Thursday, April 25, 2013


Life after death, life without bodily desire, as modeled by computer simulation, but what are the moral implications. Sawyer always raises compelling questions and has the science to support his theories.

Quote p68: Wilder Penfield who did work on directly stimulating the brain...found it easy to elicit vivid memories of long forgotten things.

Neural nets firing, flooding the brain with images and endorphins as a result of anoxia explains sense of peace.


5 models for senescence and death:

1. Stochastic theory--bodies as machines that break down

2. Hayflick phenomenon--human cells only divide 50 times

3. Smudged Xerox hypothesis--DNA introduces errors every time its copied

4. Toxic Waste Theory--aka Free radicals are at fault

5. Autoimmune hypothesis--our cells become confused and attack themselves


The soulwave discovered leaving the body at point of death raised imolications for inutero and is discovered in 9 or 10th week of pregnancy, providing justification for early term abortion.


Without our memories, our pasts, what we were, it wouldn't be anything we'd recognize as a continuation of the same person.


"Humor is the response to the sudden formation of unexpected neural nets."

Laughter is the response that goes along with new connections forming in the brain, with synapses firing in ways they've never fired before...

When the joke wears thin, the neural net has been established.


Lawrence Kohlberg

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Still Alice

By ivy league neuroscientist Lisa Genova is a novel about loss, aging, letting go, in the context on a psycholinguist with early onset alzheimers.

Informative: Stroop, Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices, Luria Mental Rotation, Boston Naming, WAIS-- Picture Arrangement, Benton Visual Arrangement, NYU-Story Recall...tests for diagnosing and charting dementia.

Brains of Alzheimer's patients had reduced levels of acetycholine...and the hippocampus, critical for the formation of new menories became mired in plaques and tangles...anomia a pathological slip of the tongue was a symptom

Affects parietal lobes early on (where we keep our internal sense of extra personal space representations

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Ellen Ullman

By Blood quotes:

...understanding a feeling is no protection against actually feeling it.

...we might have seen the future, but of course one lives drenched in the past, that wet cloak that weighs around one's shoulders.