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Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category

Stupid? Its in your Genes!

Posted by Neeraj Kumar on January 25, 2008

Some people get turned on by intelligence and greater number get turned off by stupidity. But, if not learning from past mistakes is a measure of stupidity then we might have found a compelling evidence to get us off the hook when we turn in to a laughing stock for others. Yep. Its the usual suspect – genes. Bottmonline is that if you have certain genes (or lack of it), you might just not have the ability to learn. Some people just don’t learn. They can’t!

Don’t you just love Biology!

Posted in Psychology, Science | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hack Your Brain!

Posted by Neeraj Kumar on February 22, 2007

In my previous post I discussed how scientists are closing on to our secrets by developing the capability to read our mind. Really, who and what we are right up to the smallest of details is defined by our brain. If thats the case, is it possible to fine tune our brain, recalibrate it, just like we would fix a sick machine. Yes. Super famous Mr Scott Adams (the guy who created Dilbert) hacked in to his brain to fix his complete loss of speech. And a stunning ongoing story of a kid named Caleb suffering from Sensory Processing Disorder is going through numerous classes designed to help him recalibrate his brain. His brain at the moment is one-dimensional incapable of multi-tasking. The blog says,

Caleb lives in the abstract, because the concrete world just doesn’t mean much to him. He is the epitome of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes; reality competes with (and often loses to) his vivid imagination.

Posted in Biology, Psychology | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Whats on your mind? Others will know it. Soon.

Posted by Neeraj Kumar on February 18, 2007

Recently another scientific breakthrough was announced in which scientists claim to being on path to predictingwhats on somebody’s mind  based on some brain scans. As always, and not surprisingly, it is being discussed if this can be used to curb crime by predicting criminal intent. People are also playing with the idea of using this in court as legal evidence.

How can somebody’s intent be ever proved in the court based on these scans? Don’t our legal system work on the theory of “beyond reasonable doubt”?

That aside we are very close to proving one point. We are merely biological objects following the rules set by our genes. Thats not a surprise as we always knew that. However, being able to predict one’s behaviour accurately does make it a bit different. There have been arguments made in favour of prevention of wrong doings based on predictions of these scans rather then to punish the wrong doer after the crime has been committed. It is said that criminal intent is merely a result of biological signals triggered in certain environmental conditions. As we are knowing more and more about these signals and the factors that trigger them leading to criminal behaviour or otherwise, the whole theory of free-will is being questioned. Science everyday is getting closer to proving us as a biological being dancing to the tune of these strings. Once we manage to discover the relation between these strings, we will be able to generate our own Minority Report (2002 blockbuster in which criminal behaviour is predicted to stop crime from being committed).

It is said that we blow these scientific discoveries and inventions out of proportion to excite ourselves but, it has seldom stopped us from wondering.

Posted in Biology, Controversy, Psychology | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »


Posted by Neeraj Kumar on February 7, 2007

Following is an extract from Atlas Shrugged– the book I am reading right now, by Ayn Rand (yes, the Fountainhead Ayn Rand!). I won’t trivialise it by trying to explain it. Just read.

“A man’s sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions…who a man finds sexually attractive  can tell his entire philosophy. Who a man sleeps with can tell his valuation of himself. No matter what corruption he’s taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act he cannot perform for any motive but his own enjoyment…It is an act that forces him to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and to accept his real ego as standard of value. He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience- or to fake- a sense of self-esteem. The man who is profoundly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer- because only the possession of heroine will give him the sense of achievement, not the possession of brainless slut. He does not seek to gain his value, he seeks to express it. There is no conflict between the standards of his mind and the desires of his body. But, the man who is convinced of his own worthlessness will be drawn to a woman he despises- because she will reflect his own self, she will release him from that objective reality in which he is a fraud, she will give him a momentary illusion of his own value and a momentary escape from the moral code that damns him.”

And thats that! There are more extracts from this and other books to come.

Posted in Psychology | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Exploiting Subconscious

Posted by Neeraj Kumar on February 5, 2007

Have you ever wondered why in order to think, you have to stop thinking? Stop thinking here means, ‘actively’ thinking. Why do you get more ideas or thoughts when we are least bothered to think about it? Shower? Walk in the park? It is a proven fact (not literally!) that subconscious mind is more powerful than  conscious mind. I find it so hard to switch my brain ‘off’ because my subconscious is always active without me having conscious knowledge of it. Here is a link to ‘Nature‘ magazine article (Read the synopsis if you don’t get complete access). This talks about brain activity when we are asleep. (Have you ever solved your Maths problem while you were asleep?)

The conscious mind captures a very detailed version of an event or situation, it will notice the colors, sounds etc. so it is too busy creating a very detailed construct. Where as the subconscious organizes information from the conscious mind w.r.t to the past and existing memory archive structure. It compares and contrasts events and new memories with old ones to archive. In that process it sees similarities and draws conclusions that the conscious mind cannot at least initially with all the clutter (Thanks buddy).

So, how can we exploit our subconscious? Tip: In order to comprehend a situation/problem better or to comprehend it all, let your conscious mind take it in, but let your subconscious mind work on it (Well said Tia, wherever you are). One should always have a pen and paper handy because most wonderful and brilliant thoughts come when you are least expecting it.

Its yours. Exploit it!

(This is an extract from one of my random posts in one of the random forums. )

Posted in Psychology | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

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