Knowing thy self…

Interoception is the awareness of our physiological states; it’s how animals and humans know they’re hungry or thirsty, and how they know when they’ve had enough to eat or drink. But precisely how the brain estimates the state of the body and reacts to it remains unclear. In a paper published in the journal Neuron, neuroscientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) shed new light on the process, demonstrating that a region of the brain called the insular cortex orchestrates how signals from the body are interpreted and acted upon. The work represents the first steps toward understanding the neural basis of interoception, which could in turn allow researchers to address key questions in eating disorders, obesity, drug addiction, and a host of other diseases. (1)

I feel hungry.

I know I am.

My brain thinks so.

Based on input from the stomach.

I feel alive.

My brain thought of that.

Based on input from the stomach.

I feel existing.

My brain thought of that.

Based on input from the stomach.

Do you feel it?

My stomach feels weird…

I know it is just my stomach.

Based on input from… ?

Listen. Without listening…

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

Brain activity synchronizes with sound waves, even without audible sound, through lip-reading, according to new research published in JNeurosci.

Bourguignon et al. used magnetoencephalography to measure brain activity in healthy adults while they listened to a story or watched a silent video of a woman speaking. The participants’ auditory cortices synchronized with sound waves produced by the woman in the video, even though they could not hear it.

The synchronization resembled that in those who actually did listen to the story, indicating the brain can glean auditory information from the visual information available to them through lip-reading. (1)

Listen.

Without listening.

For what you listen to is not what you listen. But what you see.

See.

Without seeing anything.

For what you see is not what you see. But what you feel and know.

Live.

Without actually living.

For what you experience in life is not life. But the expectation of death…

Drawing. Seeing.

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

Drawing an object and naming it engages the brain in similar ways, according to research recently published in JNeurosci. The finding demonstrates the importance of the visual processing system for producing drawings of an object.

In a study by Fan et al., healthy adults performed two tasks while the researchers recorded brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging: they identified pieces of furniture in pictures and produced drawings of those pieces of furniture. The researchers used machine learning to discover similar patterns of brain activity across both tasks within the occipital cortex, an area of the brain important for visual processing. This means people recruit the same neural representation of an object whether they are drawing it or seeing it. (1)

We think what we see.

We speak what we think.

Draw a line.

Contain the cosmos on a paper.

And you will remain speechless.

Do you see?

We think what we speak.

We see what we think…

But who drew the first line? Who thought of that first thought? Who spoke the first words?

In the midst of silence, can you listen to yourself?

Stop looking.

In the void of everything, can you see anything?

Flowers.

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

When flowers reached Australia: University of Melbourne research has established when and where flowering plants first took a foothold. New research has revealed that Australia’s oldest flowering plants are 126 million years old and may have resembled modern magnolias, buttercups and laurels. (1)

An empty continent.

With no flowers.

Full with life.

But void of any beauty.

You could say that this is a dead cosmos.

But it is the only one worth being alive.

For there is nothing better than having flowers.

And that is wanting them!

Look at the desert.

Can you smell the flowers?

Growing in darkness…

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

New research reveals how a week in the dark rewires brain cell networks and changes hearing sensitivity in adult mice long after the optimal window for auditory learning has passed. With further study, cross-modal learning — the manipulation of one sense to induce change in another sense — could be used to help people with disabilities. For example, temporary sight deprivation might be used to help deaf and hearing-impaired people adapt to cochlear implants and hearing aids. (1)

Spend a week in darkness. And you will hearing will improve.

Spend a week in total silence. And your eyes will sharpen.

Spend a week in total lack of touch stimuli. And you will reach out to the cosmos.

Spend a week dead. And you will for the first time know what life is…

Review our original premises.

And through the lens of craziness, you may discover logic.

Yes, you can sense the cosmos.

But take a good look.

A lifeless telescope can sense much more than you…

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