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Devi Jankowicz's picture


I read this article with great interest, as someone who has worked in the field of personal construct psychology for almost 50 years and practiced meditation, with a Buddhist orientation, for around 40. It was delightful to see the article, and I should love to see it more widely known.

However, Phouttasone (Pilou) Thirakoul, the author, reveals a major misunderstanding of Kelly's Dichotomy Corollary. Kelly does not, as she asserts, state that the elements of one’s experience can assigned to either one pole or another of a construct, such as ‘good’ versus ‘bad’.

What he states is that meaning does not exist of itself, but that it is conveyed by a particular contrast. Thus the meaning expressed by the contrast ‘good versus bad’ (as when one talks of a meal one has eaten) is completely different from the meaning expressed by ‘good versus evil’, for example. Kelly's point is simply that ‘good’ conveys no meaning whatsoever, until the particular contrast is provided, either explicitly or by context.

And so it is plain wrong to go on to state, as Pilou does, that an understanding of the world based on Kellian theory ‘is glaringly at odds with the Buddhist notion that one must acknowledge one's dichotomous conceptualization of the world only in order to transcend it and that one's experience of the world is unitary and holistic’. This may indeed be true of Buddhist philosophy but it is not at odds with Kelly’s notion of meaning.

Malcolm J. Brenner's picture

Alliance Strategies in Bottlenose Dolphins

These remarkable social structures in male dolphins and the ensuing behaviors may have arisen for purely selfish evolutionary reasons (he who sires the most progeny gets his genes' survival assured), but I note with some interest that it has driven affiliation and associative relationships in the male dolphins. It would be interesting to study how the females respond to this, especially in light of my own personal experiences with a semi-captive female dolphin who vigorously and enthusiastically courted me for 6 months. For instance, Emma Berdan uses the word "rape" to describe how the males interact sexually with a female under their "control," but what I experienced shows that females can make individual (even remarkable) mating choices with no possibility of offspring. It seems to me that female dolphins have a lot of control over who they mate with. Perhaps the first-order alliances of male dolphins pick females in estrus not because they are more likely to produce offspring (the Darwinian explanation) but because a female in estrus is more likely to be responsive to sexual advances (the Skinnerian explanation)? Furthermore, as this article shows, using the word "rape" to describe dolphins normal sexual relationships trivializes the word and the severity of the crime it describes (it is a legal term, and women are not female dolphins. Take it from me, I know the difference.)

While these long-term associations may be unique to males, I would assume there is some equally complex social process at work in females that remains undiscovered. These enduring relationships, and the need to form ever-larger social structures, may have been a prime driver in the formation of dolphin intelligence and communications. Nature appears to have produced two pinnacles of self-awareness on this planet, and the toothed whales are by far the elder. We need to learn from them not as research subjects, but as our equals, and our betters in their own environment.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Attributing Positive Drug Experience w/specific Neurotransmitter


Please take care not to attribute all positive drug experiences to the dopamine reward circuit, as there are often greater activities and binding affinities at other sites. Psychedelics in particular are highly selective to serotonin 5HT2-A. The complexity of the human brain should be explained carefully and accurately for the chemical, physical, and metaphysical system that it is. I love the passion and effort but would encourage rigor in conveying concepts.

Serendip Visitor's picture


The correct term in "extraversion" (with an "a"). Please use the correct terminology in deference to Carl Jung who coined the term and besides, it's the correct prefix to use!!!

James Luce's picture

Ursula K. Le Guin, Bryn Mawr

Dear Serendip,
My daughter sent me the link to this marvellously powerful speech by the late Ms. Le Guin. The Bryn Mawr connection is that my mother was an alumna, Class of 1935 or so.

Ms. Le Guin’s analysis of the barrier and disconnect between men and women is the most eloquent I’ve ever read…much better than the Men Are from Mars variety. Would that she had suggested a way for women to make, entice, and enable men listen to, understand, and appreciate communications in mother language. As she notes, the first task is to get all women on board with the necessity of men listening and the necessity of women unlearning what they’ve been taught by their mothers as to their “proper” role. Only then will it be possible to cure men’s deafness.

The solution to men’s deafness is not a frontal attack such as described in Lysistrata. Once boys have become men they are perhaps incurable? The solution must be with how infants of “both” (myriad in variety) sexes are raised and with what expectations.

There is hope. Over the course of my seventy-three years I’ve seen some progress. I was struck by the similarity between Le Guin’s father language/mother language and the idea of Man Talk/Woman Talk that I formulated as a youth listening to my parent’s conversational interactions. It was clear way back then that my mother and father frequently failed to communicate because they were clearly not speaking the same language.

The good news is that there are some men alive already who are with Le Guin. The ground-breaking has occurred. Now we must start the more difficult task of building that anti-Tower of Babel…everyone working on the same project but with only one language. After all, we’re not trying to build a tower to Heaven (Genesis 11: 1-9) but rather a bridge over troubled waters. Thus, the Father(s) should not object.

Sail on, silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All of your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
Oh, if you ever need a friend
Look around I'm sailing right behind
Just like a bridge over troubled water
I'll be there to lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
© Paul Simon

James Luce
Alt Empordà, Spain

Graham's picture

langtons ant wave equation

Langtons ant now has a wave equation.

Ann Dixon's picture

Langton's Ant

Interesting. Do you have a citation?

Floyd's picture

newest brain

If all mammals have a neo cortex, where is the part that suddenly appeared in humans about 200,000 years ago? Where and what is the newest part of the human neo cortex, the part that made us humans? It cannot be the whole neo cortex, because all mammals have this. did it simply get a little bigger? If so, in which direction did it grow? Where are the new cells?

Serendip Visitor's picture

plug in not supported

Since Chrome no longer supports plug-ins, any chance the time to think activities (reaction time, etc) will be updated? I like to use several of your activities for a class I regularly teach.

Ann Dixon's picture

Shockwave support

Thanks for writing in. Google is no longer supporting plug-ins, but our Shockwave activities still work with Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. We are looking into alternatives for Chrome, but getting the interactivity support from Director migrated is a challenge.

Ann Dixon's picture

New help page for Shockwave

We have a new help page for running Shockwave with our experiments such as Time to Think and the Four Color Problem. Please see Trouble Running Our Shockwave Experiments? for some guidance and to post questions.

gerrysweet's picture

Ionic Colloidal Silver

Up to August, 2015, my two kids ages 11 and 6 years old have been having round-robin colds, coughs and culminates in asthma attacks. I am very cautious that I do not catch the cough because it really does not allow me to sleep at night. Despite precautions I end up being sick too. Our bills for medicines has always been high which covers Tempra, cough syrups, Virlix, nebules, Decolgen and pain relievers not to mention the professional fee of their pediatrician. In September last year, I came across a blog that mentions the good attributes of Colloidal Silver. I searched the Philippine on-line market but sadly no one is selling it. I researched how it is being made and proceeded to make my own. I used Canadian Maple leaf coins 99.99% Ag and distilled water and produced 10 ppm just for our family use. From then on, the colds, cough, flu/asthma round-robin completely disappeared from our household. To make sure we are always protected, I dosed 50 ml of 10 ppm CS solution into our 20 liters hot/cold water dispenser where everybody gets his/her drinking water. Since I am making my own, we started using it in scalp sprays after shower, skin sprays, table, dishes and kitchen spray disinfectant, mouth wash and in feet hygiene and deodorizing our shoes and sandals. I gave it away to friends and they too experienced wonderful results. I started to manufacture it using free solar energy and I am now able to sell it to friends and acquaintances at a fraction of the market price at USD 6.25/liter.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Cerebral palsy

Thank you for your cerebral palsy essay. I am researching for a presentation and had trouble finding content that was not overly scientific or simplified to give me a decent overview of the topic. This essay had the right amount of depth, plus it was cited so that i can follow up areas I find more interesting. The tone was also very sweet.

Kathy von Duyke's picture

Grateful Biology Teacher

Hi All,
I am teaching biology at a new urban charter and with funding and political issues, have not received books or supplies for my students. Your site has been a life saver, and I like it's academic authenticity much better than the standard text companies. I also appreciate your theoretical orientation on complex systems.
Kathy von Duyke

Luke Sleepwalker's picture

Sleepwalking experience

Hi all,

I am an adult sleepwalker with a mild condition (recurrent sleepwalking but not leading to any injuries/danger to myself or others).

Since there is a relative paucity of information about what causes sleepwalking, what affects it and what treatments are the most beneficial I started to collect all that information regarding my case.

As you are probably well aware there is a lot of data about sleepwalking in the medical literature but here is why I qualify it as a paucity of data:
* Most of the cases reported/studied are about extreme sleepwalking (cases with injuries, danger, crimes, etc...). Very few are about the mild sleepwalker that just goes up for 1 minute and then back to bed. Or even less active than that.
* No longitudinal study in a home setting has ever been conducted (to my knowledge). Which would be the best way to determine what correlates with sleepwalking and what affects it.
* There is no drug approved by the FDA or the EMA (to my knowledge) for sleepwalking. All the drugs currently prescribed are approved for insomnia or other type of sleep disorders. Which have different characteristics and most likely different underlying causes.

So I am slowly trying to collect data about the questions above using myself as a test subject.
I started a blog to document some of my findings and also to gain some feedback from anyone interested by those questions.
Please take a look at it:

Luke Sleepwalker.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Re:Why is Diabetes an Epidemic in the African American Communit

I was a flabbergasted reading this so called article on Why is Diabetes an Epidemic in the African American Community? By Ramatu Kallon. Is this a research finding or opinion? If Diabetes was really prevalent in African American wouldn’t their ancestor have it too? Hence Africa should be the hot bed for Diabetes but it is not. Africa is the region with the lower prevalence of diabetes (4.9%), having Réunion (15.4%), Seychelles (12.1%) and Gabon (10.7%) as the top three countries with higher prevalence and 10 out of 48 countries with prevalence of diabetes higher than the upper quartile (6.3%) prevalence. So genes should be at play here right?

Next time do your research and tell the truth. The truth is doctors are getting paid more money for these noncommunicable diseases, so they labeled African American with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Stop the name calling and labeling! Stop poisoning the water and selling the African population food high in fake sugar…

Serendip Visitor's picture

African Americans and Diabetes

Greetings! Not only do i agree with your comments and citations, but I am totally aghast at such statements as Researchers also believe that "African Americans inherited a "thrifty gene" from their African ancestors." (3) This "thrifty gene" enabled "Africans during the "feast and famine" cycle, to use food energy more sufficiently once food was scarce." (3)However, today the "thrifty gene" that was meant for survival makes African Americans more susceptible to diabetes type 2.

Really. ALL HUMANS inherited this gene. it exists to prevent starvation NOW, just as it did when we were all one race, living in caves, hunting for food and eating massive amounts of animal flesh and fat where as when we could.

