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"The brain appears to be wired in a rectangular 3D grid structure, suggests a new brain imaging study. (...) “Far from being just a tangle of wires, the brain’s connections turn out to be more like ribbon cables — folding 2D sheets of parallel neuronal fibers that cross paths at right angles, like the warp and weft of a fabric,” (...)
“The wiring of the mature brain appears to mirror three primal pathways established in embryonic development.” (...) “Before, we had just driving directions. Now, we have a map showing how all the highways and byways are interconnected,” said Wedeen. “Brain wiring is not like the wiring in your basement, where it just needs to connect the right endpoints. Rather, the grid is the language of the brain and wiring and re-wiring work by modifying it.”
"By looking at how the pathways fit in the brain, we anticipated the connectivity to resemble that of a bowl of spaghetti, a very narrow and discreet object," (...) "We discovered that the pathways in the top of the brain are all organized like woven sheets with the fibers running in two directions in the sheets and in a third direction perpendicular to the sheets. These sheets all stack together so that the entire connectivity of the brain follows three precisely defined directions." (...)
"The research took MRI scanners and new mathematical algorithms to determine a geometry to the relationship of nearby pathways in the brain so that each pathway was part of a two-dimensional sheet of pathways that together looked exactly like a woven sheet of fabric," Each pathway was part of a parallel series next to it crossed by a perpendicular series at a right angle, together which formed a woven grid.
The structure was part of a three-dimensional scaffold connections of the brain conformed to the extremely simple three-dimensional structure, a single woven grid with fibers in only three axes. By using diffusion MRI and mapping the three-dimension motion of the water molecules in the brain, the scientists ran the maps through mathematical algorithms that inferred from the water motion pattern the fiber architecture of the tissue of the brain." -- http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=123711&org=NSF&from=news
Professing Literature: An Institutional History, Gerald Graff’s impressive study of what happened next, shows that even criticism of that canon is not yet a century old: “Scholar and critic emerge as antithetical terms,” he writes, and “the gulf further widens between fact and value, investigation and appreciation, scientific specialization and general culture.” Yet neither side denied the existence of a canon or that its historical development could be studied.
Detaching from one's immediate surroundings when engrossed in an exhilarating novel or experiencing the energized focus of “flow” at work, are examples of dissociative experiences that can occur in everyday life. Although, typically viewed on a continuum, clinical forms of dissociation are not simply reflective of psychological absorption. Dissociation in dissociative disorders typically involves substantial ongoing problems in integrating thoughts and feelings into consciousness and memory, with associated poor psychosocial functioning (Waller et al., 1996). Prevalence estimates for dissociative disorders range from 4 to 29% of the population and typically involve two common aspects of dissociation: depersonalization (i.e., feelings of disconnection from one's self such as feeling like a robot or automaton) and derealization (i.e., feeling disconnected from ongoing reality, as if the world is distorted or moving in slow motion; van der Kloet et al., 2012b). Recent research and theory proposes that dissociative disorders are maintained and exacerbated by a labile sleep-wake cycle. In this cycle, imaginative, “dream-like,” mentation intrudes into waking life, which, in turn, contributes to dissociative experiences and symptoms. In this paper, we present an initial test and extension of this theory by examining the role of daydreaming in dissociation. Specifically, we view daydreaming as a form of dream-like mentation and examine its relationship with sleep, mood, and dissociative symptoms in a unique experience-sampling study with an individual meeting diagnostic criteria for depersonalization/derealization disorder (DDD; American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
Vachel Howard was arrested for driving under the influence. Hours later, he was dead. Here‘s what happened inside an LAPD jail. Howard was pronounced dead at Good Samaritan Hospital, just miles from the jail. He had been released from the handcuffs, but later subdued by half a dozen officers after he became, by their testimony, “violent and combative.” A coroner eventually listed three contributing causes of death: cocaine intoxication, heart disease, and a chokehold employed by one of the officers.
"many of these poverty simulation workshops have been going on for years, without controversy. Every year for the last 12 years, Refugee Norway has put some 5,000 Norwegian teenagers through a weekend of simulated refugee experiences, including sleep deprivation, exhaustion, and hunger.
Despite the initial cringes and chills, this is an important step towards understanding challenges of various social problems. It's not "the truth", but it increases awareness. It's a lot better than watching movies and talk shows. It is experiential. I wonder at its success. Some experiences might be lost on those who went through the simulations, of course.