Researchers working at MIT have successfully manipulated the content of a ratís dream by replaying an audio cue that was associated with the previous dayís events, namely running through a maze (what else). The breakthrough furthers our understanding of how memory gets consolidated during sleep ó but it also holds potential for the prospect of "dream engineering."
Working at MITís Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, neuroscientist Matt Wilson was able to accomplish this feat by exploiting the way the brainís hippocampus encodes self-experienced events into memory. Scientists know that our hippocampus is busy at work replaying a number of the dayís events while we sleep ó a process thatís crucial for memory consolidation. But what they did not know was whether or not these "replays" could be influenced by environmental cues.
To see if this could be done, Wilson and his team trained a group of rats to run through a maze using two distinct audio cues. The rats quickly learned that the tones were helpful; one sound indicated that food could be found by going left, while the other sound indicated that a food reward awaited them on the right. And while the rats were doing this, the neuroscientists were recording their neural activity.
Later, while the rats were sleeping, the researchers once again recorded the neural activity of their brains. Using correlative analysis, Wilson confirmed that the rats were dreaming of their maze navigating exploits from the day before.
But when the researchers played the audio cues from the experiment, they noticed a very interesting thing: the rats would dream about the section of the maze previously associated with the audio cue. The experiment demonstrated that the content of a ratís dream can be biased by re-activating certain memories while theyíre asleep.
Looking ahead, the researchers believe that this simple example of dream engineering could open up the possibility of more extensive control of memory processing during sleep ó and even the notion that selected memories could be either enhanced, blocked, or modified. Wilson is also aiming to develop new approaches to learning and behavioral therapy through similar kinds of cognitive manipulation.
Breakthrough Could Enable Others to Watch Your Dreams and Memories (2011)
"The left clip is a segment of the movie that the subject viewed while in the magnet. The right clip shows the reconstruction of this movie from brain activity measured using fMRI. The reconstruction was obtained using only each subjectís brain activity and a library of 18 million seconds of random YouTube video. (In brief, the algorithm processes each of the 18 million clips through the brain model, and identifies the clips that would have produced brain activity as similar to the measured brain activity as possible. The clips used to fit the model, those used to test the model and those used to reconstruct the stimulus were entirely separate.) Brain activity was sampled every one second, and each one-second section of the viewed movie was reconstructed separately. "
Professor: Reason Itself Is A White Male Construct 2015-07-04 3:55
A philosophy and religion professor at Syracuse University gave an interview to The New York Times Thursday in which he critiqued the notion of pure reason as simply being a “white male Euro-Christian construction.”
Prof. John Caputo was being interviewed by fellow philosophy professor George Yancy for the 13th installment of an interview series Yancy conducts with philosophers regarding racial topics.
Given its emphasis on first principles ...
The Broken Window Fallacy 2015-07-04 3:48
Youtube description: This short video explains one of the most persistent economic fallacies of our day.
Jenji Kohan and the Jewish Hyper-Sexualization of Western Culture 2015-07-04 3:33
As detailed in The Culture of Critique, Freud and his followers regarded anti-Semitism was a universal pathology which had its roots in sexual repression. The theoretical basis for this can be found in Freud’s Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality where he linked aggression to the frustration of human drives — especially the sex drive. Kevin MacDonald notes that: ...
Confederate History - Dispelling the Myths 2015-07-03 3:28
History books, the media, the school systems, etc abound in falsehoods and inaccuracies of Confederate and Southern history. This fact sheet will help to clarify and dispell some of these rampant inaccuracies.
MYTH - The War of 1861 - 1865 was fought over slavery.
FACT - Terribly untrue. The North fought the war over money. Plain ...
Gays Rights May Open Door for Pedophile Rights 2015-07-03 3:31
Democrats have attempted to normalize pedophilia as a sexual orientation.
A recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage may soon allow pedophiles to argue they are suffering discrimination.
‚ÄúUsing the same tactics used by ‚Äėgay‚Äô rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals,‚ÄĚ writes Jack Minor ...