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What Happens To Our Brain When We Experience Complete Silence & Peace of Mind

What Happens To Our Brain When We Experience Complete Silence & Peace of Mind 86

Silence. How often do you truly get to experience this? Nowadays, silence is a very rare commodity indeed as we are constantly bombarded with noises from people, traffic, airplanes, music, advertisements, construction and the list goes on. I’ve been thinking a lot about silence and how much I would like some as I’ve been travelling and am constantly subjected to honking cars, screaming tourists, and clanking sounds all around me. Silence, is actually not something that is very easily obtainable -silence is golden. So how important is silence and is it a detriment to the well-being of our minds if we don’t have it?

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that actually used silence as a marketing product. Their campaign aimed to entice people to visit Finland to experience the beauty of the silent land. The campaign released a series of photos of single figures in nature along with the headline, “Silence, Please.” Another tagline was added by Simon Ahnolt, an international country branding consultant that said, “No talking, but action.”

Finland is onto something here. In their campaign we are seeing the beginning of using silence as a marketing technique as it is something that is becoming more and more attractive as it is becoming more and more rare. Really, think about it, how often are you in complete silence? Noise pollution is something we deal with every single day and often, we don’t think twice about it. Scientific studies are now showing that silence is much more important for our brains than you might think.

Science For Silence

A study published in 2013 in the journal, Brain, Structure and Function, used various types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of mice. The silence was intended to be the control in the study, but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of complete silence per day they actually developed new brain cells in the hippocampus, which is the region of the brain that is associated with memory, emotion and learning new things.

The growth of new brain cells doesn’t always mean improved health benefits, but in this instance one of the researchers, Imke Kirste, says that these new cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

“We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons and integrate into the system.”

So, basically this means that silence can actually grow your brain.

Another study from 2001 defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was perceivably resting, it was still perpetually active and internalizing and evaluating information. Follow up research found that this default mode is also used in the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote that the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.”

When the brain is in a resting state it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious work space,” according to Moran and colleagues.

In other words, when the mind is not distracted by noise or goal oriented tasks there lies a quiet space that allows your conscious work space to process things in a different manner. In these periods of silence your brain has the freedom that it needs to realize it’s place in your internal as well as external world.

As Herman Melville once wrote,

“All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

Silence Has The Opposite Effect On The Brain As Noise

Noise, at pretty much any levels cause stress and tension to the body, silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal, Heart – discovered that just two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music, go figure.

The effect of noise pollution on our ability to perform a cognitive task has been studied extensively. Noise can interfere with task performance at work and school and can also be the cause for a decrease in motivation and an increase in the making of errors. Cognitive functions that are most commonly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving. You may be able to relate to this if you’ve ever tried to read or study and another person is blaring music or watching T.V. close to you, it’s almost impossible to concentrate.

Interestingly, a number of studies have also shown that children that live in houses or go to schools which are near airports or under airplane flight paths, railways, or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their cognitive and language skills.

Luckily, This Can Be Resolved

The human body is a truly remarkable thing, and the brain – well, this is beyond comprehension. In other words, it is beyond the brain to fully understand the brain, how about that? It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources and according to the attention restoration theory, when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can actually recover some of it’s cognitive abilities. When exposed to silence the brain can let down it’s heightened sensory guard and restore some of what has been lost through exposure to excess noise.

If traveling to Finland is out of your reach, don’t worry, there are many other ways to find silence. If you live in a city it might be more of a mission, but it is always possible. The sounds of nature don’t really count as noise pollution, so if you can go for a walk through a forest, or a quiet park or sit by the beach, maybe even try out a sensory deprivation tank – you can experience the benefits that come from experiencing silence. We all need it, but it’s so easy to forget about it in our buys, go, go, go type of world we’ve created. Luckily from awareness comes change, and we can choose to make time to do what’s best for our mind, body and soul.

Much Love

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Science & Technology

New Physics: Mysterious radiation pointed to the verge of discovering a “ghost” particle that makes up dark matter

New Physics: Mysterious radiation pointed to the verge of discovering a "ghost" particle that makes up dark matter 87
Photo: Daniel Molybdenum, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Physicists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the United States have found that the mysterious high-energy radiation emitted from the vicinity of a group of neutron stars may indicate the existence of axions – not yet discovered particles within the framework of New Physics, the search for which has been going on since 1977. It is assumed that special types of axions form dark matter. This is reported in an article published in the journal Physical Review Letters. The research is summarized in a press release on Phys.org.

It is believed that axions can form in the core of neutron stars and transform into photons in the presence of a powerful magnetic field. To detect the electromagnetic radiation associated with axions, you need to find stars that do not emit radiation at different wavelengths that can mask the desired signal. 

These objects include the Magnificent Seven neutron stars that emit only X-ray and ultraviolet radiation. They are located at a distance of 200-500 parsecs from the Earth.

The researchers ruled out the scenario that the excess X-rays produced by the Magnificent Seven are actually emitted by other, more distant objects. These sources would be found in datasets from the XMM-Newton and Chandra X-ray space telescopes.

The extra X-rays likely originate from axions hitting an extremely strong electromagnetic field billions of times stronger than the magnetic fields that could be created on Earth, the scientists concluded. The axions themselves resemble neutrinos in their properties, since both have insignificant masses and rarely and weakly interact with matter.

