sewel040: October 2011 Archives

The key to consciousness

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Consciousness is the state of being awake and aware of one's surroundings but can you still have a sense of consciousness while sleeping that tells us about our sense of self? The simple answer is no. The essence of consciousness is integration; the ability of our brain to jump communication pathways and share information with other parts of the brain.

While you are awake and conscious your brain has the ability to utilize integration. This is shown in the BBC Horizon: The Secret You video. In this video they conduct an experiment where they shock one part of the participants brain and watch the areas of the brain that light up with activity. In the awake brain you see that the initial area where the shock was given is the first spot to light up but from there the lighted areas jump to many different parts of the brain. This is because while the brain is in a conscious state it can use interact in a network and interconnect between different elements of the brain.

However, while you are asleep your brain is still function just not at a conscious state. In the experiment when the shock is given the initial site of the shock is lit up but that is the only area. There is brain activity but it stays localized. They describe it by saying the modules are active and reactive but stay isolated. While you are sleeping the communication channels in your brain shuts down for a while.

This study helps prove that the essence of consciousness is in fact the integration that takes place. To have a conscious awareness your brain needs to be able to talk to different parts to process information and make connections.

We've all heard common myths; "if you swallow gum it'll stay in your stomach for years", "a dog's mouth is cleaner than a humans", and "guys think about sex every seven seconds." But can these myths actually be proven true?

It's a pretty accepted fact that men think about sex often, but when it comes to people claiming that men think about it multiple times a minute... that's pushing it a little bit.

Extraordinary Claims: Let's logically think about this... if you assume that the average man is awake for 16 hours a day that would mean the average man thinks about sex more than 8,000 times a day. Now I'm not saying this is impossible, but it is a pretty far reach. There is no absolute way to measure the amount of times sex goes through an individual's mind in a given period of time. In order to prove this supposed theory you need to maintain a constant measure in that person's natural environment. To measure this number you would need to map the areas of the brain and pinpoint the area that reveals sexual feelings, and in order to do that the subject would need to be in a laboratory setting.

There is no way of knowing the origin of this myth; many assume it was a claim made to put a tangible number on the subject matter for the opposite gender to grasp. Over time it has become a popular topic of research and discussion, and it has been found that it is due mainly to the way in which the male brain was wired; they are more inclined to have not only a stronger sex-drive but also a more straightforward one.

The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction is known to many as the "bible of sexual studies." They have conducted many studies over the years focusing around sex drive. One in particular study called Sexual Behavior in the Human Male found that "54% of men think about sex everyday or several times a day, 43% a few times per month or a few times per week, and 4% less than once a month" (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994). On the other end of things it was found that "19% of women think about sex everyday or several times a day, 67% a few times per month or a few times per week, and 14% less than once a month" (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by sewel040 in October 2011.

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