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Gender Myth Busted: Study Shows No Such Thing As Male & Female Brains

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According to an article written for Psychology Today titled “Brain Differences Between Genders,” written by Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D., the differences between genders extend far beyond physical appearance and general character traits, comprising instead major distinguishers between male and female brains.

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Much research supports this view. Scientists know, for example, that sex hormones begin to exert their influence during fetal development, and a recent study conducted by Israeli researchers which examined male and female brains found distinct differences in the developing fetus as early as 26 weeks into pregnancy. Using an ultrasound scanner, researchers were able to determine that the corpus callosum — the bridge of nerve tissue that connects the right and left sides of the brain — had thicker measurements in female fetuses compared to male fetuses. Adult brain scans have shown that this area might also remain larger in females.

Many more studies focus on this divide as well. However, according to a study done last year, which was the very first to search for sex differences across the entire human brain, most people actually have a mix of male and female features, suggesting that gender classifications in various situations are essentially meaningless. Meg John Barker, a psychologist at Open University in Milton Keynes, UK, explains that this study “provides biological support for something that we’ve known for some time—that gender isn’t binary.”

Researchers examined MRI images of 1,400 different people between the ages of 13 and 85, searching for differences in the size of various brain regions as well as the connections between them. 29 regions in the brain were identified to have some differences, including the hippocampus, but when they looked at each individual brain scan, they found that only a few people — between 0 and 8 percent — had “all male” or “all female” brains. Daphna Joel, a psychologist at Tel-Aviv University involved in the study, asserts that “most people are in the middle.” (source)

This study adds nuance to our understanding of gender, offering proof that, while differences in brain structures do exist between genders on average, when we look at individual brains, these differences are less substantial, with most people showing features typical to both male and female brains.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesand of the 1,400 brains scanned, up to 53 percent showed a mix of male and female characteristics. As mentioned above, only between  0 and 8 percent were distinctly male or female.

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It’s a very significant study which negates our traditional views of gender being completely binary, and given the number of studies which argue otherwise, it will no doubt come as a surprise to many researchers.

In response to the study, scientist Bruce McEwen at the Rockefeller University in New York remarked to New Scientist that we “are beginning to realise the complexity of what we have traditionally understood to be ‘male’ and ‘female’, and this study is the first step in that direction. I think it will change peoples’ minds.”

Lisa Eliot, a neuroscientist at Chicago Medical School in Illinois, stated of the study that “nobody has had a way of quantifying this before. Everything they’ve done here is new.”

Gender Myths and Cultural Expectations. 

“We separate girls and boys, men and women all the time. It’s wrong, not just politically, but scientifically – everyone is different.”

– Daphna Joel, a psychologist at Tel-Aviv University

“We need to start thinking a lot more carefully about how much weight we give to gender as a defining feature of human beings, and stop asking for it in situations where it simply isn’t relevant.”

– Meg John Barker, a psychologist at the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK

While we have come a long way towards establishing gender equality, gender myths still pervade every aspect of society in today’s world. The male obsession with sex is a commonplace in popular culture which not only diminishes the sensitivity and intelligence of men but denies the sexuality of women, who are often portrayed as disliking both sex and masturbation.

Stereotypes like women being gossips or men being better at math are other examples, but there are many to choose from. Throw in cultural expectations for how each gender should dress and behave alongside targeted advertising and marketing, and the problem becomes more complicated still. Gender stereotypes continue to persist, and for years scientists have been focusing on our differences (which do exist) rather than our similarities. Why are we so obsessed with our differences, and why do we view these differences as a barrier between us instead of something that can unite us?

“If a neuroscientist was given someone’s brain without their body or any additional information, they would still probably be able to guess if it had belonged to a man or a woman. Men’s brains are larger, for example, and are likely to have a larger number of “male” features overall. But the new findings suggest that it is impossible to predict what mix of brain features a person is likely to have based on their sex alone.” 

New Scientist writer Jessica Hamzelou, author of “Scans prove there’s no such thing as a ‘male’ or ‘female’ brain” (source)

This study also offers further compelling evidence that men and women are more similar than we once thought. The team analyzed multiple datasets which evaluated behaviours that are considered to be highly gender stereotypical, such as scrapbooking, taking a bath, or playing video games, and researchers found that individuals were just as variable for these measures, with only 0.1 percent of the subjects displaying only stereotypically-male or only stereotypically-female behaviours.

According to Joel, “there is no sense in talking about male nature and female nature. There is no one person that has all the male characteristics and another person that has all the female characteristics. Or if they exist they are really, really rare to find.” (source)

Interesting stuff, isn’t it? Who would have thought that our brains, although they do show some differences depending on your gender, are mostly a mix of both male and female characteristics.

Below is a related CE article you might be interested in checking out. We have many more on the topic, so feel free to use the search bar using phrases like ‘female gender,’ ‘male gender,’ and ‘gender equality’ to find more.

These beautiful drawings showcase how we stereotype the female gender and why we need to stop. 

Sources:

“Scans prove there’s no such thing as a ‘male’ or ‘female’ brain.” Written by Jessica Hamzelou in the December 5-11, 2015 edition of New Scientist Magazine.

All other sources are embedded throughout the article.

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MIT’s Wearable Headpiece Can Hear The Words You ‘Say’ In Your Mind

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new tech out of MIT uses electrodes to pick up the movements and frequencies from your voice through bone-conduction. It's being coined a 'mind reading' device.

