’ people had any exposure to Western music or media, she added.

Interestingly, the Kreung tended to put the slider bars in roughly the same positions as Americans did to capture different emotions, and the position of the sliders was very similar for both music and emotions.

The findings suggest that music taps into the brain networks and regions that we use to understand emotion in people’s movements. That may explain why music has such power to move us — it’s activating deep-seated brain regions that are used to process emotion, Wheatley said.

“Emotion is the same thing no matter whether it’s coming in through our eyes or ears,” she said.

mothernaturenetwork:

Men and women literally see the world differentlyA new study shows that the sexes really do see the world differently. Men notice small details and moving things while women are more sensitive to color changes.

Interestinggggg. Also, men focus more on the mouth and be distracted by sudden, small movements during conversation. While women focus on the speakers eyes/body and get distracted by other bodies.

mothernaturenetwork:

Men and women literally see the world differently
A new study shows that the sexes really do see the world differently. Men notice small details and moving things while women are more sensitive to color changes.

Interestinggggg. Also, men focus more on the mouth and be distracted by sudden, small movements during conversation. While women focus on the speakers eyes/body and get distracted by other bodies.

Saturday, December 15, 2012
But the female mind has demonstrated a capacity for all the mental acquirements and achievements of men, and as generations ensue that capacity will be expanded; the average woman will be as well educated as the average man, and then better educated, for the dormant faculties of her brain will be stimulated to an activity that will be all the more intense and powerful because of centuries of repose. Woman will ignore precedent and startle civilization with their progress.

Nikola Tesla  (via envelopedinfog)

tesla the feminist

(via ikenbot)

Females started the agricultural revolution, males just stole it from them. We fuel change, ladies. We fuel change.

(Source: littlemissljubi)

Monday, December 3, 2012
bonedust:

jtotheizzoe:

If you’re 27 or younger, you’ve never experienced a colder-than-average month
With the average temperature on Earth in October becoming the 332nd consecutive month at a higher-than-normal mark, we’re defining the new normal for a whole generation.
And that’s not a “new normal” that we should be okay with. Because a warming Earth with frequent droughts and supercharged storms could make Hurricane Sandy look like an afternoon sprinkle.
(via Grist)

well huh

Ewwww. I mean I’m glad it’s not as cold in the North Country but damn. Shit blows.

bonedust:

jtotheizzoe:

If you’re 27 or younger, you’ve never experienced a colder-than-average month

With the average temperature on Earth in October becoming the 332nd consecutive month at a higher-than-normal mark, we’re defining the new normal for a whole generation.

And that’s not a “new normal” that we should be okay with. Because a warming Earth with frequent droughts and supercharged storms could make Hurricane Sandy look like an afternoon sprinkle.

(via Grist)

well huh

Ewwww. I mean I’m glad it’s not as cold in the North Country but damn. Shit blows.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
sciencenote:

Treatment of Sinusitis Treatment usually consists of the patient beginning with over the counter fever/headache medications such as Tylenol (Acetaminophen) and if the symptoms are not gone within a week then the physician will assume that it is a bacterial infection and then provided the appropriate antibiotic. Usually the patient must remain on antibiotics for at least 10-14 days. Sometimes, the antibiotics need to be continued up to 21 days if the infection is chronic. However extremely chronic infections sometimes do not respond to a regular course of prescription medication and the patient may respond better to either a longer course of medication or may even need to be physically drained. This is a surgical procedure and will require a hospital stay. While it doesn’t happen very often, there are times that complications can set in. It is possible with chronic sinusitis that the situation may arise that the infection may extend into the brain and cause an infection there and eventually cause death. However, as was stated earlier, this is a rare occurrence and does not happen frequently. Sinusitis is usually a very easily treated disease if treatment is sought in a timely manner and the proper treatment is provided. If the conditions returns often it is advised that the patient attempt to determine if an allergy is the cause.

I want to show this to my health center. I have such bad sinus problems and they never give me anything, ever.

sciencenote:

Treatment of Sinusitis
Treatment usually consists of the patient beginning with over the counter fever/headache medications such as Tylenol (Acetaminophen) and if the symptoms are not gone within a week then the physician will assume that it is a bacterial infection and then provided the appropriate antibiotic. Usually the patient must remain on antibiotics for at least 10-14 days.

Sometimes, the antibiotics need to be continued up to 21 days if the infection is chronic. However extremely chronic infections sometimes do not respond to a regular course of prescription medication and the patient may respond better to either a longer course of medication or may even need to be physically drained. This is a surgical procedure and will require a hospital stay.

While it doesn’t happen very often, there are times that complications can set in. It is possible with chronic sinusitis that the situation may arise that the infection may extend into the brain and cause an infection there and eventually cause death. However, as was stated earlier, this is a rare occurrence and does not happen frequently.

Sinusitis is usually a very easily treated disease if treatment is sought in a timely manner and the proper treatment is provided. If the conditions returns often it is advised that the patient attempt to determine if an allergy is the cause.

