Recent quotes:

Cannabis increases the noise in your brain

"At doses roughly equivalent to half or a single joint, ∆9-THC produced psychosis-like effects and increased neural noise in humans," explained senior author Dr. Deepak Cyril D'Souza, a Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. "The dose-dependent and strong positive relationship between these two findings suggest that the psychosis-like effects of cannabis may be related to neural noise which disrupts the brain's normal information processing," added first author Dr. Jose Cortes-Briones, a Postdoctoral Associate in Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine.

The digital avalanche

Silicon Valley’s interest in meditation is, in some respects, adaptive. “We’re at the epicenter of being stimulated with digital stuff,” Mamood Hamid, a venture investor at Social Capital, told me. “Five years ago, it was just e-mail. Now if you’re not on Twitter, if you don’t know how to use social, you’re a Luddite. And then you add the Apple Watch that’s going to be giving you notifications every five minutes—text messages, e-mails. It’s going to drive you insane.” Stewart Butterfield, the C.E.O. of Slack, noted that this is a fate that awaits us all. “I feel like we’re in the early stages of a species-level change with devices,” he told me.

Focusing the Brain on Better Vision -

as people aged, the random firing of neurons in the brain’s visual system increased, creating a kind of internal noise. At the same time, the aging brain struggles harder with external visual noise, such as snowflakes in a blizzard that obscure words on a road sign. The latest study’s exercises were designed to train adults to filter such external visual noise so they could better discern edges of contrast. “It’s possible that the brain might simultaneously have been trained to reduce internalized noise,” Dr. Andersen said. Researchers are increasingly focused on perceptual learning, the brain’s ability to discriminate among stimuli — training the ear, for example, to distinguish between Shostakovich and Bartok, or the palate to discern a cabernet sauvignon from a pinot noir. There is also much research on the aging brain. But until now, few scientists have thought to examine the possibilities for improving perceptual learning in older adults.