Author:

Peter Moleman

Plasticity

Growth and pruning: the brain of a child

By on 9 November 2017
A newborn baby is well-equipped to eat and sleep, but not much more. It cannot speak, it sees almost nothing, and controlled movements of its arms and legs are minimal. Previously it was believed that, at birth, the brain was ready for all these tasks (nature), and that the child only had to learn through experience (nurture). Significant changes in the brain before, during and after this major learning period are however a condition for and also a result of this learning process.
Complex Systems

The Ego is dead, long live the ego

By on 26 October 2017
The Ego does not exist, it is an illusion, a trick of the brain. This claim of neuroscientists may scare you. But is it true? Or does something like an ego exist? And if so, what is it?
Perception Vision

Face recognition

By on 12 October 2017
You walk down a street and nearly bump into someone; you look at their face and in a fraction of a second you know who it is. It does not really matter if you see them in profile or full face. And one can do this with thousands of faces; a clever trick of our brains. How do we recognise faces?
Heredity

Autism is hereditary, but you don’t inherit autism

By on 28 September 2017
The probability of having autism is greater for an individual if it runs in their family. This suggests hereditary factors. But what do you actually inherit? What you inherit is a predisposition for a specific development of your brain. This, together with what you experience while growing up, can lead to the development of a mild to severe form of autism.
Perception Vision

Let the sunshine in

By on 14 September 2017
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.