I have done extensive research on new information that I've just learned, after many years of wrongly accepting the wrong information that diabetes is an outcome of overweight and high blood pressure. It is the other way around. Diabetes LEADS TO these conditions. It may never change and may always continue to spread, but I declare, i will shout it out to all who will listen, and the truth SHALL make us free.

To whomever has ears to hear and eyes to see. Jacob will not lose his reward if Israel fails to hear, and neither will I! Thanks so much for sharing.

drumtutor jeff's picture

muscle memory

Any credence to the term "muscle memory"? Sure, it's in common parlance as an "explanation" of learning physical skills and of coördination, but if you cut the nerve which connects to a muscle, you totally disable the muscle--where has the "musicle's memory" gone?

My thinking is that it's due to ganglion development from conscious practicing of a physical skill that gives athletic ability, musical dexterity, and computer texting rapidity (and finally, automatically) to anyone good at these things.

Why does this misnomer of a term hang on so strongly? Because we can't see the spark giving the command, but we only see the resultant movement from the spark's orders. It's just as Ptolemy stated that loops in orbits observed in planetary movements really happened, and now are explained as a visual aberrance caused by the fact that the earth was also moving in ITS orbit, and made it look as if the observed planet movements looped at times. (See from Iowa State University, for a visual illustration of this phenomenon that Ptolemy tried to explain and can be noticed from this excellent explanation which shows what an observer sees from his own planet when tracking another planet's movements.)

I learned about this abberative visual phenomenon 'way back in high school in the middle of the last century, yet the term "muscle memory" still seems to maintain currency with many intelligent persons today, despite advances in understanding of the brain and the nervous system's actual operations.Oh well, urban legends are comfortable and that's why they persist…

JH Galt's picture

My work parallels yours!

I've spent the past 28 years developing a theory of order and disorder, with a special focus on the significance of rules in the order-making process. I've examined how rules differ when a structure organizes itself versus being organized by its environment, and the qualities that rules must possess to produce order that is pure and/or complex.

I was stunned to see how closely my thoughts parallel those on this site regarding the making of order and chaos. You might find it very interesting to read what I've written at

I'd love to get some feedback.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Biofeedback article

Thinking that you can't control automatic functions within the human body is not very bright. If the young lady who wrote the article had done just a little research into the knowledge base on such things she would not have claimed that it was all placebo effect. As a person who practices both Qigong and T'ai Chi I have used both to lower my BP and slow my heart rate. Just a week ago I had taken all of the Coreg and other heart meds that my body could accept without having serious side effects. My heart felt like it was racing so I strapped on an electronic device to measure my BP and pulse. The reading was 212/102 with a pulse of 73. Since I couldn't take any more drugs, I did the seated postures of Qigong and T'ai Chi. After completing the movements, I measured again and the device reported 122/63 with a pulse of 46.

Was this a placebo effect? Hardly. My medical friends told me that I shouldn't slow my heart beat that low, but it was an effective way of getting quickly out of "stroking territory". My ICD would have taken over if my pulse had become erratic or gone above 100, but getting a shock that feels like a mule kicked you in the chest would not be fun.

There are Buddhist Monks who can slow their hearts even to the point of their hearts going into cardiac arrest, which definitely would not be a placebo effect.

Serendip Visitor's picture


Your points may indeed be correct, however, instead of rebuttal through anecdote you should have presented empirical evidence.

Ronald's picture


Posted a comment on here about 'German New Medicine' (GNM), just to cut through the BS that lies at the basis of our so called 'health care system' (read: sickness industry). Of course my comment(s) don't get published here, nor hardly anywhere else, but in spite of years of experiences of getting my posts not published/deleted, now and then I still feel the urge to help people. So, instead of letting myself be frustrated by this global collaboration with Big Money, I prefer to keep doing my best for others. It's healthier that way...


Ronald's picture

Biological programs

Interesting article, but as usual no mentioning of the work of doctor Hamer and his 'new' theory (since 1980 or so) of 'German New Medicine' (GNM). If you really wanna understand 'illness' (dis-ease), you have to read up on this - if you manage to get passed the name slander and other vicious tactics used to discredit this man's work. In 2009, this knowledge prevented mutilating surgery (and chemotherapy) and for this I can never thank Dr. Hamer enough.

Just think of cancer, for instance, don't you find it odd that the immune system of the body doesn't regard cancer cells as something hostile that needs to be destroyed? Or that the body even provides tumors with extra blood(vessels), which is known as the process of 'angiogenesis' (doctors learn the made-up names for all kinds of bodily processes at medical school, too bad they're never taught what causes/triggers them).

I don't claim GNM to be 100% conclusive about 'disease', but it makes way more common sense (and is verifiable for every individual by just examining his or her own bodily reactions to negative emotions, etc.) than the way 'modern medicine' just keeps fighting off symptoms, at the same time making billions of dollars out of this situation - the sickness industry.

When are people finally going to wise up???

Lords Grace's picture


My brother was only 45 and he was told he had Parkinson's it's really bad my family and I are devastated Please email me the info were to take my brother to get treatment. God bless you and may he continue to bless you with health I am beand devestated. Please help me

Serendip Visitor's picture


Have you checked for Lyme disease? 45 is way to young. There is a cause. A conventional doc will NOT help you with this issue. You need an LLMD, using Igenex. I was so lucky to have exceptional Hematologist/Oncologist who supported me with my totally unbelievable symptoms. He took doctor's orders from an LLMD, thus enabling me to get insurance. Until my treatment was taken away because of the government medical institutions threatening my treatment, I was normal. IV ABX with supporting super probiotics and digestive enzymes (Enzamedica), and supporting medications my LLMD prescribed, kept me "normal" for the 4-5 years I could get the treatment. Some people totally recover, some do not. See Lyme is a mimicking disease, MS, Alzheimer's. Parkinson's Altzheimer's by Dr. MacDonald, The conventional medical will never do anything but treat symptoms. God bless and I hope your brother recovers. It could happen.

Serendip Visitor's picture


your list of web sites used for you paper is probably unreliable because all websites could not be found or there is no access to them.

Ann Dixon's picture


Serendip is 20 years old, and we have content that was created throughout that time. The refences used in web papers were all current at the time written and published; we do not update them. It's an interesting problem that information published on the web does not have the lifespan of traditional library resources.

Polly''s picture

social phobia been suffering social phobia when I was 5 years. At 16 some girl pushed me to face it. Selling things at street. done that. 2 days and changes my life. But today I have 38 years and 2 kids and im smart and I have no reasons to be cured. So i start thinking that's something wrong in my biology that is not working fine. I'm thinking what part of the brain drives fear or welt cause I have everithing in mi life to be happy. And I have no welt to control it. I've changed a lot. But in mi country then don't know what to do. How to handle. We are rats of laboratory. Ir a medication works then. They solute the problem. But I think they don't know nothing. I asked psiquiatrist what didn I have. He couldn't say. There are three posibilities about i was reading. Social phobia, bipolarity, or mayor depression disorder. But if he doesn't im lost.

Daniel Cassidy's picture

In a hole with a suitcase.

I have always found it hard to relate with others, I more along the lines hold up a mirror and mimic them. They can not touch or embrace my creativity in my nirvana, or feel the sorrow that burns like fire, or the smoldering ashes of the aftermath. I have been diagnosed with psychotic disorder because I have the full spectrum. Is something you have to learn to live with, as cloudy as your fish bowl might get (delirium), you have to have the patience to wait for it to be filtered, and it eventually will. so (think virtue) you will be ok.

Christ's picture


I don't know the deepness of delusion,,! but I've come close. What
,you think, is what is.!
Fear is the enemy. I have a psychotic friend. He suffers more from the medication than than the disease(haldol). He is a genius in no small sense. To him we're all crazy. Non-violent schizophrenia may be better than the present cure.

Christopher 's picture

Darwinism vs. Creationism (In your own words)

"...Creationists are crossing the boundaries between religion and science ... which isn't an effective pairing because religion doesn't require proof but science does." "Creationists are seeking scientific evidence of their own..."(Darwinism v. Creationism, Akudo Ejelonu). This sounds like scientific method to me. "They (Creationists)have been instrumental in pointing out weakness in the (Evolutionists') scientific evidence" (Ejelonu).

"Even though creationism is not a scientific theory, Creationists are using scientific evidence in supporting their argument that Darwinism can not be proven scientifically based on the fact that Darwinism goes against creationism" (Ejelonu). Darwinism is proven to go against science, thus it has been continuously altered to adapt. What is a scientific theory if not a well researched proposal based in scientific evidence?

"Creation science... is not science because creation by God or another divinity does not give concrete scientific explanation of life's origin." "Darwin did not have a clear understanding of the laws of inheritance of such traits... Gregor Mendel, discovered them only a few years earlier. In the 1900's, geneticists incorporated Mendel's four laws of inheritance into Darwin's theory of evolution" (Ejelonu). Concrete evidence? The Darwin Theory has had to be altered, or changed to line up with science and still it lacks a complete explanation based on concrete scientific evidence.

"The theory of Darwinism relies on scientific evidence." "Darwin's theory stated that evolution could change one type of organism into another"(Ejelonu). Where is the evidence for this? "It (natural science)is limited to explaining the natural world through natural cause" (Ejeluno). If something can not be tested again and again with the same results than it can not be proven scientifically (scientific method). Therefor there is no scientific proof of evolution.

"This debate will continue until some can prove that Darwinism is correct with scientific evidence or even prove that Creationism is accurate by scientific evidence, too" (Ejeluno). This is true and should have headed the paper because it was the thesis and not a conclusion.

If "crossing the boundaries" (Ejeluno), is wrong then the author should stick to the evidences rather than to debate religious aspects of the debate. If faith is an ignorant approach to understanding the world we live in and our past then none should believe in Darwin's Evolutionary Theory. Darwin's Evolution is an unproven and flawed theory that requires faith in the absence of proof.

Serendip Visitor's picture


I am 26 years old girl and i am fighting with ocd from 4-5 years. I am unable to find out a specialist in my city who is good to understand my problems. Actually before couple of months i am fighting with unwanted thoughts. My family always used to say that i am a diffrent thinker but i knew it i was right but now a days i feel very guilty due to u.wanted thoughts because it is related to religion and my loving people. I always think bad and dirty however i was not this type of girl. I alwayd afraid of to harming people and germs too. I think many things again and again. I feel bad when i think dirty aftr seeing a boy and i doubt boyfriend. He is very loving and trustable guy and i trustt him but i make him feel that i dont trust him. Sometimes he feels irritated. I m scared to loose him but i can.not control brain. I am fed of myself. I dont know how to treat ocd. I know about CBT but i think it is very.costly so is any othr option to treat this. I always feel that it is result of my shocks that i experience in my life from childhood to youngerhood. And i think it is result of excess thinking about every matters. Plz help me to live life normal n.beautifully. I am eagerly waiting for your response.

