Learning new words…

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Children may learn new words better when they learn them in the context of other words they are just learning – according to research from the University of East Anglia.

Eighty two children took part in the study. In two experiments the team taught them some new words for things they couldn’t name – such as honey-dippers and strainers. Dr Samuelson said: “We practiced these new words until they knew the honey-dipper was called a ‘zeb’ and the strainer was a ‘yok’. We then showed them a new thing – a bird toy – in the context of either the objects they knew well (a ball and a car) or things they had only just learned to name (the ‘zeb’ honey-dipper and ‘yok’ strainer).

“When we asked them to get the ‘blick’, they were good at linking this new word to the bird-toy when it was presented with the familiar things, and with the just learned things.”

But, after a five minute colouring break, the children were not so good at remembering what a ‘blick’ was when they had learned it in the context of objects they already knew. (and did better when they had initially leaned the word in the context of the less well-known things — the ‘zeb’ honey dipper and the ‘yok’ strainer). “We had expected that a stronger knowledge of familiar words would be better for learning new words, but we found the opposite was true” claim the researchers.

“It seems counterintuitive, but it is perhaps because the less well-known items don’t compete with the new words as much. If they learn new words in the context of playing with well-known items such as a ball, book or car, they don’t process the new word as much.” (1)

Remembering things. Learning new things. Forgetting others.

The best way to learn is to unlearn.

The best way to remember new things is to forget the old ones.

New things will then become old.

And soon, they will too be forgotten in the quest for knowledge.

Babies we will be once more.

To view the cosmos as it is.

At the moment we are old and die…

And for the first time we will see.

That this is not the first time we see…

Hallucinations…

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Hallucinations are spooky and, fortunately, fairly rare. But, a new study suggests, the real question isn’t so much why some people occasionally experience them. It’s why all of us aren’t hallucinating all the time.

In the study, Stanford University School of Medicine neuroscientists stimulated nerve cells in the visual cortex of mice to induce an illusory image in the animals’ minds. The scientists needed to stimulate a surprisingly small number of nerve cells, or neurons, in order to generate the perception, which caused the mice to behave in a particular way. (1)

Asking the right question.

But once more, giving the ring answer.

Because even before we start thinking, we have concluded on the answer we want.

Every day more and more evidence arise regarding how easily our perception of the cosmos might be distorted. And yet every day we still insist on us having the right and “correct” (true? What does this even mean?) perception of the cosmos. Because we do not want to accept the obvious. That was always our flaw.

Yes it is easy to hallucinate.

It is easy to fool the mind.

It is easy to see things which should not be seen.

It is not your fault. It is not the cosmos’ fault.

It is just that neither you or the cosmos should care about being here wandering if it’s your fault. Because you actually aren’t here. And there is no fault. That is how all problems start. By seeing a blank piece of paper and yet still wanting to fill it in with every single thought that you make.

Admire that empty piece of paper.

It holds more knowledge than you would ever be able to write down…

Measuring laws…

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One of the fundamental physical constants, the ‘weak axial vector coupling constant’ (gA), has now been measured with very high precision for the first time. It is needed to explain nuclear fusion in the sun, to understand the formation of elements shortly after the Big Bang, or to understand important experiments in particle physics. With the help of sophisticated neutron experiments, the value of gA has now been determined with an accuracy of 0.04%. (1)

Trying to measure constants.

To formulate models.

Which need more constants.

Which we then have to measure.

Until we measure everything.

Until we have defined all constants.

What a stable world that would be.

Perfectly defined.

Perfectly modeled.

It is raining.

Let’s find shelter.

Come on.

And in that stable world.

A kid.

And in the fierce rain.

Takes a step forward.

Into the rain.

Laughing!

Ruining everything!

Secret brain waves… Memory…

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Making a specific type of brain pattern last longer improves short-term memory in rats, a new study finds.

Published online by the journal Science on June 14, the study addressed “working memory,” the temporary activation of brain cells that happens as we tour a new neighborhood, for instance, and remember our way around later that day.

Led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine, the new study finds that signals created by brain cells (neurons) — called sharp wave ripples — are longer by tens of milliseconds and capture more information when an animal is learning about a new place than when in a familiar setting.

When the research team artificially doubled the length of the signals involved in memory recall of the best route through a maze, rats with extended ripples were found to be 10-15 percent better at finding a sugary reward than rats without the manipulation. (1)

Waves.

Making memories last.

In a fluid cosmos.

The past is not carved in stone.

But on water.

The sea is calm now.

But watch closely and you will notice…

There is blood in the water.

Tears.

Laughter.

Hope.

Despair.

Throw a stone in. And everything will go away…

Wait. And the cosmos will explode.

Tears. Laughter. Hope. Despair.

Besides a perfectly calm lake, lingering in the air…

Dreamless dreams…

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In a nighttime experiment called the Dream Catcher, people’s dreams slipped right through the net. Looking at only the brain wave activity of sleeping people, scientists weren’t able to reliably spot a dreaming brain. (1)

Weird cosmos…

No signs of dreams.

And yet, we are dreaming.

No signs of consciousness.

And yet, I am me.

No sign of free will.

And yet, I am writing this article.

No, the world is not inconsistent.

We are.

Weird humans…

Trying to find truth, thus giving birth to untruth.

Trying to find our self, this giving birth to others.

Trying to analyze dreams, thus destroying them…

Peaceful child.

Smiling in its sleep.

It is dreaming.

And yet, when you wake it up.

It will remember nothing…

Shhhh…

Open your eyes…

It was just a dream.

Go back to sleep…

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