Tag Archive for neuroscience

Neuro-tech patents increase

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Companies are taking out a huge amount of patents related to reading brainwaves, according to analysis, with a range of different applications. Source: Patents for technology to read people’s minds hugely increasing / The Independent Fewer than 400 neuro-technology related patents were filed between 2000-2009. But in 2010 alone that reached 800, and last year…

Additional evidence that ghosts may be all in the mind

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A study of people with brain injuries or those that have experienced hallucinations, suggests that environmental miscues can fool our brains into thinking there is something there that is not. Spooks generated by brain-body mismatch. [U]nder some circumstances, real people can also believe that a non-existent person is close to them — extreme mountaineers often…

Debating the afterlife: TONIGHT! (UPDATE: Post-debate wrapup)

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I just got word of this event that takes place tonight in NYC. The event is sold out but will be aired live via web streaming beginning at 6:45 East US time. Death Is Not Final – IQ2 Debates. NeuroLogica Blog » Afterlife Debate. Against this proposition will be me [Dr. Steven Novella] and Sean…

I thought everyone had OBEs…

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A woman with a special skill is surprised that everyone doesn’t experience this. The Woman Who Can Will Herself Out Of Her Body | Popular Science. After a class on out-of-body experiences, a psychology graduate student at the University of Ottawa came forward to researchers to say that she could have these voluntarily, usually before…

Esquire digs into “heaven” doctor’s NDE story. It’s not pretty.

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In a followup to this story about neuroscientist Eben Alexander and his so-called “proof” of heaven (a claim for which it falls FAR short), he’s having a hard time looking credible these days. The ‘Proof of Heaven’ Author Has Now Been Thoroughly Debunked by Science – Esther Zuckerman – The Atlantic Wire. A book called…

Brain images – Persuasive or not?

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In somewhat of an update to this piece on neurobabble, there is a new study out on how people do or do not find that extra added touch of scienceyness contributes to the credibility of a story. On the (non)persuasive power of a brain image – Online First – Springer. Here is the abstract of…

‘Proof Of Heaven’ Bestseller to be made into movie

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Ick. Not my kind of movie. Eben Alexander’s book appeal to supernaturalists. Near Death Experiences is a hot topic these days. Universal Acquires ‘Proof Of Heaven’; Bestseller About Dying Surgeon Who Glimpses Afterlife – Deadline.com. Universal Pictures has won a bidding battle for movie rights to Proof Of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into The Afterlife, the…

Penn & Teller join scientists to figure out how effective they really are

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How does magic REALLY work? It’s all about you the viewer, really. Ancient Magical Illusion Even More Effective Than Magicians May Realize | LiveScience. Scientists analyzing how magicians Penn & Teller perform one of the oldest known illusions now reveal that some aspects of the magic trick are even more effective at manipulating audiences than…

Brain Gym: Just use yours to see how silly this is

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Brain Gym claims challenged. Australian neuroscientists have attacked a taxpayer-funded brain-training and exercise program used in NSW classrooms for making ‘silly’ pseudo-scientific claims when explaining how it works. The Brain Gym website says its 26 physical exercises will “bring about rapid and often dramatic improvements in concentration, memory, organising and more” by developing “neural pathways”…

NFL’s Kosar finds relief in hyped but mysterious brain treatments

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This isn’t funny. TWO posts in a row connected to Suzanne Somers… Both complete woo woo. Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar receiving ‘groundbreaking’ treatments for brain trauma | cleveland.com. Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar never thought about the consequences of the helmet-rattling hits he absorbed while throwing touchdown passes and raising Super Bowl hopes…

Alexander pushing Heaven to people who don’t get how science works

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Back in October, Dr. Eben Alexander made the press rounds for his new book, Proof of Heaven. Dr. Alexander, a neurosurgeon, said he discovered evidence that consciousness exists beyond the body. But it was his story. As he calls it, “an N of one”. It was met with widespread criticism from the scientific and atheist…

Neuro doubters: Against the oversimplifications of the way brains work

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This is a topic we’ve covered before – neurobabble, neuro-flap doodle, etc.This is another piece critical of the current trend in popular books and ideas connecting everything we do to neuroscience. Neuroscience – Under Attack – NYTimes.com. Meet the “neuro doubters.” The neuro doubter may like neuroscience but does not like what he or she…

Soul theory: Oh, they used the Q word

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Scientists offer quantum theory of soul’s existence. American Dr Stuart Hameroff and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose developed a quantum theory of consciousness asserting that our souls are contained inside structures called microtubules which live within our brain cells. Their idea stems from the notion of the brain as a biological computer, “with 100 billion…

Deep doubt and questions on Alexander’s “proof of Heaven” story

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Here is a thoughtful analysis on a story from earlier: the neuroscientist’s claim of the afterlife. Is the afterlife full of fluffy clouds and angels? – Telegraph. Have you ever noticed that more people come back from Heaven than from Hell? We have all read those astonishing reports of near-death experiences (NDEs, as the aficionados…

Neurosurgeon’s story of experiencing the afterlife

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A neurosurgeon recounts his experience with a coma and a Near Death Experience. Proof of Heaven: A Doctor’s Experience With the Afterlife – Newsweek and The Daily Beast. There is no scientific explanation for the fact that while my body lay in coma, my mind—my conscious, inner self—was alive and well. While the neurons of…

Just add “neuro-” in front of it to sound more sciencey

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An expose on the rash of popular neuroscience books that have appeared over the past few years. What should we think of them? Science? or Neuro-flapdoodle? Your brain on pseudoscience: the rise of popular neurobollocks An intellectual pestilence is upon us. Shop shelves groan with books purporting to explain, through snazzy brain-imaging studies, not only…

Social misdirection in magic is complicated, study finds

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Discoveries into perception via popular magic tricks. Researchers at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center have unveiled how and why the public perceives some magic tricks in recent studies that could have real-world implications in military tactics, marketing and sports. Susana Martinez-Conde, PhD, of Barrow’s Laboratory of Visual Neuroscience, and Stephen…

Teller reveals some secrets in Smithsonian piece

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Teller Reveals His Secrets | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian Magazine. Magic is an art, as capable of beauty as music, painting or poetry. But the core of every trick is a cold, cognitive experiment in perception: Does the trick fool the audience? A magician’s data sample spans centuries, and his experiments have been replicated…