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Pop-Neuroscience and Psychology Catch-All

I've always wanted to start a thread on this topic because it's such a fascinating one (as well as being the reason I so often joke: NO FREE WILL).  The brain is such an odd thing sometimes in ways that seem confounding when placed in contemporary society with all its conveniences that don't align with how we've evolved.

Nothing major to kick it off.  Just this one I saw a friend link on Facebook on the topic of "WHY DO SOME PEOPLE GET CARSICK TRYING TO READ IN THE CAR?"

 So what’s happening there is the brain’s getting mixed messages. It’s getting signals from the muscles and the eyes saying we are still and signals from the balance sensors saying we’re in motion. Both of these cannot be correct. There’s a sensory mismatch there. And in evolutionary terms, the only thing that can cause a sensory mismatch like that is a neurotoxin or poison. So the brain thinks, essentially, it’s been being poisoned. When it’s been poisoned, the first thing it does is get rid of the poison, a.k.a. throwing up. And as a result — so, like, as soon as the brain gets confused by anything like that, it says, oh, I don’t know what to do, so just be sick, just in case. And as a result, we get motion sickness because the brain’s constantly worried about being poisoned.
A[quote name="mcnooj82" url="/community/t/155740/pop-neuroscience-catch-all#post_4115168"]I've always wanted to start a thread on this topic because it's such a fascinating one (as well as being the reason I so often joke: NO FREE WILL).  The brain is such an odd thing sometimes in ways that seem confounding when placed in contemporary society with all its conveniences that don't align with how we've evolved.

Nothing major to kick it off.  Just this one I saw a friend link on Facebook on the topic of "WHY DO SOME PEOPLE GET CARSICK TRYING TO READ IN THE CAR?"


Awwwwwww yeah. Nooj, I love this thread, and this is straight-up Aerospace Medicine, which is my bag.

This is basically the same mechanism that results in Space Motion Sickness - for the first week or so folks are on ISS most feel like crap (nausea mostly), and we think it's due to the sudden lack of any vestibular input to correlate with what their eyes are telling them. Since there's no up and no down, it's not uncommon to enter a module and see one crewmember aligned "vertically" and another "horizontally," or "standing on the ceiling." This seems to worsen folks' rumbly tummy. Switching orientations oneself also makes it worse. One of the coping mechanisms (besides drugs) we tell newcomers is to try to maintain an artificial sense of up and down for the first week or so - so "stand" upright in the modules, translate more vertically instead of Supermaning through the station, don't do rolls or flips until you're acclimated. After about a week the brain realizes that you're not getting any vestibular inputs at all anymore, so it stops listening to your inner ear....

Which is a problem for when you come home! Because once you land all of a sudden you're getting inputs again after 6+ months, and your brain doesn't know what to do with them anymore. So you get Earth Re-adaptation Sickess! Which also lasts about a week, and then you get better.

The brain is awesome.



This thread never took off!

So I'm gonna put something I'd normally put into the Western Society/Social Media thread and put it here instead!

It's about false memories, the social contagion of memory (aka memory conformity), and a non-existent SHAZAAM movie starring SINBAD.



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 I believed so intensely yet now I am left in utter disbelief. Had to step into the kitchen for that good light. 

Skeptics please study this image and report any perceived inconsistencies. I know people will say that it's shopped and I don't blame them this anomaly to some couldn't possibly be seen as anything but a lie but anyone who follows my page knows my photo editing skills to be beyond laughable.

Halfway through the 4th box of tapes I picked this up and I dropped it like almost as if I was shocked suddenly the memory of my dad taking me and my buddy Devon to Family Video came back. I remember he bought us twizzlers too. 

I'm feeling lightheaded af right now. This movie had a profound effect on me , the overall theme was believing in yourself but not only that just believing in general; having faith. Some say this movie never existed but even if they were actually right the lessons I learned feel so real why would I turn my back on radical ideas that have enriched my life just because it's widely accepted that their source is false. This genie taught me to believe in magic. Through my hardships in life holding onto my belief in magic has been trying at times but it's with that belief that I got through it all. I believe in magic. I see it in all of us. 

I'm gonna lay down in my childhood room now with my old stuffed animals and attempt to watch this. I don't know what will happen when I press play. Perhaps the movie will play just as I remember it, perhaps it won't work at all or maybe this will be the last post I ever make. I bring this photograph to you at potentially great risk, I don't know what will happen. Just know that I love each and every one of you. A special thanks though to those who took a chance and saw the magic in me, I also see it in you.

Knowingly giving wrong answers to support your partisan team - EXPRESSIVE RESPONDING


On the first full day of the Trump administration, White House press secretary Sean Spicer admonished the news media for reporting that the crowd that witnessed Trump’s inauguration was smaller than other recent inauguration crowds, claiming, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe.”