Serendip Visitor's picture


you cant allways worry about what other people think. I have a son who is 21 but he also is autistic, ADHD, I soon learned that I had to look at things differently than I would other people. We are responsible only for the things that we didn't do that would benefit sociality. If we curle up and hide from others because of what they may say or do, If all that you want to do is hide and wish that others would leave you alone, well then you might as well find an island where the rocks feel no pain and an island does not cry. Just go ahead in that land where the sound of silence is the order of the day. We become strong with-in ourselves, with the realtionships that we build with others. We learn by doing, by communicating with each other. By being positive

Joseph's picture

Hi, Like I use to say,

Hi, Like I use to say, finding a good practitioner is like finding a good mechanic, sometimes your lucky some times you need to try several, when you find the right one, keep it!! :)

From our childhood to youngerhood, till the day of today, I would say we are all of what we were, till the present.

Some times, events bring the past to the present, and you regress to the past, becoming one of whom you where, using same/similar patterns of behavior/feelings and emotions.

When in childhood dealing with traumatic events, one somehow develops mechanisms of defense/or believes to deal with fear, these mechanisms rituals, patterns of behavior and thought may have roots that lay at the very depths of the unconscious mind. Their complexity may require quite some work, ideally with the help of a practitioner Psychologist or Psychiatrist, to guide you and help you identify the roots of OCD, which may involve regressing and analyzing past events, with introspection try to understand how you may be reproducing them in similar patterns in the present ...

If you find therapists that use Regressive Hypnosis, or similar means may be of great help, though it takes time, for your mind to let go, but all that required time to became (26 years or less) will also take some time to change, it's ok, persistence is the key never to give up...

Ok, it seems you quite in a lot of "trouble", from Buddhism, and my own experience I came to learn, that doubt comes from fear, fear creates many problems when not facing it, you will create all sorts of questions not to look a the cause of fear, and doubt arises.

The mind I would say, it is not yours, you don't own it or control it, it has a nature of its own, as do you. Now the conscious, its what you hold, that allows you to watch your mind, the thought that arise, if you "choose" to follow and identify with your thoughts and hold to them, or reject them, create aversion then you will create suffering ...

I would say it is possible that all the confusion, and thoughts that are occupying your mind are a result of a defensive mechanism that you use not to deal with deeper unsolved issues.

I found that, meditation to be of great help to settle the mind and calm all the non stoping thoughts, meditation require regular practice, 15-30 min a day ... read a bit about it ... When at more stable levels, you might use introspection techniques to understand how you view yourself, and implications (interdependence) it has on your feelings, actions etc ...

Most of all things, grow humble with yourself to accept yourself, despite of what others may thing of your image. Grow to know yourself, what to you like, what belongs to you, and what is a result of external influence, society, religion, groups, conditioning ... what ever. We as individuals have a nature of our own, that transcends the expectations of the surroundings ...

As a friend presented me with a set of ideas, that when not living in the present with occupy the mind the mind with thoughts that runs in two axis.

Critic ----- Self Critic

Also that our true self lays in the center, the present! :)

These are just my ideas a believes, hope it helped somehow ...

Anjali's picture


u r well and good.. the thing is that u are very paticular and concious about ur work ,thoughts and ppl.
the thing is that u need to get bussy which should divert ur mind. and if ur dearest ones say that u think different than this is excelent... this universe need those thinkers who c this universe in differnt way.. human nature is to get jelous and dominate other and same is happening with u. and even u are allowing others to dominate u. so, keep on thinking and give sumthing to this world... come up with that project on which u can think a lot and ur brain do not get tired easily... and i am sure that u will b happy in devoting ur precious time to that project. so, i hope that my few thoughts will help u .
thank you... :-)

CLARK 's picture

understanding depression

i just want to say that i'm depressed...and i hope you can help me... you know that feeling of like an overflowing sadness in your heart, longing for something, i've been sick for almost 8 years..physically, since i was 15 years old up to now. it's a chronic really affects my whole life...and really lower my self confidence,....
i don't think if this is the right place to say this... but thank you for listening..

Joseph's picture

Clark, The domains of the a


The domains of the a mind are a tricky world ... Having experienced depression on several occasions, it inevitably moved-me to study and try to understand it ... From Psychology, involving Psychotherapy to Buddhism and Meditation ... Autogenic Training sort of self guided Meditation ...

I would advise you, not to despair, as your mind will tend to that to which you identify, if you identify with negative thoughts, they will create negative emotions, e so on a cycle they back feed the negative pattern of thought.

Depending on your current state, seeking help from some one with experience as a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, would be advised, some times the mind is too unstable, to just think about introspection, and medication may be required ...

The mind, holds several layers, when in the deepest layers of the mind something is wrong, that inevitably will surface into the outer layers, from unconscious patterns, emotions, feelings and thoughts, perception of surroundings ... as the world may seem a darker or more gentle place, it holds in your perception eventually it is also self feed ...

Having a more stable mind, take some time to investigate it, it will change you, in to having higher conscious of your self and your patterns and in designing strategies to cope, and replace those patters.

I wont tell you its easy, its a constant fight, some more than others minds, offer more resistance to change, but believe it, and it comes true!!

My five cents on the issue.

Anjali's picture



u r sad becoz u r depresed and u dont kno why tis happened.

u only need to do is "accpt that what ever u r do is best and legal and it should b"

ignore the remours, step up forward.and if u feel like u r living boring life than opt hard life.
this world is too big rather than thinking of u r depressed and very sad . think about ur those special thoughts which r still hidden inside ur modern brain and loving heart and wants to get in use and using ur thoughts create a new and healthy world for urself in which each and every thing is of ur choice and u love it. give ur self opportunity to live once for u and mankind.
hope my thoughts will refresh ur mind and next hour u will b the new person,full of confidence, ready to change ur boring life...
thank you...

Brandy Chocobbro 's picture


The article I used was perfect for my speech essay! Although you should add at the bottom of the page a formatted MLA 7th citation so everybody would be able to properly site you. I sited you the best I could, because you definitely deserve the credit!

Annabel Grey's picture


Hi! First of all, thanks so much for your wonderful piece on stress - /bb/neuro/neuro02/web3/jsteiner.html. I have been under a lot of stress myself, after recently moving countries and changing jobs, and this article really struck a chord. I especially liked the author's focus on the adrenals, how important they are in the stress response, and how they can become fatigued. I've done a lot more reading, and I now realize that the whole HPA axis actually becomes depleted in the face of long term stressors. The road to recovery involves lots of dietary changes, possibly some hormone replacement (I'm discussing this with my ND), and some serious willpower! Thanks again for your article, and all the work that you do :) Best, Annabel

TC's picture

Koch and Crick on Consciousness and Hypoglycemia

I've been surprised that more research into hypoglycemia and NCC has not taken place. The dropping of blood sugar correlates directly to the "level" of NCC activity. In fact, blood glucose is intimately tied to "awareness" and "response" in the brain. Brain insulin and body insulin require glucose to power "consciousness". Dropping from 180 to 30 mg/dL over the course of 40 minutes will definitely "distend" consciousness. Thought and speaking will reflect the "pools" of burnable glucose remaining as it consistently drops. In fact, burning glucose is consciousness as it reflects cells/neurons powered up. The nervous system is the last stand of glucose driven consciousness whereas "time, place, internal dialog, smell, memory, math" are the first brain areas surrendered in hypoglycemia. Coming out of hypoglycemia is much like "waking up" or "breaking water" from a deep dive- everything becomes turned on all at once as the brain is repowered by ATP.

ashwani's picture

end of feeling

hi I want to tell u about my self I am surfing from last 5 years I have lost interest all thing like I cant feel hunger, sex,after eating stomach doesn't tell full or not, I doesn't feel happy , my life become neutral, write now am taking novo-lamotrigine 75mg, next week I will start 100 mg, my wife fight with me because I doesn't speak with her and I don't laugh I told her so may time I cant do this, please help me what I can do , I have did every thing to get recover but all waste. please help me if u know my problem I told my doctor about this so he give me lamotrigine , I am taking this medicine from last 2 month he start with 25mg for two week , then he give me 50mg for two week , then he start give me 75 mg, now I will go with 100mg this week pls do if u got my problem

Serendip Visitor's picture


This is my first time visiting this site and I was excited to try out the different interactive games and puzzles involving chemistry. Unfortunately, there is misspelling on the Round Table crossword. ex. The name of the element symbol Al is ALUMINUM not ALUMINIUM. That is only one of multiple other element names that have been misspelled and, for beginners, will cause confusion. It would be most beneficial to Serendip, and to users, if this problem could be fixed. I would like to recommend this site to my Chemistry teacher, as well as other students, but I can't if it's going to lead to errors like this.

M.J.'s picture


Spelling of certain words depends on nationality. USA ALUMINUM - ENGLAND ALUMINIUM you sometimes require both the USA and the ENGLISH Dictionaries.

Ann Dixon's picture

international differences


Glad you found some fun things to explore. I'm not sure what url/web page you were looking at, but you'll be interested to know that ALUMINUM and ALUMINIUM are both correct spellings of the element symbol Al. The American Chemical Society adopted the spelling that you are familiar with, but most of the world uses Aluminium to conform with the -ium elements. 

You may enjoy some of the stories in a book by Sam Kean called The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements. Check it out :).


Serendip Visitor's picture

yep. now what?

Good to have this posted. My, my the revolutionary possibilities here.

What next? We can distinguish between the appropriate meanings and uses of words as part of the English language (for which there is indeed a standard of correctness, even if we view the "standard" as a set of multiple standards), and the issue of how words are used to make up the story that the words are telling. In the story we can expect the listener/reader to imagine things in his and her own way, with the results that multiple experiences of the workappear after the story-making process is triggered by the reading or listening to the work.

It seems we have three processes here: (1) a correct use of English, (2) a writing (or telling) through which an effort is made to say something, and (3) a listening or reading by another person, resulting in the intake of a story, formed partially by the words (the correctly written or spoken English as I just mentioned) and formed partially by the understanding, imagination, and gap-filling procedures of the reader/listener. These three processes would occur in the case of every piece of literature, every piece of writing or storytelling. These three processes shoot down the out-dated notion that there is a "correct" interpretation of the writing/telling. There remains, however, one or more "correct" understandings of the words used for the writing/telling. So it is useful to parse the "story" which is a co-creation of writer and reader, teller and listener, distinguishing it from the "words" which are a reflection of language use together with all its rules and customary idiosyncrasies (and historic uses of the same word and all the rest).

We'd still be upsetting those English literature teachers who "believe" in one correct interpretation, but on the other hand we'd be allowing for a further development of the contribution of the reader/listener. At least at high school and college levels of sophistication the art of reading and listening should be taken seriously. How these relate to the art of writing and speaking is a fascinating subject, and useful.

