OM, OM on the brain

Two Indian scientists wielded sophisticated mathematics to dissect and analyse the traditional meditation chanting sound “OM”. The OM team published a series of monographs in academic journals. These plumb certain acoustic subtleties of Om, which these researchers say is “the divine sound”. For a little about that, see our small report, in 2010, on the repetitive physics of OM.  Now, […]

Playing a cello (inside an MRI scanner)

Performing a quasi-real-time fMRI scan of a performing cellist presents considerable problems to researchers. Aside from the extreme lack of space, if the cello had any metallic components it could present a danger anywhere near the über magnets of an operational MRI machine. Such considerations have prompted a research team from the Input Devices and […]

A metaphor for fMRI studies of thought?

A new study contains a poetical phrase that maybe, just maybe, is a metaphor for the severe difficulty and beauty of a great scientific quest: learning how the heck the brain manages to think. Many brain scientists use a complex technology called  “fMRI” (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to make rough pictures of activity (many sorts of […]

Childish: 2nd-hand looks at brain activity

Some brain scientists use their brains to explain how they think other people’s brains are used. They also use (in addition to their brains) fMRI [functional magnetic resonance imaging], a technique in which complex equipment measures some of the things that happen inside a brain while a person is using that brain. (NOTE: the technique has […]

An fMRI study of surrealistic advertising

  First, a quick look at (some of) the scientific works which have investigated how fMRI might help in the understanding of the human brain’s responses to Surrealism. [1] Matching reality in the arts: self-referential neural processing of naturalistic compared to surrealistic images. (Perception. 2012;41(5):569-76.)  (surrealistic pictures here) [2]The Neural Basis of Object-Context Relationships on […]

Kids’ brain response to ice cream and a milkshake

How does part of the brain respond when you stuff kids with ice cream over a long period of time and then offer them an ice-cream-filled milkshake? This is the first study to involve a scientist named Burger who investigates that question in the particular way that this study goes about it (Thanks to investigator Gus […]

What Happens When the Brain Encounters Naughtiness?

When a person thinks about naughty things, does one side of the brain get more exercised than the other? Eight scientists studied that question. Their report, Hemispheric Asymmetries During Processing of Immoral Stimuli, appears in the journal Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience. The stated goal is to describe “the neural organisation of moral processing”. Debra Lieberman, a […]

Self-stimulation on the brain, plus Maggie Gyllenhaal

“In this Curiosity video we follow Maggie Gyllenhaal in exploring how female brain activity changes as a woman reaches orgasm,” say the makers of the video. The investigation recalls the one personally documented (as the test subject) by Mary Roach in her stimulating book Bonk. (Thanks to investigator David Holzman for bringing the video to […]