Listening to music. Humans. Apes.

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Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

In the eternal search for understanding what makes us human, scientists found that our brains are more sensitive to pitch, the harmonic sounds we hear when listening to music, than our evolutionary relative the macaque monkey. The study, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, highlights the promise of Sound Health, a joint project between the NIH and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that aims to understand the role of music in health.

“We found that a certain region of our brains has a stronger preference for sounds with pitch than macaque monkey brains,” said Bevil Conway, Ph.D., investigator in the NIH’s Intramural Research Program and a senior author of the study published in Nature Neuroscience. “The results raise the possibility that these sounds, which are embedded in speech and music, may have shaped the basic organization of the human brain.” (1)

Yes, we are the only ones listening to music.

Because our mind is never here.

We love traveling to the stars.

Only because we detest the Earth on which we were born.

We will learn one day.

When we reach the stars.

That those bright small dots we will see.

Is our home.

Which we have left a long time ago…

Octopuses’ arms. Universe’s brain.

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Photo by Spyros Kakos

How octopuses’ arms make decisions: Researchers studying the behavior and neuroscience of octopuses have long suspected that the animals’ arms may have minds of their own. A new model is the first attempt at a comprehensive representation of information flow between the octopus’s suckers, arms and brain, based on previous research in octopus neuroscience and behavior, and new video observations conducted in the lab. (1)

We tend to believe that we are the ones who think. (or our arms)

But we are not. (neither do our arms)

It is not is who try to understand the universe.

It is the universe which tries to make sense of us.

And with every step. With every touch. With every smell.

We allow it to touch us again.

Look at that octopus.

So weird. Moving towards us.

No. It doesn’t want to touch anyone.

You want to…

Counting. Playing music.

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Photo by Rafael Serafim from Pexels

Bees can solve seemingly clever counting tasks with very small numbers of nerve cells in their brains, according to researchers. (1)

Scientists have developed a 3D-printed robotic hand which can play simple musical phrases on the piano by just moving its wrist. (2)

Everyone feeling so important when counting. But every animal can do it. Even bees. And what makes us special is that we may choose not to count even though we can. Everyone feeling so amazed when seeing a robot playing the piano. And yet we are not important because we play music, but because we may choose not to and listen to the silence instead.

In the future the world will be full of bees and robots.

Buzzing through chattering humans.

Playing the piano between soundless men.

But within the dreaded noisy night, a child will suddenly stay silent.

And under the scorching midday sun, an old man will stop to listen…

Beyond the robots playing perfectly…

Past the bees counting seamlessly…

Looking at the cosmos.

Crying, for it is so full and perfect.

Laughing, for it is so flawlessly dead…

Learning…

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Photo by Rok Romih from Pexels

In order to learn about the world, an animal needs to do more than just pay attention to its surroundings. It also needs to learn which sights, sounds and sensations in its environment are the most important and monitor how the importance of those details change over time. Yet how humans and other animals track those details has remained a mystery.

Now, Stanford biologists report in Science, they think they’ve figured out how animals sort through the details. A part of the brain called the paraventricular thalamus, or PVT, serves as a kind of gatekeeper, making sure that the brain identifies and tracks the most salient details of a situation.

The results are a surprise, Chen said, in part because few had suspected the thalamus could do something so sophisticated. “We showed thalamic cells play a very important role in keeping track of the behavioral significance of stimuli, which nobody had done before”, said Chen, who is also a member of Stanford Bio-X and the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute. (1)

Trying to learn how we learn.

Blind to the truth behind the veil of existence.

Lifeless puppets.

Strings attached.

There is nothing to learn.

Void cosmos.

Filled with fire.

Burning the strings.

Bringing death.

So that Being can emerge…

Starving to death…

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Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy from Pexels

Octopuses are fascinating creatures with incredible problem-solving skills and breathtaking camouflage. But overall, they are short-lived, typically around for just one to two years. That’s because they’re semelparous, which means they reproduce just once before they die.

Once an octopuse mother lays her eggs, she stops feeding – she’ll stay and watch over her eggs until they hatch, slowly starving to death. In captivity, towards the end, sometimes she’ll tear off her own skin, and eat the tips of her own tentacles.

Now, scientists have figured figured out why this grim scenario happens. It has to do with the optic gland between the octopus’s eyes; a gland similar to the pituitary gland in humans.

In 1977, researchers removed this gland and found that the octopus’ mothering instincts disappeared. She abandoned her eggs, started feeding again, and went on to live a much longer life. The maturation of the reproductive organs appears to be driven by secretions from the optic gland. These same secretions, it seems, inactivate the digestive and salivary glands, which leads to the octopus starving to death. (1)

Octopuses. Giving birth. Dying.

Humans. Giving birth. Dying.

Gods. Giving birth. Dying.

A cosmos starving to death.

For it needs to be.

That was always the case.

Not death after life.

But life after death…

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