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Archive for October, 2009

Brain Region Linked to Introspective Thinking

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

There was a new study reported in the September 17th issue of the research journal, Science, which showed that there may be a brain region linked to introspective thinking as the study found that a spe­cif­ic brain re­gion is larg­er in peo­ple who are good at turn­ing their thoughts in­ward and re­flect­ing on their de­ci­sions.
This pro­cess of “think­ing about your think­ing,” called in­tro­spec­tion, is a key part of hu­man con­scious­ness. Sci­en­tists, however, have not­ed plen­ty of varia­t­ion in peo­ples’ abil­i­ties to in­tro­spect. “We want to know why we are aware of some men­tal pro­cesses,” while oth­ers pro­ceed with­out awareness, said Ste­phen Flem­ing of Uni­vers­ity Col­lege Lon­don, one of the au­thors.  “There may be dif­fer­ent lev­els of con­scious­ness, rang­ing from simply hav­ing an ex­pe­ri­ence, to re­flect­ing up­on that ex­pe­ri­ence. In­tro­spec­tion is on the high­er end of this spec­trum. By meas­ur­ing this pro­cess and re­lat­ing it to the brain we hope to gain in­sight in­to the bi­ol­o­gy of con­scious thought.” The brain re­gion found to be ap­par­ently linked to in­tro­spec­tion is the called the an­te­ri­or pre­fron­tal cor­tex, right be­hind our eyes, said the sci­en­tists, who were led by re­searcher Ge­raint Rees of the uni­vers­ity. The “gray mat­ter” in this re­gion tends to be larg­er in people with great­er in­tro­spective abil­ity, they ex­plained. Gray mat­ter con­sists of the types of brain cells chiefly known for pro­cessing in­forma­t­ion, called neu­rons. See http://www.world-science.net/othernews/100916_introspection.htm

2010-2011 Site Plans

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Welcome to some exciting news about this website! The editorial committee has planned to bring regular updates to the Horizon website and we wanted to share an outline of our plans with you. From November 2010 onwards, we will be providing a research updates section that will examine some of the progress with the AWARE study as well as other related research carried out in different parts of the world.

In terms of the AWARE study, the updates will address certain milestones: developments on the direction of the research, interviews with the researchers, information on what the participating hospitals are currently doing and the new hospitals that have joined the AWARE study, and some early statistics on the study. We will also cover current developments regarding the topic of consciousness through monthly features such as news stories, book reviews, interesting topics from other organizations, and interviews with world leaders. Furthermore, we hope to provide educational events in 2011 and we will provide announcements regarding any upcoming public events related to the topic of consciousness.

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