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Our Brain, where is it going?

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posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 05:55 AM
Our brain has come a long way.

Weighing in at 2.75 pounds today is quite an improvement on the 1 pound brain we had 100,000 years ago, so they say.
It is one of the most complex items in the universe, capable of making many decisions and computing details about its environment and running a human body. Through it we have created magnificent buildings, fine works of art, wonderful music and our expansion into the universe is now in its infancy with our ability to travel into space.

From the cave dwelling people we once were, this is just a blink of an eye in time for the universe.

To the best of our knowledge the Human brain evolved in three stages, the first being reptilian, then mammalian, and finally, Human. The Mammalian brain brought on feelings such as fear, attachment, anger and other behavioral patterns. Human emotional responses rely on the neural connections to the mammalian brain, which in turn, is connected to the reptilian.

If the left side of your brain is more developed like most people's are, you are right handed. On the other hand if the right side of your brain is more developed, then you will be left handed. The right side of your brain is more artistic and emotional while the left side of your brain is your common sense and practical side, such as figuring out math and logic problems.
One of the most important parts of the human brain is the cerebellum. The cerebellum is involved with the more complex functions of the brain and sometimes is even referred to as the brain within the brain. The cerebellum acts as a control and coordination center for movement. The cerebellum carries small programs that have been previously learned. For example, how to write, move, run and jump are all previously learned activities that the brain recorded and can playback when needed. Every time you practice, the brain rewrites the program and makes it better. You may have heard the saying practice makes perfect. Well this saying is not entirely true; another way of practicing is just to imagine what you wish to do. Since the cerebellum can't actually feel, it will think that you are doing what your imagining and respond by rewriting it's previous program and carrying out any other actions needed for that function.
The cerebral cortex makes up the top of the two hemispheres of the brain. The cortex is a sheet of greyish matter which produces our thoughts, language and plans. It also controls our sensations and voluntary movements, stores our memories and gives us the ability to imagine, in short it's what makes humans, humans.

So we began to learn. We found a place where we realised we could have some control over in order to make our lives more fulfilling, full of experiences and emotions. Moving from caves to mud huts, then to timber buildings and todays modern sky scrapers, it's an amazing achievement. Each 'age' benefiting us in ways we had never perceived before. The stone age taught us material manipulation. The iron age led us to the industrial revolution and onto the digital age where robots mass produce cars.

We've learnt about psychology and how our brains can be affected in such a way that you are not you.
The BBC documentary, the century of self, is very good in how it shows us our transition from living and working for ourselves and making do with the things available to us into a society where football stardom, plastic surgery, games consoles and soap operas dominate our daily living in order to keep us in a state of work/earn/spend/sleep cycle. It's been through the control placed upon us by those in financial power that our brains have been set to work in a particular order whilst giving the false identity of individualism.
Century of Self

We have used electro-shock therapy on people in order to change or control their behaviour. Then we have the chemical changes that doctors, pharmaceutical companies and other 'outside' sources provide for us in order to control other sections of our lives. Even down to simple things such as drinks give 'energy boosting' feelings, like caffeine does. We are even being sold GPS devices for our cars to help us drive around. Some say they stop us thinking for ourselves.

Today, many are looking at ways in which to observe and control your brain for their own good.

Measures are needed to stop brain scans being misused by courts, insurers and employers, experts have warned. At least one US company is offering scans to employers recruiting staff.
"After data mining and online profiling, brain imaging could well become the next frontier in the privacy wars.

"The promise to read a person's mind is beguiling, and some applications will be greatly beneficial.

"But a combination of exaggerated claims by commercial providers, inadequate legal regulation and the persuasive power of images bring very real dangers for us as citizens."

So here we see a potential risk of 'oops, we got it wrong'.. Can you imagine having these brain scans at international ports or even at your work place. The moment you walk through the door, they know you were lying about being of work sick yesterday.
Yet the very next thing they give us is a toy.. A toy designed to make you think that you are technologically advanced but your actually having your thought patterns altered by making access to the brain more easy for everyone else who wants to propose brain scanners as a tool to prevent crime.

