Posts tagged ‘brain’

oh sweet 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine

It is odourless and colourless. It is a white powder with the molecular formula C8H10N4O2. This stimulant of the central nervous system is a so called psychoactive drug. Used by millions daily, this xanthine-derivative is metabolised in the human liver into paraxanthine (increasing the hydrolysis of lipids, fueling muscles), theobromine (increases urine volume and dilates blood vessels, thus increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrient flow to brain and muscles) and theophylline (relaxes muscles of bronchi, increasing heart rate and efficiency).

Speaking of stimulant, after crossing the blood–brain barrier (that separates the bloodstream from the interior of the brain), it binds to adenosine receptors on the surface of cells without activating them, acting as competitive inhibitor (preventing the binding of substrate molecules). By counteracting adenosine (supposably protecting the brain by suppressing neural activity), the cerebral blood flow is increased and thus warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness. Although, I am not sure how much is already scientifically proven.
Adenosine itself is used for energy transfers (as adenosine triphosphate ATP and adenosine diphosphate ADP) as well as signal transduction (cyclic adenosine monophosphate cAMP). Wikipedia says: “it is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter, believed to play a role in promoting sleep and suppressing arousal, with levels increasing with each hour an organism is awake.

Where was I? Oh, I just rediscovered my old filter coffee maker. I don’t know how exactly it works, but it produces about 60 milligrams of this genial substance, also called caffeine, for each cup of coffee. I can’t imagine how I managed to survive only one day without this low technological wonder.
Enjoy up to 4 cups daily, effects from 15 minutes after to about until 4 hours later. Rock on!

BTW: not every organism is built to deal with caffeine! Respect for the scientists who tested the effect on spiders. Caffeinated spiders by NASA, published in New Scientist.
caffeinated spiderwebs

January 16, 2010 at 3:14 pm 1 comment

How to solve problem-free situations

As you may have realised about 50 postings later, these texts are not about real problems. Most of these statements are meant to help to concentrate on our own greatest fault: the imaginary creation of problems where there are none. They are thought to show, quite plainly and maybe in an a bit exaggerated way, the simplicity of most things without our complex thinking overhead. Some might call that satiric. Well, to be honest, I’d like to go a bit with Oscar Wilde who said “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you”.
Alright, this is the 49th post; the last of the 7th series with seven texts per series, each from 200 to 300 words. So much for the statistics. Now, I could ask if it’s fun to read for anyone else besides myself. Or maybe, if another mind can understand or even enjoy such sentences like the one where I compare courage to a blind fly in the previous post How to run on caffeine.

Are the hours of sweating brain waves, producing more firing neurons than rockets in New York city – on New Year’s Eve – for such punchlines like used in In the dark shadows die appreciated or even noticed? Don’t worry, I won’t ask. Nevertheless, I really value every comment – except those about cheap Viagra and other tasty pills, those bastards never deliver. Anyway, if you got something to say, say it, or else stop making noise.
Once the crisis got out of your hands, you can stop worrying!

March 19, 2008 at 8:42 pm Leave a comment

How to clear your mind

Everybody has a mind of their own. And that is true in every sense of these words. Previous posts show that this makes for example the subject of communication a little – well, rather much more complex. Other influences are on possible ways to find your focus and concentration for specific actions. Some do sports, others take drugs and a few undergo brain surgery. Honestly, most of these solutions I would not really recommend.
The best thing to do with probably the fewest side effects is to find out what’s bothering you and thus is stealing your attention. As next step, you have to find out the expiration date of this problem. Afterwards, all you should do is find yourself the best conclusion you can make for this special issue until something changes after its expiration. Then, the hardest part is to draw the final stroke.

If you got too much on your mind and you need to get rid of it very fast, you’ll need to focus on something really important for you. Like you are thinking about relationship troubles, problems at your job, a family with murderous intentions and you’re currently falling of a cliff. I’d tell you: you better concentrate at your biggest threat. Usually, you’re in situations where you should focus on an important business, but you’re having troubles caused by crazy weighted neurons. Whose fault is that? Never mind, find a picture, some piece of music or information which is most interesting for you at the moment. Concentrate on it and afterwards try to go directly into the matter that’s most important.
If you’re hungry right now, look up procrastination!

March 6, 2008 at 8:06 am 3 comments

Thinking in statistical evaluations

How do you work? If you’d know a bit of Neuroscience you could probably tell me how neurons connect via synapses to each other within our brains and let us feel, memorise and react. One feature that often strikes me in contrast to computers, networks and artificial intelligence is that there is no difference between the process of reading and writing data for our brains. As soon as we remember something, we refresh connections and make a specific memory stronger. This is quite important to know as it gets impossible to see or hear a wrong fact and just not ‘write’ it down in our memory. I couldn’t say how often you would have to call someone by a different name until it’s ‘their’ name. Obviously it works. One example are nicknames, but also on a higher scale, things we name until they find their way to the global dictionaries as soon as they become commonly known.

Even if that doesn’t sound like the snake of Kekulé, I think it’s an important thing we pay too less attention to. There are theses that suggest a connection between search requests for data on the Internet and common knowledge. Thus, allowing someone to compare the search results for different spellings of words. Requests with more occurrences are more likely to be correct. Then again, we may also associate that with the personal knowledge within our own brains. Your ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ is perhaps only a comparison between two values or weights.
If everything’s made up, when is it appropriate to laugh?

January 28, 2008 at 8:42 pm Leave a comment

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