“If he who is organised by the divine for spiritual communion refuse and bury his


If he who is organised by the divine for spiritual communion refuse and bury his talent in the earth, even though he should want natural bread, sorrow and desperation will pursue him throughout life, and after death shame and confusion are faced to eternity.”

Upper body strength and socioeconomic status can predict men’s opinions on the redistribution of wealth, according to researchers.


makes sense….


Take Aways:

  • “Our results demonstrate that physically weak males are more reluctant than physically strong males to assert their self-interest—just as if disputes over national policies were a matter of direct physical confrontation among small numbers of individuals, rather than abstract electoral dynamics among millions,”

  • “This suggests that the human mind is ecologically rational and designed for small-scale societies rather than means-end rational. In short, within our modern skulls lies a brain designed for ancestral challenges.”

  • “Compared to males, ancestral human females derived fewer benefits and incurred higher costs when bargaining using physical aggression. Women can certainly be competitive, but they use more indirect forms of aggression.”

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Music’s Reward Value


Interactions Between the Nucleus Accumbens and Auditory Cortices Predict Music Reward Value

When you hear an unfamiliar tune, how do you wind up either tapping your foot or plugging your ears? A study finds that a specific brain region gives the song a thumbs up or down.

….values participants assigned to songs were associated with:

–  activity in the nucleus accumbens, a section of the brain’s pleasure center.
–  For more popular tunes, this region was more active and communicated more with the brain region that stores auditory information. Continue reading

“Emotional” Valence of Visual Stimuli – 17 MS!


“We borrow the term valence from chemistry. Instead of referring to an atom’s positive or negative charge, we use it to describe the positive or negative perception associated with an image.

Valence is simpler than emotion, or preference, or value; it should be thought of as a very rough, very rapid and automatic snapshot of perception that the brain computes in order to estimate likability of an object. Instead of thinking about what constitutes valence, it is perhaps more helpful to think why we even see valence.

…In the lab, we have shown that most people detect a negative valence as early as 17 milliseconds after the participant sees the gun. Continue reading

Does Our Visual System Work Top-Down or Bottom-Up? Mainly Bottom-Up


It is pretty much anathema to believe that consciousness ans subjective experiences and the goal directed stuff of our brain does not control our behavior starting with the visual system.  Everyone, including most scientists believe that, top-down, the “self” and “higher order concepts” and parts of the brain are in charge.  We have always been suspicious of this since it so neatly fits popular beliefs and ideologies.

Here is some data demonstrating otherwise.

The present paper argues for the notion that:

  • when attention is spread across the visual field in the first sweep of information through the brain
  • visual selection is completely stimulus-driven.
  • Only later in time, through recurrent feedback processing, volitional control based on expectancy and goal set will bias visual selection in a top–down manner.

It is argued that:

  • in most cases evidence supporting top–down control on visual selection in fact demonstrates top–down control on processes occurring later in time, following initial selection
  • We conclude that top–down knowledge regarding non-spatial features of the objects [e.g. value, emotions] cannot alter the initial selection priority.
  • Only by adjusting the size of the attentional window, the initial sweep of information through the brain may be altered in a top–down way Continue reading

“Suppressing the Brain’s Filter Can Improve Performance in Creative Tasks”


Penn Researchers Show that Suppressing the Brain’s Filter Can Improve Performance in Creative Tasks

“The real takeaway…is that when you give people a task for which they do not know the goal — such as showing them an object and asking, ‘What else can you do with this thing’ — anything that they would normally do to filter out irrelevant information about the object will hurt their ability to do the task.” Continue reading

The Brain Processes of Reaching and Grasping


Decoding Action Intentions in Parietofrontal Circuits

Decoding intended goals from sensorimotor pathways of paralyzed patients is an important feature for cognitive neural prosthetics. However, it is not clear which brain areas, or combination of areas, are optimal to guide the selection of recording sites and the design and implementation of decoding algorithms.  To date, the ability to predict goal-directed movements based on intention-related cortical signals has mainly been constrained to invasive neural recordings in nonhuman primates. Continue reading