Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Robot Hand Controlled by Thought Alone

By Will Knight
New Scientist News Service

A robotic hand controlled by the power of thought alone has been demonstrated by researchers in Japan.

The robotic hand mimics the movements of a person's real hand, based on real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of their brain activity. It marks another landmark in the advance towards prosthetics and computers that can be operating by thought alone.

The system was developed by Yukiyasu Kamitani and colleagues from the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, and researchers from the Honda Research Institute in Saitama.

Subjects lay inside an MRI scanner and were asked to make "rock, paper, scissor" shapes with their right hand. As they did this, the MRI scanner recorded brain activity during the formation of each shape and fed this data to a connected computer. After a short training period, the computer was able to recognise the brain activity associated with each shape and command the robotic appendage do the same.


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Pretty Women Scramble Men's Brains

By Danny Penman
New Scientist

Psychologists in Canada have finally proved what women have long suspected - men really are irrational enough to risk entire kingdoms to catch sight of a beautiful face.

Biologists have long known that animals prefer immediate rewards to greater ones in the future. This process, known as "discounting the future", is found in humans too and is fundamental to many economic models.

Resources have a value to individuals that changes through time. For example, immediately available cash is generally worth more than the same amount would be in the future. But greater amounts of money in the future would be worth waiting for under so-called 'rational' discounting.

But some people, such as drug addicts, show 'irrational' discounting. For example, preferring a small amount of heroin today rather than a greater amount in the future.

Margo Wilson and Martin Daly of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada decided to investigate discounting behaviour and see if it varied with sexual mood.


Friday, May 26, 2006

One Magic Word to Solve Problems, Find Misplaced Objects, or Remember Forgotten Information

By Shunyam Nirav,
Author of "Switchwords"

The switchword REACH is basic equipment for your life! and deserves special remembering and care.

By declaring or repeating REACH, silently or aloud, you can locate misplaced objects; solve problems; recall temporarily forgotten names, numbers, or other information; and invent. As you become acquainted with the capabilities of REACH, you're likely to find use for it often in daily life, and appreciate it as one of the most practical and useful of all "metaphysical" tools.

How often have you misplaced car keys, wallet, tools, important papers, audio or video recordings, computer files, whatever, and suddenly you're doing an unexpected and vital search?

If you care to remember to repeat REACH-REACH-REACH-REACH etc. in such circumstances, without quitting until your search is successful, your body will move itself to rendezvous with the object of your search, if it is in fact present. Some aspect of your being does know where it is; by declaring REACH and following the ideas, impulses, and hunches that come, you connect that aspect that does know with action, and you REACH your goal.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Chocolate May Boost Brain Power

By Megan Rauscher
Reuters Health

Chocolate lovers rejoice. A new study hints that eating milk chocolate may boost brain function.

"Chocolate contains many substances that act as stimulants, such as theobromine, phenethylamine, and caffeine," Dr. Bryan Raudenbush from Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia noted in comments to Reuters Health.

"These substances by themselves have previously been found to increase alertness and attention and what we have found is that by consuming chocolate you can get the stimulating effects, which then lead to increased mental performance."

To study the effects of various chocolate types on brain power, Raudenbush and colleagues had a group of volunteers consume, on four separate occasions, 85 grams of milk chocolate; 85 grams of dark chocolate; 85 grams of carob; and nothing (the control condition).

After a 15-minute digestive period, participants completed a variety of computer-based neuropsychological tests designed to assess cognitive performance including memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem solving.

"Composite scores for verbal and visual memory were significantly higher for milk chocolate than the other conditions," Raudenbush told Reuters Health. And consumption of milk and dark chocolate was associated with improved impulse control and reaction time.

Previous research has shown that some nutrients in food aid in glucose release and increased blood flow, which may augment cognitive performance. The current findings, said Raudenbush, "provide support for nutrient release via chocolate consumption to enhance cognitive performance."

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Get Out of Jail Free: How to Identify Unconscious Beliefs

By Edwin Harkness Spina

Know thyself.

These words were inscribed in the vestibule of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.

For centuries, petitioners seeking advice from the oracle at Delphi would view the inscription. Philosophers throughout the ages offered this same advice to their students. These words are as valuable today as they were almost three thousand years earlier.

Part of knowing yourself is understanding your beliefs. The difficulty is that most beliefs are subconscious. They have been accepted without ever having been critically examined.

As was described in 3 Steps to Manifesting Your Ideal Life, the Law of Attraction states that you will attract to yourself those experiences that match your beliefs. These beliefs create your experience of reality. What if these beliefs are in opposition to what you’re actually trying to accomplish? What if they no longer serve you? Wouldn’t it be useful to eliminate these limiting beliefs?

There are a number of techniques to identify unconscious beliefs: taking a battery of psychological tests or tapping into your inner wisdom via meditation are two of them.

