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Our relationship with destruction is not a simple one. It can release endorphins and relax our minds. It can amp us up and make us even more aggressive. It can even help us regulate our emotional reactions. Can violently breaking things calm us down? Or does it simply anger us more? Find out as Michael Stevens takes a look into our urge to destroy.
Mind Field Season 1
Your brain is like a hungry sponge. It's constantly absorbing information. It thrives when stimulated. Between smartphones and books, and movies, and friends and family, thousands of sensations are constantly going into our heads. But what if it all got cut off?. Imagine being confined to a 10-by-10-foot room in complete isolation. No timekeeping devices, no phones, no books, nothing to write on, no windows. Psychologists say that fewer than three days in a room like this can lead to brain damage. I will be staying in this room for three days.
Michael explores the effects of isolation on the human mind by subjecting himself to a very interesting experiment.
Mind Field Season 1
Mind reading might sound like pseudoscientific, but its scientific counterpart, thought identification, is very much a real thing. It's based in neuroimaging and machine learning, and what's really cool is that experiments in mind reading aren't just about spying on what someone is thinking. They're about figuring out what thoughts are even made of.
When you think of something, what does that mental picture actually look like? What resolution is it in? How high fidelity is a memory, and how do they change over time? In this episode, we are going to look at how reading people's minds can help us answer these questions.
The Stilwell Brain
A single microscopic brain cell cannot think, is not conscious, but if you bring in a few more brain cells, and a few more, and connect them all, at a certain point, the group itself will be able to think and experience emotions and have opinions and a personality and know that it exists. How can such astonishing things be made from such simple ingredients? Well, answering that question means learning not only who we are but, more importantly, how we are.
Today, using what neuroscientists know so far, we are going to make a town function like a brain, using people as neurons.
Moral psychology isn't always an easy thing to study. Experiments that actually puts people in what feels like a real scenario may get realistic results, but researchers must always balance the benefits of what we could learn with the safety and well-being of the people they study. Often what we learn from moral psychology experiments doesn't make humans look good.
We are imperfect creatures. But the more we learn about why and how we make the moral choices that we do, the better we'll be able to tackle difficult questions in the future.
The Sound and the Fury
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle
George Harrison Living in the Material World
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