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Questions about the Human Brain

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posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 10:26 PM
yes that definately clarifies it.

Bruce Lee was under a simmilar philosophy.

And from personal experience even with something that is not of 'life or death' like learning to play the guitar... I spent years playing things over and over angain till my fingers got to the point that they just moved more on reflex than cognitive thought.

So does repetitive action/training help to....'desensitize' the brain to certain situations? thus making it less apt to enter into this state of 'fight or flight'. And, even other situations that one has not prepared for; but through the training in general; would make the person less likely to encounter this problem?

again sorry If I am off base here Im just trying to keep up.

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 10:31 PM

Your guitar analogy is "SPOT ON!"

No, I think that Fight or Flight is a primitive reflex action in response to certain EXTREME stimuli. That would make it a basic function and thereby unaffected by "training."

I hope to know a lot more after tomorrow.


posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 10:34 PM
okay.. now that I understand more about what you mean it puts the question into a better context for me... thanks for helping my thick head with that...

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 10:45 PM
Tat is what this is all about in my opinion. This entire site.


I can accomplish somethings, but together we can do anything!!


posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 12:05 AM
Ok... So I was doing some looking into the article that semperfortis posted on page one.

As semper's highlight Touched on in page one of this thread; the hippocampus is thought by Persinger to be one of two pieces that are in a "unique" position to "mediate psi experiences". I wanted to know what that looked like and I found a great little clip that helps to illustrate it's position in the brain:

the other 'piece' he was referring to was the amygdala

Which also apparently(in conjunction with the Hippocampus and the medial prefrontal cortex) is responsible for fear... like in 'fight or flight' situations.

RESULTS: There appears to be a remarkable similarity between (a) the physiological and behavioral consequences of response to a conditioned fear stimulus and (b) a panic attack. In animals, these responses are mediated by a "fear network" in the brain that is centered in the amygdala and involves its interaction with the hippocampus (link) and medial prefrontal cortex (link). Projections from the amygdala to hypothalamic (link) and brainstem sites explain many of the observed signs of conditioned fear responses. It is speculated that a similar network is involved in panic disorder. A convergence of evidence suggests that both inheritable factors and stressful life events, particularly in early childhood, are responsible for the onset of panic disorder. CONCLUSIONS: Medications, particularly those that influence the serotonin system, are hypothesized to desensitize the fear network from the level of the amygdala through its projects to the hypothalamus and the brainstem. Effective psychosocial treatments (i.e. cognitive-behavioral therapy, CBT) may also reduce contextual fear and cognitive misattributions at the level of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Neuroimaging studies should help clarify whether these hypotheses are correct.
(All maroon edits are mine--JP)


I posted the final part of the article.. but it is a good page with alot of pictures as well.. and alot more information as to how they came to those conclusions.. worth a read.. for sure...

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 12:23 AM
just cant sleep tonight.. this is waaay to fascinating...

besides the Amygdala and the Hippocampus; the Temporal Lobes also play a large role in the psi experience:

Psi and the Temporal Lobes

The two temporal lobes of the brain constitute about 40% of the higher functioning area called the cerebrum; thus, there may be a greater potential for dysfunction or anomalous functioning of the temporal lobes than for other lobes. The temporal lobes are well situated for integrating perceptual stimuli of all kinds as well as for integrating various aspects of such cognitive functions as memory, learning, language, sense of self, in addition to emotional, sexual, and aggressive functions. Because of these capacities, psi experiences could also be integrated in the temporal lobes (Neppe, 1990).

The deep structures of the temporal lobes are the most electrically unstable portions of the human brain, and temporal lobe lability can be modified by such techniques as meditation. The contribution of temporal lobe processes to psi phenomena have two important implications. First, the phenomenological characteristics of psi experiences, especially spontaneous ones, could well be dominated by the functions of the temporal lobes. Such evidence is clearly seen in the propensity for spontaneous psi experiences to involve dreams, waking imagery, and intense affect that attributes the experience with intense personal meaningfulness (Persinger, 1974). Secondly, the electrical lability of the temporal lobes means that many other stimuli could both compete for neural substrates that facilitate psi experiences as well as simulating experiences resembling psi.


so the combination of an stimulated Hippocampus and Amygdala; and with a sudden decrease in the geomagnetic activity in the Temporal lobes... it helps to stimulate the "latent reserve capacities" and allows for a possible psi experience.

