How the Brain Focuses While Ignoring Distractions

How the Brain Focuses While Ignoring Distractions

 

Experimenting on mice, they located the precise spot in the brain where distracting stimuli are blocked. The blocking disables the brain from processing these stimuli, which allows concentration on a particular task to proceed.

Edward Zagha, an assistant professor of psychology, and his team trained mice in a sensory detection task with target and distractor stimuli. The mice learned to respond to rapid stimuli in the target field and ignore identical stimuli in the opposite distractor field. The team used a novel imaging technique, which allows for high spatiotemporal resolution with a cortex-wide field of view, to find where in the brain the distractor stimuli are blocked, resulting in no further signal transmission within the cortex and, therefore, no triggering of a motor response.

“We observed responses to target stimuli in multiple sensory and motor cortical regions,” said Zagha, who led the study published today in the Journal of Neuroscience. “In contrast, responses to distractor stimuli were abruptly suppressed beyond the sensory cortex.”

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NEUROSCIENCE CAN’T DISMISS NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES

NEUROSCIENCE CAN’T DISMISS NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES

 

Neuroscientist Christof Koch has just published an interesting article in Scientific American on near-death experiences:

Near-death experiences, or NDEs, are triggered during singular life-threatening episodes when the body is injured by blunt trauma, a heart attack, asphyxia, shock, and so on. About one in 10 patients with cardiac arrest in a hospital setting undergoes such an episode. Thousands of survivors of these harrowing touch-and-go situations tell of leaving their damaged bodies behind and encountering a realm beyond everyday existence, unconstrained by the usual boundaries of space and time. These powerful, mystical experiences can lead to permanent transformation of their lives.

Koch points out that NDEs share common characteristics across individuals, cultures, and historical eras—freedom from pain, traveling down a tunnel to a light, an intense sense of peace, seeing loved ones, experiencing a life review, and having an unusual sense of time and space. These experiences are also remembered with unusual intensity. To the person who experiences them, they seem “realer than real”—and they often fundamentally change the person’s outlook on life.

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Why young people commit crime and how moral education could help – new research

Why young people commit crime and how moral education could help – new research

 

There is a significant link between moral emotions and offending behaviour in young people. Moral emotions are learnt – and more attention needs to be given to the teaching of morals in childhood to address this link between morality and crime.

My research has proved that young people are more likely to carry out violent acts if they have weak empathy, shame and guilt, and if they do not feel violence is wrong. On the surface, this may seem obvious, but the research provides a new, evidence-based clarity about the decisions that lead to crime. It was previously thought that other personal factors – such as lack of self-control or social disadvantage – or external factors like the opportunity to commit crime were at the root of why crime occurs.

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CT scan shows damaged tissue from a covid-19 patient’s lungs

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CT scan shows damaged tissue from a covid-19 patient’s lungs

Keith Mortman describes the damaged lungs of a covid-19 patient. The chief of thoracic surgery at George Washington University Hospital created a 3-D model from a CT scan. He says the damaged tissue is very different from the lungs of a patient with pneumonia or the flu.   Click to view video

 

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How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes

How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 surges past 2.2 million globally and deaths surpass 150,000, clinicians and pathologists are struggling to understand the damage wrought by the coronavirus as it tears through the body. They are realizing that although the lungs are ground zero, its reach can extend to many organs including the heart and blood vessels, kidneys, gut, and brain.

“[The disease] can attack almost anything in the body with devastating consequences,” says cardiologist Harlan Krumholz of Yale University and Yale-New Haven Hospital, who is leading multiple efforts to gather clinical data on COVID-19. “Its ferocity is breathtaking and humbling.
If the immune system doesn’t beat back SARS-CoV-2 during this initial phase, the virus then marches down the windpipe to attack the lungs, where it can turn deadly. The thinner, distant branches of the lung’s respiratory tree end in tiny air sacs called alveoli, each lined by a single layer of cells that are also rich in ACE2 receptors.

Striking the heart

In Brescia, Italy, a 53-year-old woman walked into the emergency room of her local hospital with all the classic symptoms of a heart attack, including telltale signs in her electrocardiogram and high levels of a blood marker suggesting damaged cardiac muscles. Further tests showed cardiac swelling and scarring, and a left ventricle—normally the powerhouse chamber of the heart—so weak that it could only pump one-third its normal amount of blood. But when doctors injected dye in the coronary arteries, looking for the blockage that signifies a heart attack, they found none. Another test revealed why: The woman had COVID-19.

Buffeting the brain

Another striking set of symptoms in COVID-19 patients centers on the brain and central nervous system. Frontera says neurologists are needed to assess 5% to 10% of coronavirus patients at her hospital. But she says that “is probably a gross underestimate” of the number whose brains are struggling, especially because many are sedated and on ventilators.

Reaching the gut

In early March, a 71-year-old Michigan woman returned from a Nile River cruise with bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Initially doctors suspected she had a common stomach bug, such as Salmonella. But after she developed a cough, doctors took a nasal swab and found her positive for the novel coronavirus. A stool sample positive for viral RNA, as well as signs of colon injury seen in an endoscopy, pointed to a gastrointestinal (GI) infection with the coronavirus, according to a paper posted online in The American Journal of Gastroenterology (AJG).

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Lifeboat Foundation Safeguarding humanity

Lifeboat Foundation Safeguarding humanity

Happy to have been in 5 Boards of Lifeboat Foundation for many years now. The Lifeboat Foundation is a nonprofit nongovernmental organization dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements while helping humanity survive existential risks and possible misuse of increasingly powerful technologies, including genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and robotics/AI, as we move towards the Singularity.

