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.

 


With these neurons, extinguishing fear is its own reward

The same neurons that store feelings of reward also store memories that suppress fearful ones, a new study shows. In this image, the broader population of Ppp1r1b neurons is labeled green while neurons storing a specific fear extinction memory are labeled red.

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The Brain Predicts Reward Like an AI, Says New DeepMind Research

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Scientists Discovered ‘Mini-Computers’ in Human Neurons—and That’s Great News for AI

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These Breakthroughs Made the 2010s the Decade of the Brain

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This Year’s 4 Most Mind-Boggling Stories About the Brain

This Year’s 4 Most Mind-Boggling Stories About the Brain 2019 was nuts for neuroscience. I said this last year too, but that’s the nature of accelerating technologies: the advances just keep coming. There’re the theoretical showdowns: a mano a mano battle of where consciousness arises in the brain, wildly creative theories of why our brains are so powerful, and the first complete brain wiring diagram of any species. This year also saw the the birth of “hybrid” brain atlases that seek to interrogate brain function from multiple levels—genetic, molecular, and wiring, synthesizing individual maps into multiple comprehensive layers. Brain organoids also had a wild year. These lab-grown nuggets of brain tissue, not much larger than a lentil, sparked with activity similar to preterm babies, made isolated muscles twitch, and can…

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Study probing visual memory and amblyopia unveils many-layered mystery

The visual cortex, where the brain processes visual input, is made like a stack of pancakes. In a new study, scientists sought to determine the role in several visual phenomena of a receptor on neurons in layer 4.

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Differences between deep neural networks and human perception

Associate Professor Josh McDermott (left) and graduate student Jenelle Feather generated physically distinct stimuli that are classified identically by models, rather than by humans.

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First-Ever Artificial Neuron Could Let Us Repair Brain Injuries with Silicon

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