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Update

Hello!

Thank you to whoever is viewing this and to anyone who follows my blog or has left lovely comments on any of my posts. It has really boosted my blogging confidence! This blog has over 12,500 hits, which is rather a lot and I don’t know how that’s happened! However, I apologise again for not updating enough during the course of my undergraduate degree in Psychology. I guess on top of all the work there is to do (particularly now I’m in the process of writing my dissertation) there just isn’t enough motivation/time left to write even more about Psychology on the blog as well. Overall though, to anyone who is thinking about studying a degree in Psychology- DO IT! It is a degree that will open so many doors for you career-wise as it has such vast application. It will give you a whole new way of looking at things, make you a more empathetic and understanding person as well as boosting your self confidence. I’m coming towards the end of my degree now, with graduation very close on the horizon and I am feeling quite sad but happy too. Ready to start a new chapter in my life!

In other news,  I’ve started a food blog! You can view it here:

http://theveryhungryprocrastinator.wordpress.com/

Hopefully I’ll update this one more often…

Thanks again to everyone who’s enjoyed the blog x

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The Universe, The Brain and a Mouse.

Brain scanning technology is quickly approachi...

In one of my third (and final) year university lectures last week, we were being taught about MRI  (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and our lecturer wanted to demonstrate the sheer complexity of the brain. She explained that it is easy to over simplify the brain when describing it in terms of it’s regions or in terms of neurons. A lot of psychology is concerned with pinpointing certain areas that correlate with certain functions or behaviours. But the reality is that the brain is way more complicated than that. The brain is a series of connections and pathways that strengthen and weaken and some stop working altogether (this is also a simplification). Throughout my degree, I’ve been thinking I had a good understanding of the scale and complexity of the brain until I saw the video that my lecturer showed us.

(Needs to be watched in HD)

This is a journey through a mouse’s Somatosensory cortex. A tiny portion of the mouse’s 1mm thick cortex.

Green: Thy1HYFP (Layer 5B Neuron Subset 35% of total neurons)
•Blue: Tubulin (Dendrites, Axon Cores)
•Red:SynapsinI (Synapses)
•Each red synapse contains about 100,000 protein
switches
•Six million synapses in the Assue volume shown
•At least one hundred billion synapses in the whole mouse brain
…and the human brain is of course much bigger and has hundred of trillions of synapses.
I won’t go into how they took these images as I don’t even understand it fully but if you’d like to read the paper the reference is-
Micheva, K.D.,Busse, B.L.,Weiler, N.C., O’Rourke, N., Smith, S.J, (2010). Single synapse analysis of a diverse synapse population: Proteomic imaging methods and markers. Neuron 68:639
That might give you an idea of the complexity we are dealing with here. It certainly ‘blew my mind’ as it were and also it got me thinking and daydreaming philosophically for the rest of the lecture…
The brain is sort of like the Universe isn’t it?  Each subject is at opposite ends of the spectrum: micro science and macro science but they are similar in that they have that scale of complexity that gives you a headache when you try to comprehend it.
Some physicists have apparently found evidence that the Universe is like a giant brain, which is certainly a fascinating concept! http://www.themindunleashed.org/2013/07/physicists-find-evidence-that-universe.html
I just think that picture is a beautiful example of how complex and amazing we all are!
Note to self: Stop thinking about the Universe when you should be thinking about fMRI experimental designs.

Apologies!

I haven’t written on here since last year! I’ve been so busy with year two of my Psychology degree I haven’t had much time to update the blog. I have a whole summer free now though. There has been a lot of interest in the ‘Psychology meets art’ section, particularly in the subject of creative people with mental illnesses so I hope to bring a part two very soon along with an update on what it’s like to study Psychology and everything that is interesting me at the moment!

Thank you if you are reading this. Updates soon!

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

A follow up to my previous post about Autism. Here is another fascinating documentary that focuses on the importance of understanding that everyone views the world in different ways. Exclusive footage of the process of diagnosing Autism in the UK is also shown.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01lyczl/Growing_Children_Autism/

Note: I am not sure if this link will work for those outside the UK. Apologies.
Further info: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/whats-on/tv/ou-on-the-bbc-growing-children

attitude

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” William James

Understanding Autism (mental disorders awareness)

It is currently the last week before my exams so I haven’t been able to write a proper blog post. Will be posting properly again soon! However, here is a link to a brilliant documentary on Autism by Louis Theroux. It includes very honest accounts about what life is like for families in the USA who have children with Autism. The documentary also follows the amazing children and staff at the inspirational Developmental Learning Center in Warren, New Jersey. I understand that if you are not from the UK then this link might not work- apologies!

Louis Theroux – Louis Theroux – Extreme Love – 1. Autism

Louis Theroux. Foto: Gaute Singstad.

Louis Theroux. Foto: Gaute Singstad. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)