Because blogging is the ultimate for procrastination.
I just wanted to share with the world some interesting things I’ve learnt this semester in cognitive neuroscience, because well, it’s nice to learn something new.
1. STAR NOSED MOLE: THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES.
Star nosed moles (like platypi) have huge, highly specialised representations for their noses in their sensory cortex. The star-nosed mole has evolved a number of movable appendages used for exploration, capturing and feeding.
More importantly, how have I not heard about this animal before my 22nd year of life?
In the 1970s, Russian scientists bred over twenty generations of silver foxes using only the most ‘tame’ animals (as defined by behaviours most domesticated-like). After twenty generations, the animals which should have been afraid of humans were acting like dogs. Not only did their behaviour change, but physical changes too; their bushy, straight tails began to curve like a dogs, their ears began to flop like dogs and spots began to appear on their fur. This is evidence that genes are not singular, genes manifest in groups of features. As the characteristic of foxy behaviour was bred out, so too were physical features.
Now apparently you can purchase these domesticated foxes! I want one. How cute 🙂
3. I NEVER WANT BRAIN SPLATS
The amygdala (pronounced amig-dull-ah) is vital in processing emotions. Patients with severe bi-lateral amygdala damage cannot see or recognise ‘fear’ in people’s faces. They can correctly conceptualise fear, and identify joy, anger and sadness in facial expressions but cannot identify fear.
4. YOUR LARGER NOSTRIL IS NOT FROM DIGGING.
Our ability to smell is continually being modulated by changes in the size of our nasal passages-one nostril at a time is always dominant over the other. This means one nostril is enlarged to allow greater input airflow for optimal accuracy in perceiving odors for both high and low rates of absorption.
5. RING FINGERS SAY MORE THAN JUST YOUR MARITAL STATUS
There have been correlations found between finger length and intelligence.
Correlations for the length of the ring finger being longer than the index finger suggest a higher verbal IQ, whilst a longer index finger compared to ring finger suggest a higher spatial IQ. Weird!
Let me know if you have anything to add to this.