First let’s start with a little test for you to take.
This only takes a minute.
Watch the video below:
Just how complex is your noggin?
Your brain synapses are actually more like individual microprocessors than simple on/off switches, and your brain has hundreds of trillions of them.
According to Stephen Smith, a Stanford professor of molecular and cellular physiology, the brain is vastly more intricate than we had ever imagined:
One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor—with both memory-storage and information-processing elements—than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.
Yup, you’ve got the world’s craziest network right on top of yer shoulders.
To all SOT members in 52 countries around the world may I wish you a Happy New Year and to our Australian members a relaxing and happy break over the January holidays.
In Australia, we are beach-lovers. This is our summer break so we mostly head off to our beaches and favourite holiday destinations with our family and friends. Traditionally, it’s a time for Aussies to relax together, to renew friendships and to have some fun.
We also have time to do a lot of reading and thinking. We meditate alone on our past year and our plans for the coming year. We have many shared discussions while sitting on the beach with friends or over a family barbecue. (Here’s a picture of St Kilda Beach where I was born and where I live today.)
Of course, I realise that SOT members in other countries do not live on the beach but in a diverse range of locations and different settings. So whatever situation you find yourself in January, I do hope you will have time to meditate and think and to renew your life as you embark on a new year.
Very best wishes to you and your family and friends, and I hope we will continue our journey into thinking … together in 2011.
Researchers have found evidence for “chronesthesia,” which is the brain’s ability to be aware of the past and future, and to mentally travel in subjective time.
They found that activity in different brain regions is related to chronesthetic states when a person thinks about the same content during the past, present, or future.
Image credit: Lars Nyberg, et al. ©2010 PNAS.
The ability to remember the past and imagine the future can significantly affect a person’s decisions in life. Scientists refer to the brain’s ability to think about the past, present, and future as “chronesthesia,” or mental time travel, although little is known about which parts of the brain are responsible for these conscious experiences.
In a new study, researchers have used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural correlates of mental time travel and better understand the nature of the mental time in which the metaphorical “travel” occurs.
Jeff Hawkins has a track record at predicting the future. The founder of Palm and inventor of the PalmPilot, he spent the 1990s talking of a coming world in which we would all carry powerful computers in our pockets. “No one believed in it back then—people thought I was crazy,” he says. “Of course, I’m thrilled about how successful mobile computing is today.”
At his current firm, Numenta, Hawkins is working on another idea that seems to out of left field: copying the workings of our own brains to build software that makes accurate snap decisions for today’s data-deluged businesses.
He and his team have been working on their algorithms since 2005 and are finally preparing to release a version that is ready to be used in products.
Numenta’s technology is aimed at variety of applications, such as judging whether a credit card transaction is fraudulent, anticipating what a Web user will click next, or predicting the likelihood that a particular hospital patient will suffer a relapse.