How would we manage, if we could not visualise three-dimensional objects from flat two-dimensional diagrams? An amazing feat our brain performs. What role does predetermined programming play in this? That is related to how the sun shines on us.
In a country with golden sand dunes by the sea, each year saw more murders committed than the year before. Neuroscientists had proven that the conscience of most murderers did not function. The judges were stuck. How could they solve this problem?
When you drive a car, you have to execute several actions at the same time, and also pay attention to traffic. For this to take place, most of your actions are performed automatically. These are laid down in a separate memory in a specific part of the brain: the corpus striatum.
What is the relation between what the neurologist calls amazing and the psychiatrist paradoxical? Our impression of the world around us is not formed on the basis of what we actually perceive with our senses. Instead, we carry a preexisting image of our surroundings in our head, and we check if that matches with our perceptions. Sometimes this goes awry.
Our brain controls everything we do and think and what happens in our body. Who directs these complicated brains? "I" do? No, there is no central power or police force, no editor, prime minister or CEO, no leader. The brain controls all without a director.
Successful musicians put in hours of practice from an early age. But is all that practice really necessary? Is talent alone - with a bit of practice - not enough? How does the brain change with practice, and can you create a genius?
Oxytocin makes you happy. This is what you read in newspaper headlines and websites. Oxytocin the cuddle hormone, Oxytocin the love hormone. Oxytocin makes for monogamy. Does it really do that?
fMRI ( functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is the star of the neurosciences. Research using fMRI scans provides steadily increasing amounts of information about the functioning of our brain. However, a lot of articles appear in the media with far-fetched conclusions from research using fMRI. This is why it seems useful to me to to explain some aspects of fMRI, so that you understand for yourself, when you read articles about it in the newspapers or websites, what the strengths and weaknesses are of the technique.
Sometimes our memory is represented as the hard disc of a computer where data is stored, or as a filing cabinet. But that is not the way our memory works. How does remembering work? And what is the role of the hippocampus? And how do false memories come about?
Are you sure you see the reality out there? That is the question. You look with your eyes, but you see with your brain. And the brain does not receive an image like a camera does. The brain is not a passive processor. What you see is constructed in the brain. How do you see with your brain?