Dreams are a complex phenomenon that most people experience during sleep. They are characterized by a series of thoughts, images, and emotions that are felt and recalled sometimes with high vividness. Such activity is associated with the so-called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep phase, which entails a separate phase from the no-REM (NREM) sleep cycle. Brainwave activity linked to REM sleep resembles that of the waking brain making it hard to distinguish between them. Recently, new research has found for the first time a novel brain pattern that allows predicting when someone is dreaming and even the content of dreams. In this post, you will get to know better what is going on in the brain when you dream and the purpose of dreaming.Continue reading “Dreaming: A peculiar form of cognitive activity”
Visual information is a key aspect of human perception that facilitates successful interaction with the environment. When moving, we experience the perception of self-motion adapting our velocity and body posture to space. In part, this is possible because of the close link between two brain systems: the visual cortex and the vestibular cortex. The main assumption is that both systems contribute to distinguishing between self-motion and motion of the environment. However, sometimes these two systems are in conflict like when we experience self-motion when actually is the scene that moves and not us as happens in a simulator or virtual reality settings. This phenomenon of illusory self-motion is called “vection” and has been well investigated during the last decades.
An illusion for you but a conflict in your brain
Have you ever been seating on a stationary train before departing when the train on the neighboring track begins to move? You will probably feel like the train you are sitting in is starting to move instead of the train on the next track. This is a real-life situation that perfectly illustrates the experience of illusory self-motion perception. The good news is that there is a scientific explanation.
One of the most interesting topics in the field of emotional development research relates to infants´ capacity to express and experience different emotional states. A general question refers to when emotions first emerge in humans life. Approach and withdrawal are two important concepts in the definition of human´s emotions. Both constructs have not typically been viewed as features of infant emotional behavior until late in the first year. However, when looking directly into infants´ brain, researchers have found a different story suggesting that infants experience positive and negative emotions from birth but in a very basic way and not as adults do.
Infants´ emotions are not equivalent to adults emotions