It shows up in my ESL (English as a second language) classes for kindergarteners too. My students are quite confused as to the correct meanings of words, most of the time. Yet, confused as they may be, they form very definite ideas of how the English language story I just told them goes. A clear story develops from barely understood words. Isn't that an interesting phenomenon! Trying to help the students' parents understand that their kids understand the story even though they "say" they can't remember/recognize/articulate/repeat a single word of it -- well that's part of my daily challenge as a teacher. Of course what the young kids say they have learned and what really did sneak into their minds has never had to be the same...

As long as we are talking about the story, the kids can articulate and even retell the story in their own language (Chinese, in my case). So that has to mean that those "way too difficult" English words slipped in somehow. I try to explain it all to the parents, suggesting that the next time they encounter that word, the child will recognize it from the previous story, accept it as a "familiar" word, and allow the fuller meaning of the word to blossom in the brain. Gee, the extent to which a humble ESL teacher has to "make up" the science of learning as she goes along -- that's what's really mind boggling. So I'm glad I came across this post, which seems to add the weight of some serious scholars to a phenomenon I tackle with daily. Keep it up.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Love it.

I read your paper about the embalming process. And I just wanted to say; thank you for the clear and concise explanation. Not to mention all the sources :).

Thanks again.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Brain Structures and Their Functions

Hi! I would like to know who wrote this article and the year in order to use for a paper. Thank you so much for answering!

Ann Dixon's picture

MLA style


Here is an example of using MLA style for our web pages.

Hope this helps,


Serendip Visitor's picture

The Sixth Sense

I read the article and I am almost totally in agreement with it's author except that I don't believe in evolution except in the sense that all growth is in an evolutionary manner to the betterment of the organism.
The idea of nasal sensory glands that receive from external and send signals to our brains to activate a response to
our senses seems very plausible to me. I have often thought this myself that we actually attract like charges of our own
seed and recognize that which is us causing the closeness or connection we often view as the sixth sense. I feel that
this is also the manner of attraction of the sexes to specific types in the sexual realm. To sum it up, I feel we have a sense of ourselves for the purpose of recreating our own kind and that therefore when we sense this it activates an elevated emotional
response and causes the hormones to step into a higher state of activity due to the perception we have received. I feel this is why some people get along better than others, citing the natural attraction of sameness from a DNA standpoint.

Stefan Andersson's picture

A "defective corollary discharge mechanism"...

Hi, I have just read Current Research Investigations of Corollary Discharge by Michelle Coleman ( /bb/neuro/neuro03/web2/mcoleman.html ) and would like to share some of my own ideas...

Is one of the most influential cognitive models of auditory verbal hallucinations correct in its claim that “a failure to adequately monitor the production of one’s own inner speech leads to verbal thought being misidentified as an alien voice”?

A self-monitoring mechanism (or “corollary discharge” mechanism) is needed to generate an act of will and what "should correspond to nothing less than the experience of will or intention" can be assumed to attenuate and "tag" a self produced experience by accurately predicting the sensory consequence you are about to produce.

Quote: “...Before someone talks, a neural signal travels from speech production areas to auditory cortex. It carries a prediction of the speech sounds based on a copy of the motor command and triggers a “corollary discharge.” If the corollary discharge matches what the speaker hears, as it should when the sound is self-produced, the sensory experience is reduced. The sensory experience thus carries a tag declaring it “self-produced,”... ” Source:

Irwin Feinberg was the first scientist to propose that these discharges "are themselves conscious" and "correspond to nothing less than the experience of will or intention"!

Quote: "...motor commands are monitored and evaluated as they occur, before the effector have been actuated... ...Whereas internal feedback associated with simpler motor act is below the level of consciousness, one might postulate that the corollary discharges accompanying conscious thought are themselves conscious. If so, the subjective experience of these discharges should correspond to nothing less than the experience of will or intention..." Source: Schizophrenia bulletin (VOL. 4, NO. 4, 1978) Efference copy and corollary discharge: implications for thinking and its disorders, Irwin Feinberg

For whatever it's worth, my own attempt to understand: To consciously control covert speech with regards to a certain goal by adequately monitor the production of one’s own inner speech may in competition for limited attentional resources attenuate all features matching the sensory consequence you are about to produce. ("...motor commands are monitored and evaluated as they occur, before the effector have been actuated...") The effect when you are forced to divide your attention between two similar tasks can, sustained for a short period of time, be assumed to attenuate the sensory consequence you produce while an act of will tags a self produced experience with the help of a corresponding prediction! (All features matching the sensory consequence you are about to produce (exafference) and the sensory consequence you produce (reafference) are attenuated!) Incentive motivational signals ("a type of motivationally-biased attention") can be assumed to shift the allocation of processing resources from what generates the ability to consciously control covert speech to what you are able to select with a corresponding top-down sensory expectation...

From what I write in

Post subject: Speech perception and some symptoms of schizophrenia

Serendip Visitor's picture


Hi Serendip, and Thank you so much for the great job that you are doing here,
actually, I do have OCD, with compuslions and unwanted thoughts etc,
but what you said at the end of your paper seemed to make so much sense, about the amygdala playing the part
actually mine started after a period of an inward and very intense fear and anxiety about something that I really loved to do but thought was wrong, I remember being very stressed and very emotionally entangled then, the symptoms started from then, and only, only times when I try to be in peace, and be my former self again, and try to think that none of my thoughts are normal or true, for those moments my compulsions completely, COMPLETELY disperse, I really think it should be the amygdala, it's all a saved emotive reaction of my brain and no thoughts interfering in it anymore...
I still believe in and pray for peace, for me and for all the others like me out there....

Serendip Visitor's picture

Hey. thank you for the

Hey. thank you for the article on phobias! I actually learned some things, and it was enlightening. Very well written with excellent solid research to back up your claims. Thank you!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Epilepsy, your report

Hello; Your report on Epilepsy coment on how modern we are, then the odd injuries to the tongue and mouth are backwards. These injuries are caused by ones, as fools, sticking spoons in the mouth and injuring then! Sometimes even ripping the tongue out. They still think one will swallow their tongue and then not be able to breath. They, normal people, are too dump to realise 1. We have noses! 2. The throat can Not be blocked! If they pushed they own tongues back and even stuffed their fingers in, the throat area can Not be blocked!

Cassidy's picture

Wow! This website is AMAZING!

I'm a grade 8 student and I have recently just started a science fair study on whether the cat or the mouse is more intelligent. I tried searching up my research questions on other websites and they were just to complicated for me to understand. Until I found your website I didn't even understand the parts of the brain!! I just want to thank you for making this amazing website and making the information accurate and readable! This website saved my science fair project and I will definitely be using it for future reference:) I only have one complaint and that is that I sort of got lost on certain page because I couldn't go back to the page I wanted. Other than that I can't say enough about how awesome this website is!


Serendip Visitor's picture

For a few years ago I had a

For a few years ago I had a vision, like a flash on the
Retina. I saw a very detailed image of jesus with a crown
Of thorns. It happened during a prayer and up to
That day it was the only vision I can remember ever
Having. Last week I was scared and prayed for
Protection. Only a few seconds later I saw a vision
Of an angel with wings, cross and a bow. Apart from
These two events I have never had any visions.

I have never seen another face, image, food, sky, tree or
Anything on my retina or I am awame.

Can my brain make up these images and why have I
Not seen other things?



no comment now, just stunned by the information provided.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Blind spot testing

You can see your blind spot "in action" by staring at the test diagrams and moving your computer cursor (the little arrow) around in the area that has disappeared. You can make your cursor disappear and reappear!

Luke Saldana's picture

Huntington's Info

Hello, my name is Luke Saldana and my family has HD. I'm the oldest of five children. All from different mothers. My three youngest siblings are sick or have already passed away from the disorder. My youngest half- brother died at age 14. He showed symptoms at age 7. The next in line was my half-sister, who is 23 and is confined to a bed due to the disease and my other kid half-brother, who is 27 was diagnosed last year and is showing signs of chorea. I have another half-sister, that is older than 27, but younger than me. I don’t know where she is or if she is sick. I am 40 years old and am a material engineering student who is writing a bio paper for class.
I want to know about his DNA having long CAG repeats as he gets older and spreading it to his offspring as he aged. Can you share with me any links that might help in my search, or do you have any nuggets of info for me.
Thanks you for your time. Luke Saldana

Linzea Snyder 's picture


Im trying to access this link to do my psych assignment and it is not working. /bb/kinser/int3.html
i have tried to access this multiple times, and it is not working. Please help.!

Ann Dixon's picture

Link to Brain Size page

Is /bb/kinser/Int3.html - Hope that helps.

Richard Rabin's picture

lead in water

There is another culprit in the story of lead in our water: the lead industry. For decades after the lead companies knew that lead pipes could cause lead poisoning they continued to sell and promote lead pipes. (see The Lead Industry and Lead Water Pipes: "A Modest Campaign"; Am J Public Health. 2008;98:1584–1592)

Serendip Visitor's picture

Forced Bias

In your Free Will behavior experiment there are several problems with anyone who might 'try' to see left pointing arrows at first glance. First, since the right-pointing arrows are green and darker than the yellow left-pointing arrows your eyes are attracted to those arrows first. Also, because the yellow left-pointing arrows are the same color as the background/border, your brain ignores the background and focus on the green arrows because they stand out from the background (which includes the left pointing arrows). In order to avoid a forced bias, the background should be a white or a black and both directions of arrows should be neutral, non-competing colors. Lastly, there are almost twice as many right-pointing arrows, and therefore twice as many chances for your eyes to see a right-pointing arrow. Just something to think about when considering the brain's real free will in the situation.

Kathryn Vercillo's picture

Hi,My name is Kathryn and


My name is Kathryn and I'm the author of a new book called Crochet Saved My Life. The book is about the mental and physical health benefits of crochet (and some other crafts). It includes my personal story of crocheting to cope with depression as well as the stories of many other women who healed from a diverse range of ailments thanks to crafting.

I just wanted to let you know that your site was mentioned in passing (with proper reference of course) in this book. I referred to some of the information that was shared in the article on your site titled "An Incomplete List of Cognitive Skills".

Have a great day,

Deborah's picture

Dopamine and Addiction by Imran Siddiqui

Please forward this comment to Imran Siddiqui. My father was a gambler his entire life. In January of this year, he informed me that he was depressed because he had very little money left. He was beating himself up and calling himself a loser as he has done several times in the past. He called me his "little psychiatrist" because I always listened and tried to get him to focus on all of the positive things in his life. His wife was also a gambler. It is the following powerful statement he made to me in January that haunts me. He said, "If I can't gamble, then I might as well die!" He went into a depression, ate very little, and a rapid decline in his health became evident including a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. He died last Sunday, August 5, a few days after reaching his 75th birthday. Please contact me if you want to do any more research in this arena. Thank you.

