Saturday, April 22, 2006

Another change

I switch on wordpress at this adress ! https://benplante.wordpress.com

Monday, April 17, 2006

Swtiching in bilingual

I switch my blog to benplante.blogspot.com, right now it's only in french but the next post will be in both langague. See you over there !

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tangled bank #51

I'm new in blogging then I'm not really familar with all the carnival stuff. I read the last tangled bank and I found it interesting. So, I post the link for the reader that maybe don't know what's it ! It's at Discovering biology in a digital world . Go over and read it !

Neurophysiology of the near-death experience.

via Nature

The near-death experiences are describes as:
At times of extreme danger or trauma, many people report out-of-body experiences, seeing intense lights, or a feeling of peace

They've shown in the past that we can simulated those altered state by electrical stimulation or even by drugs. Then, this is not a metaphysics altered state of conscience, it's probably in big part a physiological state. Also, in the phenomen some people said that theirs arms and legs were paralysed. Then Kevin Nelson, made a link with REM, cause when find those symptoms in the kind of sleep, that what the article taling about !
Via the Near Death Experience Research Foundation, based in Federal Way, Washington, Nelson found 55 people who reported near-death experiences after traumatic incidents such as car accidents or heart surgery. He also interviewed an equal number who had not had any such experiences.

Of those who reported near-death experiences, 60% also reported having had at least one incident where they felt sleep and wakefulness blurred together. For those without a near-death experience the figure was 24%.

Such blurred periods can include sleep paralysis. Others report visual or auditory hallucinations. Such incidents can occur when some aspects of sleep's dreaming, or rapid eye movement (REM) state, intrudes into wakefulness.

In REM sleep, muscles can lose their tone or tension, inducing a feeling of paralysis. The visual activity during this state may also explain the feeling of being surrounded by light.


Damn sleep that come and fuck our daily consciousness !

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

God isn't in every brain !

I discover this blog via Pharyngula,Amused Muse. There's a nice post about trying to give God feeling to Richard Dawkins., for those who maybe don't know him !

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Spirituality and Psychology !?!

Did you ever open a bookstore's flyers and find a section of books called spiritualy and psychology ? It just happended to me 5 minutes ago ! Then I googled both words to see the results. 11 400 000 ! Does it means that more a big part of the population those words have a blended meaning !? I'm in psychology undergraduate program for 2 years and half, then psychology sound to me as science with some part from humanities and another another part in more fondamentals. Some religious person try to use this science for their profit, to do marketing on the name of psychology.

The fist google pick is The school of spiritual psychology use it to create a fake academis division of psychology to recrute people in a look-like sect. The director Robert Sardello and Cheryl Sanders recommends also just theirs books. There's somethings that keep everyone in the school with the main idea of the way. And it's not scientific way !

I try on wikipidea and Spiritual Psychology redirected me to Transpersonal psychology. On the article, they link it as the fourth forces in psychology with psychanalisis, humanist and behaviorism, I only considered the last one as psychology in fact. It's the only one that you can do double-blind trial to see that helping on mental health. Psychanalisis and humanist should be considered as counselling or somethings helping people to feels better by a good confident in someone with a framework theory to motivate you to change. But the article is talking about those three forces as psychology without any shame or discomfort ! If everyone consider all of it as psychology maybe I to stiff on my definition of psychology ! But I wouln't considere to allow Spirituality and Psychology going together. Maybe I'm not alone wikipedia transfere us to don't link those to word !

Friday, April 07, 2006

Podcast on psychology

I listened to This week in science a one hour radio show on science. The show is available for podcasting ! This week they talked about two studies that I found really interesting !
The first one was about the fact that is your smeeling the sweat of people how have been afraid you'll be more accurate and more quick to answer on word revealing a link with fear ! I don't know anything else on this study, that what I remembers of the show. Maybe the method was wrong and blablabla but I found it interesting !
The second is about the ancipation of laughing. When you're anticipate to laugh you have higher secretion of endorphine and growth hormone. So, if you're going to see a comedy, just going to will make you feel better ! You can save a lot of money with that, you don't realy have to go to see the movie but you thinking that you'll go !
Moreover they chat about other topic as climate, ecology etc. Dowload it and listen it, you'll see !

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Tahoe killing sunflower ...

Janet D. Stemwedel did really good job on a pub in Chevy Tahoe apprentice contest !

I did one ! If you're doing one let me know !

KEEP ID OUT OF MY COUNTRY !

