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Musical mystery: Researchers examine science behind performer movements -- ScienceDaily

While some assumed the role as leaders, and others followers, researchers found the leaders were far more influential in the ensemble. They also found the degree of body sway communication among the musicians was connected to their perceptions of how well they performed together. "Although we are often not consciously aware of it, non-verbal communications between people is common in many situations and influences who we like and who we don't like," explains Dan Bosnyak, a researcher and technical director at McMaster's LIVELab, where the work was conducted. "The methodology developed in this study could be useful for understanding many different types of group behaviour, such as understanding communication problems in autistic children or determining the best crowd control procedures for an emergency evacuation," he says.

Muscle memory

when you strengthen your muscles, they generate more nuclei, or “little protein factories,” that contain DNA necessary for increasing muscle volume, says Kristian Gundersen, professor of physiology at the University of Oslo in Norway. A study led by Gundersen in 2010 confirms that even after you quit exercising, these nuclei stick around, meaning a runner is one step ahead when he decides to get back into it. “When you do an activity, the brain sends messages to your muscles in the form of electrical charges through pathways in the central nervous system, and the muscles send messages back,” says Matt Silvis, M.D., a primary-care sports-medicine physician at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. It’s because of this constant feedback loop that the right muscles are activated, and at the right force, in order to perform a particular task. Do this task enough, and these nervous-system pathways become well-trodden, which is why you never forget how to ride a bike-or how to run.

Human animal collabortion

Off Laguna, in southern Brazil, people and bottlenose dolphins have fished together for generations. The dolphins swim towards the beach, driving mullet towards the fishermen. The men wait for a signal from the dolphins—a distinctive dive—before throwing their nets. The dolphins are in charge, initiating the herding and giving the vital signal, though only some do this. The people must learn which dolphins will herd the fish and pay close attention to the signal, or the fishing will fail. Both groups of mammals must learn the necessary skills. Among the humans, these are passed down from father to son; among the dolphins, from mother to calf. In this example, how much do the species differ?

How brain architecture leads to abstract thought: Scientists link brain architecture to consciousness and abstract thought -- ScienceDaily

all cognitive behaviors exist on a hierarchy, starting with the most tangible behaviors such as finger tapping or pain, then to consciousness and extending to the most abstract thoughts and activities such as naming. This hierarchy of abstraction is related to the connectome structure of the whole human brain, they add.

Brain in body

The body is central to our sense of self. It can be argued that during the course of evolution, it's the bodily self—the sense of being a body that can be controlled and attended to—that must have arisen first. Many animals likely have a sense of the bodily self. The body grounds our sense of self. The more evolved narrative self is built upon the bodily self. There's plenty of evidence that disturbances of the bodily self can have cognitive consequences, and even impact our narrative self. For instance, experiments have shown that when someone is having an out-of-body experience (OBE), it impacts his ability to correctly recall a sequence of events that happened during the OBE. In other words, being out of body can impact episodic memory formation, and hence the narrative self. There's also some evidence that the symptoms of depersonalization disorder—in which people feel estranged from their own emotions—can sometimes be temporarily alleviated by engaging in tasks that require paying intense attention to the body.

The many pieces of self

Our sense of self feels to us as being one solid entity, but upon close examination, it's clear it has many facets. For instance, there is the sense we have of being anchored in a body, of occupying a volume of space that's the body, of having a sense of ownership of our own body, and a feeling of perceiving the world from within our heads, where every perception has a sense of ' mineness' to it. All these comprise the bodily self. We also have a sense of being a narrative, a story that spans time, from our earliest memories to some imagined future. This is the narrative or autobiographical self. The more finely you examine the sense of self, the more facets you find.

What Happens When Your Brain Says You Don't Exist : Shots - Health News : NPR

What seems to be happening is that there is a network in the brain that is responsible for internal awareness, awareness of our own body, awareness of our emotions, awareness of our self-related thoughts, and in Cotard's, it seems like that particular network is tamped down. In some sense, their own experience of their body, in all its vividness, in experience of their own emotions in all its vividness, that's compromised very severely. In some sense they're not feeling themselves vividly. It's as simple as that. But, then there's something else that's happening in the brain. It seems like parts of the brain that are responsible for rational thought are also damaged. First of all, what might be happening is a perception that arises in their brain saying that they are dead because they're not literally perceiving their own body and body states and emotions vividly and then that perception — irrational though it is — is not being shot down.

How not to engage with protestors