The Brain

A Work in Progress

Professor Keith Kendrick is an academician at Gresham College in the U.K. and an authority on the human brain. He is a Systems and Behavioural Neuroscientist and was Gresham Professor of Physics between 2002 and 2006. He has been a member of the Home Office’s animal procedures committee and has worked at the University of Cambridge undertaking research with respect to how neural networks are organized to control recognition and responses to social and emotional cues. He is a fellow of the Institute of Biology and a member of the British Neuroscience Association.

An engaging speaker, Professor Kendrick has delivered wonderful lectures about the human brain (among other subjects), such as the one below wherein he talks about understanding the brain as a work in progress. His lecture considers what we have learned so far about the principles of neural encoding and how they may begin to explain our memories, emotions and conscious awareness. The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website.

Professor Kendrick has also delivered a most fascinating lecture on futuristic neuroscience, its impact on the future brain of humankind. The insights he presents into the future of brain science are quite astounding, for example, an iPhone controlled completely by the brain. Most appear to still be fictional now, though some of them are already here.

Check out his past lectures at Gresham College.

Based on scientific studies and research done on the brain, it seems that what we  experience externally in our world as reality is actually a construct inside the brain by our brains. The strong implication is that despite how solidly real things appear to be to our sense perception of the world, nothing “out here” is an objective reality. Rather, our experience of reality is a subjective interpretation by the brain.

[Acknowledgment to The Royal Institution for publishing the above video of Anil Seth’s lecture on YouTube.]

Anil Seth is Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, where he is also Co-Director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science. He is Editor-in-Chief of Neuroscience of Consciousness and is on the steering group and advisory board of the Human Mind Project.

Anil provides an insight into the state-of-the-art research in the new science of consciousness. Distinguishing between conscious level, conscious content and conscious self, he describes how new experiments are shedding light on the underlying neural mechanisms in normal life as well as in neurological and psychiatric conditions.



Brain Hemispheres

(Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.:  How it feels to have a stroke)
The cerebrum of the human brain has a left hemisphere and a right hemisphere.   How these cerebral hemispheres function is as different as night and day. Check out Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s book “My Stroke of Insight” for some really good information about the functions of the left and right hemispheres of the human brain.

You can watch her TED lecture where she shares her unique experience with these brain hemispheres at the time she was suffering a stroke. Jill tells us that the experience of the right brain hemisphere is “Nirvāna.” She provides us with an important insight into how the right hemisphere of the brain could very well be our gateway to mystical experience or to the subtler dimensions beyond the physical.

[Acknowledgment to TED for publishing the video on YouTube.]

Dr. Taylor gave an impressive, extensive and highly informative interview on Oprah Winfrey’s cable TV network. Her interview is very insightful. For more of her talks and sharing, explore a YouTube playlist that features her.



Left Brain Dominance and the Need for Balance and Integration

(From “Esoteric Agenda,” a film by Ben Stewart:  Left Brain vs. Right Brain Education)
Ideally, there should be a balance between the two brain hemispheres, without one side  totally dominating the other. However, the evolution or development of human consciousness thus far and its corresponding cultural conditioning of the mind have caused the left brain hemisphere’s dominance over the right, to the detriment of our becoming fully integrated beings. Our de-conditioning and re-education of the mind can bring about a new awareness that will balance and integrate the functions of these brain hemispheres.

It is the left brain hemisphere’s functional dominance which facilitates and deepens the subliminal conditioning of the human mind. Listen to Ian Crane’s relevant video presentation and discussion below.

[Acknowledgment to Ian R. Crane for publishing the video on YouTube.]




Brain Imaging
(Looking inside the brain in real time)
Thanks to the marvels of science and medical technology, we now have the scientific tools to learn more about the brain and to examine it in a less intrusive manner. Here are some of those brain imaging tools.

[Acknowledgment to Neuroscientifically Challenged for publishing the video on YouTube.]

Brain imaging technology is opening the way to effective mind control of chronic pain, emotional problems, addictions, and potentially other mental diseases. Will it also help us shape our experience of reality and life?

[Acknowledgment to TED for publishing the video on YouTube.]



Neural Connectivity

(Sebastian Seung: I am my connectome)
Critical to how the mind functions are the connections made by the many neurons  (nerve cells) in the brain. What wonderful things can we accomplish in life if we could make the right neural connections? Can we induce an instantaneous genetic mutation or alteration in our bodies by means of certain neural connections? Could there be a particular connectivity pattern for spiritual enlightenment, Christhood/Buddhahood or God-actualization?

[Acknowledgment to TED for publishing the video on YouTube.]



The Illusoriness of Mental Perception

(Al Seckel: Powerful visual illusions)
The human mind loves an illusion. Is it a wonder that the mind keeps you attached to the world? Apparently our sense perceptions are not as reliable as we might think them to be.

Al Seckel, a cognitive neuroscientist, explores the perceptual illusions that fool our brains. Loads of eye tricks help him prove that not only are we easily fooled, we kind of like it.

[Acknowledgment to TED for publishing the video on YouTube.]

For ages, mysticism has been teaching us that the material world we live in is just an “illusion of the mind.”  The world of our “reality” is illusory because our experience of “reality” is only a projection in the mind by consciousness.

Today, neuroscience teaches us that our individual perception of “reality” is really only a construct (or a sensory reconstruction) inside the brain by our brains. How do our brains construct our individual perception of “reality”? A number of TED speakers and expert lecturers have shed light on the question. Such contemporary explorers in the understanding of a “mind science” are changing our understanding of reality by explaining and demonstrating the internal subjectivity of individual perception and the power of mental suggestion or belief.

[Acknowledgment to TED for publishing the video on YouTube.]

And it is not only neuroscience that is cracking the shell open on the eggs of our reality. Physics is doing a similar thing, as we shall see in the final subpages of the continuing segement of “The Science Connection.” Quantum mechanics instructs us that there is no solidity in matter the deeper you go into the subatomic level of things. Astrophysics tells us that dark matter is giving shape and form to all the matter in the universe, and dark energy fills space causing the accelerating expansion of the universe as well as the expansion of space, itself.

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