A wireless headset that can interpret brain waves to control video games and other onscreen action, had been shown off at a hi-tech conference. The Emotiv Epoc claims to be the first neural headset aimed at consumers. The system, which is already on sale, uses a century old medical technique to read electrical signals in the brain. The technology then uses a series of algorithms to convert them into onscreen movement.

We're now at a stage where "digital highs" are becoming a bit more widespread, we've already been bombarded with advertising in many guises but this is a new form of brain changing. What it actually does is one question that we need to look into, especially regarding long term effects. for the better or worse?

The implications of such 'brain manipulation' is fascinating! On the other hand don't expect me to run over to You Tube to play guinea pig, not yet at least. (My brains subjected to enough on ATS - I don't need to go digital!) So for now, please, any of you out there who've 'tried' the 'digital high'? Give up some personal experience information. Tell us if there's any 'validity' to these claims. Can these digital 'highs' be harmful? Beneficial? If so - how?

Then there are those who want to take it a lot further. Microchips. Implants placed in the brain in order to solve certain problems.
Brain damage through an accident is one good example where microchips could be of great help. But that's the problem.. help.
The difference between helping someone only for someone else to manipulate those who have been helped is a bit of an issue.
Let's say you had a microchip put in your brain. he reason why its there is not important right now. The fact is, you've go a chip in your head.
there you are, quietly sitting in a park eating an apple, watching many people walking by, some running, others stood around chatting, when a man walks in wearing a blue jacket and green trousers.. for some unknown reason, you get up, pull out a gun and shoot the man. Your microchip has just been hacked.

someone has just used a laptop to hack your microchip and force you to do something you would never have done.

An increasing number of neural implantable devices will become available in the near future due to advances in neural engineering. This discipline holds the potential to improve many patients' lives dramatically by offering improved—and in some cases entirely new—forms of rehabilitation for conditions ranging from missing limbs to degenerative cognitive diseases. The use of standard engineering practices, medical trials, and neuroethical evaluations during the design process can create systems that are safe and that follow ethical guidelines; unfortunately, none of these disciplines currently ensure that neural devices are robust against adversarial entities trying to exploit these devices to alter, block, or eavesdrop on neural signals. The authors define “neurosecurity”—a version of computer science security principles and methods applied to neural engineering—and discuss why neurosecurity should be a critical consideration in the design of future neural devices.

A 2007 WHO report indicated that neurological disorders—such as injury, spina bifida, stroke, encephalitis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, and Alzheimer disease—affect up to 1 billion people worldwide.21 Unlike traditional approaches that stress accommodation of the needs of the neurologically affected via drug interventions or intrusive and costly home or hospital care, neural engineering combines cutting-edge technologies to develop a proactive role in understanding more about how the nervous system works, in order to provide rapid, complete, and effective treatment, rehabilitation, and assistance. These technologies can allow patients to experience more freedom and independence in their daily lives than ever before.

Computer security and privacy is a field within computer science dedicated to the design and engineering of technologies so that they behave as intended, even in the presence of malicious third parties who seek to compromise the operations of the device. These malicious parties are often called hackers, attackers, or adversaries. Three of the standard goals in computer security are confidentiality, integrity, and availability: an attacker should not be able to exploit the properties of a device to learn private information (confidentiality); an attacker should not be able to change device settings or initiate unauthorized operations (integrity); and an attacker should not be able to disable a device altogether and render it ineffective (availability). We define neurosecurity as the protection of the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of neural devices from malicious parties with the goal of preserving the safety of a person's neural mechanisms, neural computation, and free will.

We base our argument on several facts. First, security vulnerabilities have already been found in implanted medical devices. In our past research, we experimentally demonstrated that a hacker could wirelessly compromise the security and privacy of a representative implantable medical device: an implantable cardiac defibrillator introduced into the US market in 2003. Specifically, our prior research found that a third party, using his or her own homemade and low-cost equipment, could wirelessly change a patient's therapies, disable therapies altogether, and induce ventricular fibrillation (a potentially fatal heart rhythm).10 Although we only conducted our experiments using short-range, 10-cm wireless communications, and although we believe that the risk of an attack on a patient today is very low, the implications are clear: unless appropriate safeguards are in place, a hacker could compromise the security and privacy of a medical implant and cause serious physical harm to a patient.

