They call him the human camera. Stephen Wiltshire was born in London in 1974. As a child, Stephen was a mute. At the age of three he was diagnosed as autistic, and in that same year his father died in a motorcycle accident. At five he was sent to the Queensmill School for the autistic in London. The instructors there discovered that Stephen had an intense passion for art. Even as a child, his skill and attention to detail was exceptional.
Tag Archives: brain
I’m no saint. Just like everyone else, I get frustrated with people from time to time. If you catch me after a particularly maddening encounter, you may hear the words “ignorant”, “bigoted”, “close-minded”, and maybe even “asshole”. But one word you will never hear me use to describe a person is “dumb”. The increasingly popular idea that the world is full of stupid people is a basic misunderstanding of what it means to be “smart”. Real intelligence is simply the measure of a person’s curiosity.
Professor Florian Holzapfel and aerospace engineer Tim Fricke are leading a team of researchers at Technische Universität München (TUM), with the goal of creating an aircraft that can be controlled by thought alone. To do this, the team created a highly specialized helmet covered in electroencephalography electrodes, which are able to record the electrical impulses that come from our brain. These signals are then translated into flight commands using a complex computer algorithm created by scientists at the Berlin Institute of Technology. A
Sam Shames is an MIT student who had spent a lot of time dealing with a fairly common problem: he tends to run hot while his mom tends to run cold. Sam realized that there had to be a better way to accommodate them both. He set about doing research on how our bodies regulate temperature. In one particular paper, he found some key information: the study talked about how locally heating or cooling small areas on our body can have major
The average human brain weighs only about 3 pounds, but contains upwards of 80 billion brain cells, or neurons. Nearly every detail about who we are and how we behave is locked in the connections between these neurons. Check out this awesome infographic video from Nicolás Borie Williams which helps you visualize things on the same tiny scale that our brains operate on.
Have you ever been dealing with a particularly difficult situation and decided to take a walk to clear your head? Well, a new study from Stanford suggests that there is real scientific evidence that walking improves your creative thinking. The recently published study was co-authored by Marily Oppezzo, a Stanford doctoral graduate in the field of educational psychology, and Daniel Schwartz, a professor of education at Stanford. To test out the theory, the researchers compared levels of creative thinking under a number of different conditions:
Meet Henry. In his younger days he was a vibrant, fun-loving man who was always full of energy. As Henry grew older and his health began to deteriorate, however, he became more and more depressed and withdrawn. It got to the point where Henry was almost completely unresponsive. Enter Dan Cohen. Dan is a social worker who came up with the genius idea of giving iPods to seniors, customized with music from their era. This video (an excerpt from the documentary
Rats are misunderstood. Because they happen to prefer the grimier habitations of this world, we have a natural fear of them. However, the average rat is just as intelligent as the average dog! These guys will prove it to you.
A young woman in the Netherlands had spent all her 22 years suffering from a bone disorder that increased the thickness of her skull. At the time of the procedure, it was 5cm thick (normal skulls are around 1.5cm). The extra bone was putting pressure on her brain, causing vision problems and chronic headaches. So a team of brain surgeons from University Medical Centre in Utrecht in the Netherlands decided to attempt a bold procedure: removing the top half of her skull and replacing it with
Last August, a team of scientists and researchers from Japan and Germany set out to create a simulation of human brain activity. Aware of the brain’s complexity, the research team set a seemingly conservative goal: simulate 1% of 1 second of brain activity using Japan’s K computer, a supercomputer composed of 82,000 processors (each with 16GB of memory). The K computer was the world’s fastest computer up until 2011 and now sits at #4 on the list. So how long