Larry's picture

Vegan Diet

I just read your article on veganism. I am a vegan, and I would have concluded from your article that it is a healthy way to live, so I was surprised by your conclusion that it is not. The reason you gave was that it takes careful planning to be successful. I would offer that it should take careful planning to be successful on any diet. Most of our diseases come from the way we eat. American diets are notoriously bad and there is rampant obesity in our society. I take a daily regimen of probiotics to keep up my immunity and one of the benefits of that is a healthy vitamin B12 level that my body provides me. I don't do fads like all fruit or all anything. I eat mostly green and colorful vegetables, some fruit, beans, nuts, and seeds. I supplement my diet with plant based protein powders, vitamins, and minerals and antioxidants to stay young. I am 69 years old and feel better than I ever have in my life. I am sensitive to a lot of foods so have to be careful about what I eat as well. I stay away from processed foods as much as possible and eat as close to nature as possible with the exception of the protein powder. Most of my food is organic as well. I never get sick anymore either. Finally, my weight is what it was in my 20s, another benefit.

caitlin callaghan's picture


my comment is this. my father is vegan and had been for 40 years. macroboitic diet. he has claimed over the years that he is never sick because he does the above. Whatever. he had staff 4 cancer. being a vegan I fine. eating healthy great. but all this I hear about different vegetables fir instance as cancer preventatives is bull shit. good luck

Serendip Visitor's picture

Vegan Diet

First, I am very sorry about your father. Veganism can be a better diet than the SAD diet most people follow these days. But there is a lot to it. Simply because you are a vegan does not guarantee you good health. As I said, it takes a lot of planning. If you allow yourself to be too acid, for example, by eating a lot of grains, as in a macrobiotic diet, you are upsetting the pH balance in your body and opening yourself up to illness, including cancer. That is just one example. It takes a lot of reading and research to have a healthy diet,vegan or not, not just following the popular stuff that is out there. I still maintain if you eat closest to nature, you are better off than eating processed or genetically altered foods that your body is not made for. Again, I am sorry about your father.

mary's picture

i did not sleep for one month n hardly ate a thing

please help i did not sleep for one month. and it was not due to drugs my brain just exploded from too much stress and an over active thyroid that i did not know i had levels being double what should be. Now I cant manage my day to day life cant do a thing but sit online looking for some miracle cure that is just not out there. THis is hell. Nothing on the net is offering hope for a cure! PLEASE helpme

Christopher Haydu's picture

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Hi. This is for anybody on Serendip, but specifically to Caroline Feldman. This is a video mini-documentary I made about my possible experiences of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. I was motivated to make it because my recent experience did not meet really any of those listed by AiWS's Wikipedia article, so it's puzzling. I just wish for scientists who are knowledgeable about the condition to see this nine minute video and share their opinions. (and subscribe to my channel, if you care to.)

Thanks, and take care.

Christopher Haydu

Adeba's picture

Lead Poisoning


I read your article on Lead Poisoning: /bb/neuro/neuro00/web2/Patel.html

I am wondering if I can speak to the writer of that article: Anjali Patel.

My question is: After lead and mercury has been removed from a person's system, can myelin be regenerated when scars already exist from lead poisoned (during childhood) and mercury poisoned (during adulthood)?? or is that a permanent damage?

Bart Hubbard's picture

Sexual Attraction

Please check out a Facebook page called "Sexual Attraction - What it is" for a radically new viewpoint one what the composition of sexual attraction is.

Star Evans's picture

Psychogenic Dwarfism

Hello I read your article on Psychogenic Dwarfism. I believe I am a living survior of this disease/affliction. I am thinking about writing a book on my life. All of the contributing factors such as child neglect and emotional abuse, maternal depervation I have expereicenced. I just found this article today and really need to speak to someone with more knowledge of this. Please contact via the email address provided. Thank you in advance.

Ilidio's picture


Hi I just want to drop a few words I been waching that video of tranquility for a month now and gues what I been divorce for 14 years and I would never think about getting together with some one guess what I was rong I found the most gorgeous girl and she change my mind so for something that I thought never happen again getting in love is all ways nice and I have to thank all for give live again I'm so exited I found that girl I all ways dream of with in a period one month that's strong staff xxx

Serendip Visitor's picture

Need Help

I am a research scholar from India.I went through the resources available on interactive chemistry. I really find them quite useful. The great thing about them is that they are free. Actually, i would like to use some of these resources particularly tutorials and quizzes for teaching secondary school students. But unfortunately the schools here don't have internet connection. Are these resources freely downloadable? Can you people please help me out?

Donald Jennings's picture

hand transplant wanted

I am 45 male I lost my hand I would like to know if there is a clinic or study I could get in that would lead me in having another hand? How much are these procedures? I have no money. If you can't help who might?

Grant wheeler's picture

Stem cell cure

Using stem cells would it be possible to cure cone dystrophy, I have had the disease since birth and am now 21 I would be very interested in learning more if it can be thankyou.

Serendip Visitor's picture

brainstem operation 1999 at Mass General Boston ma

I have always had to controll my balance and I would walk with a cane. When Im stressed or have the flu become tired and walking is off balance. I have never taken any meds for this. My surgeon said get used to it very sternly. I always earch for new cures to this problem. The stem cells give you energy and balance. Let me read about the procedure.

Thank you,

Serendip Visitor's picture

Copyright material

Greetings I am interested in using a lesson that I found on the website for assisting teachers with creating engaging task. Are there any copyrighting issues that would prohibit me from using this information even if I reference the item?

Ann Dixon's picture

non-commercial use

You are welcome to use Serendip materials for non-commercial use. Please give our URL for further information.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Want my name removed from your guest list

Dear sirs,

I would appreciate if you kindly help me remove my name from your Serendip Exchange website. My name is in my e-mail. Thank you for resolving my discomfort.


Ann Dixon's picture

Unsubscribing from comments

When you receive a subscription email notification from Serendip that a comment has been posted, there is a link at the bottom for unsubscribing. Click on this and you will be removed from the email notifications for that topic.

Hope this helps,


Abri Ranzinger's picture

Who was the author? THIS IS IMPORTANT! :)

I am doing a research paper so I need to know who the author of The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Brain and Behavior was. The exact address is as follows: (/exchange/node/1690) It says, "by S. L." but for a research paper that doesn't help much. I would love it if someone could help me out with this. Please and thank you so much.

Ann Dixon's picture

Anonymous Posts

Some of our students have elected to post their papers with a pseudonym because of privacy reasons. 

Mohammed Alhamad's picture

who was the author?

I was writing a research paper for my english class, and english is my second language, I need to pass this course!! so I need an author for /bb/kinser/Structure1.html, whoever wrote this...... please!

Ann Dixon's picture

Brain Structure author

Website Design by Patricia Anne Kinser, Haverford College
Biology Major with Concentration in Neural and Behavioral Sciences
Advisor: Dr. Paul Grobstein

Dylan Divine's picture

High BDNF Production In Children Due to Physical Labour

If what you pose in your article is true:

High BDNF production would occur for children under the age of 10 if subjected to physical labor.
E.g. Working on a farm, Logging, weight-training.
Does this increase in neurogenesis represent a higher neurological function, but limit an ability to focus, retain social memory, and derive pleasure from any activity other than physical stimulus?

Would it be possible to alter the occurring performance with drugs developed to focus the hippocampus?

Allie 's picture

drug babies syndrome

MY name is Allie and I have many problems due to the drugs that my parents took while she was pregnant with me in her tummy my teeth did not grow properly my cells in my brain did not form properly my mom smoked weed and did drink and more other drugs doctors did not know the real cause of which drug did what damage to me. I am now 38 my knees are that of a 90 year old because i have been diagnosed with tmj in my joints not just in my jaws i have joint, ligaments and tendons that are slowly not working properly you say weed is good or it don't harm any one but it does if you take while your having a baby sure the baby looks normal but when they grow up its harder for them to learn to keep information in apply their there smarts they are different in the way they think to them its rational to those around them they are considered weird and different. its hard to make friends when my teeth did not grow right they said i needed braces but come to find out i have teeth in my nose cavity and still have baby teeth because the adult teeth behind them are laying side ways in my facial structure you would not know this if you looked at me you would just see me smile and wonder why my teeth are broken and bucked but exrays wow even i was surprised I have no idea what it would take for me to just have a pretty smile to much money that i don't have i did get a quote one time to have them pull my teeth and replace them but my smile would still not be straight teeth and no thank you they cant just pull the baby ones because the adult teeth are laying side ways on top of the babies its really hard to explain but here is the deal all drugs are bad especially if you think you may be come a parent it is the child that suffers and is the child that is going to have an abnormal life and looked at stupid because she or he thinks different looks normal for the most part but suffers from many complicated ailments like depression anxiety A D D Adhd all together and when they take pictures of your brain it never grew normal Now i don't want sympathy from any one it is no ones fault but my parents thc levels in the sperm and thc levels in my moms blood all played a role in how i developed and my brain is still not right I am a mother of 2 kids both girls I did not drink nor smoke nor do drugs and to this day I do not do any of those things because i live the consequences of someones choices on a daily basis. what you do with your life is your choice but when you are having to be part of someone else your life no longer belongs to you it belongs to the one inside that you are responsible for. I have been trying for many years to find out what drugs and what kinds of drinking did this to me but I am not a statistic I have not had a family but the one i created my mom let me be raised by the state because she was to busy being selfish and not caring towards me but I have one question that no one can answer why would you risk your life and the quality of the life one has inside what does one gain by making these choices its not fun any more its more of a chore then any thing my whole life i have ended up being friends with drug users trying to make them change their mind on getting high drunks trying to get them to a point in their life where being sober is more productive but I have yet to suceseed in this problem. for all the ones that drink and smoke weed and do hard drugs no one in your life benifets from your choices it hurts the ones that care for you the most and eventually you will have nothing to show for the life you lived for in the end you will own nothing have nothing because for what you thought was a good time turned into a really bad habbit that has consumed your life and the life of those around you. and in the end no one wins kids loose parents that they really need in their young life and parents loose kids due to the abuse and lies and demons that they have chased and found and now they belong to them not you any longer when in reality as parents we do our best to love them guide them show them but when in due time it becomes their choice of what they are going to do and were all accountable for our own actions its just sad when it s the kids in the middle that suffer the most because we did not ask to be born in to it

Serendip Visitor's picture

alisson and the lithium article

I have to say that lithium has given my 10year old back his life. He is happy for first time in 5 years. He has very little hand tremor and is back to being a typical kid. Lithium might have not been the med for Allison but it is for mychild. He is very active and I manage his diet as well as show him how to eat healthy.he is doing so well.I am grateful for lithium.

genesis4kt's picture

Language acquisition paper by Jill McCain (2000)

I am a third year Psych student and wanted to say how very much I enjoyed Jill McCain's paper written on Language Acquisition. It was written in a clear and concise manner and offered further insight of a different perspective on this subject.