My questions are these:

How do you stimulate the Amygdala and the Hippocampus to place the human brain in a more receptive state to facilitate the psi experience?


How do does one "suddenly decrease" geomagnetic activity in the Temproal lobes?

What, if any, are the processess to go about to achieve these above mentioned goals?

If there are processess for the above question; What would be the apparati used?

thank you for your time,

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 04:40 AM
I hate to pigrail off onto another tangent, but I found another thread a few days ago that ties in nicely with this. Just wanted to point it out to everyone.

It's all about how the brain can still hear what's going on outside of the body, even when the person inside appears to be in a "vegetative state". Makes for a very interesting medical debate, with the Terry Schiavo case and all.


posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 05:41 AM
WHen performing human executions, gunshots to the brain are among the most efficient and exciting methods of death. With the use of smaller caliber weapons, such as .22 rifles and .410 shotguns using birdshot, or even higher powered pellet guns the victim often retains vision and thought up to 30 seconds after projectile impact. More powerful cartridges produce instant death, large exit wounds including fragmentation of the skull, brain tissue evacuation from the cranial cavity, along with massive blood loss. To produce similar results, weapons like .357 magnums, 7.62x39 rifle ammo, 12 gauge shotguns (preferably slugs) are recommended.

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 05:48 AM
Well...since you mentioned it, a related report about being decapitated and being able to see themselves as such for a few seconds has been reported, or theorized.

Based on the fact the brain would have the blood and oxygen for at the most, 30 seconds lends credence to those claims. However I can't help but think Nazi death experiments and Faces of Death when thinking of such horrendous acts.

Let us move along and keep this thread study based, with humane topics as the material content, not less than humane.

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 06:03 AM

Well...since you mentioned it, a related report about being decapitated and being able to see themselves as such for a few seconds has been reported, or theorized.

during the french revolution, it was believed a guilitine victims' head retained consciousness up to a minute after decapitation. in the case of royalty, the severed head was often picked up by the hair and shown its own body before being displayed to the crowd.

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 06:11 PM
Just finished with my interview of the Neurologist that specializes in MRI's and will be posting as much as I can tonight.

He would not allow me to tape it, so I will post from memory as much as I can. The Doctor is going to answer the questions I submitted to him in writing ina day or so and I will of course post that in it's entirety.

He gave me some very EXCITING news of some ground breaking research utilizing a PET scan and Functional MRI's

Hold on people, I have to have dinner with my wife, but I'll be back.


posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 09:24 PM
Just a quick highlight then I have to get to bed. Been a long day.

The good Doctor introduced me to some really ground breaking research using Holographic images and the MRI.

In short, they project holographic images in front of a patient being scanned by the MRI. This allows them to observe in great detail what parts of the brain react to what stimuli!!

How cool is that?

I'll have much more soon, you will have to forgive me, I had a terribly long stressful day.


posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 04:07 PM

I wont have the interview for a couple of days. The Doctor wants to address all of my questions on paper before I submit them here.


For your edification, here is "Functional MRI."

The principle of fMRI imaging is to take a series of images of the brain in quick succession and to statistically analyze the images for differences among them. For example, in the blood-oxygen level dependent method (Ogawa, et al., 1990), the fact that hemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin are magnetically different is exploited. Hemoglobin shows up better on MRI images than deoxyhemoglobin; thus, oxygenated blood shows up better. Brain areas with more blood flow have been shown to have better visibility on MRI images (Cohen & Bookheimer, 1994). Therefore, better visibility is thought to be correlated with brain activation. This has been exploited in the following type of procedure: a series of baseline images are taken of the brain region of interest when the subject is at rest; the subject performs a task and a second series is taken; then the first set of images is subtracted from the second, and the areas that are most visible in the resulting image are presumed to have been activated by the task. Other fMRI methods exploit the fact that the bulk movement of hydrogen nuclei causes changes in the MRI signal. Such methods could image CSF flow, blood flow, or diffusion of water through tissue. Care must be taken not to move the head, since spurious results could occur due to movement artifacts (Cohen & Bookheimer, 1994)

The basic explanation of the MRI...

