Deep Brain Stimulation
Optimal adaptation for any organism is defined by the environment in which it lives. Both the larger planetary environment with its specific physical properties and more specific ecological niches shape the evolution of species. For humans, for example, the anthropological record reveals a relationship between the inhospitableness of the environment and the size of the human brain and paleoclimatological data reveal that periods of harsh environmental conditions are correlated with rapid changes in human brain 14, 15 . Climate variation demands behavioral flexibility for success - and brain power to facilitate it. This highly flexible adaptive repertoire of humans means that they can respond not only to different physical conditions, but also to highly complex, non-physical environments of their own making, those that are
In Mandinka one word covers steam and heat. This means that the material nature of steam, as a mixture of water vapour and condensation, could be confused with heat energy in the form of infra-red radiation - the glow you feel round a fire. In Wolof, where one word covers smoke and steam, the confusion between the solid particu-lates associated with smoke and the water droplets associated with visible steam cannot be as easily sorted, as it could be in Mandinka and English. English-speaking children frequently use the words steam and smoke synonymously, but at least we have the words available to separate out the two ideas. Having the word in your brain helps you observe the differences between smoke, steam and heat.
Molecular functional neuroimaging methods such as positron emission tomography (PET) are able to demonstrate changes in brain activity over time or differences between study groups through the use of short-lived radiotracers. In early work, O15-labeled water or 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) were utilized to measure blood flow and glucose metabolism, respectively, either at rest or during task performance. While O15-water PET has largely been supplanted by MR imaging methodologies such as functional MRI (fMRI) and MR perfusion sequences which are capable of noninvasive blood flow measurements (e.g. arterial spin labeling, discussed below), FDG PET has come into regular clinical use in some neurocognitive populations due to approval for payment for the service by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the US federal agency that administers Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. CMS approval for FDG PET to aid in localization of seizure focus...
Farmer contends you have a model in your head of how baseballs fly. You could predict the trajectory of a high-fly using Newton's classic equation of f ma, but your brain doesn't stock up on elementary physics equations. Rather, it builds a model directly from experiential data. A baseball player watches a thousand baseballs come off a bat, and a thousand times lifts his gloved hand, and a thousand times adjusts his guess with his mitt. Without knowing how, his brain gradually compiles a model of where the ball lands-a model almost as good as f ma, but not as generalized. It's based entirely on a series of hand-eye data from past catches. In the field of logic such a process is known as induction, in contradistinction to the deduction process that leads to f ma.
Except for a few out-of-control robots of Mark Pauline, most muscle-bound bots of today are overweight, sluggish, and on the dole-addicted to continuous handouts of electricity and brain power. It is a chore to imagine them as the predecessor of anything interesting. Add another arm, some legs, and a head, and you have a sleepy behemoth.
Alois Alzheimer, born in Marbreit, Germany, became a medical researcher at Munich Medical School, where he created a new laboratory for brain research. In 1906, he identified an unusual disease of the cerebral cortex that caused memory loss, disorientation, hallucinations, and untimely death. Alzheimer died at the tender age of 51 from complications of pnuemonia and endocarditis 17 .
Have you ever been envious of people who seem to have no end of clever ideas, who are able to think quickly in any situation, or who seem to have flawless memories? Could it be that they're just born smarter or quicker than the rest of us? Or are there some secrets that they might know that we don't?