I want to show this to my health center. I have such bad sinus problems and they never give me anything, ever.

(Source: sitik.wordpress.com)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

artandsciencejournal:

Data Visualization

“Data”, that’s a scary word. All we can picture are mountains of numbers that are indiscernible from one another. But this is also a fact, entire genomes are getting sequenced, the universe is being mapped out… we’re entering an era of big data, even bigger mountains. So… what do we do with it ? We manipulate it, we design it, so that big data can be digested, dare I say enjoyed.

Sometimes it’s even fun to browse this mountain of information. At least that’s what I thought when I found the We Feel Fine project. This emotional search engine crawls blogs and networking sites, picking up sentences which include “I feel” or “I am feeling”, as well as the gender, age and location of the people posting those sentences. The result is a database of several million human feelings, sorted out, displayed, in the hopes of creating a piece of art for everyone, by everyone, sprouting from our deepest feelings.

Check out the java applet here.

- Agathe of Frontal Cortex

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.

Bill Nye  (via wildlydistorted)

Truth, Bill.

(via jtotheizzoe)

LEARN FROM THEM WHAT YOU WILL. 

(Source: hellanne)

Monday, November 19, 2012

1. [Turing tape] You need an idea notebook.

2. [Open-minded] Do not aim to solve some specific problem.

3. [Proliferate and select] You may need 10 to 100 ideas before you find a good one.

4. [Aloof] Avoid feeling part of any specific academic community.

5. [Be the boss] Avoid working for anyone, and that includes a granting agency.

6. [Data] Don’t publish without data.

7. [Sloth] Avoid all but the simplest experiments, and avoid building complex tools.

Mark Changizi, author of Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man, on the 7 requirements for all effective scientists. (via explore-blog)

(Source: explore-blog)

Saturday, November 17, 2012
biomedicalephemera:

Lower extremity of newborn, under running water for several months - formation of “adipocere”
One of the most interesting things to find in a cadaver is when adipocere forms. This so-called “grave wax” shows that a body is at least several months old, as it takes a while for the biochemical reactions to take place that form this substance.
While most cadavers go through the full decomposition process and are rotted away by bacteria and other organisms, bodies that form adipocere begin a process of anaerobic bacterial hydrolysis at the start of the putrefaction stage of decomposition. As most of the proteins in the body are digested, the fat in the body racidifies, and instead of being digested with everything else, breaks down into glycerine, fatty solids (saturated fats), and fluid fatty acids (unsaturated fat). The glycerine and fluid fatty acids are washed away or dissolved, and the solid fat remains behind, forming a cast of the body.
Adipocere is white or gray, and very much like thick cottage cheese in its crumbly texture. It’s very hardy and preservative in quality, and cadavers over 700 years old have been found to have easily-discernible fine facial structures because of it. However, the formation of the substance requires very specific conditions to be met, the most important of which is a body with a relatively high fat content (though there are occasional exceptions). Because of this, infants, young women, and the obese are most likely to be found in this state.
Atlas of Legal Medicine. Dr. Eduard von Hofmann, 1898.

biomedicalephemera:

Lower extremity of newborn, under running water for several months - formation of “adipocere”

One of the most interesting things to find in a cadaver is when adipocere forms. This so-called “grave wax” shows that a body is at least several months old, as it takes a while for the biochemical reactions to take place that form this substance.

While most cadavers go through the full decomposition process and are rotted away by bacteria and other organisms, bodies that form adipocere begin a process of anaerobic bacterial hydrolysis at the start of the putrefaction stage of decomposition. As most of the proteins in the body are digested, the fat in the body racidifies, and instead of being digested with everything else, breaks down into glycerine, fatty solids (saturated fats), and fluid fatty acids (unsaturated fat). The glycerine and fluid fatty acids are washed away or dissolved, and the solid fat remains behind, forming a cast of the body.

Adipocere is white or gray, and very much like thick cottage cheese in its crumbly texture. It’s very hardy and preservative in quality, and cadavers over 700 years old have been found to have easily-discernible fine facial structures because of it. However, the formation of the substance requires very specific conditions to be met, the most important of which is a body with a relatively high fat content (though there are occasional exceptions). Because of this, infants, young women, and the obese are most likely to be found in this state.

Atlas of Legal Medicine. Dr. Eduard von Hofmann, 1898.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
mothernaturenetwork:

Stone Age diet secret: Cavemen ate less meat than we thoughtScientists reconstructed ancient diets by measuring the fraction of heavy-to-light nitrogen isotopes in fossilized bones.

mothernaturenetwork:

Stone Age diet secret: Cavemen ate less meat than we thought
Scientists reconstructed ancient diets by measuring the fraction of heavy-to-light nitrogen isotopes in fossilized bones.

