Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Serendip's Brain and Behavior Forum

Welcome. This open forum is for postings and discussions relevant to Serendip's Brain and Behavior resource page. Comments on materials linked to from there as well suggestions for additional materials are welcome here. So too are thoughts about the history and future of brain research and its relation to the ongoing evolution of the story of humanity. Visit to find postings from others that you might find useful in your own thinking, and to leave postings that others might find useful. Postings may be delayed in appearing while they are checked to avoid spam.


KC Gurnani's picture

Schizophrenia - the Ghost etiology for Connecticut massacre

The recent massacre of young innocent children in the elementary school of Connecticut is a heart piercing tragic event. The pain and anguish which the families of sufferers must be bearing is unimaginable for an outsider or for that matter for the scientific community to feel. Hence, rather than blaming schizophrenia or autism or Asperger's syndrome or disorder, the Behavioral scientists must start pondering over what they know about the human behavior. That is, are the theories which they have propounded for the mechanism of human behavior, really helping the human kind? For me, I have long stated, Schizophrenia or Schizophrenia spectrum disorders are a name which may be applicable to socially deranged human beings but it can not be a biological disorder. The human biology can not allow the existence of a disorder which affects the social obligations. We have to separate out the two. We have to understand the thinking process of a human being, especially as regards to the obsessive compulsive thinking, the unstoppable ruminations which a young adolescent suffers from and the extremes to which the person suffering from these ruminations can go upto. We have to think of the associations in the brain thinking process which a person builds and links them to different, related (for him) but unrelated for outsiders, items. Unfortunately, we neither know sufficiently of the human emotions, nor the thinking process or for that matter we know nothing of the physiology of the mental functions.
KC Gurnani

Greg Covey's picture

Schizophrenia Disorder

Although I am not formally trained in the mental health arena I am the father of a 24 year old adult son with schizophrenia disorder. Unfortunately he is 100% disabled and will probably live with his mother and I until we both die. At that time I hope they have either invented new wonder drugs that will allow him to function as what most would call a normal life.

What makes me angry about the situation is that his biological mother (he was adopted at three months old) continued to use cocaine, meth, and alcohol throughout her pregnancy. This resulted in him being born addicted to cocaine. That's right he spent the first three months of his life addicted to cocaine.

Since then he has been diagnosed with ADHD, OCD, ODD, bipolar disorder, and finally at 19 schizophrenia disorder. Whether fair or unfair it is what it is. As parents we try to deal with our frustrations of living with an adult that can make the easiest tasks seem almost impossible.

I wished I could look into his mind and get some insight as to what he sees and hears all day long when he laughs and talks continually.

Living with an adult son with schizophrnia is work to say the least, but he is our son and we will do whatever we can to make his life as normal as possible.

KC Gurnani's picture

Schizophrenia is a Myth

Dear Mr. Covey
It pains me to learn about your agony. It further pains, for, it is not only you who is undergoing this pain, which unfortunately has been caused by the ignorance of the scientific community. I have tried to prove by my book that the illness Schizophrenia is a wrong diagnosis. A further work I had presented at the WPA International Congress held at Prague October 2012. It is a possibility that most of those patients whom we are diagnosing as schizophrenia may be suffering from some other kind of disorder like bipolar or OCD, but atleast the disease schizophrenia does not have any locus standing. It is an irony that we have yet not been able to understand the physiology of psychological system. The reasons for this lay in the fact that we are still pursuing ghost elements.
My this post is for the purpose that you must leave the bleak outlook for your son, forget what his biological mother did when he was in-utero (What benefit it gives to you or to him except for the blame game) and start thinking on other possibilities less schizophrenia.

brain's picture

Neuroscience Research

Does anyone know much about brain and machine interfaces? I've been reading more and more recently about people hooking up the brains of monkeys and humans to computers and allowing them to control various things like robotic arms and cursors on a screen. They seem to use information from the individual neurons to decode what the person/monkey wants to do. I'm wondering how far this type of technology will progress in the next few years. Will we soon see supersoldiers who can control extra arms and weapons with their thoughts?

Serendip Visitor's picture

Blind Spots

While looking at your pages on blind spots i came to the example where the dot disapears but the brain finishes the line through the spot, however in my case the line progressively vanished from the center of the blind spot leaving only the background color. Is that unusual?

Vinko Rajic's picture

Telepathic person with no life

I am Telepathic person. I am probably only one person in the world with this kind of telepathy.

I can exchange voice messages with people using telepathy , I can exchange video with other people,
I can exchange smell and bad and good filings with people around, people can move
muscles on my body from distance and much more.
And all messages from me are transmitted to big number of people so I am a Mental Radio.

I am stalked day and night by dirty shit perverts.
Problem is that they turned this to my bitter nightmare.
I am stalked day and night by dirty sh-it perverts.
Nightmare that costs me over 10 Years of my life in poverty and misery and the biggest problem they are
playing making show, show in which I am going through most bizarre and cruel misery.

