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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Nimoy Nucleus

Dean Burnett: -- "Remember, these [new myths about the human brain] were all written by an actual neuroscientist and they’re in the Guardian, so they must be true, right?"
The Nimoy Nucleus

It is widely accepted that different areas of the brain are responsible for different functions. There are the regions like Broca’s area that are responsible for language, the amygdala for processing emotional memories, the olfactory bulb for processing smells, and the Shatner’s Bassoon which handles time perception.

But scientists have recently identified an area termed the Nimoy Nucleus, which controls the elevation of individual eyebrows. Individuals with a small Nimoy Nucelus struggle to raise individual eyebrows, whereas those with larger, more developed areas are adept at the singe-eyebrow raise. fMRI scans have also revealed that the Nimoy Nucleus shows increased activity in response to hearing the word “fascinating”.

Understanding while you sleep

It is believed by many that you can learn by listening to things in your sleep. Sadly, this is not true. The reason it’s not true is because the sleeping brain doesn’t communicate the way the conscious brain does. We’re not exactly sure what the sleeping brain is doing, but it seems to be processing information, consolidating memories and the like. It also transmits and receives information from brains in a similar state, to confirm or back-up information. This is what human snoring is; the sleeping brain transmitting data, like that noise you used to get from dial-up modems. That’s why someone’s snoring will keep you awake when you share a bed with them; your brains aren’t synched yet. After a while, you can sleep through it.
I can raise just my left eyebrow without even thinking about it (it has happened all on its own, to the surprise and delight of those around me). But trying to raise only my right eyebrow takes a lot of concentration, and then doesn't really work properly.