Wired-Up Brains, Out-of-Body Experiences
Duke University neurologist Miguel Nicolelis has shown through experiments that the mind can be liberated from the body—in time, we will have out-of-body experiences that feel real, he says.
What's the Latest Development?
Twelve years ago, neurologists at Duke University pioneered brain-machine interface by measuring electrical neural activity in animals while they produced motor tasks. After feeding the neural data through computers, researchers were able to extract basic motor commands conveyed by these neuronal electrical storms. This research is proving revolutionary. The Duke researchers have recently found: "That monkeys can use brain activity to control a virtual avatar arm or hand that explores the texture of what appear to be visually identical objects in a virtual world."
What's the Big Idea?
Imagine lounging on a beach while having the experience of climbing hills of red dust on the surface of Mars. In this future world, says Duke University neurologist Miguel Nicolelis, we will be able to do things just by thinking. What's more, our out-of-body experiences will feel completely real thanks to a complex brain-machine interface. When we move through the virtual worlds of the future, the interface will send our brain's own electrical signals to its other parts responsible for tactile sensation, thus giving our "real" body the sensation of truly doing what our mind is experiencing.
The way that you think about stress can actually transform the effect that it has on you – and others.
- Stress is contagious, and the higher up in an organization you are the more your stress will be noticed and felt by others.
- Kelly McGonigal teaches "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" for Big Think Edge.
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These quick bursts of inspiration will brighten your day in 10 minutes or less.
Explore a legendary philosopher's take on how society fails to prepare us for education and progress.
- Alan Watts was an instrumental figure in the 1960s counterculture revolution.
- He believed that we put too much of a focus on intangible goals for our educational and professional careers.
- Watts believed that the whole educational enterprise is a farce compared to how we should be truly living our lives.
How can we use the resources that are already on the Moon to make human exploration of the satellite as economical as possible?
If you were transported to the Moon this very instant, you would surely and rapidly die. That's because there's no atmosphere, the surface temperature varies from a roasting 130 degrees Celsius (266 F) to a bone-chilling minus 170 C (minus 274 F). If the lack of air or horrific heat or cold don't kill you then micrometeorite bombardment or solar radiation will. By all accounts, the Moon is not a hospitable place to be.
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