Our Strength Lies in Our Humanity

Neuroscience

The ancients believed that the ‘I’ in the mind is a reflection of the body. Just as athletes and sports people develop muscle memory, the bodymind retains the imprints of experiences that shape your memories, emotions and desires, which in turn form the basis of your conscious and sub-conscious choices and actions. Who you are is a reality of your own making.

Aside from drugs, sleep deprivation, extreme physical experiences or direct physical interference, nothing or no one can reach into your head and make you do or believe something against your will – all your beliefs and actions are a result of choices you make, knowingly or unknowingly based on long held beliefs or reasoned, considered thought. The world is not simply and only something ‘out there’, you construct a view of and feelings about something ‘out there’ and make sure it suits the feeling you want or allow yourself to have about it at that moment and in that situation.

Neuroscience is a fast developing field that explores this aspect of who we are.

A very good guide is  Neuroscience of Self and Self-Regulation by Todd F. Heatherton

As a social species, humans have a fundamental need to belong that encourages behaviors consistent with being a good group member. Being a good group member requires the capacity for self-regulation, which allows people to alter or inhibit behaviors that would place them at risk for group exclusion. Self-regulation requires four psychological components. First, people need to be aware of their behavior so as to gauge it against societal norms. Second, people need to understand how others are reacting to their behavior so as to predict how others will respond to them. This necessitates a third mechanism, which detects threat, especially in complex social situations. Finally, there needs to be a mechanism for resolving discrepancies between self-knowledge and social expectations or norms, thereby motivating behavior to resolve any conflict that exists. This article reviews recent social neuroscience research on the psychological components that support the human capacity for self-regulation.

 


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Drug combination reverses hypersensitivity to noise

MIT neuroscientists have identified two brain circuits that help tune out distracting sensory information.

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Controlling our internal world

MIT neuroscientists have shown that the core elements of an internal model also control purely mental processes.

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This Strange Rule Is What Makes the Human Brain So Powerful

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New method visualizes groups of neurons as they compute

In the top row, neurons are labeled with a fluorescent probe that reveals electrical activity. In the bottom row, neurons are labeled with a variant of the probe that accumulates specifically in the neuron cell bodies, preventing interference from axons of neighboring neurons.

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Alzheimer’s plaque emerges early and deep in the brain

A white-stained cluster of amyloid plaque proteins, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease pathology, is evident in the mammillary body of a 2-month-old Alzheimer’s model mouse. A new study finds that plaques begin in such deep regions and spread throughout the brain along specific circuits.

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How Old is Your Brain? This AI Can Tell You

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Deep Learning Networks Can’t Generalize—But They’re Learning from the Brain

Deep Learning Networks Can’t Generalize—But They’re Learning from the Brain “Bias” in AI is often treated as a dirty word. But to Dr. Andreas Tolias at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, bias may also be the solution to smarter, more human-like AI. I’m not talking about societal biases—racial or gender, for example—that are passed onto our machine creations. Rather, it’s a type of “beneficial” bias present in the structure of a neural network and how it learns. Similar to genetic rules that help initialize our brains well before birth, “inductive bias” may help narrow down the infinite ways artificial minds develop; for example, guiding them down a “developmental” path that eventually makes them more flexible. It’s not an intuitive idea. Unconstrained by evolution, AI has the potential…

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