Why Do Our Brains Sometimes Fail?
Have you ever made a mistake while trying to execute the most rudimentary of tasks? Scientists have begun to understand why the brain sometimes loses its concentration for no good reason.
What's the Latest Development?
When researchers in Norway examined the brain activity of people doing repetitive tasks, they found that momentary lapses of concentration begin in the body's physiology some 30 seconds before a person actually loses concentration. "So what's causing the brain to wig out? As far as the researchers could tell, the test subjects' brains weren't getting tired, and they certainly weren't falling asleep. 'Autopilot would be a better metaphor,' explains Dr. Stefan Debener, who collaborated on the study."
What's the Big Idea?
Because there are physiological indicators of an approaching loss of concentration, scientists hope technology can be used to keep people from losing focus, especially in crucial fields such air traffic control. "Imagine, for example, a feedback device that could warn air traffic controllers when their attention waned too close a dangerously low threshold, or help keep you alert on the highway. With such a device in every human's pocket, brain farts could one day become a thing of the past."
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
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- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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