The axion is currently viewed as the most promising candidate for dark matter particles, since another hypothetical candidate, the massive WIMP particle, has gone unnoticed in experiments aimed at detecting it. 

In addition, there may be a whole family of axion-like particles that form dark matter, as suggested by string theory. If axions are found, it will prove that there is a whole new area of ​​physics outside the Standard Model describing the properties of all known particles.

To find out, the next step will be to study white dwarfs, which are not expected to emit X-rays.

“If we see an abundance of X-rays there too, our arguments will be pretty compelling,” said lead author Benjamin Safdie.

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The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear?

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 88

Various sources often talk about civilizations that lived long before us. They all developed, prospered for a while, and then disappeared in an incomprehensible way. 

What is the reason for their decline, we probably will not know. All we can do is admire the remains of stone buildings, over which time has almost no power.

While looking for an answer, we somehow accidentally stumbled upon an interesting saying about the life of Japanese samurai: “A samurai has no goal, but a path.” In the end, the “path of the samurai” ended in what is known – death. The path of any civilization ended in the same way.

If you look at the issue through the prism of a samurai saying, then there is no point in looking for why and how civilization ended its existence. Probably, the process itself and its result are important here. But to whom is it important and what result does it expect?

Mysterious director

Apparently, behind the curtains of this “ancient theater” there is a mysterious “director” who periodically makes necessary adjustments to the history of civilization.

To figure out what’s what, you need to look at current trends in science. Where does a person strive with such an irresistible desire to “play God.” This attracts him and at the same time frightens him, but in no way turns him away from the intended path. Most likely, artificial intelligence (AI) is the purpose of our civilization’s existence.

About 50 years ago it would have seemed nonsense, but to someone, perhaps even now. However, if you trace the last 100 years of the life of our civilization, you get the feeling that most of the discoveries were given to mankind at the same time. A powerful leap has taken place in a hundred years. Why did it happen?

At the beginning of the last century, scientists recognized the existence of fields that have memory and the ability to store and transmit information. It is very likely that such or a similar field can be around the Earth and, more interesting, possess intelligence. Isn’t this the same “Director” hiding behind the screen of the “ancient theater”?

If this is so, then at a certain moment the “Director” gives the selected scientist “access” to certain knowledge (perhaps even in a dream, like Mendeleev), and another scientific breakthrough occurs in the world. Step by step, discovery after discovery, humanity is steadily moving towards the creation of AI. The trend is already well visible.

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 89

AI is probably the next “Babylon”, which will combine all the knowledge, culture and accumulated experience of civilization. In the future, the neural network will enter into a connection with the general information field and leave humanity without knowledge, technology, and even a spoken language. This will be the next decline of civilization. And the “Director” will receive another array of new data (experience) in order to start creating a new civilization.

If someone believes that past civilizations ended in large-scale conflicts, then most likely this is already the consequences of “turning off” AI.

Co-founder of Skype talked about the threat of AI to humanity

One of the creators of the Skype internet call service, Jaan Ta

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 90
Photo: 
© still from the movie “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”

llinn, said that the development of artificial intelligence (AI) threatens humanity. According to him, humans face three key threats, but it is AI that should be feared most of all, the expert said. 

Tallinn explained that at the moment, no one can predict what development AI will achieve in the next decades. In addition, the fact that scientists are creating artificial intelligence that can form a new AI without human intervention is also a cause for concern.

In addition, as the co-founder of the popular video calling service noted, the development of synthetic biology also causes concern. According to him, this direction in science allows the creation of artificial DNA sequences and biological systems that may not exist in nature.

Tallinn also drew attention to the fact that he fears we are entering an era of “unknown unknowns”, things that people are not even able to imagine right now.

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Volkswagen robot will autonomously charge cars: a working prototype presented

Volkswagen robot will autonomously charge cars: a working prototype presented 91
Copyright: © VW

The renowned German car manufacturer announced a new development. This time, engineers have created a unique robot capable of autonomously charging electric vehicles. 

For more than a year, specialists have been developing this project, but only now the concern was ready to demonstrate the first working prototype. The robot is ready to charge electric vehicles and has shown the high efficiency of this process.

It is called the Mobile Charging Robot, and experts have already compared it to the R2-D2 droid from Star Wars, including squeaks and clangs. Indeed, there is a similarity. Before implementing this idea, the engineers decided that robots should be allowed to charge cars parked in large residential complexes.

This will save their owners from leaving in order to find a gas station. Another advantage is that large parking lots and garages do not have to contain several expensive charging points for electric cars. The car company said in a press release that the robot works exclusively autonomously.

It independently controls and interacts with the vehicle being charged. It opens the cover of the charging socket and independently connects the power plug, then disconnects it. The robot looks like a trailer, which is a mobile energy storage.

It is capable of charging multiple electric vehicles at the same time. Despite the fact that the manufacturer confidently praises its concept, experts saw inefficiency in the fact that first it is necessary to charge the robot’s battery, which is then used to recharge electric cars.

Volkswagen Group Components CEO Thomas Schmall noted that creating an efficient charging infrastructure for the cars of the future is an important step in the company’s development.

Its engineers focus on finding solutions to avoid costly do-it-yourself measures. The mobile robot is only part of the concept that will continue to be developed.

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