Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sleep Deprivation

When you are sleep deprived, the boundaries between sleep and wakefulness may often become blurred. Recently research has shown that state "dissociation" is more common that anyone previously suspected. State dissociation is defined as the presence of more than one vigilance state concurrently. Vigilance states are defines as awake, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and non-REM sleep. Forgetfullness and daydreaming may be examples of this, but also more bizarre and even criminal behaviors could be, as well. In addition, perhaps 20% of vehicle accidents are related to sleep deprivation. Check out the article.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Brain and Religion-NonReligion

For any of you who have wondered if religion is "loaded" in a different place in the brain, etc., etc., etc., you may enjoy reading this abstract of a UCLA research project. Published by Plos One, the summary is entitled: "The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief." It appears that "religious thinking" is more aligned with areas that govern self-representation, cognitive conflict, and emotion. Non-religious thinking (e.g., facts) is more associated with memory retrieval networks. Bottom line is that while both types of thinking engage broad areas of the cerebrum, the difference between belief and disbelief appears to be content-independent. Researchers hope this study furthers their undrestanding of how the brain decides to accept statements of all kinds as valid descriptions of the world.

Friday, November 6, 2009


New Science recently posted an article reporting on conclusions reached at "Decade of the Mind" symposium recently held in Germany. No surprise, they figure it's time to get some practical information into the classroom -- about how the brain learn best. They also included some "myths" that are being debunked. Check out the site and enjoy . . .