Mind Meld 113 | A Network of Neuronal Majesty with Neuroscientist, Dr. Adam Gazzaley

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Adam Gazzaley is a neuroscientist, author, entrepreneur and inventor. He is the founder and director of Neuroscape and a Professor of Neurology, Physiology, and Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco

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When it comes to physical majesty, there’s nothing that tops the brain. Our infinitely intricate wetware is, as far as we can tell, the portal for everything we’ve ever conceived of or created. Without the human intellect, we’d have nothing.

In fact, maybe referring to the human brain as an “object” is a misnomer, maybe it’s beyond that distinction. The trouble is I’m not sure what else to call it– The phrase “a collection of hierarchical networks powered by mysterious lightning” doesn’t have a great ring to it.

As wanting as our contemporary language-based brain descriptions are, we’ve come a long way. Imagine someone from a couple of hundred years ago trying to describe what the brain is. Did, for example, the notion of “hierarchical networks” even exist?

(We’re going to leave that question as rhetorical because I’m too lazy to look it up). 

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Perhaps, even now, this identifies a key obstacle– Language. In other words, we probably don’t even have the proper lexicon, concepts or instruments or to fully digest the totality of brain’s incredibility.

All that aside, as I said, we’ve certainly made strides. By “we,” I don’t mean me, I’ve done nothing. I mean “we” in that I’m a human and some humans have done groundbreaking work. Take, for example, Neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley. He’s doing incredible stuff in the field, particularly on learning, distraction, digital medicine, neural feedback, transcranial stimulation and oodles more.

Musings in this mind meld

  • The brain is not broken up into modal regions as most people think
  • Distraction, multitasking and parallel processing
  • Is technology ultimately a negative or positive with respect to our brains?
  • Can technology cure distraction and help us build better brains?
  • Are video games good for your brain?
  • Psychedelic medicine and digital medicine might work together
  • Can shooting electricity into your brain help you learn skills faster?
  • Why our education system is broken and outdated
  • Bottom-up attention versus top-down attention


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