We believe that some future hackers—if given the opportunity—will have no qualms in targeting neural devices. We have already seen examples of malcontents and vandals using computers in an attempt to cause physical harm to patients: in both November 2007 and March 2008 individuals placed flashing animations on epilepsy support websites, causing some patients with photosensitive epilepsy to experience seizures.9,17 In the context of a neural device, there is an added risk that these vandals can take advantage of neural plasticity to make longer-term alterations to a person's neural computation. There have also been cases of illegal self-prescription in which patients tried to use their own implantable medical devices to cause themselves harm.1 Patients with neural devices may self-prescribe in an attempt to enhance their performance, increase their level of pain relief, or overstimulate the reward centers in the brain.

So where is our brain going? Many feel we are on the verge of a major spiritual change sometime after 2012. Could it be possible that our brains will tap into some other unknown region and allow us to see other dimensions or have telepathy?
Are we going to end up going the way of the Borg from Star trek? will we become so reliable on technology that we immerse ourselves in it so completely that the 'collective' is a dire end to humanity?


posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 05:57 AM
I think one day there will be one gender, and how that will be played out in our brains, who knows.

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 06:10 AM
Just downsizing, look at todays computers compared to computers of the past...look how much you can store on USB/Portable HDD's...and there is your answer, we're just evolving...

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 06:17 AM
reply to post by Sounds_of_Silence

Gaining computational speed and power is a technological advancement brought on by the use of our brains. Storage devices are there so we can save and learn from information gained. Our brain can access this any time as it would access a memory of a past event.

The reduction of thinking, through the use of devices such as GPS is possibly a big problem.

If our brain is prevented from growing, then it may surely shrink. Maybe not in size but definitely in its ability to operate. If you have a computer constantly telling your brain what to do, when do you have time to think for yourself and if technology came to a sudden crash, where would society be if everyone was plugged into it through microchips?

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 06:44 AM
Very good thread.

This is what I have been thinking lately, will our brains mutate something like a new section possibly like a communication section. Where we will all connected mentally through a type of network like the Internet. Sounds crazy but so does most things concerning 2012 so why not.

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 06:50 AM
This is not a thread derailer..

You ask me this question and what I got is,


It's proverbial drain or a de-evolution that is going on, which I can't explain...

Maybe it's all the flouride...

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 06:56 AM
I alway wondered. How do our brain create thoughts? I mean a single cell, and cells is all our brain consists of, can't create so complex thought patterns as i do now for example.

Then how does it create thoughts and consciousness just by being wired electrically to other cells?

if that question doesn't make sense to you, then look at the video in this link Mind Mysteries I think Sam Parnia, is much better at explaining the mystery of that question, than i would be with my limited english capabilities:
edit on 11-2-2011 by JokerzReality because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 07:01 AM
reply to post by hillynilly

Then lets also look at flouride in this manner. It could be just one of the 'weapons' used in order to get what's wanted.

Is flouride being used to destroy creative centres in brain?
It's quite a discussion in there and will require you to read through the posts.

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 07:37 AM
reply to post by Extralien

I have been reading through the flouride information, my mind is still not quite made up on it.

I do know it is fact in HIGH amounts, flouride can kill you/make you act funny, but even to much water
can do that, if you kind of get where I am going with that.

I think it is a good thread and did S and F it...

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 07:53 AM
There is currently a documentary running on TV called The Brain; a secret history.
It talks about all the nasty experiments carried out on the brain in living people. some of it is a bit disturbing.

Michael Mosely's new BBC Four series explores the controversial history of researching the mind. Here are five of the most ethically dubious brain experiments, as featured on the show.

Music may also be developing in a way that may, or may not, bring about a new way of thinking and how we live our lives. The impression it is currently giving off is that it is for the better. We will see.

