The Latest Brain and Mind News
I occasionally cruise the internet in search of news about
the brain and/or mind. I primarily report on recent scientific
research, but any interesting article might be worth including
when I do these updates. I also include information from links
sent to me by subscribers (thank you) to The Mind Power report.
Here are a few of the latest items...
Control a Person's Brain
The first human-to-human
brain interfacing experiment has been a success. Researchers
at the University of Washington have used a noninvasive technique
to transmit a brain signal from one person to another by way
of the internet. The first person sent a brain signal that caused
the second subject to move his finger. More specifically, Rajesh
Rao, wearing a cap with electrodes, looked at a video game on
his screen and imagined moving his hand to hit the "fire"
button. On the other side of the campus, Andrea Stocco "involuntarily
moved his right index finger to push the space bar on the keyboard
in front of him." Perhaps soon you will be able to connect
to a person brain on the other side of the planet and make that
person dance like a puppet.
How to Plant Ideas in Someone's Head
I am not sure that there is much scientific evidence for the
I found on this topic, but I thought you might find it interesting
anyhow. It suggests that you "talk around and idea"
rather than talking about it directly. So you might talk about
getting the flu rather than suggesting directly to a friend or
family member that they get a flu vaccination. Planting a seed
of doubt is another trick discussed. If you want to dissuade
someone from buying a business, for example, you might appear
to be supportive while introducing some doubt: "Yeah, it
sounds like you could really make some money with that if you
don't mind all that risk." Presumably the listener will
start wondering about the risks, which is the idea you wanted
But do you want to plant ideas in people's minds? I suppose
the ethics of the practice might revolve around your intent and
whether it is harmful or not. But whatever you decide as far
as your own use of tricks like these, knowing about them is a
good way to protect yourself from their influence.
Sleep to Detoxify Your Brain
Research from the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC)
Center for Translational Neuromedicine shows that sleep
is necessary for brain detoxification. The system that clears
out toxins from your brain revs up during quality sleep. Some
tips for better sleep: keep your bedroom dark, keep it cooler
(but not so cold that you wake up), move radios and other electrical
devices away from the bed, and don't eat too close to bed time.
Your Daily Rituals
I found an interesting article on the daily
rituals of famous creative people. Benjamin Franklin liked
to run around naked, for example, calling this his "air
bath," and Beethoven counted out exactly the same number
of coffee beans every morning for brewing his morning drink.
I'm not interested in trying either of those, but I think some
sort of rituals or habits are helpful to creativity. Doing things
the same way makes it very automatic, and that leaves the mind
free to work on other matters. If you were to vary your routine
every morning and try new ways to do the necessary tasks constantly,
your creativity might be there in finding new ways to wash dishes
and such, but if you want it to be expressed in other ways, morning
rituals in particular seem like a good idea.
I have tea and eat dark chocolate every morning, and then
sit at the computer ready to work. But I also think it makes
sense to think about the rituals and exchange them for better
ones from time to time.
Brain Cancer Cure?
Scientists at Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University
found a way to explode
brain cancer cells. A substance called Vacquinol-1, when
given as tablets to mice, caused glioblastoma cells (an aggressive
type of cancer) to essentially break apart. The tumor growth
in the mice was reversed. Let's hope further studies have similar
results and that the procedures work in humans as well. I'll
keep you posted if there is more to report.