There is a shortcut that can predict with 99% accuracy what your beliefs are. It is so simple that people usually overlook it. Even when it is clearly stated, they frequently ignore it.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

BOOK LAUNCH TODAY: 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life

I am very proud to announce that my article "5 Simple Ways to Trick Your Mind Into Attracting Wealth" (read it here) has been included in a brilliant new book which has gathered together 101 of the top experts in creating the life you desire.

This is a real, physical book which will be shipped to your door and would be a perfect handbook for starting the day with your cup of java or winding down the evening before falling asleep.

This book has something for everyone, and can be grabbed today for under $15. Plus, if you order today, you have access to hundreds of dollars in bonuses which you can download right away and begin to use while you wait for your book to be shipped...

Check it out here: 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life

P.S. You can read my contribution to this great collection by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Science of Happiness

By Mike Rudin

A new six-part BBC series, starting this week, looks at the newest research from around the world to find out what could it be that makes us happy.

We all want to be happy but the problem has always been that you can't measure happiness.

Happiness has always been seen as too vague a concept, as Lord Layard, Professor of Economics at the LSE and author of "Happiness - lessons from a new science" points out.

"There is a problem with the word happiness.

"When you use the word happy, it often has the sort of context of balloons floating up into the sky or something frivolous."

Now scientists say they can actually measure happiness.

Neuroscientists are measuring pleasure. They suggest that happiness is more than a vague concept or mood; it is real.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Japan Developing Remote Control for Humans

By Yuri Kageyama
Associated Press

We wield remote controls to turn things on and off, make them advance, make them halt. Ground-bound pilots use remotes to fly drone airplanes, soldiers to maneuver battlefield robots.

But manipulating humans?
Prepare to be remotely controlled.

Just imagine being rendered the rough equivalent of a radio-controlled toy car.

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp., Japans top telephone company, says it is developing the technology to perhaps make video games more realistic.

A special headset was placed on my cranium by my hosts during a recent demonstration at an NTT research center. It sent a very low voltage electric current from the back of my ears through my head -- either from left to right or right to left, depending on which way the joystick on a remote-control was moved.

I found the experience unnerving and exhausting: I sought to step straight ahead but kept careening from side to side. Those alternating currents literally threw me off.

The technology is called galvanic vestibular stimulation -- essentially, electricity messes with the delicate nerves inside the ear that help maintain balance.


Friday, May 12, 2006

University Offers Degree in Parapsychology

By Tony Lawrence

Students are to investigate the existence of ghosts as part of a degree course looking at people's experience of the paranormal. Coventry University is offering the chance to look into haunted houses, extra-sensory perception and "the survival of bodily death".

Tony Lawrence, director of the two-year parapsychology course, said it would be "controversial yet thought-provoking". The focus will be the "middle ground" between religion and science, he added.

The 15 post-graduate students starting the first course this autumn will look at the paranormal using several scientific methods. For instance, some will investigate haunted houses, looking at statistics on which parts of buildings provide the most sightings.

Extra-sensory perception - where two people seem to communicate without using sound, vision, touch or smell - will also be looked at.

Dr Lawrence said: "We've got to look at what people are experiencing. No one has bothered to look, so people's view of the world has been divided into two components: the secular and humanist, and the religious."


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Master Switchwords for Creating Wealth

Shunyam Nirav, author of SWITCHWORDS Easily Give You Whatever You Want In Life, has written an excellent article detailing the best Switchwords for attracting and creating wealth. Read this article to learn:
  • Three Master Switchwords for Building a Fortune
  • Six Switchword Combinations for Financial Miracles
  • Three Master Switchwords for Increasing Sales, Eliminating Debt, and Being Generous

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Will Science End Aging? 7 Steps to Eternal Life

By Thomas Bartlett
Cambridge, England

If you wish to be a prophet, first you must dress the part. No more silk ties or tasseled loafers. Instead, throw on a wrinkled T-shirt, frayed jeans, and dirty sneakers. You should appear somewhat unkempt, as if combs and showers were only for the unenlightened. When you encounter critics, as all prophets do, dismiss them as idiots. Make sure to pepper your conversation with grandiose predictions and remind others of your genius often, lest they forget. Oh, and if possible, grow a very long beard.

By these measures, Aubrey de Grey is indeed a prophet. The 42-year-old English biogerontologist has made his name by claiming that some people alive right now could live for 1,000 years or longer. Maybe much longer.

Growing old is not, in his view, an inevitable consequence of the human condition; rather, it is the result of accumulated damage at the cellular and molecular levels that medical advances will soon be able to prevent — or even reverse — allowing people to go on living pretty much indefinitely. We'll still have to worry about angry bears and falling pianos, but aging, the biggest killer of all, will cease to be a threat. Death, as we know it, will die.