Known as binaural beats, you'll need a pair of stereo headphones to understand the effect of these sounds. You can find a mass of info on it from this ATS search
and here is a sample that I am listening to.

posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 09:01 AM
reply to post by Extralien

SandF. Very good thread. As a psychotherapist, in my field, we are now able to correctly identify which parts of the brain are stimulated to produce emotions, instinct, et al. I work with lots of families and children who's homes are affected by drug and/or alcoholism. Through scientific breakthroughs, chemistry, research and studies, it has moved my field more in the direction of science than philosophy. I think the scientific approach gives us a better interpretation of the brain than the philosophical angle. After all, philosophy is nothing but opinions.

What is interesting to note, is that it has been said we only use 13% of our brain! Can anyone imagine if we used the other 87%? It has been speculated that this 87% of unused (by most) is why some people have ESP, etc. I, personally, cannot wait until we have unlocked the secrets of HOW to use the rest of our brain, so to speak. Good thread.

posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 09:19 AM
reply to post by TheAnuraOne

You claim to be a psychotherapist and support the more scientific approach that modern neuroscience has brought to psychology, but you still believe the 10% myth? A quick look at an MRI of a healthy brain will show that even the most mundane tasks employ the vast majority of the brain. The 10% myth has been out of favor since at least the time electrodes were initially used to research the function of the brain.

posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 10:01 AM
reply to post by Xcalibur254

I never claimed to be an expert. I still stand firm in my belief that we haven't unlocked the full potential of the brain. When you say "I claim", I take that as being said in a negative light.

posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 10:28 AM
reply to post by Xcalibur254

I'm no expert either, but i kinda get the feeling that we may have worked out how much of the brain is being used.. but that it may be for individual tasks.

Let's say one task uses three portions of the brain.. we may find that each portion uses only 1% of that portion. this leaves 99% of each portion to do other things.

I think the 10% theory is based on this rather than the entire brain being constantly used for every task.

It's commonly believed that females are more capable of multi tasking than men.. This is a brain issue.

We've still got a lot to learn really. No science or measurement is exact.. There is always something that comes along and changes the whole perspective.

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 07:54 AM
I always think of a fetus inspecting the placenta that contains it when I think of the human being examining the brain that creates it. There's a saying that became popular a year or so ago "When you're a hammer, the whole world is a nail." Corporeal human beings exist as a finite series of specific and evolving events that each feature a withering degree of complexity and sophistication. This series runs until something within the organization fails that compromises the structural integrity of the whole, causing a catastrophic chain reaction that globally crashes it all. We know that this is true, but what we fight over is why this whole series of events occurs. After all, in nature, nothing occurs without contribution to the whole that contains it. I just think it's fascinating that we never seem to notice that we are actually event sequences and not masses of concrete matter. But then, we're each hammers and we can only see everything as being nails.

The human brain is capable of something that is pretty unique. It can realize its own existence and place itself within the contextual environment that contains it (to a reasonable degree). Other brains are capable of awareness, but the observational dichotomy is something that - as far as we know - is unique to the human brain (or perhaps better stated, unique to the direct result of the activities of the human brain). This observational departure isn't philosophical in nature, it does exist. Philosophy is where it is batted about and argued over, but the phenomenon is authentic. The human mind (the observer) really is separate from the human brain. But is that the same as suggesting that the human mind is not associated with the human brain - as some suggest? Hardly.

The human mind is the product of the human brain, and in the same sense that a passage of music is the product of a musician and the instrument that the musician is playing to produce that music. The music can't exist unless brought into existence by the event series that involves the musician and the instrument. It can't simply be without being brought into being by that specific event. The human mind is the direct result of the event activity of the human corporeal brain, with each human being crafted and compiled - from instant to instant - by the one specific brain that is associated with it. When that brain finally expires, that human being is fully gestated and released into viability. We call this being a "spirit", but in fact, it is comprised of contextually associated units (bursts, in this case) of dynamic information. We call this dynamic information "human consciousness". I prefer to call it Intellect.

