Pigeons are capable of switching between two tasks as quickly as humans – and even more quickly in certain situations. These are the findings of biopsychologists who had performed the same behavioral experiments to test birds and humans. The authors hypothesize that the cause of the slight multitasking advantage in birds is their higher neuronal density. (1)
Doing less is doing more. More brain means more filtering to the input we receive from the cosmos. And the input is raw and dark. We cannot accept it unfiltered. That is why people innocent enough to witness the cosmos end up crazy at the end. Only children can bear the burden. Because they know they can fly. Even though we teach them that they cannot.
The pigeon is not remarkable because it can perform multitasking.
A modern processor can do the same as well.
The pigeon is remarkable because it makes the children run and laugh…
Dr. Gregory Berns, 53, a neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta, spends his days scanning the brains of dogs, trying to figure out what they’re thinking. The research is detailed in a new book, “What It’s Like to Be a Dog”.
Among the findings: Your dog may really love you for you — not for your food.
But is this a valid conclusion? When the scientist was asked “Do dogs love us more than food? How did you test for that?” this is what he replied…
“We did an experiment where we gave them hot dogs some of the time and praise some of the time. When we compared their responses and looked at the rewards center of their brains, the vast number of dogs responded to praise and food equally. Now, about 20 percent had stronger responses to praise than to food. From that, we conclude that the vast majority of dogs love us at least as much as food. Another thing that we’ve learned by showing pictures of objects and people to the dogs is that they have dedicated parts of their brain for processing faces. So dogs are in many ways wired to process faces.” (1)
Other people are right-handed and other people are left-handed. “Handed-ness” or left-right asymmetry is prevalent throughout the animal kingdom, including in pigeons and zebrafish. But why do people and animals naturally favor one side over the other, and what does it teach us about the brain’s inner workings? Researchers explore these questions in a Review published April 19, 2017 in Neuron.
“Studying asymmetry can provide the most basic blueprints for how the brain is organized,” says lead author Onur Güntürkün, of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at Ruhr-University Bochum, in Germany. “It gives us an unprecedented window into the wiring of the early, developing brain that ultimately determines the fate of the adult brain.” Because asymmetry is not limited to human brains, a number of animal models have emerged that can help unravel both the genetic and epigenetic foundations for the phenomenon of lateralization.
Güntürkün says that brain lateralization serves three purposes. The first of those is perceptual specialization: the more complex a task, the more it helps to have a specialized area for performing that task. The next area is motor specialization: “What you do with your hands is a miracle of biological evolution,” he says. “We are the master of our hands, and by funneling this training to one hemisphere of our brains, we can become more proficient at that kind of dexterity”. Natural selection likely provided an advantage that resulted in a proportion of the population (about 10%) favoring the opposite hand. The thing that connects the two is parallel processing, which enables us to do two things that use different parts of the brain at the same time.
Brain asymmetry is present in many vertebrates and invertebrates. “It is, in fact, an invention of nature, which evolved because many animals have the same needs for specialization that we do,” says Güntürkün.
Research on pigeons has shown that this specialization often is a function of environmental influences. When a pigeon chick develops in the shell, its right eye turns toward the outside, leaving its left eye to face its body. When the right eye is exposed to light coming through the shell, it triggers a series of neuronal changes that allow the two eyes to ultimately have different jobs. (1)
We need specialization.
But the greatest and most difficult specialization is generalization.
We believe that the environment feeds asymmetry.
But the environment in large scales is symmetric.
We may see asymmetry, but by simply changing perspective we can see the exact opposite. See a city from above. And you will see one small dot. Go into the small streets. And you will get lost in them. The same applies with thought, particles, society and so on. Yes, people are right handed or left handed. But seeing this from a “higher” perspective you could just say that “people write with their hands”.
Specialization comes from the need to dig into things. But the ultimate result of digging in is to learn that digging was useless.
There is no need to know with which hand people write. All you need to know is that they do. There is no need to get lost into the small roads. You can see the whole world from your home. There is not even a need to get out of your home. You can experience everything from your chair.
There is no left or right.
There is no right or wrong.
Not even “is” is. Just you.
When you are truly alive, when performing the one thing which makes you “be” (i.e. “being” without doing anything, just knowing that you “are” there and you are you), you do not use any hand. Or eye. Or ear. You just “exist”. There is no asymmetry in existence. Asymmetry is just a phenomenon materializing when you do not accept reality and want to “dig in” so as to “understand”. Your actions destroy reality and create a new one. Your decision to leave home destroys the dot and makes the city appear. You don’t have any hands. You just choose to write with the right one.
Octopus, squid, and cuttlefish are famous for engaging in complex behavior, from unlocking an aquarium tank and escaping to instantaneous skin camouflage to hide from predators. A new study suggests their evolutionary path to neural sophistication includes a novel mechanism: Prolific RNA editing at the expense of evolution in their genomic DNA.
Scientists analyzed how the brain of a fly compensates for its own movement when seeing and found out that indeed specific neurons are suppressed in order to keep the fly… flying. When a gust of wind unexpectedly blows a fly off course, for example, a powerful reflex known as the optomotor response causes the insect’s head to rotate in the opposite direction, snapping its eyes back toward their original target. The fly also stabilizes its flight path by using its wings to execute a counter-turn. If a fly intentionally turns to shift its gaze, however, something different occurs. The urge to rotate its head and body back toward the original flight direction is somehow suppressed. Otherwise, it would never be able shift its gaze at all.
The same with humans: “Every time you move your eye, the whole world moves on your retina,” says Gaby Maimon, head of the Laboratory of Integrative Brain Function. “But you don’t perceive an earthquake happening several times a second”. That’s because the brain can tell if visual motion is self-generated, canceling out information that would otherwise make us feel – and act – as if the world was whirling around us.
Each time you shift your gaze (and you do so several times a second), the brain sends a command to the eyes to move. But a copy of that command is issued internally to the brain’s own visual system, as well. This allows the brain to predict that it is about to receive a flood of visual information resulting from the body’s own movement — and to compensate for it by suppressing or enhancing the activity of particular neurons. (1)
Shift your gaze. The world is moving.
However, it is actually not.
Shift your point of view. The world seems different.
Nevertheless, it is still the same.
Trust not your eyes. They are not the ones which ‘see’.
Trust not your brain. It is not the one which ‘thinks’…