Thursday, June 30, 2011

World’s loudest creature (for its size) « Why Evolution Is True

World’s loudest creature (for its size) « Why Evolution Is True

What does a child dream?!

A new born child dreams! What does it dream about?! Dreams are supposed to be the reflections of the subconscious or physiologically speaking they can be neurobiological response which occurs during the sleep. Oneirology, the study of dreams attempts to understand the purpose of dreams to the body and mind.

But how and what adoes a child dream about is a question which is very intriguing to me. Because a newborn child wouldn't have experienced external environment except during its gestation period and its passage through the mothers womb to this world. Would like to know more and if anyone can share their knowledge it would be so good. 

Of course there are many different ways of justifying a newborn child's dreams, the most common one being considering the child akin to 'god'. Hence, it is said that a child's soul is connected to the universe and it converses with it in its dreams. I am not looking for such reasons which do not stand the reason of science. Well, I was curious. After some searching found some interesting science on it.  

Neurocognitive model of dreams ( by Domhoff 2002 provides and analyses the neurophysiological substrate, conceptual schemes and scripts and the contents of dreams. It analyzes dreaming and dreams in these aspects among adults and children. The longitudinal study and cross sectional studies reviewed by Domhoff includes children starting at 3 years up to 15 years in different study grouping of ages. Domhoff says, 
  The likelihood that preschool children do not dream often or well may have implications for an unexpected finding in studies of how children come to understand imagination, pretense, and dreams. Several studies suggest that by age 3 children understand mental states and readily distinguish between the real and the imaginary. However, preschool children do less well on questions inquiring about dreams: "Whereas 3- and 4-year-olds are reported to have a sensitive understanding of the origins of imagination, early work on dreams suggests that children of this same age are quite confused about their origins" (Woolley, 1995, p. 195). Some 3-year-olds also "appeared to conceive of dreams as shared fantasies, claiming that dream content is shared between sleeping individuals" (Woolley, 1995, p. 189).
Domhoff goes on explaining how the dreaming gets better as the child ages: 
Once children have the ability to dream, their linguistic and descriptive skills begin to correlate with the length and narrative complexity of their dream reports. Still, it is not until ages 11-13 that dream content shows any relationship to personality dimensions. For example, individualistic and assertive children portray themselves as more active in their dreams. Children with more violence in their waking fantasies have more aggressive interactions in their dreams, and those who display the most hostility before going to bed in the laboratory more often dream of themselves as angry. These findings on the continuity of dream content with waking thought support findings in earlier studies of children in the laboratory (Foulkes, 1967; Foulkes, Larson, Swanson, & Rardin, 1969; Foulkes et al., 1967). They suggest that dreams can reflect personal concerns and emotional preoccupations once there is an adequate level of cognitive development. As shown in Domhoff (1996) and by evidence presented throughout this book, this finding is all that remains of the large claims by Freud and Jung.
 The neural maturation of young children's brains provides partial reasons for visuospatial skills and  its relationship with a child's ability to cognitively report the dream. The review takes us with many hypothesis put-forth and tested on the possibility that development of dreams is related to neural network maturation.     
 Indeed, the fact that myelination of the inferior parietal lobules is not functionally complete until ages 5-7 may be part of the reason why dreaming is not fully developed until after that age period (Janowsky & Carper, 1996; Solms, 1999). The fruitfulness of this approach is also seen in studies showing that the presence or absence of visual imagery in blind adults depends upon whether they lost their sight before or after age 5-7 (Hurovitz, Dunn, Domhoff, & Fiss, 1999). 
He concludes that chapter stating that dreams could have a neurocognitive rather than simply a neuropsychological explaination in the sense that development of the general neural system is related with the development of dreams. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Oops! That crow remembers me!!

If you have ever thrown a stone at a crow beware! It will remember your face and whats more it will spread its distress about you to its mob too!. It is shown that the crow might even remember your face for lifetime! 

According to a new study published in the latest Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a crow will remember the 'threatening human' and even scolds bringing along with it its relatives and strangers to mob you. 

Bothered crows may at first "give harsh calls, which we call 'scolds' that attract other crows who are nearby to join in the mob," according to study co-author John Marzluff. "The mob of two to 15 birds hounds us, sometimes diving from the sky to within a few meters or less -- This pursuit lasts about 100 meters (328 feet) as we walk away."

The authors say that once rubbed the face of a threatening human will stay in its memory for at least five years.

"Our study shows the memory lasts at least five years and counting," Marzluff said. "Individual crows that are adults can live 15-40 years in the wild (most die when young, but those that make it to adulthood can live a long time) and they probably remember important associations they have formed for much of their lives."

Studies of such kind provide us insight into social learning among city dwelling birds and how they are accommodating with us. Also it highlights the marvelous tool which only we humans have to our advantage: language for communication. Birds and animals only have vocalization and other gestures.    

Diseases eradicated on planet earth: Now two!!

UN declares deadly cattle plague (rinderpest) eradicated after global campaign. Watch the video of the deadly cattle plague eradicated. This deadly infectious disease has caused devastating economic loss mainly in Africa, Asia and Europe by infecting cattle, buffalo and other animals. Millions of cattle have suffered and died because of this disease. Now the human achievement has wiped this disease out!  (For details the link below)
UN declares deadly cattle plague eradicated after global campaign

Lab cooked 'Food' to survive when we outgrow food supply!

Lab-Grown Burgers | The Scientist

If we humans ever outgrow our food supply then not to worry as scientists at Netherlands have finally won producing meat food out of  cow stem cells in a test tube!! They have already grown pork hamburger, so now added is beef hamburger but their only concern is how to make it palatable! For details in a nut shell go to the link provided!

Astounding Mating Dance Birds of Paradise -- High Quality

NATURE | Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air | Hovering | PBS

Check out this video capturing the stunning abilities of  magical humming birds!!

These birds always mystified and allured me since childhood.

Such fun and exhilaration to watch them hover!!

Enjoy watching :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Richard Dawkins on Futureproof - Richard Dawkins - -

Richard Dawkins on Futureproof - Richard Dawkins - -

The Rap Guide to Human Nature | Baba Brinkman

Baba Brinkman is a rap artiste who is best known for his efforts to spread the importance of Charles Darwin' theory of Evolution. He has toured many schools bringing Chaucer and Darwin's works into life on stage to educate children about evolution as well as condemning creationism.

His Hip-Hop albums are peer reviewed!! Moreover, they are awesome to listen!

He is the first ever rap artiste who is using his music to spread the importance of evolution in peoples' lives and its so amazing to see his work.

Below is the link to his website where you can listen to his music and see his work :)

The Rap Guide to Human Nature | Baba Brinkman

Monday, June 27, 2011

The amazing ways of nature!!!

The way nature works is amazing and its ways are mysterious! Humans think that they are the greatest achievers on planet earth controlling every other creature but thats just an illusion under which it is living!
Watch this video which provides just one of several examples of the ways creatures have developed to survive and unlearn!

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported LicenseCreative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.