Chapter 2 First Impression: Neuroscience

--Original published at Manami PSY105blog

The ted talk I chose for this week’s post titled “The real reason for brains” by Daniel Wolpert. The reason why I chose this ted talk is that the basic information of a brain such as how the brain work is necessary for me to learn neuroscience in psychology class and the title caught my attention and interests.

The speaker talks about that brain evolved to control movements with some examples and own study results. Firstly, he asked us the basic question that “why do we and all animals have brains?”. He also gave an audience the answer that the only reason to have a brain is not to feel something and think, but “to produce adaptable and complex movement”. Robots cannot act like human dexterously although technology is developed because of human control movement by the brain. He suggests that the signal which makes movements from the brain is corrupted by noise. What is difficult for robots is to minimize negative consequences by this noise. The real reason of brain is to control movements which looks simple but so complex as conclusions.

His examples are really helpful to understand his theory easily. For example, he proved this idea that the role of the brain is to move with the example of the humble sea squirt which digest its own brain when it attached the rock and does not need to move. The chess’s example to support his belief that movement is the most important use of brain is also interesting. Robot can beat human when they play chess. However, the robot cannot win five years-old kid in terms of movements of dexterous.

His presentation is trustworthy because he is professional with enough experiences of experiments. There are some steps to support his theory. He clarifies that the brain works for movements at first. Next, the method of combination between several information as belief is explained with Bayes’ rule. He also focuses that people improved movements. These facts which is also trustworthy make his suggestions strong.

The research idea based on the information presented is that how the movements will work better by developments of the brain in the future, and how will it help medical technology developments. We would research how to minimize noise and assume the situations which technology has the skill like a human.


Ch.2 First Impression- Neuroscience

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

The brain is a very intriguing topic, therefore picking a TED talk to watch was difficult. There are so many instances in life when you and another person may say a sentence or word at the same time. The TED talk I chose was “How we read each other’s minds” by Rebecca Saxe. I thought learning about reading other’s minds was an interesting topic, along with hearing how someone would address and explain reading people’s minds. Throughout this TED talk, Saxe gives examples from the experiments she conducted related to the RTP in the brain, which is used when reading and thinking about other’s feelings. As we get older our RTP develops, which gives up the ability to think about other people’s thoughts. Saxe shows an illustration of a mother looking at her baby and another of a man jumping off of a cliff, which from looking at the pictures we can come up with ideas of what the people in the pictures are thinking. During this talk I found it interesting when Saxe mentioned that we have the same brain cells as monkeys, mice, and sea slugs. I also thought the video Saxe showed of her getting a magnetic force to a certain part of her brain was fascinating because the force given gave her hand a reflex and made her drop the coin she had in her hand. I found this presenter trustworthy due the proof she gave with videos. To show an experiment Saxe conducted involving the thoughts of children she showed videos of children ages three, five, and seven. With the videos Saxe was able to prove her point, and give solid evidence that the RTP works differently depending on the age. I would conduct an experiment that shows how difference in age affects our perspective on concepts. For this experiment ages, en, sixteen, eighteen, twenty-one, and twenty-five look at pictures and determine what they think the person in the picture is thinking. Before looking at the pictures the people will get their brains imaged to see the amount of brain activity, as well as after looking at the pictures and deciding what each person is thinking in each picture. I think it would be interesting to see between what ages is there a big difference in the thoughts and how the picture is perceived.

Chapter 2 First Impression- Neuroscience

--Original published at Garrettscollegeblog

After scrolling through and reading the descriptions of the possible TED Talks available, one stood out above the rest. The description of “Miguel Nicolelis: Brain to Brain Communication Has Arrived” mentioned a “brain-controlled exoskeleton that allowed a paralyzed man to kick the first ball of the 2014 World Cup.” My initial reaction was, “How did I miss this? I watched every minute of every game in that World Cup.” After thinking for a few seconds, however, I took a second glance at the statement to assure I read it correctly. A man, paralyzed from the middle of his chest to his toes, was able to kick a soccer ball in a man-made exoskeleton being controlled entirely by his brain.

Thirty years of imagining and fifteen years of planning led up to the unbelievable event that took place on June 12th, 2014. The Brain Machine Interface is what made this dream a reality. This machine uses sensors to read and analyze electrical brainstorms, which then create motor commands. Nicolelis and his partner then transformed the motor commands into digital demands in order for electrical devices to act out.

The most interesting part of this TED Talk emerged from the monkey experiment. In this experiment, a monkey controlled a virtual arm, moving it into designated circles on the screen simply by imagining. I always imagined this type of technology so far in the future I had no idea it already existed and had been used on such a stage as the FIFA World Cup.

Miguel Nicolelis proves himself very trustworthy because of his passion for the subject. He goes through thirty years of peers calling him crazy and years of trial and error. Along with his passion, he utilizes evidence from the World Cup as well as the monkey experiment.

A research idea that came to mind from this experiment was using these same sensors to achieve control over video game characters just through imagining. I would conduct this through creating an entirely new console gaming system. Similar sensors used in the Brain Machine Interface would connect to the console replacing the controller entirely. Instead of these sensors controlling the console as a whole, they will control aspects inside the game, such as characters and decisions.

