Psilocybin and meditation can have a huge impact on our predictive organ. This can make a new person of you, provided it is used the right way.
The free will fallacy: Libet’s error
Does the free will exist? No present research provides any evidence for or against. The idea that the free will does not exist is based on a lack of understanding how complex dynamical systems like the brain work.
Who’s a believer? I am!
Do neurons contain thoughts? Great minds explain how the brain works. I do not entirely understand their explanations, but I believe them. There are things every scientist believes, and that is of value. But there is also a danger in believing, in science as in spiritual affairs.
Obesity is 60% heritable. And this means …
The mass media report percentages of heritability. for various conditions. For instance autism is 90% heritable, height 80%, BMI 60%, musical aptitude 50%, depression 40%, breast cancer 30%. But these percentages are of no use to you, because they only apply to the population investigated, not in general. And they vary immensely between populations. Telling someone that their trait or illness has a specific heritability percentage is wrong.
Families, genes, and psychiatric disorders
Genetic variants and mutations can increase the susceptibility to psychiatric disorders. But the DSM does not really apply to the real world of genetically determined presentations. Hospital departments for DSM categories are outdated. Clusters of families would make better units for research into and care for severe mental disorders.
Can you inherit homosexuality?
I can still remember the commotion which arose in 1990 when Dutch neuroscientist Dick Swaab published an article saying that homosexual men had an area in their hypothalamus which was twice the size of the same area in heterosexual men. Many found the idea – that homosexuality might have a biological basis – quite alarming! At the time I worked … Read More
Errors and disasters: the perfect storm
Errors and disasters do not come about by one causal factor. There is always a chain of unpredictable events. This also poses a problem for scientists. They do not know the law of conservation of misery.
Why mirror neurons do not exist
Neurons are not associated one-on-one with a specific function. There is no such thing as a mirror neuron or the mirror system, just as there is no Jennifer Aniston neuron or neurons for a particular emotion or a particular movement. Just as a swallow in a flock is not a “flock swallow”, a neuron which is involved in seeing somebody else perform one of our actions is not a mirror neuron.
Delusions and conspiracy theories: belief in conceived logic
Delusions are distorted models in your head about the world around you. Facts, arguments or perceptions will not correct this model. A person with delusions will fit the facts to the model. People with psychoses can entertain delusions, but so do people who believe in conspiracy theories.
Seeing with your mind’s eye: not for everyone
I have misplaced my iPhone. I search for it with my mind’s eye. In thoughts I trace my route through the house. Some people, such as Oliver Sacks, lack a mind’s eye. This is called aphantasia. At the other extreme are people with a super mind’s eye.