I do not know how much can it cost to employee someone for 10 Years 15 hours a day.
That make incredible 50 000 working hours , how much can it cost and how
could someone collect such amount of money for such purpose.

1. I am Software developer and i have to focus on my work but he is spending all day long talking to me
15-17 hours a day and he is using tactics of psycho terror, usually used on war prisoners in concentration camps
in Bosnia. He wake me up any time in the night just to psycho break me.

2. Diarrhea problem. He can move muscles in my stomach and he do it all the time, he is in distance of few kilometer day and
night and terrorizing my stomach. He or group of shit perverts is working
day and night around me on it.
At the end my stomach is really not working and I have eating problems and
can get diarrhea. I am getting to look similar to war prisoner.
He like to watch me go to the toilet and he talk to me all the time when I sit in the

3. Stalking and no privacy. He is stalking on me day and night , in shower, toilet, when doing my
intimacy things and more. He has no respect for privacy. Dirty perverts.

4. He is trying to get me into fight with some people.
Also to create conflict and if it no work then they can pay someone to go more direct on me or to attack on me.
Once they paid some mad alcoholic to attack me, on the next place they arrange people to provoke me and do
some things against me but I give them problems on they own field but they called police on me.

Is it anyone there who know how to prevent this telepathic terror? Medicine , metal shield or what?

Right, maybe some of students or doctors is interesting to work with me, also make an experiment.
He/She is going to get knowladge about how this work and maybe find something new , and I can maybe
get help in how to protect me of stalkers.
I do not understand how this comunication works, how are brain wawes transmited.
It should be possible to build a room that could protect me of stalkers.

I was thinking that I could be interesting for students / profesors becouse I could be one person
on the Earth than can response to telepathy 100% correct. I never found informations for any other
person that can do it to 100%, some can use it for few percentage of accurancy.

Belive or not I am sure you can get 100% corect transmision with me.
Very soon you can comunicate with me better than using Skype.
Comunication works up to few kilometer.
I hope there is someone that wants to work with me.
If yes send en E-mail.

Please help!

Vinko Rajic

Anna C.'s picture

Brain/ funtion/mind

I have a pretty crazy question...the brain is supposed to be related in all ways to your behaviour right? Well, if you get a head injury, say your shot in the head and you survive, is it possible for you to ever be what you used to be? Or will you always be this special needs person? And if you do become a mentally challenged person will you have to awareness you had to begin with or will you lose all awareness? Also, is it possible for someone with this kind of head injury to "get patched up" and just walk away and live a perfectly normal life? or will you suffer from disorders such as seizures and migraines?

abrain's picture

The Brain

Hi, I have been reading a book called "I AM THAT" talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

He has said that we make the mistake of believing that we are the body/mind, but we are actually the essence that is sensing everything.

Could each brain be constructing everything that we take as the world, and the whole thing is done by lifeforce, so as to perpetuate itself?
Lifeforce is using every living thing just as a vehicle and it is a neverending cycle.


Anonymous's picture

So I'm doing a psychology

So I'm doing a psychology assignment right now and there is a question I need help with. The question is, what is the relationship between how our nervous system funtions and what we think and do? Can anyone help me out?

Anika Thomas's picture

Just replying to your question

I feel, what we think takes electrical impulses, or channels into electrical impulses, which are the nervous impulses. These nervouse impulses helps us to generate our thoughts and is through our thoughts we behave in the way we think or feel at that particalar moment.

Rob lightbearer's picture


i too have just been diagnosed with seizures and was curious if this site had any info and advice

Tom's picture

mind vs brain

It seems to me there's some confusion here between brain and mind. The brain is physiological, it dies with the body. What Dickenson is talking about is Mind, big mind. It transcends our relative experience, it has no beginning or end, it has no attributes that one can ascribe to it per se. It is the pure sky against which relative reality, our lives and thoughts and passions, etc, is viewed. It isn't tainted by the relative experiences, nor is it subtracted from or added to by any experience. It is referred to as God or Buddha, etc., and cannot be understood directly by the rational mind. We participate in it and manage to create an ego around a small part of it and call it our self. If you look at the poem from this point of view it may make more sense to you.

Paul Grobstein's picture

making sense of brain/mind/Dickinson

Agree there is a potential here for confusion.  But there's another possible way to look at, different from calling the brain "physiological" and the "Mind" something else.  After all,  Dickinson actually writes about "brain," not "Mind."  Maybe the "Mind" is "physiological" too?  ie a part of the brain?  Yes, something that can't be understood/emcompassed by the "rational mind" but, if the brain includes that (what we know as "our self") and there is "room besides," then maybe the rest, beyond the "rational mind" is also in the physiological brain?  As per the image  to the right?  There is (yellow and white circles) the part of the brain that does things we're aware of, including the "rational mind," but its actually a small part of a much larger brain (the light grey region) that we're not aware of, isn't "rational" in the sense we usually use that word, but is our only conduit to the bigger world of which we are a part (the darker grey "outside").  Maybe "God or Buddha" is the "rational mind's" name for what is outside but we cannot know "rationally," because of the physiology of the brain?  For more exploration of this possibility see "Reality: Construction, Deconstruction, and Reconstruction" and Evolving Inquiry: The Unconscious as Bridging the Intellectual/Spiritual and the Academic/Personal and The Taoist Story Teller: Do We Still Need Truth, Reality, and/or God?