Grognor's picture

Less Wrong

On this page, /sci_cult/lesswrong/lesswrong/ you have a section on "less wrong on the web".

I should say, it is out of date. There is *quite* a website that, shall we say, mentions the words. Less Wrong! The url is and I suggest you add it post-haste.

Serendip Visitor Lisa McCann's picture

Women in Walled Communities

Very interesting idea - Women in Walled Communities, 360 course cluster: But imagine my surprise when I discovered that colleges and prisons are the communities in question! Notably missing are women's monasteries, many of which are indeed homes of silence, voice, and vision, certainly as much as and maybe more than the above. They also are in a deep sense “penitential” communities, not in the sense of punishment but in the sense of perfecting the heart/mind. Although religious traditions (Quaker, Mennonite, Buddhist) are mentioned, walled contemplative communities are not. Study of these communities would I think offer very interesting and useful insight.

BK's picture

Tacit Knowledge

I was browsing on internet for tacit knowledge and stumbled at your article ! Its really great read .I still wonder how can one make use of the tacit knowledge they have for their own development? If one do not know, what they know, is there a way school can help one to make the maximum use of the tacit knowledge they posses to make an individual dream/ imagine and grow ? Is there a way where school's / companies can contribute to help and individual grow ? I understand that every individual born has the tacit knowledge within him/her and we make use of it unknowingly under different circumstances. Is there any way we can capture how we think of under certain circumstances? Is there any more research done on this subject ? I am really interested to know more on if a school can help an individual make use of the tacit knowledge he/she posses. Any feedback from you will be greatly appreciated.

Linda's picture

RE: Some thoughts on science education, education, Ameri

I realized this is an old post (1991), but I just stumbled upon it..and I must say I loved it and related to every bit of it! It was thought provoking and articulated nicely. I find it relevant and to the point, maybe even more so today than in 1991. In the same way "telling the truth is a revolutionary act!", thinking is vigilantly discouraged. In my experience, many people--sometimes your own family, really get "put off" when you bring up things that make them think. I admire and respect you PAUL GROBSTEIN [ DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY BRYN MAWR COLLEGE ], for your honesty, integrity, and perseverance in the face of adversity; as well as your insight and wisdom. Thanks for pointing out the 'elephant in the room'...and thanks for "thinking so much" and writing this great article. It is now on StumbleUpon. :) love and blessings! ~ Linda

Ann Dixon's picture

More thoughts on science education

Hi Linda,

Thanks for stopping by, and your kind thoughts about Some thoughts about science education, education, American culture, and what to do about it. I thought you might be interested in some ways that Paul developed these ideas for sessions with middle and high school teachers in 2007: The Brain: Significance for Education?

Enjoy and hope you stop by again soon,


student121's picture

please help ID

Who is Marla McConnell, author of "Media and Gender Stereotyping" that appears on this web site? I am a student writing an annotated bibliography and I would like to cite him/her as a source for my project. Please help with any possible info! Thanks!

Ann Dixon's picture

Media and Gender Stereotyping

Welcome to Serendip. The author of the paper was an undergraduate at Bryn Mawr at the time the paper was written. You can cite Serendip with the URL in your bibliography.

Jane's picture

Contact Page?

It seems that your contact page is not working. Can you provide contact information?

Ann Dixon's picture

Contacting Serendip

Hi and welcome,

Thanks for letting us know about the broken link, which has long ago been replaced by this page. This page is indeed where you can talk with the Serendip group. We will not post your email address or private requests.


adeeba 's picture

thankyou very much this

thankyou very much this infomation has helped me alot with my health and social care work as you have talked about all of the aspects about downs syndrome. thanks

Serendip Visitor JC's picture

the God Vs science debate settled.


and to prove I'm the real deal I explain (in all languages as promised) how I performed 2 miracles feeding the 5000 and the miraculous catch in my key video "the announcement". More will be revealed in due course over the next few months as the world wakes up slowly to the reality I am back. Of course some will say I am an imposter but the reality is no one will wonder how the miracles were performed anymore as my truth will be embedded in the minds of man and everyone will know it's the truth even if they deny me intheir hearts. Spread the video (facebook-Jayzus Christo, twitter-@themessiahme, email etc) if you want to speed up the coming of a world free of oppression, violence, paedophilia etc it's going to happen but you can help speed it up. to doubt is normal but condemn me at your peril your name shall be noted. Those who muster faith and pass on the video shall be rewarded (perhaps despised by many but cherished by me).

Love Jesus

PS. there is no contradiction between God and science as I explain briefly and succinctly

Serendip Visitor 0's picture

The Prisoners' Dilemma

I did play The Prisoners' Dilemma by not playing it. I choose not to choose. It seemed to be the most rational option.

Serendip Visitor's picture

A Failure of Will—A new way of thinking about Depression Eliza

My husband just sent me the article : A Failure of Will—A new way of thinking about Depression, by Elizabeth Diamond
My husband is the only person I have ever met that doesn't just "snap out" of his depression. Its debilitating and often causes me to
become depressed as it is his only mood for long periods. This article clearly articulated the way he feels and encouraged him
in his depression. He has been on anti-depressants which seems to inevitably invite guilt, as if taking them is admitting that there
is in fact something wrong 'with me'. But reading this has helped us both to see that there is more at play than just my husbands
failure to be productive and the ability to will himself to happiness. We recently moved and he ran out of anti-depressants before we could get
him more. Its a terrible reminder of how well the anti-depressants stabalize his moods, although they do not fully cure him. After
reading this my husband seems open to not just the medication but support from a counselor. The article has helped me to see
what he is "feeling" and how/why he can't simply "snap out" of his depression. Thank you for this well written and researched paper.

-Katie Newville

DEREK's picture



Jason Evans's picture

Very relatable

I just finished reading your page at /exchange/node/1844 and found it very relatable. I was wondering if you would have use for another resource link for the page. The resource would be . It was writen by someone who has the disorder and plans are in place to make it a support group.

Nick R's picture

Free will experiment

I would like to make a comment about the free will experiment. Let me begin by talking about flipping a coin - something that seems "random", but in truth is entirely predictable. The coin is subject to the laws of physics, and will follow them - the result of the toss is directly a byproduct of the particular way it was flipped.

In much the same way, your brain is in a particular state, a very complicated one that is a result of your biology and your history, combined into a vortex of neuronal connections. The state it's in is predetermined to see the arrows pointing one way or the other - perhaps a result from being left or right handed, being color blind, growing up in a particular way, or any other factors, etc. Either way, the moment before you loaded the web page you were going to see the arrows pointing either left or right at first. Your brain has learned to parse through visual data coming from the eyes, and it will do as it has always done upon first glancing the arrow image. There was no free will, there was a brain that had learned to make sense of incoming data, and had learned to do it in a particular way. Back to the coin - it is a fallacy to assume that a complex manifestation of seeing an image is beyond the laws that made it happen.

And then you read the statement about whether they are pointing left or right, and you again look at this image, this time more closely. You notice the arrows pointing to the other direction from which you first noticed. Now we are beyond whether the arrows point left or right, and onto the second part. Do you choose the direction you originally saw the arrows pointing, or do you choose the new direction?

I still believe this is not free will. You have a particular history of being tricked on the internet, and probably didn't care too much about what you chose, as you just wanted to see the results of the experiment. However complex your thoughts, they too were a result of your raising and your particular state of mind at the moment before you loaded the page.

If you didn't feel like reading all of that, here's my two cents: you could go back in time, load the web page again, and you would choose the same things again. You have raised your brain a certain way, and it behaves as it does. To believe in a conscious choice that is "above" the physical domain is silly - the coin toss was not random.

This isn't to say your choice was predictable - quantum mechanics indicates that there ARE truly random occurrences, and so perhaps a theoretical perfectly reconstructed model of your brain would not make the same decision as you. But to mistake quantum randomness for free will is a bit of stretch, and certainly a fallacy of the human perspective

Tom's picture

Split- Brain Behavior by Maria Vasiliadis

First of all let me start of by telling you a little story. I sustained bruising to the right side of my brain from getting hit by a car, and as a result, grew up with the effercts of slight clumsiness on the left side of my body. I am 34 years of age now (will be 35 years of age in the month of June, 2012) and have grown up with various difficulties with balance and coordination; one of my difficulties is with developing a good touch typing speed, although I do my best. The question that I would now like to ask regarding split brain behaviour is; if I had been given the split brain procedure when I was young or even if I was given this procedure now, would it give my right brain a chance to heal better and/or faster, when not beeing connected to my left brain? I am just curious as to whether the split brain procedure could have ever been used for someone like me.

Thankyou, and I look forward to your response....

cmnguyen's picture

Cure For Blindness

Hello, I was wondering if you are doing any clinical trials to cure diabetic retinopathy and/or any other treatments to repair or treat damaged retinas.

izle's picture


Associated with reasoning is my frontal lobe
The realm of planning on my mental globe

Karim's picture

Memory loss through epilepsy

wondering if there is much work on memory loss through epilepsy and memory regeneration. Combined with ADHD and head injury...

Michael's picture

ECT and Memory Loss

You fail to expound on the memory loss after bilateral ECT. I had 27 ECT treatments between April and August 2011 and about half were bilateral. I have had a lifetime of depressive episodes. I have had extensive memory loss which hasn't yet resolved. It follows what I am just now finding out is the typical pattern, spotty and mostly for the past. I have lost the whole last year, but is OK since it has been pretty bad, but what distubs me is that I have lost most of my professional knowledge. This is glossed over in most current articles. Even now while I am trying to regain my knowledge and reread my old textbooks, the information is very hard to digest and remember. I am a Masters level counselor and RN and I am very motivated to return my career, and my depression was addressed so it isn't that I am malingering or that there are are other problems. I must say though that I am becomming discouraged that my problems are being discounted and glossed over. I can find documentation of these difficulties in the older research, but the newer stuff is so enthusiastic about ECT that it stops cold when it comes to problems and just says there aren't any. Well you guyes are in denial. There are problems. The studies I have found are small and narrow. There is a real bias. My depression is coming back and I am scared to tell my doctor for fear he will insist on more ECT. There will be no more ECT. I am finding other ways to deal with it. It did help me, but these other ways were there then and I wish he had helped me with them then, but he didn't want to take the time. I think doctors like ECT now because it is quick and easy for them. Doesn't take the personal time with the patient that life stlye important change take. We should be looking at those and return to humanity instead of a lifetime of ECT treatments that remove the patient from our care even further. Where is our humanity going?