Magnetic resonance can be adequately understood in terms of electromagnetic theory, as follows. All atomic nuclei spin on their axes; nuclei have a positive electronic charge; and any spinning charged particle will act as a magnet with north and south poles located on the axis of spin. In magnetic resonance studies, an object is put in a strong, externally-imposed magnetic field ("main magnetic field"); the spin-axes of all the nuclei in the object line up with the field, with the north poles of the nuclei pointing in the "southward" direction of the field. This creates an average vector of magnetization of the object that points parallel to the magnetic field (the main magnetic field is conventionally referred to as pointing along the z-axis) (Horowitz, 1995).

Then a radiofrequency (RF) pulse is broadcast toward the object in a line perpendicular to the magnetization vector. The RF pulse causes the axes of the nuclei to tilt with respect to the main magnetic field, thus causing the net magnetization vector to deviate from the main magnetic field by a certain angle. However, only those nuclei which precess about their axes at the RF pulse frequency will be affected by the pulse; in other words, the nuclei that "resonate" to that frequency will be affected (Horowitz, 1995).

The net magnetization vector gradually (over 20-300 msec) returns to the state of being parallel with the external magnetic field, and the time that this takes is called the T2 relaxation time or "spin-spin relaxation time" after deactivation of the RF pulse. The amount by which the magnetization vector tilts away from the z-axis is controlled by the intensity and duration of the RF pulse; for example, if a 5 msec pulse at a certain intensity caused it to deviate 90 degrees from the z-axis, then a 10 msec pulse would cause a 180 degree deviation. In MRI studies on biological tissue, hydrogen nuclei are examined; T2 relaxation time of these nuclei differs from tissue to tissue (Horowitz, 1995).

As one can see, the variable stimuli to the subject should increase or decrease the blood flow to various parts of the brain which can be imaged by the MRI.

This gives the researcher a clear view of the portion of the brain reacting or working in response to that stimuli.

The link has a TON more information and ones imagination can run away considering the possibilities that exist.

PET scans to follow.


posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 04:19 PM
So in short, what we are rapidly approaching is the ability to actually observe the brain in action/reaction to any number of stimuli.

Dr. Mencken related on incident in which one of the researchers on his team developed a Migraine while they were doing some tests. They immediately took advantage of the situation and placed him in the MRI and were able to, for the very first time, observe the area of the brain that is most affected during a migraine.

While still in it's infancy, I would not expect any research into Para- phenomenon anytime soon. Yet as the procedure progresses and more advancements are made, this is a definite possibility.


posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 04:20 PM

Originally posted by semperfortis
If an action is performed enough times, does the brain create "pathways" for this particular action to facilitate the execution, thereby reducing the response time?

Yes, I beleive so, let me explain. For example, it is known that people like Einstein used both hemispheres of their brains almost equally, because of higher amounts of neural pathways. By "exerciseing" the brain by doing things that encourage usage of both sides, it has been learned that the brain can and does build more neural paths.

I forget where exactly I read that info, but think it may have been linked on ATS.

Just like how people used to think that brain cells don`t regrown or regen, they do and always have and will, for most cases.

If you don't use your mind and encourage it to be smarter it wont, but it can with the continued learning process and by mixing things up. For example, use your off hand more than normal. For a day, use it exclusively.

Train your brain, as you would the body.

Not picking on any one in particular, but just as there are "lazy bodies", there are lazy brains. No one to blame but themselves.

posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 04:37 PM
I just U2U Springer with 10 questions that can be presented to his Doctor friend.

Here is what I came up with.

Questions for Brain Research.