Mainstream gerontologists do not agree and hate to even raise the topic in public. They shy away from talk about life extension or "curing" aging and prefer to focus on keeping older people healthy for as long as possible, a goal referred to in the discipline as "compression of morbidity" or "healthspan." Many of them write off Mr. de Grey as more beard than brain.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Lucid Dreams Key to Better Sleep

By Mika Mandelbaum
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Through a state of dreaming that combines Western science and Tibetan Buddhist study, students might be able to improve sleep quality, overcome fears and explore reality.

Lucid dreaming occurs when a person is sleeping and becomes aware of the fact that they are dreaming.

Tibetan Buddhists have used lucid dreaming to perform dream yoga, where they achieve a meditative state in their sleep.

By reaching the lucid dreaming state, college students, who typically have problems sleeping, have the power to improve their sleep, said Dusana Rybarova, the director of the Dharmakirti College Research Institute, a nonprofit organization that supports interaction between scientists and Buddhist scholars.

"You can bring your sleep under control through your own will, practice and meditation," said Rybarova, a UA psychology graduate student.

For example, through lucid dreaming, a person can turn a nightmare into a transcendental, peaceful state by taking control of the situation with a positive attitude, said lucid dreams researcher Stephen LaBerge.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Marijuana Boosts Brain Power in Rats

Source: New Scientist

A synthetic chemical similar to the active ingredient in marijuana makes new cells grow in rat brains. What is more, in rats this cell growth appears to be linked with reducing anxiety and depression. The results suggest that marijuana, or its derivatives, could actually be good for the brain.

In mammals, new nerve cells are constantly being produced in a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is associated with learning, memory, anxiety and depression. Other recreational drugs, such as alcohol, nicotine and cocaine, have been shown to suppress this new growth. Xia Zhang of the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, and colleagues decided to see what effects a synthetic cannabinoid called HU210 had on rats' brains.

They found that giving rats high doses of HU210 twice a day for 10 days increased the rate of nerve cell formation, or neurogenesis, in the hippocampus by about 40%.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Your Thoughts Will Be Your Password

By Lakshmi Sandhana

What if you could one day unlock your door or access your bank account by simply "thinking" your password? Too far out? Perhaps not.

Researchers at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, are exploring the possibility of a biometric security device that will use a person's thoughts to authenticate her or his identity.

Their idea of utilizing brain-wave signatures as "pass-thoughts" is based on the premise that brain waves are unique to each individual. Even when thinking of the same thing, the brain's measurable electrical impulses vary slightly from person to person. Some researchers believe the difference might just be enough to create a system that allows you to log in with your thoughts.

A pass-thought could be anything from a snatch of song, the memory of your last birthday or even the image of your favorite painting. A more achievable alternative might present you with predetermined pictures, music or video clips, to which you would think "yes" or "no" while the machine monitors your brain activity.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hypnotized Man Has Woman's Orgasm

SOURCE: Hindustan Times

Most women spend their entire lives waiting for one, and till they don't they fake it, but how about a man, who under deep hypnosis, claims he had a woman's orgasm, and it was far more pleasurable than what men normally experience.

According to The Sun, the amazing incident happened to writer Simeon de la Torre, who experienced pregnancy and childbirth as part of an experiment for a magazine, and had an orgasm when his therapist took him back to the point of conception to see if he could have an orgasm like wife.

"Nicola told me to imagine I was Clare and we were making love. I started to feel a bit odd, then was getting warmer and warmer.

"The climax appeared to come from within. I did not shout, 'Oh my god'. But I experienced a glorious, glowing, female orgasm.

"Waves of euphoria radiated over me from the pit of my stomach to my toes as a gleeful smile spread across my face. It was longer, gentler and distinctly different to the juddering knee-tremblers I usually have. And, unfortunately chaps, it was better. Now I want to do it again," the paper quoted him, as saying.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Hypnotic Power of Confusion

By Dr. Joe Vitale
Creator of
Hypnotic Selling Secrets

"Did you walk to work or carry a lunch?"


My father asked me that question more than 25 years ago. I still remember it. Why? Because it's a ridiculous question.

A famous comedian in the 1950s used to ask people, "Got a banana?" The question might make sense if asked in the right situation, but he asked it everywhere. I've forgotten the name of the comedian, but I still recall his question. Why? Because it's strange.

As I write this, I am creating new business cards for myself. I decided to add a confusing line to it. After some fun brainstorming with my girlfriend, I settled on, "Ask me about the monkey."

Why is "Ask me about the monkey?" worth putting on my business card? As with my father's question and the comedian's question, it stops your brain in its tracks. It makes you pause. It makes you focus on ME. The theory is that once you stop someone with a confusing line, you can then implant a hypnotic command right after it.