Thanks to Science, a Better Definition of Consciousness

Science is better defining what have been some gray areas of consciousness. By using brain scans to measure the patients' awareness, we are arriving at sounder and more ethical medicine.

What's the Latest Development?


New research out of the UK suggests that a new classification system for consciousness will help doctors and families better understand the condition of individuals with brain injuries. By measuring the brain activity of patients in a vegetative state while they responded to doctors' cuespatients were asked to think of certain images, such as playing tennis or visiting the rooms in their houseresearchers concluded that the vegetative patients' level of responsiveness was the same as control patients who were entirely conscious.

What's the Big Idea?

When it comes to consciousness, a fundamental distinction is made between its contents and its levels. The contents of consciousness are our subjective experiences, such as the sound of a violin. "Levels of consciousness, on the other hand, have to do with outward signs of a person's...state of awareness." People with aberrant awareness are typically placed into one of three categories: having a coma, being in a vegetative state and being 'minimally conscious'. But based on recent research, those categories must now be reevaluated.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

How Pete Holmes creates comedic flow: Try micro-visualization

Setting a simple intention and coming prepared can help you — and those around you — win big.

Videos
  • Setting an intention doesn't have to be complicated, and it can make a great difference when you're hoping for a specific outcome.
  • When comedian Pete Holmes is preparing to record an episode of his podcast, "You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes," he takes 15 seconds to check in with himself. This way, he's primed with his own material and can help guests feel safe and comfortable to share theirs, as well.
  • Taking time to visualize your goal for whatever you've set out to do can help you, your colleagues, and your projects succeed.
Keep reading Show less

Brazil's Amazon fires: How they started, and how you can help.

The Amazon Rainforest is often called "the planet's lungs."

NASA
Politics & Current Affairs
  • For weeks, fires have been burning in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, likely started by farmers and ranchers.
  • Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, has blamed NGOs for starting the flames, offering no evidence to support the claim.
  • There are small steps you can take to help curb deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, which produces about 20 percent of the world's oxygen.
Keep reading Show less

Bigotry and hate are more linked to mass shootings than mental illness, experts say

How do we combat the roots of these hateful forces?

Photo credit: Rux Centea on Unsplash
Politics & Current Affairs
  • American Psychological Association sees a dubious and weak link between mental illness and mass shootings.
  • Center for the study of Hate and Extremism has found preliminary evidence that political discourse is tied to hate crimes.
  • Access to guns and violent history is still the number one statistically significant figure that predicts gun violence.
Keep reading Show less