Monday, October 15, 2012
We seldom stop to think that we are still creatures of the sea, able to leave it only because, from birth to death, we wear the water-filled space suits of our skins. Arthur C. Clarke — Space and the Spirit of Man (1965)
Monday, October 8, 2012
guardian:

A British researcher whose schoolboy ambition to become a scientist was dismissed as “quite ridiculous” by his teacher has won a Nobel prize for reprograming adult cells into forms that can grow into different tissues.
Sir John Gurdon at Cambridge University shares the prize in physiology or medicine - and the 8m Swedish kronor (£744,000) winnings - with the Japanese scientist, Shinya Yamanaka.
Photo: Nobel prizewinner Sir John Gurdon. Ho/AFP/Getty

They won a Nobel Prize for being able to turn skin cells into egg cells. WAT.

guardian:

A British researcher whose schoolboy ambition to become a scientist was dismissed as “quite ridiculous” by his teacher has won a Nobel prize for reprograming adult cells into forms that can grow into different tissues.

Sir John Gurdon at Cambridge University shares the prize in physiology or medicine - and the 8m Swedish kronor (£744,000) winnings - with the Japanese scientist, Shinya Yamanaka.

Photo: Nobel prizewinner Sir John Gurdon. Ho/AFP/Getty

They won a Nobel Prize for being able to turn skin cells into egg cells. WAT.

(Source: )

Monday, August 20, 2012
mothernaturenetwork:

The facts of life: A guide for Todd AkinWe explain the birds and the bees for Missouri congressman.

mothernaturenetwork:

The facts of life: A guide for Todd Akin
We explain the birds and the bees for Missouri congressman.

Sunday, August 19, 2012
scinerds:

How Your Brain Cleans Itself—Mystery Solved?
Talk about brainwashing—a newfound plumbing system, identified in mice, likely helps the brain empty its waste, a new study says. Because mouse biology is similar to ours, the same findings should apply to people too, experts say.
Thanks to a blood-brain barrier—a natural wall that protects the brain tissue—the organ never touches blood, thus protecting it from microbes, viruses, and other pathogens.
To get nutrients to brain tissue and remove its waste, the brain makes a liquid called cerebrospinal fluid. But exactly how the fluid removes gunk generated by brain cells wasn’t certain until now.
Experiments in the 1950s and ’60s hinted that diffusion—the passive method by which, say, food coloring spreads out in a glass of water—moved cerebrospinal fluid around the brain.
Yet this process is too slow to explain the brain’s lightning-fast activity and immaculate cleanliness.
It turns out that, while studying brain tissue, the researchers in the 1950s and ’60s unwittingly turned off the plumbing that washes the tissue.
“The idea of a cleaning system based on pressure has been around for a long time, but if you open the skull anywhere, like a hydraulic pump, it stops. They thought [the cleaning system] didn’t exist,” said study leader Maiken Nedergaard, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
The pump system is “on the order of a thousand times faster than diffusion,” she said. “I’m surprised that no one had discovered this until now.”

This is really really fucking badass. Helloooo glymphatic system! I dream of one day being as efficient as my brain and learning how to simultaneously eat and cleanse at the same time.

scinerds:

How Your Brain Cleans Itself—Mystery Solved?

Talk about brainwashing—a newfound plumbing system, identified in mice, likely helps the brain empty its waste, a new study says. Because mouse biology is similar to ours, the same findings should apply to people too, experts say.

Thanks to a blood-brain barrier—a natural wall that protects the brain tissue—the organ never touches blood, thus protecting it from microbes, viruses, and other pathogens.

To get nutrients to brain tissue and remove its waste, the brain makes a liquid called cerebrospinal fluid. But exactly how the fluid removes gunk generated by brain cells wasn’t certain until now.

Experiments in the 1950s and ’60s hinted that diffusion—the passive method by which, say, food coloring spreads out in a glass of water—moved cerebrospinal fluid around the brain.

Yet this process is too slow to explain the brain’s lightning-fast activity and immaculate cleanliness.

It turns out that, while studying brain tissue, the researchers in the 1950s and ’60s unwittingly turned off the plumbing that washes the tissue.

“The idea of a cleaning system based on pressure has been around for a long time, but if you open the skull anywhere, like a hydraulic pump, it stops. They thought [the cleaning system] didn’t exist,” said study leader Maiken Nedergaard, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The pump system is “on the order of a thousand times faster than diffusion,” she said. “I’m surprised that no one had discovered this until now.”

This is really really fucking badass. Helloooo glymphatic system! I dream of one day being as efficient as my brain and learning how to simultaneously eat and cleanse at the same time.

Thursday, August 9, 2012
mothernaturenetwork:

Stressed-out guys dig heavier womenScientists suspect that stressed men see a heavier, more mature body types indicates that the woman can handle rough patches.

mothernaturenetwork:

Stressed-out guys dig heavier women
Scientists suspect that stressed men see a heavier, more mature body types indicates that the woman can handle rough patches.