Tag: brains

Novelty, brains, and new experiences

We managed to get away for three nights last weekend, but I’m truly, deeply, looking forward to being able to do some of the amazing family trips we’ve done in previous years. Stupid coronavirus.

brain

The neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman, who’s focused much of his research on time perception, discovered something fascinating about novel experiences: they make time pass by more slowly. In effect, this can make your life feel longer. Think, for instance, about summers when you were a kid versus summers now.

“The only time you really write down memories is when something is novel. For a child, at the end of a summer, they have lots of memories to draw on because so many things are new. The summer seems to have taken forever in retrospect,” Eagleman explained. “But once you’re an adult, you kind of know the rules of the world, so when you get to the end of the summertime, you think, Oh my gosh, where did that disappear to? Why? Because you don’t have any “footage” to draw on. You can’t really remember much in terms of distinguishable memories of the summer because everything else was pretty much routine.”

Source: The Brain-Changing Magic of New Experiences | GQ

You can never get rid of what is part of you, even when you throw it away

🤖 Why the Dancing Robots Are a Really, Really Big Problem — “No, robots don’t dance: they carry out the very precise movements that their — exceedingly clever — programmers design to move in a way that humans will perceive as dancing. It is a simulacrum, a trompe l’oeil, a conjurer’s trick. And it works not because of something inherent in the machinery, but because of something inherent in ours: our ever-present capacity for finding the familiar. It looks like human dancing, except it’s an utterly meaningless act, stripped of any social, cultural, historical, or religious context, and carried out as a humblebrag show of technological might.”

💭 Why Do We Dream? A New Theory on How It Protects Our Brains — “We suggest that the brain preserves the territory of the visual cortex by keeping it active at night. In our “defensive activation theory,” dream sleep exists to keep neurons in the visual cortex active, thereby combating a takeover by the neighboring senses.”

A simple 2 x 2 for choices — “It might be simple, but it’s not always easy. Success doesn’t always mean money, it just means that you got what you were hoping for. And while every project fits into one of the four quadrants, there’s no right answer for any given person or any given moment..”

📅 Four-day week means ‘I don’t waste holidays on chores’ — “The four-day working week with no reduction in pay is good for the economy, good for workers and good for the environment. It’s an idea whose time has come.”

💡 100 Tips For A Better Life — “It is cheap for people to talk about their values, goals, rules, and lifestyle. When people’s actions contradict their talk, pay attention!”


Quotation-as-title from Goethe. Image from top-linked post.