Lifeboat Foundation is pursuing a variety of options, including helping to accelerate the development of technologies to defend humanity such as new methods to combat viruses, effective nanotechnological defensive strategies, and even self-sustaining space colonies in case the other defensive strategies fail.

Please see their news on Coron Virus.

https://lifeboat.com/news.cgi?212#coronavirus-update-iii

https://lifeboat.com/ex/bios.lakshman.madurasinghe

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Historial Ravana

Historial Ravana

The latest scientific evidence shared by Discovery channel two days ago shows that Ram-Sethu bridge was a man made structure that had been built around 7000 years ago.
http://www.timesnownews.com/india/video/ramayana-fact-or-fable-us-tv-show-suggests-that-ram-setu-was-man-made/145227
This opens up the subject afresh and I share some thoughts I expressed about historical Ravana a few years ago.
Sri Lanka is at a point of transition. The resultant collective consciousness will provide an ideal platform to critically re-examine certain historical and cultural assumptions carried over the years and a willingness to open to a paradigm shift in thinking. It is natural when critical scholarship progresses, new names, places, and traditions will emerge challenging hitherto accepted views. This is an inevitable aspect of growth and progress if we embrace them with a spirit of humility and transcend the barriers of petty partisan polemics.
Read more…………..
https://www.facebook.com/notes/lakshman-madurasinghe/my-foreword-to-historical-ravana-published-a-few-years-ago/10154968237175736/

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How to Adopt a Sound Bedtime Routine

How to Adopt a Sound Bedtime Routine

How to Adopt a Sound Bedtime Routine

How to Adopt a Sound Bedtime Routine How to Adopt a Sound Bedtime Routine No matter what condition you’re currently in, it’s highly probable that the imposed lockdown due to the coronavirus has had an impact on your mental health.

In my case, the never-ending flow of news articles about new cases and deaths, the unstoppable forwards in WhatsApp groups with so much fake news, and the prognostic on yet another financial crisis have increased my anxiety to a point where I can’t sleep. I’ve discussed this with several friends who’ve experienced the same feelings, and they suggested I should take medications or CBD oils.

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How Do I Focus on Work When Everything Happening in the World Is so Stressful?

How Do I Focus on Work When Everything Happening in the World Is so Stressful?

Do you have any tips on how to focus on work when everything happening in the world is so stressful?

Today’s work and life environment is incredibly stressful, which makes it hard to stay focused and avoid being overwhelmed by unproductive fear. Every time we turn on the media, we hear about the devastation the COVID virus is causing and see people who are suffering. Most of us are now physically isolated, trying to navigate relationships and new routines from our home as grim news surrounds us.

During these challenging times, it’s difficult to stay productive and innovative and yet it is critical. Turning our mind to work and being able to keep building toward the future—despite all the uncertainty that faces us in the present—will help us stay calm and in a growth mindset, which is what we all need to move forward.

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Article: This Outdoor Meditation Is Great For Those With Limited Access to Nature

This Outdoor Meditation Is Great For Those With Limited Access to Nature

Staying home can mean lots of screen time and not a ton of fresh air — this sort of imbalance could be contributing to that tension headache, anxiety, and stress you may be feeling. If your space safely allows, a quick way to recoup is connecting with nature for a few minutes, but you can maximiz…

https://flip.it/OYMzPA

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Leading from the engine room amidst the fog engulfing the crow’s nest

Leading from the engine room amidst the fog engulfing the crow’s nest

Expert opinion of Prof. Madurasinghe – EDU Brussels

I had the good fortune of recording the expert opinion of Prof. Dr Lakshman Madurasinghe, Chairman, Academy of Universal Global Peace (AUGP) USA in Sri Lanka and Senior Governor – AUGP USA and an academic board member – EDU Brussels, the intergovernmental organisation accredited to European Parliament in charge of tertiary education worldwide, on his recommended leadership model in a critical hour such as this.

Dr. Madurasinghe is an Attorney-at-Law, behavioural scientist, educationist, thought leader, strategist and author of four books. He is pioneer of the e-consciousness based model of Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Master Memory Programme. He is also the founder of the International Institute of Theological Studies, Arabian Gulf (1990). Here is what he has to say:

“Very often we look at competence and think, ‘oh sure, if this person knows his trade, has the skills to perform, it would suffice’. The brain has many regions and activating one area would not help function in an integrated way. To function holistically, there are many more areas to take into account that need to be added to competence. There is a need to have a micro and a macro perspective.

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Recent TV interview at Sirasa

Recent TV interview at Sirasa

Speaking on 17th Feb 2020 at Sirasa Jeevithayata Ida Denna–ජීවිතයට ඉඩදෙන්න– program from 7 am LIVE on education reforms and the value of aesthetic education for primary levels. I explained the Multiple Intelligence -MI- concepts of Howard Gardner and 4 stages of Piaget .

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4: specifically targets quality education and Aesthetic Education which incorporates the arts across the curriculum in a way that fosters a heightened awareness of and an appreciation for all that touches our lives. It is a way of regaining touch with the process of learning something new, of being introduced to a medium never known in a particular way before.

Traditionally we focus most of our attention on linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence. However, Multiple Intelligence studies have shown that we should also place equal attention on individuals who show gifts in the other intelligences: the artists, architects, musicians, naturalists, designers, dancers and so on. Unfortunately, many children who have these gifts have not been provided with such opportunities and we believe your efforts will help open a new window of opportunity to brighten the lives of Sri Lankan youth of the future.

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