A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Enjoy our special posts in the fields of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS Blog) and Social Sciences & Arts (SSA Blog)

A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Day or night — your brain is always listening

Credit: Getty Images

New research explores how the brain responds to music and speech during sleep

You're fast asleep. But your brain isn't taking the night off, according to new research funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Researchers studied activity in the human cerebral cortex in response to music and other sounds. They observed vigorous auditory responses in the sleeping brain, similar in many ways to responses in the wakeful state but differing in a key component. While the waking state is characterized by ongoing feedback signals in the brain as it attends to and interprets incoming sounds, researchers found that those signals are greatly reduced during sleep.

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The surprisingly simple 'arithmetic' of smell

Credit: When ON neurons fire, a locust can smell an odor. OFF neurons fire once the smell goes away; Raman lab

Adding and subtracting certain neurons tells researchers whether a locust can smell an odor

Smell a cup of coffee.

Smell it inside or outside, summer or winter, in a coffee shop with a scone -- coffee smells like coffee.

Why don't other smells or different environmental factors get in the way of the experience of smelling individual odors? Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis turned to the locust to find out.

What they found was surprisingly simple, according to Barani Raman, a biomedical engineer, and colleagues. The results were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The U.S. National Science Foundation-funded scientists have been studying locusts for years, watching their brains and their behaviors related to smell in an attempt to engineer bomb-sniffing locusts. Along the way, they've made substantial gains in understanding the mechanisms of smell.

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Is reality real? These neuroscientists don’t think so

Credit: Gettyimages

What does science say about the nature of reality?

It's perplexing how such a thing that we all perceive could be so elusive and hard to grasp. It is objective and subjective at the same time. What actually is reality? What is real? Is there an objective world outside our human senses or it is all projection of our mind? There is not a single answer but many different theories about that and most probably they are all wrong in a way. Each one of them is just yet another key for a door of endless keylocks end each is setting ajar the door a bit more. So maybe the best position is multiperspectivism.

This short video will shed a light on these questions that captivated our curiosity since the beginning of human civilization.

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‘Connection with the past’: AI to find and preserve Europe’s historical smells

Scent-enriched tours will be accessible to blind and visually impaired people in a way entirely visual exhibitions can never be. Image credit - Battlecreek Coffee Roasters / Unsplash

The psychological powers of smell

There's no sense quite like smell to trigger an emotional response. One whiff of a damp basement, a dusty blanket, a ripe strawberry, or a steaming bowl of pasta can instantly evoke feelings and memories that have their roots in the distant past. Yet when it comes to learning about bygone times, we barely give a thought to the vapours that once prevailed – galleries and museums are the domain of artworks that appeal to our sense of sight, rarely reminding us of how things smelled – fragrant or foul – when our forebears walked the earth.

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SSA Recent Posts

07 February 2023
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: J. Krishnamurti, the Indian philosopher, aboard the S.S. Bremen, arriving in New York City for a vacation; Getty Images 7 Thoughts by the Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti 1. "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly si...
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01 February 2023
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Getty images London as a Museum of Art Certain cities in Europe could be considered the centers of Art. One, of course, is Rome, another is Paris, Barcelona, Vienna, and many more. However, the focus today is London. One of the largest cities...
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29 January 2023
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Baruch de Spinoza (1632 - 1677), Dutch philosopher. Woodcut engraving, published in 1881.; Getty images Excerpts from Ethics, Demonstrated in Geometrical Order (1677) 1. "Hatred is increased by being reciprocated, and can on the other hand be...
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