Anonymous's picture

Hi everyone, I have a

Hi everyone, I have a question that may sound silly, but I'm going to put it out there anyway. Is it possible to NOT be thinking anything. I mean if someone asks "what are you thinking" can one really say "nothing" and mean it?

Anonymous's picture


Well let me put it this way, you thought to say nothing...

Paul Grobstein's picture

can one "not think"?

A very interesting question, not "silly" at all.  Curious to hear about other peoples' experiences along these lines.  When one is sleeping, and not dreaming, one isn't thinking anything ... at least I don't seem to be.  And in "dissociative fugue" states, one may act apparently without thinking.  Some meditative disciplines aspire to getting to state of mindfulness that doesn't involve "thinking" in the sense we usually use that term. Kalina Christoff's lab has been doing some interesting recent brain imaging work on "mind wandering."   
Laura Cyckowski's picture

Interesting... how do you

Interesting... how do you really know if you're not thinking? Is thinking defined as activity in an unconscious part of the brain, or conscious only? For some reason, getting anesthesia was very "eery" because one second I was awake and cognizant, and then I wake up hours later. No sense of time having passed... whereas during sleep, even when I don't dream (or remember dreaming), there is always that sense of time having passed.
Paul Grobstein's picture

thinking and time: conscious and unconscious

"defined as" depends on a definer.  For me, I'm inclined to reserve "thinking" for that which one is aware of, so yes, is "conscious."  Other "cognitive" processes go on in the unconscious.  

Agree that the "time having passed" issue is an interesting one (cf Sensing Time and comments after, and Symposium: A Matter of Time).   Yes, I usually have a sense of time having passed when I wake up from sleep.  But not always.  I clearly remember times when I woke up and was surprised at time having passed.  I wonder whether that has to do with something going  on during sleep (or anesthesia) or, perhaps, has instead to do with the processes of retelling a story when one wakes up?

Kate's picture

it's absolutely possible to

it's absolutely possible to NOT think! that's the spirit of meditation and zen! And it's not a stupid question...It's a wise question that people have thought about for centuries.

The addiction to thought is so prevalent that we assume it's impossible NOT to think. I do it at least once a day though, but I had to work up to it, through meditation.

Would you drag around a folding chair during a walk? Of course not. Similarly, the mind should be used only when it is needed. People love to get into debates about what it means to not think, if it's truly possible, etc. But that's using the mind when it's unnecessary. Silence of thought is so liberating and peaceful. For me, I experienced a burden being lifted, by giving myself permission to enjoy the moment and quit analyzing everything.

Bernie's picture

When I am aware, I also

When I am aware, I also notice the thoughts coming through, the noise, the sensation around me.

Anonymous's picture

I stumbled on the free will

I stumbled on the free will arrows thing. If you keep going further back though, what made me choose right? the system that makes me me made that decision. i was created as me and anything that has affected the system that makes me me was also created. existing removes free will.

Sulfur's picture

failing free will in unexpected way-update?

I was looking at those arrows for hours! It's not that I couldn't choose an action or execute it, I observed pheonomenon of will as you describe it immediatelly after reading that there are two kinds of arrows there. I thought "Oh, I like this stuff...left...right...left...right..." and then-without reading what I supposed to do next- I thought "Hey, let's learn to see both of them at the same time! Maybe it's possible!". Guess what... I suceeded! So I couldn't pass the test. No matter how I tried-I didn't had a free will... Did I LEARNED to be without free will or what? I got back to this expermient after a while... with the same result. Frustrating. Am I the only man on Earth without free willl? Or did somebody experienced the same problem? Or maybe the test need some changes, like taking those arrows out of the first page...

s c's picture


this is a wonderful informative site! was very glad to find it! hope it helps me to clear up some of my issues i am having," reasoning for the research" this seems to be a very competent site for research. thnk you greatly for sharing with the people for what ever may be their reasons. ty

angelmimosa's picture

hi new here, just signed

hi new here, just signed up

interested on how nutriton effects the brain,serotonin.

Pedro Lugo's picture

Nice Stuff

Hello World, I just had LITERALLY what people call Seizure and let me tell ya, ooh men I is more than scary, it is a life and death experience, it made me wake up to new horizons and to appreciate more the day to day stuff, I did come in here as I was reading about yin and yang and saw this interesting stuff about blind spots.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
1 + 10 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.