Chapter 2 First Impression

--Original published at HarrysCollegeBlog

Going into this assignment, I decided to choose the mind of a killer Ted talk, due to a lack of interest among the other decisions. Before going into the video, im expecting some sort of talk about justification of their actions of some sort on the killer’s part. Immediately upon going in, He talks about genes, and it surprises me that Genes could have something to do with someone deciding to be a killer. Environment and Brain damage I did expect, but inherited genes, not so much. A Normal person can be warped into a bad person by circumstance I understand well, life is cruel and unforgiving. But the MAOA Gene being passed down genetically from the Mother of all people was shocking. Here in America, we see mothers typically being very kind, gentle and caring, but this gene that is passed down from such a gentle mother being able to turn people into murderers is so ironic.

The Ted Talk itself Gave me good insights on how far we can fall, just based off of our family heritage, and the events that surround our youth. It really makes me appreciate being in such a peaceful part of the world, where this is a lot less likely. It makes me wonder if I, if given bad experiences in my youth, could’ve ended up like this, with such common use of violence to solve problems. One can only wonder at the possibility.

Chapter 2 Blog Post

--Original published at Zachs College Blog

I personally chose the “exploring the mind of a killer” TED talk because I have always had an interest in knowing what differentiates the mind of a killer and of an everyday person. Also, I’ve been a big fan of NCIS & Criminal Minds. When examining the factors that make up a killer, we consider genetics, brain damage, and interactions with their environment. When brain damage occurs, the timing of the incident plays a large role as well. High risk genes or the “violence gene” can be found in the normal everyday person, but are found more intensely In people who kill. Growing up witnessing extreme forms of violence can be a larger factor in why people become psychopathic killers. Personally, I found that the fact that genetic makeup and brain make up can influence the tendencies of a killer from generations to generation was the most interesting point in the talk. I found Jim Fallon a very trustworthy and reliable source because he performed multiple brain scans on known psychopathic killers and his own family tree which all showed the same results. Also, Fallon is a professor at the University of California and has been a neuroscientist for about 35 years so I believe his information provided is very credible. A research study that I would perform would be a study on the number of psychopathic killers that were women and men. I would compare these numbers because the variance of the High Risk Gene is found in our mothers and which is then passed to their son genetically. I want to see if it is true that men are more known to be classified as psychopathic killers than women.


--Original published at AlyssaM

I was first drawn to the TED talk: “Rebecca Saxe: How We Read Each Other’s Minds” because it seems like with two people I know, it happens very frequently. It was about how people try to understand what another is thinking in order to understand them and rationalize certain aspects. She described a section of the brain dedicated to this process and that novelist use it often when creating characters. She explained the tiny magnetic pulses that could be used to slightly influence reactions in the brain. I found most interesting that there is a small part of the brain that specializes in such procedures, as compared to woven into another function of the brain. The presenter, Rebecca, I thought was mostly trustworthy compared to other sources. She had a lot of charts to demonstrate her point, although it is unclear how many participants took part in the making of the stats. She also had several examples in an experiment and displayed the videos from different ages. However, she did not point out if she studied more than the few in the videos. I would do a research project similar to what she did with the young children, to see how others see different situations. I first would write various stories that makes a person think deeply about another’s actions. For example, good versus evil and if the evil is justified because of their broken past. Should the good be allowed to destroy the evil, when they were only hurt, or should they try to heal the evil; would be part of the study I would analyze.

First Impression Post- Chapter 2: Neuroscience

--Original published at HuntersCollegeBlog

For this first impression post, I decided to pick the TED talk entitled “Exploring the Mind of a Serial Killer.” I’ve always been fascinated by the human brain, especially serial killers’, because they have different brain aspects that non serial killers do not. It’s fascinating to me that because of these different brain aspects, it can motivate them to do heinous crimes, such as murder.

In this TED talk, the speaker, Jim Fallon, a neuroscientist, and a professor at the University of California, talked about how he recently became fascinated with the brains of serial killers. He begins by talking about the interaction of genes, and epigenetic affects. He said that how you end up as a serial killer depends on when damage to the orbital cortex or the anterior part of temporal lobe occurs (these two parts of the brain were damaged on the serial killer’s brains he examined, there are other parts of the brain that can be damaged). The major violence gene is called the MAOA gene. It is a sex-linked genes and is only on the X-chromosome, so one can only get it from their mother. The gene has to do with too much serotonin during development. When one has that gene in utero, the brain becomes insensitive to the serotonin. In order to express the gene in a violent way, the person has to be exposed to some sort of traumatic violence. Having exposure to that violence, and having that gene is a cause for disaster. Jim Fallon also talked about how his cousin was Lizzy Borden, and the first murder of a mother by a son was his great (x5) grandfather.

From this TED talk, I found it most interesting and ironic that Jim Fallon wasn’t aware of the violent behavior in his family, but was studying the brains of serial killers. I also found it fascinating that damage to parts of the brain, and having the gene, as well as violent exposure can be cause to becoming a serial killer.

