‘The pattern of activity in a brain region involved in spatial learning in the virtual world is completely different than in the real world,’ said the professor of physics, neurology, and neurobiology.
UCLA neurophysicists have found that space-mapping neurons in the brain react differently to virtual reality than they do to real-world environments…”The pattern of activity in a brain region involved in spatial learning in the virtual world is completely different than when it processes activity in the real world..Since so many people are using virtual reality, it is important to understand why there are such big differences.”
….The scientists were surprised to find that the results from the virtual and real environments were entirely different:
- In the virtual world, the rats’ hippocampal neurons seemed to fire completely randomly, as if the neurons had no idea where the rat was — even though the rats seemed to behave perfectly normally in the real and virtual worlds.
- “The ‘map’ disappeared completely. Nobody expected this. The neuron activity was a random function of the rat’s position in the virtual world.”
“In fact, careful mathematical analysis showed that neurons in the virtual world were calculating the amount of distance the rat had walked, regardless of where he was in the virtual space.” Continue reading
Wheat in diet: Study on health impact of wheat challenges Stone Age myths and costly diets, providing you go whole grain
A review, undertaken by scientists at the University of Warwick, of the current evidence on the dietary and health impact of whole grain cereal consumption finds that many of the myths attributed to wheat free diets are just that – myths, and that whole grains such as wheat are beneficial for the majority of people.
“Apart from the two percent of the population who suffer from coeliac disease or other sensitivities or intolerance to wheat, there is overwhelming evidence of clear health benefits of a whole grain based diets featuring store cupboard staples such as bread and cereal made from lightly processed wheat. The benefits are increased where whole grains have undergone relatively little processing.
“The evidence to suggest that consumption of whole grain wheat, which contains a higher proportion (or amount) of dietary fibre compared to oats, products is good for individuals is overwhelmingly positive and consumption of whole grain will increase both health and help to maintain a healthy body weight.”
“Other than for the 2% of the population with a specific gluten or wheat intolerance, the scientific evidence behind many of the most popular wheat and carbohydrate free diets turns out to be surprisingly thin and selectively used. Some will result in a short-term reduction in body weight but the same result could be achieved in the long-term by eating less of higher quality or relatively unprocessed foods. The low carbohydrate diet has now generated its own industry and new product development in the ‘free-from’ sector means that a typical low cereal and carbohydrate diet may cost most people more yet deliver less.”
“The argument is sometimes advanced that humans were not designed to eat certain food types. This is erroneous as humans were not designed for anything but evolved to their environment and adapted to the available food. The success of Homo sapiens is testament to that adaptive ability. Humans consume food products now such as cereals and dairy products, in vast quantities, that would have been unrecognisable to Stone Age hunter-gatherers and the very fact that so few people are immune or sensitive to them is demonstration of that adaptive ability.”
“Whole grain products are undoubtedly good for health and given their multiple beneficial aspects could easily be described as a super food. It might be possible to argue that they are superior to many other fruit and vegetable super foods since they have multiple modes of action and provide both short- and long-term health benefits.”
The research review also finds that:
- Evidence from other countries suggests that economic growth and increased individual wealth results in greater levels of gastrointestinal issues which may be derived from consumption of greater levels of all highly processed products. In contrast, the evidence for promoting consumption of whole grains is overwhelming.
- Whole grains are rich in many components, including dietary fibre, starch, fat, antioxidant nutrients, minerals, vitamin, lignans and phenolic compounds, all of which have been linked to reduced risk of cancer. Epidemiological studies have clearly shown that whole grain cereals can protect against obesity, diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases and cancers.
- The various components present in whole grains may act synergistically to help improve bowel function and provide protection against gastrointestinal cancers, inflammation, and other disease states while strengthening barrier function and providing immune support.
The review also looked at research comparing rice, wheat and oats and found that: “The nutritional value of these grains differs very little. Wheat has the highest protein content, oats the highest fat content and rice the highest carbohydrate content; however, the variation across the three grain types is fairly small and the differences are unlikely to be significant in a typical diet.
Claire Canty, Senior Brand Manager from Weetabix, which funded the research review, said: “Public attitudes to wheat are being influenced from those with a commercial interest in changing its reputation from a low cost staple food to cereal offender. We felt it was important to rebalance the debate, and bring an independent assessment of the science to the table. Warwick’s research highlights the many myths about whole wheat and importantly showcases the benefits to those people enjoying it as part of a balanced diet. Whole wheat has been shown to be important gastrointestinal health, thanks to its high fibre content and range of micronutrients.”
“Chance does play a huge role in evolution…Evolution is a sequence of events influenced by chance.”
“We’re trying to learn about the problems that early animals faced that made intelligent behavior a favorable trait to evolve, with the goal of working our way up to understanding how early forms of intelligence evolved into the complex forms of adaptive, social and predictive intelligence humans are capable of…” Continue reading
“We’re trying to learn about the problems that early animals faced that made intelligent behavior a favorable trait to evolve, with the goal of working our way up to understanding how early forms of intelligence evolved into the complex forms of adaptive, social and predictive intelligence humans are capable of…”
“…there is a reason for intelligence and that reason is survival…Intelligence allows us to plan and predict what will happen further and further into the future and then act appropriately. The creature who can predict the furthest into the future will win.”
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-06-swarming-evolved-tantalizing-clues-intelligence.html#jCp
Take Away –
“…the alpha males and females are ‘bad guys’ taking various resources from their group-mates. However, in between-group conflicts they become ‘good guys’ and their presence and effort benefit everybody else…” Continue reading
There is no free will or any conscious control of behavior, we have no idea how, or even if, beliefs, may effect behavior yet…the respected evolutionary biologist, Jerry Coyne, opines sounding like Oprah….ugh.
“Humans may have evolved to be xenophobic and even violent towards members of “outgroups,” but we have the ability through culture and learning to overcome such a tendency. And, in fact, overcoming xenophobia happens to be both more useful and more ethical in a world of wide interactions between people and nations—interactions much different from those experienced by the small social groups of our African ancestors.”
What appears in retrospect as the crazier side of Newton’s life work began to be published over thirty years ago when his correspondence revealed him enjoining his students to attempt to acquire the Philosopher’s Stone in central Europe. Science was very unevenly developed in Newton’s age and it was a commonly held belief that science could not improve on what had been done by classical scientists.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news195754126.html#jCp