Here in Quebec, we don't really have the debate between those to thesis. We kicked out religion from everywhere couple of years ago ! But it seems that there's maybe the beginning of a debate in Canada. By Daily Transcript I fall on Montreal Gazette's article about the denieing of a grant by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada(SSHRC) to professor Brian Alters, the director of McGill's Evolution Education Research Centre. The title of the grant is: Detrimental effects of popularizing anti-evolution's intelligent design theory on Canadian students, teachers, parents, administrators and policymakers. They refuse it "on the grounds that he'd failed to provide the panel with ample evidence that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is correct". Alter said "Evolution is not an assumption and intelligent design is pseudo-science", and this is also my opinion and the opinion of the majority of scientific community. The SSHRC respond he don't show the "adequate justification for the assumption in the proposal that the theory of evolution, and not intelligent design theory, was correct." He didn't need to show it ! As he said "The theory of evolution is well-established science, while intelligent design is a form of religious belief." So please, SSHRC don't be stupid ! I don't want to start blogging about ID, here in Quebec. Can we leave it to U.S. ?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Simpsons movie !

I forgot what I supposed to say !

You'll need Quicktime 7. The first trailer of this movie, but since I'm listening Simpsons I asked my-self what are they waiting for, we all want to see a simpson's movie !

Excellent...
As a lot of well know scientist, par exemple David Suzuki and Hubert Reeves said, the planet earth do not feels really good right now. To much Carbon dioxide in air, we are killing to much of virgin forest. Together, those to fact put us to change our habits or to be exterminated. But we could move to Mard, that another option !

Why this introduction about the importance of the environment and acting in a way to protect the planet ? It's juste because I read a short article on the implication of living on Mars and I want to blog on this subject.

Former astronaut James Pawelczyk said that "isn't the engineering work to design the spacecraft, because most of those tasks are identified and being addressed." I can figure it when we see that right now we can build underwater hotel, then when we'll be ready to export humans on Mars, we should be able to set the structure tu support life on this planet.

Pawelczy said that the problem is at another level. He said that "protecting humans from high-level radiation, as well as bone and muscle loss, pose the greatest challenges in getting to Mars." Ok, I don't know a lot about the effect of radiation on Mars on Human. I just found it interesting to see that the big challenge is how our cells will be able to adapt to radiation more than building place to live.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Causal inference

via MIT News

Laura Schulz at MIT is studiing the causal inference in babies and children. In a recent study, she shows:
Even preschoolers approach the world much like scientists: They are convinced that perplexing and unpredictable events can be explained... The way kids play and explore suggests that children believe cause-and-effect relationships in the world are governed by fundamental laws rather than by mysterious forces.

Lets take a look at the experiment:
In one study, the experimenters showed children that a switch made a toy with a metal ring light up. Half the children saw the switch work all the time; half saw that the switch only lit the ring toy some of the time. The experimenters also showed the children that removing the ring stopped the toy from lighting up. The experimenters kept the switch, gave the toy to the children and asked the children to stop the toy from lighting up.

If the switch always worked, children removed the ring. If the switch only worked some of the time, children could have removed the ring but they didn't--they assumed that the experimenter had some additional sneaky way of stopping the effect. Children did something completely new: they picked up an object that had been hidden in the experimenter's hand (a squeezable keychain flashlight) and used that to try to stop the toy. That is, the children didn't just accept that the switch might work only some of the time. They looked for an explanation.

Schulz said she believes this is the first study that looks at how probabilistic evidence affects children's reasoning about unobserved causes. The researchers found that children are conservative about unobserved causes (they don't always think mysterious things are happening) but would rather accept unobserved causes than accept that things happen at random.

All that lead me to think about the believing in God. If we have a innate propensity to try to do find causal inference to everything more than finding a random explaination, is it innate to believe in a metaphysical power over us ? If parents do not give explaination about the causal-effect, telling children that is because God wants it ! They will probably set a God in they mind to explain a lot of physical world facts. As we know children learn it quick and strong, so they could believe forever if we don't give them the right answer about the causal relation in the world. So c'mon, tell the physical fact and thrut to children, do not fool them with religious bullshit...

Action potential blog

As you probably know Nature Neuroscience Blog, Action potential is on for couple of months, in fact since November 2005. Is it just me or this blog is now updated enough often. I don't think that I could do a better job, but they maybe should think to hire some people to post on regular times. The only regular post is about the new paper. Is it a blog or just a publicity place for Nature to shows the new articles they publish. I'd like to read a editoral everyone couple of days on Neuroscience world, Am i the only one to be disappointed by this blog ?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Procrastination via flash video !

At Restrospectacle, there's a post on a flash video. She said that a good thing for procrastination. I go over and look at it ! That's fantastic. There's a lot of good small flash video. My favorite is the invisble quest, you have to move in a differents mazes, but you don't see your cursor. There's big red eyes looking to where is the cursor ! Try it and in comments put which level you're. I'm on fourth level now, but probably more latter !