What made this attempt by a Trump staffer to spread misinformation particularly egregious was the abundance of clear photographic evidence proving Spicer’s statements false. So how far are Trump supporters willing to go to accept his administration’s argument?

A significant portion of Trump supporters were willing to go quite far.

On Sunday and Monday, we surveyed 1,388 American adults. We showed half of them a crowd picture from each inauguration (see below) and asked which was from Trump’s inauguration and which was from Obama’s.

If the past is any guide, we would expect that Trump supporters would be more likely to claim that the picture with the larger crowd was the one from Trump’s inauguration, as doing so would express and reinforce their support for him. Further, as some respondents had never seen these photos, uncertainty regarding the answer would likely lead them to choose the photograph that would be most in line with their partisan loyalties.

For the other half, we asked a very simple question with one clearly correct answer: “Which photo has more people?” Some of these people probably understood that the image on the left was from Trump’s inauguration and that the image on the right was from Obama’s, but admitting that there were more people in the image on the right would mean they were acknowledging that more people attended Obama’s inauguration.

Would some people be willing to make a clearly false statement when looking directly at photographic evidence — simply to support the Trump administration’s claims?




no free will

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Got the image linked from this review of THE HUNGRY BRAIN.

Really interested in checking the book out:



There is only one fat person on the Melanesian island of Kitava – a businessman who spends most of his time in modern urbanized New Guinea, eating Western food. The Kitavans have enough food, and they live a relaxed tropical lifestyle that doesn’t demand excessive exercise. But their bodies match caloric intake to expenditure with impressive precision. So do the !Kung with their mongongo nuts, Inuit with their blubber, et cetera.

And so do Westerners who limit themselves to bland food. In 1965, some scientists locked people in a room where they could only eat nutrient sludge dispensed from a machine. Even though the volunteers had no idea how many calories the nutrient sludge was, they ate exactly enough to maintain their normal weight, proving the existence of a “sixth sense” for food caloric content. Next, they locked morbidly obese people in the same room. They ended up eating only tiny amounts of the nutrient sludge, one or two hundred calories a day, without feeling any hunger. This proved that their bodies “wanted” to lose the excess weight and preferred to simply live off stored fat once removed from the overly-rewarding food environment. After six months on the sludge, a man who weighed 400 lbs at the start of the experiment was down to 200, without consciously trying to reduce his weight.

In a similar experiment going the opposite direction, Ethan Sims got normal-weight prison inmates to eat extraordinary amounts of food – yet most of them still had trouble gaining weight. He had to dial their caloric intake up to 10,000/day – four times more than a normal person – before he was able to successfully make them obese. And after the experiment, he noted that “most of them hardly had any appetite for weeks afterward, and the majority slimmed back down to their normal weight”.

What is going on here? Like so many questions, this one can best be solved by grotesque Frankenstein-style suturing together of the bodies of living creatures.

In the 1940s, scientists discovered that if they damaged the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN) of rats, the rats would basically never stop eating, becoming grotesquely obese. They theorized that the VMN was a “satiety center” that gave rats the ability to feel full; without it, they would feel hungry forever. Later on, a strain of mutant rats was discovered that seemed to naturally have the same sort of issue, despite seemingly intact hypothalami. Scientists wondered if there might be a hormonal problem, and so they artificially conjoined these rats to healthy normal rats, sewing together their circulatory systems into a single network. The result: when a VMN-lesioned rat was joined to a normal rat, the VMN-lesioned rat stayed the same, but the normal rat stopped eating and starved to death. When a mutant rat was joined to a normal rat, the normal rat stayed the same and the mutant rat recovered and became normal weight.


Must've missed this thread last year. A pleasant surprise today.


You folks might like this:

A[quote name="Jacob Singer" url="/community/t/155740/pop-neuroscience-and-psychology-catch-all#post_4283250"]You folks might like this:

That's pretty brilliant.
Gladwell's REVISIONIST HISTORY isn't necessarily a neuroscience podcast, but the one he recently did about "FREE BRIAN WILLIAMS" goes over our collective mistake in seeing errors of human memory as a moral failure.

Good episode, I thought.

edit: I just looked back in this thread and saw that the whole SINBAD PLAYED SHAZAAM thing was also about our collective memory. hahahah

edit2: re-reading that SINBAD/SHAZAAM piece and it's just such a fun oddity that paints a whole picture of how we treat our own memories... how those memories become conflated with emotions... and those emotions can eventually retaliate when they become insecure about the memory's validity... and when that insecurity feels it has a community which has enough members to validate those feelings...


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