First steps

There were 3 experts present on our lecture this week, making it possible to get insight from multiple perspectives and therefore enhancing the learning experience. It was stated that in the future lectures there would be one lecturer, but the others would also be present as commentators to give valuable remarks.

One interesting point given on the lecture was that brain disorders are more of a problem than heart disease and cancer. This brought to mind many questions. Why is this, is it because we have limited knowledge on the workings of the brain, or is it just that the brain is so susceptible to faultiness? Often psychological disorders are treated differently to neurological disorders, so that brings to question how comparable psychological vs neurological disorders are. What do possible similarities and differences entail for treatment approaches?

In our bachelor studies, we have learned that prediction is an important part of many technologies. Therefore, it was fascinating to apply this perspective to the brain as well. In many technologies the accuracy of the prediction is dependent of many factors. How much is the predicting ability of the brain influenced by different factors, and what are these factors exactly?

Risto explained that the brain can be viewed in different scales. One of these is temporal (time), and it was noted that thoughts occur in seconds while emotions appear 100 times slower. We thought back to our own experiences, and realized that sometimes we seem to have emotions before any apparent thought, let alone that the thought would come 100 times faster. This discrepancy was quite puzzling. Additionally, would the slowness of emotions mean that emotions are always attached to thought? Would it be possible to design an experiment using TMS to invoke emotions before related thought?

As a nice ending to the post, the diagram of material movement on the microtubules brought to mind this animation of John’s life:

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  1. What a brilliant animation! Thanks for the link.