Consciousness Is Bunk: “Consciousness is unobservable except by introspection, [and self-reports using everyday language] and attributing it to others requires a certain degree of faith in unprovable assumptions. “

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The  above quote is from Joe LeDoux.  More:

Motivational states like these not only occur in mammals (monkeys, dogs, cats, rats, bats, whales), but also in other vertebrates (birds, reptiles, fish) and many in vertebrates (flies, bees, slugs, worms). All organisms thus have such mechanisms that help them survive in the face of threats.  Defensive motive circuit activation greatly influences behavioral and cognitive activities. When a motive state related to danger is active, we become sensitive and hyper-responsive to stimuli associated with danger. The same occurs if a motive state related to food, drink, or sex occurs. Continue reading

“A new study from the University of Cambridge has identified one of the oldest fossil brains ever discovered – more than 500 million years old “

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“The results… identify a key point in the evolutionary transition from soft to hard bodies in early ancestors of arthropods, the group that contains modern insects, crustaceans and spiders…What we’re seeing in these fossils is one of the major transitional steps between soft-bodied worm-like creatures and arthropods with hard exoskeletons and jointed limbs… Continue reading

Brain Starts Female and Represses Masculinizing to Stay A Girl

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Brain feminization requires active repression of masculinization via DNA methylation
Bridget M Nugent, et, al.

The developing mammalian brain is destined for a female phenotype unless exposed to gonadal hormones during a perinatal sensitive period…Our data show that brain feminization is maintained by the active suppression of masculinization via DNA methylation. Continue reading