Tag: brain

Join Jim and Greg for an all-crazy edition! They discuss additional evidence that Lin Wood cost Republicans the Senate, a New York Times columnist calling for a government “reality czar,” and Elon Musk working towards a brain chip to create “symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence.”

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Little Girl Lost


Ever since I was a small child, I’ve had difficulty finding my way.

I don’t mean in spiritual, philosophical, or political matters. I think I’m pretty well grounded in all those things, and Lord knows, I have pretty firm beliefs about them too. I was lucky to be raised in a family of smart people with strong opinions, a healthy sense of right and wrong, and a commitment to raising its children to be civilized and caring adults.

Most importantly, I realize from my current vantage point, I was given a sense of perspective about my own place in the world and I was taught that it “I was not the one [the world] had been waiting for,” that it did not revolve around me, that the sun did not shine out of any of my bodily orifices, and that sometimes my own wants and needs would be subordinated to those of others whose wants and needs were greater than mine. Valuable life lessons, all. (The irony for all those marching in lockstep for the right to declare themselves each a “snowflake” unique from all the others sharing exactly the same opinions and doing exactly the same thing is that my family is full of individuals. We’re all different, we’re all a bit odd, and we all revel in the fact there’s no one else quite like us, anywhere.)

Thoughts on Thinking: A Personal Odyssey


brainYears ago, I never tired of asking anyone who would sit still long enough some variation on the following question: Suppose you had to choose between having a strong and alert mind but with severe physical limitations (e.g., wheelchair-bound), or a perfectly healthy body and yet be as dumb as a bag of nails. Which would you choose? There was no right or wrong answer as far as I was concerned, though my own preference was for mental acuity. I simply wanted to hear the preferences and thoughts of people I found interesting.

That particular thought exercise loomed large in the mind when I sat down with my neurologist recently, having undergone a series of tests (cognitive, brain EEG, brain MRI, etc.) in the preceding weeks to determine, A) whether or not the mental fog I was occasionally experiencing was real, and B) whether there was a physical cause. “Mr. Carter, you had a stroke,” the doctor said as matter of factly as if he were announcing the Dow Jones daily closing numbers. Well, that was bracing.

It wasn’t recent, he added, though I had already figured as much. Reviewing my personal history, the doctor determined that the stroke likely occurred during an extremely stressful and traumatic event a few years back that, at the time, had me quite literally immobilized, unable to speak, with what seemed like a ribbon of agonizing pain shooting across the top of my head. Yes, I know I should have gotten myself checked out at the time, but personal circumstances made it impossible. At least now I know what happened.

Nicotine as Miracle Drug


leovapeDr. Anna Fels recently saw a patient who had an interesting method of self-medication. The psychiatrist wrote up the experience in the New York Times:

We talked for a long time about why she had come to see me. Then, as is my practice with a new patient, I asked what, if any, psychiatric medications and nonprescription, psychoactive substances — legal or illegal — she had used. Her answer was a new one for me. She stated that she chewed approximately 40 pieces of nicotine gum per day and had done so for well over a decade.

Responses to this question are often illuminating and can be rather humbling. Although doctors are trained to focus on prescription medications, there are and have always been nonprescription “remedies” for psychiatric conditions. And people’s preferences for one type of substance over another can give a glimpse into their symptoms and even their brain chemistry.

Porn Usage Linked to Smaller Size in Men


shutterstock_135898808I’m talking about BRAIN size — sickos!

In my editor’s post today at The College Fix, I write about a new study examining the relationship between pornography and the brain.

To sum things up, researchers discovered that the more porn men said they watched, the smaller their brains were. Also, men who watched more porn showed less activity in the “reward center” of the brain when they were shown pornographic images during the tests.