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"The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;
And in grey shawl and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain
Calls once again."

Mathilde Blind, April Rain
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How the brain navigates

mheredgemheredge TeacherHere and therePosts: 31,060 mod
Three scientists' work that spanned four decades has revealed the existence of the nerve cells in the brain that build up a map of the space around us and track our progress as we move around. Their discovery has won them the 2014 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine.

Following studies on rats' movement behaviour, it appears that humans are thought to have similar cells in their own brains. It is thought that damage to these areas may explain symptoms of dementia and other brain diseases. The early stages of Alzheimer’s can affect the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, causing people to lose their way and forget their surroundings.

The work the three scientists has done has dramatically changed the understanding of the brain’s navigation and memory systems. Neuroscientists have been able to link the cellular to the cognitive and this helps explain how individual brain cells help us navigate, remember the past and imagine the future.



  • BobmendezBobmendez Posts: 397 ✭✭✭✭
    I wish human beeings could feel earth's magnetic field like birds do. I got lost in a forest this year. That was a long walk! :o
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 10,554 mod

    A man went to his work in the morning and he was first supposed to bring his baby daughter to a crèche near his workplace.
    However for one and another reason he didn't; and he left his daughter in the car for more than eight hours while it was hot summer weather.
    After his work he went to the crèche and didn't find his baby.
    With a horrible feeling, he realised that his daughter was still in the car and indeed he found her there, dead because of dehydration.

    The attorney accused him of unwillingly manslaughter, but the judge discharged him.
    He couldn't be charged for forgetfulness.
    He had not forgotten his daughter.
    This man was convinced that he had brought her to the crèche.
    It was just his brain which gave him the incorrect information.
    So he was not responsible for the wrong information that his brain gave him.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    That's very interesting. I think that the judge was right. What do you think?
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 10,554 mod
    edited October 2014
    In this case, I agree with the judge too.
    That man will carry the pain for his whole life because of this tragedy.
    He will feel guilty all of his life.
    However, I'm sure there are cases where people could abuse this argument to commit a crime.
    Post edited by april on
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Certainly there might be scope for trying to use this sort of argument as an excuse.

    "I'm sorry your honour.I didn't mean to rob the bank. My brain just told me that this would be the best thing to do...."
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 6,436 mod
    edited November 2014
    Your brain deceives you more than you would think of and in many ways. For this reason judges cannot always rely on witness testimonies. Sometimes two or more witnesses of a crime report different stories of the very same event. When they tell their stories, they claim to speak the truth and they are convinced they do. However, they can’t both/all be speaking the truth when their stories differ; still they are not lying.

    It would be difficult to persuade these people that the truth could be different than they have in mind. When we have a certain truth in our minds, we are inclined to perceive that as the only possible truth. We are then reluctant to change our idea’s even if other evidence contradicts our opinion. In psychology this phenomenon is called the conformation bias. A good example of this is shown by a mock jury research that was conducted by Loftus and Doyle in the United States in 1992. Here follows an excerpt from an article about this research.

    Two juries were assembled and presented with evidence about a crime. In the first trial, jurors were given the evidence, and after deliberating, only 18% of the jurors voted for conviction. However, in a second, separate trial, the jurors were given the same evidence, but with the additional statement that an eyewitness had identified the defendant as the perpetrator of the crime. Not surprisingly, a whopping 72% of the jurors voted for conviction. Then, after having voted for conviction, emergency evidence was rushed to the jury: it turned out that the eyewitness was legally blind. Despite the obvious fact that the blind witness could not have seen the crime, most of the jurors maintained their conviction, and 68% voted that the defendant was guilty.

    Here you can read the complete article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanfurr/2012/10/02/you-cant-hear-the-truth-the-confirmation-death-trap/
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    That's justice for you in the US of A @lichaamstaal‌! I'm sure that there have been many cases of miscarriage of justice in the UK, but somehow I have much more faith in the British system of law. Maybe I've been reading too much John Grisham. But it might be significant that not so much fiction has been generated about the British legal system.

    People's egos also play an important part in controlling people's minds too.
  • kindgnicekindgnice LEO Motivator!!! Posts: 7,790 mod
    Now I know how my synapses work. :)
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