Serendip Visitor's picture

What scientific articles

What scientific articles support the notion that some people are predisposed to eating disorder due to biological components?

Rachel Bradford's picture

Comment for "Chocolate on the Brain"

To Kristen Coveleskie:

I read your paper "Chocolate on the Brain" /bb/neuro/neuro04/web1/kcoveleskie.html and wanted to let you know that your research is dead on. My massage therapist kept telling me over and over how I ate too much chocolate and that I needed to stop because of the sugar content. So I spent last spring semester tapering off "the chocolate" and quite all together this past summer. Want to know what happened? Over the summer I became lethargic, gained 15 pounds, became stressed out, and had problems with migraines.

I have four diagnosed disorders -- essential tremors (symptoms like parkinsons but without brain degeneration), anxiety, hypothyroidism (causes fatigue, mood imbalance, etc), migraines (which cause pain, seeing "auras", mood imbalance, etc). All of my symptoms for these disorders were exacerbated.

So around August I went back on chocolate... I figured if I was gaining weight anyway I might as well be eating chocolate. Since then my moods have evened out, my energy has increased and I've lost 10 pounds. It has also helped during the beginning stages of a migraine.

My body is extremely sensitive to "mood altering" substances which is why my doctors cannot give me medication for my disorders (they are all too strong and make me really sick/out of it), I can't drink alcohol or do drugs. Turns out that there is just enough of the chemicals I need in chocolate to have the same effects my doctors would like to see with traditional medication. Missing my daily "dose" of chocolate has the same effect on my body as missing a daily dose of physician prescribed medication. So, for some of us chocolate isn't just a comfort food ... it is a cure.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Science fair project

Hello, I visited the following web site and l was interested in more information on the How much bacteria do our hands contain? science fair project. However when I click on the link for the project it sends me to the Senrendip site but i get the following error message: Web Page Not Found
We're sorry, but we couldn't find the file you requested on Serendip. It may have moved to a new location.
Please use our search facility to locate pages of interest to you, or try one of the categories listed above.

If you are contacting us about this error, please include the URL of the file you were trying to access: /sci_edu/waldron/archive/pdf-old/Microorganisms_everywhere.pdf
Please let me know if this information is still available. Thanks!

iwaldron's picture

Safety Issues in Microbiology Activities

We previously had an activity entitled Microorganisms Everywhere, and another microbiology activity entitled Antibiotic Resistance.  We have removed these labs in accord with the recommendations of NSTA  ( in order to avoid any risk of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection.  One possible alternative microbiology activity is to use Halobacterium kits available from (   We encourage you to investigate our whole range of hands-on activities, available at /sci_edu/waldron/

 Ingrid Waldron

Serendip Visitor Marianne Jones's picture


The Ataxia article from this site is one of the most accurate and heart-felt sources of information that I've read. My ataxia was diagnosed only 4 years ago, but I have a hunch it has been around far longer. Kudos to the authors and developers involved in creation of this piece. I think it deserves required reading status for all providers of health care.

Serendip Visitor's picture

"Free Will"

I think it is important to clarify that this "free will" is not the same as the free will that is used in the context of determinism and indeterminism. Whether or not we can make a decision to see an arrow one way or another does not prove that we actually made that decision for ourselves, as the term free will implies.

oscillatesalot's picture

Art Sight

I am a practicing artist of six years now in traditional realism. When I draw/paint I look at something and time seems to stop and I rely on an 'instinct' to tell me if my drawing/painting is accurate or not. I paint for hours and it feels like a very short period. In fact my feet often fall asleep from not moving. I am imagining this to be similar to blindsight. I experience a timelessness and I experience a discomfort when my image is incorrect spatially or in value. But color doesn't register and it must be consciously considered before hand. There is speculation that art is a right brain activity but I'm not sure I agree because I use both eyes to paint/draw. I feel certain there is an subconscious element to what I do. And perhaps the subconsciousness is unaware of time. I'm convinced the images I create have a subconscious origin and that much information in the image is 'unseen' but there all the same.

debbie's picture

Williams Syndrome

I just read Roseanne story of her cousin of whom she is so proud of. Her story helped me to understand more about Williams Syndrome.Her letter gives much encouragement to others. Thank you so much for helping me learn and understand. Your letter will never be forgotten to me.

Eczema Around Eyes's picture


It isn't exactly a fair test of free will. There are four sets out rightward facing arrows and only 3 of left facing, our brains can more easily identify patterns in larger numbers. Try making the picture a bit more symmetric to appropriately test people.

Arthur P. Johnson's picture

Wowed by your Website

I came upon your site today as I questioned Google, "What part of the brain processes visual stimuli?" Google took me to a typically wishy-washy "answer" Website, but happily one of the writers referenced a page on Serendip.

AHHH, it felt so good to encounter such well-written, witty and ACCURATE info! This Website does its job better than anything comparable, and I do a lot of health writing, so appreciate it all the more. Write on!

Clyve Andrew Bowen's picture

The Abstract Concept: "I Think, Therefore I Am"

Fellow Toastmasters & Guests, the words of René Descartes have remained to haunt thinking men and women like you and me for three and a half centuries. I say “haunt,” because many of us are still trying to come to terms with the meaning of this lofty, elusive expression. I must confess that it is intrigue that I feel – a compelling, fascinating curiosity to resolve abstract thought into tangible meaning. My purpose is to convince you that I think; therefore, I am...capable of cracking this one!

If I were to offer you a basic explanation of Descartes, it would probably go like this: “I am able to think, therefore I exist.” But there’s an instant shortcoming to this interpretation, because there are many entities in existence that do not enjoy the faculty of thought; there are even human beings who do not actually think (I pray that all toastmasters do!). Do they exist? If you insist that any claim to existence is dependent on the capacity to think, then I beg your pardon, but you must be sitting squarely on your heads right now, because those chairs do not exist – they are incapable of thought!

What is your opinion; do you exist because you think? Or do you think, because you exist? I daresay, there are those who do neither, and so they neither exist, nor do they think. If you do not have a life of your own, you just as well do not exist, because you serve yourself no purpose. And if you do not have thoughts or opinions of your own, you certainly are short of a mental plane on which to perpetuate an existence. I put it to you that I think because I exist. In other words, “I exist, therefore I think.” Now that’s a complete reversal of “Descartesian” philosophy. It means that mind follows body, fattened by the assumption that wherever there is a body there should be a mind.

Let’s get personal: I look at this toastmaster’s audience, and I see you – or so I think; but what I really see are your shapes and forms (your bodies). It is mere assumption that, because your bodies are sitting in this room - on chairs that may not even exist, since they do not think - then your minds are also here. But it is not even a safe assumption; for some of you, while sitting here well-dressed in body, are mentally elsewhere planning tomorrow’s meal menu or wondering how to get the rest of your day’s work done after this meeting.

If we were to reverse the principle to its original state – “I think, therefore I am” – Descartes would be pleased, because, to him, the body was less real than the mind. According to his reasoning, "the mind and body were two separate and distinct entities, but even the body was not so certain a thing as the mind, because, like everything else in the world, the body could only be sensed because there was a mind to sense it." Shall we then reason that body follows mind, so that wherever there are robust minds there must be wonderful bodies?

I-don’t-think-so! Doesn’t Descartes himself insist that “the mind by which I am what I am, is wholly distinct from the body, and is even more easily known than the latter …”? It is neither ideologically logical nor conscientiously consistent to make truth of the notion that mind and body must always swoon in matrimonial bliss. After all, the body may very well be on the decline whenever the mind is on the uprising, because bodily emancipation must be the antithesis of mental liberation.

That’s brain and brawn fighting for supremacy. Descartes could scare find his own body, because the mind by which "he was what he was" had attained such sophistication and elegance that any other form of existence was, for him, immaterial. To be complete in mind was to have no need or care for a body: “I think, therefore I am.” It is enough to know that I think, because that makes me real. And as long as I can think, I can also conclude that this mortal shell, which I can sense by seeing light, hearing sound, feeling heat, smelling the roses, and tasting Jamaican jerk, is my body.

By extension, give me a mind, and I can “think” myself a body; but give me a body, and I may not necessarily be able to grow myself a mind. The body cannot do what the mind can accomplish. Descartes contends that the body could only be sensed because there was a mind to sense it. My contention is whether the one can exist without the other. Would you be happy with a mind that found no refuge in its own material tenement? Or would you find contentment in a physical frame that had no capacity to fathom whether it was a zombie or a corpse?

Where there are no bodies, I do not look for minds, for I perceive that the one must coexist with the other. According to Asian philosophy, Yin-Yang is the balance that coincides and coexists in all things to make life complete – dark and light, female and male, low and high, cold and hot, and, by the same token, body and mind. In truth and in fact, Descartes’ “I am” cannot be limited to mind only, but must embrace both mind and body, because we all exist on a physical as well as a mental/spiritual plane. For you and for me, it is a tripartite equation that may resolve this issue: body (b) + mind (m) ≡ behaviour (bh) or bh≡b+m. Body is the tangible, earthly, physical representation of my “I am”; mind is my perception of sensations that impact my body – the think symbol of my “I am”; and behaviour is change in me resulting from what I perceive as sensations impacting my body as well as my thoughts.

Let’s apply this formula to Descartes’ theory: I think (behaviour), therefore I am (body + mind, i.e., human). It then becomes an exclusive claim that only human beings can make. Body without mind makes me corpse or vegetable, and mind without body makes me spirit; but body with mind makes me human. “I think; therefore, I am [HUMAN].

© 2011 July 21, by Clyve A. Bowen

NB The above is the text of my Toastmasters Speech Project, "The Abstract Concept," from the "Speaking To Inform" Manual. I read your letter to Descartes only after I had finished writing my speech; but I was so fascinated by the similarities and difference between your interpretation and mine that I thought I had to share my speech with you and your readers.

Jessica Messenger's picture

Contacting Sarah Ledoux

To Whom it may concern,

I am a playwright from Perth Western Australia, currently writing a play exploring post natal depression and sleep deprivation. I would like to get in contact with Sarah Ledoux about the possibility of transcribing a section of her paper, and quoting it in the play. If someone could let me know how to get in contact with her, or what the right channels would be to explore this idea that would be fantastic.


Jess Messenger

Ann Dixon's picture

use of Serendiip materials in art

Hi Jess, The use of Serendip materials in art is warmly welcome. Please cite the URL that you use. Best wishes, Ann
Serendip Visitor's picture

Someone may have mentioned

Someone may have mentioned this, but after looking at your arrows experiment it reminded me of some of my earliest thoughts on the subject of free will. I would like to point out that you are born with the ability to see the arrows either way, so that is not free will. Also, while you do choose which way, you do not choose what you choose. Meaning that you do not choose what your natural inclination will be, and while you can choose to go with the opposite of your natural inclination (I did, I went left), then you did not choose to have the idea to go with the opposite of your natural inclination. You can talk yourself down that loop all day, but eventually it will come to something you were either born or raised with.