I believe Jim Fallon is very knowledgable in this course of study, because he’s been doing neurological work for over 35 years, and studying behavior. He is also a professor, and a neurologist, so he is very well educated in the field of neurology.

For my research idea, I would want to figure out who is prone to having the MAOA gene, and how you can determine before birth if someone has it. In order to conduct this research, I would reach out to different neurologist, and ask them how you can determine what genes you have, and how the MAOA gene is first discovered, I would ask if there was any way to tell before birth if the baby has the gene. I would also ask if predominately men have the gene, since Fallon said that it is an X-chromosome gene, which is given by the mother, which is why mostly men are serial killers.


First Impression-Chapter 2

--Original published at Bailey PSY 105 Blog

I have always been interested in the topics of serial killers, and what goes behind the motivation of these killers to commit the crimes that they do. The implications of the genetic structure of the brain contributing to someone turning into a murderer is very compelling to me, so that is why I chose the talk Exploring the Mind of a Killer.

In the TED talk, neuroscientist Jim Fallon goes into detail about the mental structure of a serial killer and how genetics, early experiences, brain structure, and critical timing goes in to the making of a killer. In the talk, Fallon goes into depth about the structure of the orbital lobe, as well as the genetic significance of timing when one is examining what creates a serial killer. For example, the combination of early childhood exposure to violence as well as the MAO-A gene, as well as the overexposure to serotonin when your brain is developing, is what Fallon refers to as “a recipe for disaster.” Fallon also gets into the contributions a family tree has to serial killers, and details his own experiences with several of his own relatives (including Lizzy Borden and the Cornells) that committed gruesome murders.

I found the aspect of the family tree most interesting when watching the TED talk, because I had no idea that the concept of being a killer could run in the family. It does make sense after watching it, though, because if what Fallon claims about the MAO-A gene is correct, and if it keeps getting passed down from generation to generation, the gene would continue to have the same effects if the child was exposed to some sort of violent stimuli early on.

I find the presenter very trustworthy; Fallon is a neuroscientist as well as a professor at University of California, and has dedicated over 35 years to studying behavior as a result to brain and genetic structure. Though he has just recently gotten involved in studying killers, I believe that he has enough of a solid background in the subject to be able to apply it to this field. I also think that the consistencies he has found in the genetics and brain scans of more than 70 examples of violent killers are very sturdy proof of his claim.

If I were to do a research study based on the information presented on the talk, I would look more deeply into if there is a way to correct the damaged structure of the orbital region of the brain through sessions of therapy, or prescription medications. I would take previous offenders who displayed this type of behavior and brain structure, as well as people that had not yet committed a violent crime and split them into a control and experimental group. I would then submit the control group to sessions of talk therapy as well as pharmaceuticals. Finally, I would test and compare the way that both groups responded to various stressful and perhaps violence-inducing situations (in a controlled environment) and see if the drugs or therapy had made any difference. I would also preform repeat brain scans to see if the actual structure of the brain had been edited at all since the start of the correction attempts.

Chapter 2 First Impression Prompt

--Original published at Jayln's Perspective

For this week’s first impression prompt, I chose to watch Thomas Insel’s, “towards a new understanding of mental illness.”  This TED talk stuck out to me right away because there are so many people who struggle with mental illnesses, and I was interested to hear another perspective. Insel begins his TED talk by using positive statistics about how far science has come in the last decade. Leukemia, heart disease, AIDS, and strokes fatalities have all decreased because of the concept of early detection, early intervention. He then continues to redefine mental illnesses as brain disorders. The brain is such a complicated organ and scientists are now beginning to figure out its complexities. Insel says that science has a long way to go, but in order to really make a difference in decreasing the number of deaths that occur because of these brain disorders is to apply the same concept of early detection, early intervention. Usually, doctors wait until there is any sort of behavioral change to start treatment, but Insel warns against this. By using schizophrenia as an example, he reveals that before behavioral changes even occur, the brain exhibits signs of a brain disorder. If scientists discover a way to detect these changes in the brain, then we will not have to wait until it is too late to diagnose someone. After listening to this TED talk, I am looking forward to studying more types of brain disorders in class. Someday, I hope we are able to apply the concept of early detection, early intervention so people are able to get the help they need to recover.

Chapter Two First Impression

--Original published at David's Blog

For this weeks impression post I chose to watch a ted talk titled “Exploring the mind of a killer” do by Jim Fallon. The reason I chose this ted talk was because I enjoy trying to figure out what goes on in a psychopathic killers mind. I also enjoy shows like Law and Order where they deal with stuff like this every episode. They try and dive into the mind of a killer and figure out there thought process to solve a case. Things I’d like to know would be do they feel emotion, do they understand there actions, and what got them to this point. Fallon explained that making a killer starts young, if they have to much of serotonin in there system the become numb to it and can’t clam them selfs. He also stated that if someone is exposed to something traumatic when they are young they are even more likely to grow up to be a killer. It would be very interesting if we can do more research on killers brains to possibly find anymore cause of there behavior, or even find a way to stop people from becoming killers early on.