In an interesting article in the magazine Nautilus, J.B. MacKinnon, reports that a brain scan (fMRI) of free solo climber, Alex Honnold’s brain explains why he is so willing to risk his life to climb rocks without a rope. The fear circuitry in his brain is dysfunctional.
Long-necked Sauropods, like Brontosaurus, were the largest animals on earth, but their brain, not their leg strength, is what kept them from getting any bigger.
We are on the brink of a new understanding of the neuroscience of violence. Like detectives slipping a fiber optic camera under a door, neuroscientists insert a fiber optic microcamera into the brain of an experimental animal and watch the neural circuits of rage respond during violent behavior. Continue reading
Why does the brain look so weird?
I took a sip of sugary Coke and was struck by a hideous intense blast of aluminum. I rushed to the sink and spit out the tainted drink. Poison! What’s wrong with this Coke! I took another tentative sip. I was slammed again by the overwhelming metallic taste. I spat out the poison by rapid reflex. This can of Coke must have been contaminated during manufacturing! Or, had the likes of the Tylenol Killer switched to soft drinks? Then I remembered. . . the taste of Thanksgiving and mountain climbing!
Today it was announced that Army Capt. Florent Groberg will receive the Medal of Honor for instantly tackling a suicide bomber in a split-second reaction of self-sacrifice to save the lives of his comrades. “You don’t have time to think. You react,” he explains. But how is that possible?
“Why can’t you stop drinking?” This week at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago announced a new finding that provides a fresh answer to this persistent question that plagues people addicted to alcohol. The discovery offers an entirely new approach to treatment.