Suppose neuroscientists map the billions of neural circuits in the human brain….are we any closer to cracking the great existential mysteries - like meaning, purpose or happiness? Scientists, contemplatives and religious thinkers are now exploring the connections between neuroscience and contemplative practice, and creating a new science of mindfulness.
Tagged with “neuroscience” (16)
In case you don’t read The Journal of Neural Engineering, here’s the news: scientists have created a brain implant that restores lost memory function and strengthens recall.
A brain implant. Now, it was in a rat. But it’s proven what can be done.
And offered a glimpse of what’s coming for humans. There is lots of talk about the “bionic brain.” To repair injuries, like Gabby Giffords’.
To supplement brains like yours and mine. Check out this headline: “Intel Wants Brain Implants in Customers Heads by 2020.”
It’s exciting, and it’s scary.
Drawing on strange and thought-provoking case studies, eminent neurologist V. S. Ramachandran offers unprecedented insight into the evolution of the uniquely human brain in his new book, The Tell-Tale Brain.
What is consciousness? This primal question has occupied humanity since we gained the language to ask it. In his new book "Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain," Antonio Damasio investigates how new discoveries in neuroscience can shed light on the evolution and emergence of the conscious self.
This hour, Radiolab rollicks through stories of falling. We plunge into a black hole, take a trip over Niagara Falls, and upend some myths about falling cats.
We close our eyes at night and dream. Sometimes beautifully, sometimes fitfully, sometimes frighteningly. But why?
The ancients looked for omens. Sigmund Freud saw clues from our past. Some researchers now say dreams help us brace for the future. Ben Franklin advised a light supper, clean sheets, fresh air, and as little dreaming as possible — to avoid painful dreams.
And what about nightmares? Can we, should we, rewrite them? We spend a lot of our lives dreaming. What’s it all about?
It’s almost impossible to imagine a world without words. But in this hour of Radiolab, we try to do just that. We speak to a woman who taught a 27-year-old man the first words of his life, and we hear a firsthand account of what it feels like to have the language center of your brain wiped out by a stroke.
The failure of science to address questions of meaning, morality, and values, notes neuroscientist Sam Harris, has become the primary justification for religious faith. In doubting our ability to address questions of meaning and morality through rational argument and scientific inquiry, we offer a mandate to religious dogmatism, superstition, and sectarian conflict. The greater the doubt, the greater the impetus to nurture divisive delusions.
Numerous sci-fi films since have capitalized on our fear of being surrounded by duplicates — replicas who look just like our loved ones but are not. And while there have so far been no confirmed cases of a human being replaced by an alien or any other life-form, the feeling that your loved one has been replaced by someone else can be very real.
Alok Jha and guests discuss what makes music so fascinating; Britain’s plans for space; and the nature of time
Science writer and former editor at Nature Philip Ball tells us why humans make and listen to music. He’s giving a lecture on the subject at the Royal Institution this week.
Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, discusses his new book From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time.
A longer version of that interview is available in our latest Science Weekly Extra podcast.
In the newsjam, we look at Britain’s plans for space and how scientists have reconstructed an ancient man’s physical features from his hair.
The Observer’s science and technology editor Robin McKie and Guardian science correspondent Ian Sample are in the studio to share their wisdom.
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