1. It is a common perception that Humans only utilize some percentage of what the brain is capable of. Can you elaborate on that and what advancements or discoveries have been made recently and what may be anticipated in the future?
2. Are you familiar with Stanley Krippner and Michael Persinger and their research into the effects of Electromagnetic Energy and how this energy creates or influences Psychic Phenomena? If so, what is your opinion on their research.
3. Did the Brain evolve in unison with our other organs? i.e. Are there parts of the brain more evolutionarily advanced?
4. Do you think that Stem Cell Research holds as much promise for recovery from damage to the brain as the proponents would have us believe?
5. Can you describe in layman’s terms what causes memory loss after brain surgery, and pertinent advancements in the repair of damaged sections of the brain.
6. On an Evolutionary scale, what do you foresee in the future as far as Human Brain Function in concerned?
7. During the Fight or Flight Phenomena, are any “Higher” brain functions active? Also, can the brain be trained to function at a higher level during Fight or Flight?
8. There has been speculation as to the existence of a “Criminal Gene” that causes anti-social behavior by influencing brain function. Are you familiar with this and if so, do you consider it a valid hypothesis?
9. How far do you expect the research involving Functional MRI, to progress?
10. Do you think there are possible applications of Functional MRI in Paranormal research? If so, could you please elaborate?

I attempted to formulate 10 questions that would run the gamut of interest here at ATS. For example the Fight or Flight functions of the brain, interest me the most of course due to my career.

I hope we get answers to these from the expert, and I have some answers also from the Neurologist I interviewed.


posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 04:39 PM
And I have a lazy brain almost everyday...

But then, it's because I'm lazy..

Advisor, I agree 100% and wonder what research is out there that may be done where we could facilitate that repair, or creation of those new pathways?
I'll look.


posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 04:41 PM
Functional MRI is pretty cutting edge and quite amazing in what they can detect. I have spoken at length with a Neurosurgeon who has various grants and written papers on the use of FMRI to map the brain in preparation for surgery to treat epilepsy.

I have seen the data that is given back and it's certainly impressive.

posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 04:53 PM
Good work here.

There are a lot of links to articles and research on the brain here.

The Cochrane Neurological Network is world famous, and links specific symptoms with particular brain pathologies.

Good luck.

posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 05:17 PM
Ok, I have some limited knowledge and by posting this, I simply wanted to share my knowledge (which IS NOT perfect) with regard to the questions below. I am not a freaking doctor.

With that said....

1. It is a common perception that Humans only utilize some percentage of what the brain is capable of. Can you elaborate on that and what advancements or discoveries have been made recently and what may be anticipated in the future?
I can't say about the future, but yes we do only use a portion and one of the more recent discoveries that I know of is brain mapping using MRI, FMRI, CAT scans, WADA tests, EEGs, PET scans, and other techniques. The amount of data they can gather using these tests is amazing. They could not have mapped the brain so competely 20 years ago.

4. Do you think that Stem Cell Research holds as much promise for recovery from damage to the brain as the proponents would have us believe?
I believe this falls under the term "plasticity", what happens when adult stem cells generate into different cell types. Examples would be blood cells becoming neurons and liver cells that can make insulin, and even blood cells that can withstand some HIV strains. Cell-based therapy is a pretty hot topic right now.

5. Can you describe in layman’s terms what causes memory loss after brain surgery, and pertinent advancements in the repair of damaged sections of the brain.
From what I know, this depends on the type of surgery, the target of the surgery, and any complications during surgery. In some areas the effects are much more profound but that is usually determined by mapping tests. For example, my speech center might be on the left so right-side brain surgery is acceptable with little risk. Yours could be on the right and someone else could have it on both sides. Any surgery in those areas could involve loss of speech which is actually forgetting how to talk. Other possibilities include motor functions such as walking, or even something more minor such as removing a portion that simply translates what the ear hears. A sound would be heard but not understood as speech by the brain. It would be just simply "noise".

I don't know of any current "repair" techniques other then removing areas that function incorrectly and need to be removed out of medical need.

9. How far do you expect the research involving Functional MRI, to progress?
It will continue with data being accumulated all the time from successful comparison testing. An example would be using a WADA test to put areas of the brain to sleep while testing for the speech, recognition, and recall. Then doing comparitive FMRI testing. Such testing can also be done for motor mapping, but usually for motor skills...grid implants need to be inserted and then stimulated with electric current. By doing the FMRI, you can see the "hot spots" used and those can be compared to the other tests for location accuracy.

You see, the WADA tests have been determined to be very accurate. The use of FMRI is still unproven for accuracy with regard to neurosurgery.

10. Do you think there are possible applications of Functional MRI in Paranormal research? If so, could you please elaborate?
Possibly. I never thought of it before, but it does seem possible.

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