Posts Tagged ‘neuroscience’

More neuroscience for the soul

Sunday, December 18th, 2011 | Humanism

For the last talk of 2011, the Atheist Society had shameless plundered my Leeds Skeptics speaker (who I had plundered from Bradford Atheists) to present his talk “Neuroscience for the Soul” which he presented at Skeptics last month.

Can you rewrite your own brain?

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 | Science, Thoughts

I’m currently in the process of re-reading Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near and having read the section about how the brain rewrites itself as you learn got me thinking. This is nothing new of course, it’s basic brain biology, but chancing on the subject again made me wonder.

If you can reinforce a pattern in your brain simply be repeating the activity over and over again, and this doesn’t even including physical actions but can also be done by thinking a certain idea, can you by mere repetition, implant a false idea in your head?

If you can, the consequences are obvious.

But this seems to be a hypothesis that is quite testable. What would happen for example, if we all collectively decided to believe a lie. If say, all the members of the A-Soc circle, picked a false statement to collectively believe, spent all their time thinking it was true and telling each other it was true for social reinforcement.

Of course, it could well fall flat on it’s face. Because you would know it wasn’t true, you could well spend all your time thinking “I’m pretending to believe this, even though I know it isn’t true” and therefore strongly reinforce the pattern that you know it secretly isn’t true.

Still, it might be an interesting project for someone to undertake.