The human brain's entire series of corporeal events (every thought, response, reaction, initiation, emotion, rumination) created this mass of Intellect bursts (dynamic information that fully and accurately represents each event staged by that dynamic and conscious brain, and as a gathered whole represents the entire event that is the life of that brain) in the same manner that each event elsewhere in reality is directly represented by the fact of that event having occurred. In the case of the brain, each event is extremely sophisticated and extremely rich-textured, with much of it dynamic and conscious. This results in the related Intellect being equally sophisticated and rich-textured, with much of it dynamic and conscious. After all, information exists to represent the event, and exists only to accomplish that one task.

In essence, information exists to document and represent the event - ensuring its survival by logical proxy, since the event itself has no capacity to survive the instant on its own. In exchange, event gives physical existence to information as a result of its own natural response to causation. This is the fundamental symbiotic relationship, and the existential basis for all that is and/or will ever be physical.

Our brains are the 2nd stage of human gestation, with the rest of the body in support of it as it performs that one and only existential function. As the brain does what it does - reacting and initiating in response to being a constantly dynamic and morphing event within the larger event of corporeal existence - it causes dynamic Intellect information to come into physical existence and to mass together in "in-kind" association, as is the case with all that seeks to survive by adhering to a variety of survival imperative expressions. As the human brain develops in sophistication, the sophistication of the resulting human being will increase.

Still, with direct event-information correlation, it's hard to know exactly how this will actually impact the nature of the fully gestated human beings of the future. Each Intellect burst will still be ruled by the personality's cognitive vetting process, so the truth may be that even as the brain becomes quicker and more facile, the net result may simply be a faster developed human being, and not necessarily a better human being. Hopefully, there will come a point where knowledge will be better translated into wisdom, but that's generally a nurture/developmental thing and not a DNA related improvement. In the end, the brain always succeeds in creating a person. For better or worse.

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 11:20 AM
I think at the moment our brain isn't going to any particular direction. There's no selective pressure towards anything. There might be a slight drift towards lower IQ because it's the lower "classes" that do most of the breeding and there's correlation between wealth and IQ (other factors too) and IQ is highly heritable. However, we're all very similar to begin with. So.. brain evolution has come to a temporary halt (meaning it's not changing towards anything in any significant way right now).
edit on 17-2-2011 by rhinoceros because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 03:42 PM
This latest news just goes to shoe exactly where our brain may be gong.. and when you consider the implications quoted in the opening post, then you could end up with a robotic brain being remotely controlled to do whatever is demanded of it.

In our past research, we experimentally demonstrated that a hacker could wirelessly compromise the security and privacy of a representative implantable medical device
from opening post.

the latest news shows just how far we are publicly being informed about..

Researchers are developing artificial limbs, wheelchairs and computers which can be controlled by the user's thoughts.

Thought-controlled wheelchairs and nerve-controlled prosthetic arms are some of the latest innovations in bionics being discussed at a science conference in Washington. The wheelchair can be directed by brain signals detected using a cap fitted to the user and is the work of scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland (EPFL). It is part of efforts to control machines directly via brain signals, which could lead to new devices for the paralysed and disabled.

Now, let's contemplate a few things here..
the stealth bomber was apparently way ahead of its time when revealed.. in other words it had been in development for many years.. we currently have drones for weapons.
If we are being led to believe that these 'robotics' mentioned in the BBC links above are new, then we have to ponder just how far the military have developed them.

Imagine if you will, A criminal executed for his crimes..his brain removed and placed into a robotic frame, the brain is implanted with microchips.
The chips receive commands from a radio signal.. the chips stimulate the brain to control the robotic frame .. and you have a walking, fighting, killing machine at your disposal.. easily replaceable parts..
We even hear stories about how many organs are taken from the deceased without anybody knowing.. so how many brains could one lay their hands on in order to form an army of computer controlled robots?

Our own brains could be the deciding factor in a future war.. the day of the Exterminator is not too distant and AI could turn against us .. It would only take one rogue brain that somehow manages to overcome the chips programming..

A bit far fetched? Maybe, but it is something to consider for the future.

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