John Gregory's picture

The Children on Pingelap Island

I was wondering if the children on the island of Pingelap have a need for magnifying glasses or sunglasses. I have a source for both as well as reading glasses if they could use them.

Please write me back and let me know who I can communicate with on the island or on Pohnpei


John Gregory

Ramona King's picture

Holding off Improbability by Zack Gunau

My mother passed away on Saturday evening June 4 2011. I wanted my family (sisters and brother) to consider AGR (Anatomical Gifts Registry)specifically because our funds were low and it means our mother contributes to another life. My sisters were appalled and wouldn't hear of it. My 17 year old son knew his aunts wanted to do a viewing of his grandmas body. So he looked up embalming proceedures...specifically this artical. He's a sort of environmental advocate, specifically when it comes to death. He said, "Ma you need to read this article on embalming. See if your aunts would consider freezing the body for viewing... We're looking into it to see if it's possible.

Gunau's story is a great article and incredibly informative (/biology/b103/f05/web2/zgrunau.html). I don't know if my sisters would have been ready to read this. I wish we had seen this article before my mom died. They're caught up in the emotion of loss...having a hard time being rational. In my mind it doesn't make sense to go in a hole for funeral expenses. I am the oldest in our family and also trying to let go of my need to make them do what I say. She was their mother too. However, I'm having a hard time with polluting the earth with my mother's body just because I need to see her in her pre-death state. It all seems to by into an illusion that she will always look this way. In anycase, good article. I hope my sisters will consider the freezing process or a direct cremation.

Dr Sarah Gretton's picture

resource suggestion

I was wondering whether you might be interested in featuring some of the resources we have in our Virtual Genetics Education Centre ( on your interactive biology page (/sci_edu/biosites.html). As well as featuring a collection of evaluated resources from other sites, the VGEC provides details of a number of activties we have developed ourselves . All of these activities are available under the creative commons license.

Ann Dixon's picture

genetics activities

Thank you for sharing your activitiies! I hope you have also found some of our activities /sci_edu/waldron/ and /exchange/bioactivities#mmfgenetics as well. Best regards, Ann

Mrs. Broadway's picture

Blood Acohol Level of 300.0

First I would like to say thank you for giving me the ability to ask this question and receive an answer! I am very worried about my husband. He is a 52 year old African American, approximately 155 pounds and was taken by ambulance to the hospital tonight for blacking out after drinking with his "friends". The doctor found his blood alcohol level to be 300.0. My question is how much alcohol did he have to drink for his level to be so high? I am in need of this information due to the fact that he is borderline "wet brain" and sclerosis of the liver. As you can see, I am in dyer need of your assistance at this time.

Thank you in advance
Mrs. Broadway

Serendip Visitor's picture

Schizophrenia article

I did not like how the author of the schizophrenia article said that this is the "only world that exists." That is precisely what's wrong with most people's interpretation of schizophrenia. Look up The Many Worlds Theory of quantum physics. It explains almost everything that schizos go through and it explains how free will exists and how the mind is capable of anything.

E Williams's picture

email from Ann Dixon

I tried to submit my post several times using names different from "E Williams," and always received a blurb saying that the spam filter was in effect and my post would not be accepted. Please tell me exactly how a different name can be used and the post accepted - mine certainly was not.

Ann Dixon's picture

@E Williams - spam filtering

As you can see, you are posting now. Spam filtering does not have to do with what name you post with. If you submitted comments with URLs, the comments are likely to be classified as spam if they are commercial in nature, since we are an educational site. Thanks for visiting, Ann
E Williams's picture

Why did you require my name

Why did you require my name in the first space above, and most of the comments and posts on the TGA board had names like "Doc", "Anonymous", and did not have names. I find this to be unfair.

Ann Dixon's picture

your name

Hello friend of Serendip, You're welcome to use a name of your choice (for example. Doc) when you write in. Thank you for writing. Ann
Terry's picture

Lobes of the Cerebral Cortex picture


I am writing my Thesis on using American Sign Language with preverbal infants and toddlers. I included brain research in my literature review and included your picture of cerebral cortex. I need the OK from you saying I can use the picture and how it should be identified.

Please let me know if this is alright with you.

Thank you,

Ann Dixon's picture

please cite the URL

Hi, We encourage the use of our materials for educational purposes. Please cite us with the URL where you found the material. Best wishes, Ann
Mark Singer, Punim Publishing, U.S.A.'s picture

"Portraits in the Mind"

Thought that you might enjoy the new presentation, "Portraits in the Mind," - with mostly art -
showing the link between synaesthesia and co-consciousness.

If interested, please respond via e-mail, and a free copy will be send to your e-mail.

Kind regards,

Mark Singer
Professor, Communication
Author, "Guidelines for Communication"
Punim Publishing, U.S.A.

Elaine Ball's picture

Life is a gift at first, in

Life is a gift at first, in the end it may be a curse no ammount of intelligent wiffle waffle can change this and if any member of my family was dying in agony (and my mother is now) I would be proud to help her to end her suffering and hope very much that my children would do the same for me - also although I have very high moral values there is no place in my life for any religeon I am totally opposed to any religeous denomination it doesn't make an sense at all and is only a used to control people.

rachel's picture

This site actaully publishes

This site actaully publishes all of the papers right? So I don't get introuble for anything by useing a paper on GM food for my research paper.

Ann Dixon's picture


You can cite the URL of the paper on Serendip, which may or may not be published in a peer-reviewed journal. Most of them are not, representing the work of the undergraduate at the time. Good luck with your research, Ann

Mark Fellows's picture

cephalization, and intelligence.

In a blog I recently wrote, analyzing the meow of a cat, I noticed that there was a chance for me to prove my theories that Dogs, are in fact superior to cats, and that there might be non subjective data to prove such a theory. I do not believe it is up for interpretation. I believe dogs DO in fact have superior nervous systems to cats. They are a more evolved animal. They are social animals, which means they have need, and are capable of more intricate ways of expression, which they would need in a pack. Whether it be a dog/human pack, or the traditional dog pack. Cats are singular predatory animals that while being super efficient hunters, have much fewer social skills, and are much less capable of expression. I set out to find data to prove this. I first looked for size ratios of brain to body size, but as your data suggests, that proves nothing. so then I thought about the intricacy of the physical brain. Is is smooth, or does it look like a maze. I believe your cephalization, may be indirectly related to how intricate the surface and depth of the brain may be. I believe a more intricate brain, with more "channels" for lack of a better word, would be more dense, thus more cephalized.

I would like to get your thoughts on this for one, and two, I would like to ask permission to re-post your findings on cephalization along with some of my theories, and whatever data I can find, as I would like to set out to informally prove that dogs are in fact Superior to cats, using empirical data.
The original blog post that spawned the idea is below.

thank you!
Mark :)

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Tobacco & the Brain

31-March-2011, 10:55 AM, INDIA.

I visited your web link :/bb/neuro/neuro01/web1/Ferrell.html - "Tobacco & the Brain". Thanks immense for the vital article. Even the complex facts related to medical field are explained in such a manner that even I could understand.

SUGGESTION : The Article is written in 2002 (assume, around a decade ago). Why can't you make it more relevant with "info updates" as on date, please?

With reverence,

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Free will picture

It isn't exactly a fair test of free will. There are four sets out rightward facing arrows and only 3 of left facing, our brains can more easily identify patterns in larger numbers. Try making the picture a bit more symmetric to appropriately test people.

alisar amsy abdulahad's picture

getting there

my son who is 21 years ,diagnosed schizophrenic since 2008 and is having medicine there a hope to go back and function as a student .give me some clues ....thanks ,it is a big job of this science you are doing...

much love


Rhinda's picture

Creating a New Way.

I love , I mean Love your post, the moment I see like minded people, especially in this regards, it gives me much Hope. Thank you for sharing this. I too am on a Mission to create a New Way for our Youth, and say GoodBye to Schools, or possibly just shift it to a more Creative ,independant Learning center.. Not sure how , but it will happen. I could talk about this forever, thank you so much for sharing. Would Love to connect on F.B.

mia 's picture


thank you so much for your kind sharing about this cause this has helped me a lot for my science project!!!

Eric White's picture

Information for evolution project

I am a senior at Milwaukee Institute of Art&Design. One of my final classes to complete my BFA is Evolution. One major project is to present material related to evolution, and I decided on the topic of mammal brain size and how it relates to our concept of intelligence. Your information and resources have been invaluable to my course work. Thank you so much!

Julie's picture

married to spouse with panic disorder

I've been reading much on your website on the brain and trying to figure things out. My husband suffers horribly from panic disorder, which as you've aptly stated before, can cause a recreation of reality. When he suffers from a panic situation, it immediately goes to rage and screaming for what I've done (or my 5 year old) to cause it. We're not perfect, but the majority of the time, we weren't even involved with what may have occurred, so within seconds, he realizes what he's done and then re-creates the reality of what happened. He changes the situation and words that were said, to being entirely not what occurred.....but to his favor so it appears that he was calm and loving when asking us something.
I'm not a bitter wife pointing fingers, but one who is desperate for help on where to go. He's been on meds that were listed in previous postings, has done hypno-therapy, cognitive therapy and marriage counseling. My daughter and I live in fear daily from his rage and are worn down by his need for continual reassurance that he's accepted and not rejected.
I'm lost and am unsure of what to do. If anyone out there has a suggestion, I will try anything to have a kind, loving husband/father for my daughter and I to come home to, and for him to have confidence in himself and not re-create his reality because of his fears. Thank you for anyone who can help!

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Sleep paralysis

Good day,

My name is Danielle and for years I suffered nightly with sleep paralysis, only at the time I had no name for it and even consulted a neurologist about my condition. My friends and family, while sympathetic, could not understand what I was talking about at all. I had all of the classic symptoms, footsteps leading up to my door, awareness of my surroundings, having a dark creature/figure perch at the end of my bed. My paralysis and associated fear last anywhere from one minute to several, and if I didn't wake myself thoroughly, upon falling back to sleep I would fall right back in to the paralyzed state. After awhile I learned how to manage my fear, but I tell you, that first night it happened I was just a teenager and this scared me to no end. Eventually my it was dog who caught on to theses episodes and she became very protective and would lay with me very close at night, and when she noticed I was beginning to try to move, moaning and showing discomfort, she would come and pounce on me and wake me up. Eventually these episodes were witnessed by my family, and they came to watch over me if I should fall asleep beside them or on the couch.
These episodes resolved miraculously on their own about a year ago. I can't think of any factors that contributed to this. But I am glad that they have stopped. I am glad I wasn't 'losing my mind'. Thank you to researchers like you who take the time to investigate this strange and terrifying experience.

Thank you