  • Reflect On:

    Is it important we consider the implications of using so much technology that has the potential to rob us of our privacy before we jump on the bandwagon?

While the concept of subvocalization may sound like something straight out of a science fiction movie, like many things nowadays, it is becoming a part of our reality. Subvocalization is the practice of quietly saying things in your head while we read, the majority of us do this even if we don’t realize it. Recently, MIT researchers have begun to use this process as a way to interact with mobile devices and computers. Essentially, they have developed a device that you wear on your face that effectively measures the neuromuscular signals that are triggered whenever you subvocalize something in your head.

So, if you’re wondering what the point of this gadget is, when we already have voice technology like Hey Siri and OK Google — well, you’re not alone.

This MIT system includes electrodes that pick up the movements when you verbalize internally as well as bone-conduction headphones, which use the vibrations that are sent to the bones of your inner ear without obstructing your ear canal. These signals are then sent to a computer that is able to use neural networks to distinguish the words. This system has been used so far to navigate a Roku, and for reporting your opponent’ movies in a game of chess in order to get the best counter moves all in complete silence.

“The motivation for this was to build an IA device — an intelligence-augmentation device, our idea was: Could we have a computing platform that’s more internal, that melds human and machine in some ways and that feels like an internal extension of our own cognition?” says Arnav Kapur, a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab in a statement.

So far the device has a rather limited vocabulary of about 20 words, and while it is clever, researchers say that it is still limited. It has a 92 percent accuracy with the 20 words, although they expect it to scale up and get more sophisticated over time.

“We’re in the middle of collecting data, and the results look nice,” Kapur says. “I think we’ll achieve full conversation some day.”

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What Are The Implications?

Imagine being able to control your television, send text messages, ask for directions all without uttering a word? This could soon be a reality. The kicker? If this became a device that we could use instead of using a speech device, could the words that we are thinking inside our heads be sent and stored to someone who might be listening?  To me, this device seems a little too close for comfort and is resembling yet another concept from George Orwell’s classic, ‘1984,’ the thought police, who have the ability to read your mind and make arrests if anyone is even thinking about stepping out of line.

Before jumping on the tech bandwagon it is very important to understand the potential implications of having these devices literally, too close for comfort. It is really not that difficult to say voice commands to control your phone or send texts, but many feel that even that software could be capable of recording your every word whether you are commanding it to or not. Another example of this is a story we covered a few years ago about how Samsung Smart TV’s were admittedly recording your conversations, this is yet another similar concept from ‘1984,’ the telescreens that would record everything going on inside the homes of the citizens.

With that being said, it is important to know that we do not need to fear this technology, but yes, we absolutely need to be aware of the implications no matter how cool, sleek or convenient it may appear to you.

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Geckos Are Able To Heal & Regenerate Parts Of Their Brain, Which May Mean We Can Too

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The human brain has more in common with lizards than it does with amphibians. The discovery that geckos can regenerate parts of their brains leaves some scientists thinking that maybe humans can too.

  • Reflect On:

    Perhaps it is possible for the human brain, when healthy, to regenerate damaged or diseased cells? We are a step closer to finding this out.

Lizards have a unique ability to regenerate their tails and spinal chords, and recently, researchers from the University of Guelph discovered that geckos can actually regenerate parts of their brain as well. Because of the connection between lizard brains and human brains (reptilian brain), this could be good news for us too. It could be the beginning of a new realm of research for treatment methods of injuries and degeneration from the human brain.

The study was published last month in the journal Scientific Reports. Because of the knowledge of the geckos’ ability to regenerate parts of their body, it led the researchers to see what was going on in gecko brains. They injected leopard geckos with a chemical label that allowed them to detect within the DNA any newly formed cells, which allowed them to examine new cells as they showed up in the geckos’ brains.

The Results?

The researchers found even more cells than what they had anticipated — including a type of stem cell that regularly turned into brain cells in the geckos’ medial cortex. This is the part of the brain that has the same function as the hippocampus in humans. This was the very first discovery for scientists finding out that stem cells were involved in the formation of new neurons in the leopard gecko’s brain.

“The brain is a complex organ and there are so few good treatments for brain injury, so this is a very exciting area of research,” said Prof. Matthew Vickaryous in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).

“The findings indicate that gecko brains are constantly renewing brain cells, something that humans are notoriously bad at doing,” he said.

If you didn’t already know, lizards are more closely related to humans than amphibians or fish, which are typically studied in research involving regeneration. This groundbreaking study could actually change the way that the human brain is studied, more so that previous studies involving regeneration.

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“Most regeneration research has looked at zebrafish or salamanders. Our work uses lizards, which are more closely related to mammals than either fish or amphibians,” said Rebecca McDonald, a master’s student who led the study.

“The findings indicate that gecko brains are constantly renewing brain cells, something that humans are notoriously bad at doing,” said Matthew Vickaryous, McDonald’s co-author on the study, in the news release. “The next step in this area of research is to determine why some species, like geckos, can replace brain cells while other species, like humans, cannot.”

Neuroplasticity

While human brains may not be the best at regenerating brain cells (although fasting has been shown to do this), there has been a great deal of research over the past decade or so into the study of neuroplasticity. This is the brain’s ability to form new neural connections throughout one’s life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (specifically, nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.

This is the opposite of the saying, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. To just assume that the brain is how it is and can only learn new information up to a certain age is incorrect, and luckily we are seeing a lot of science that is proving this.

Perhaps combined with the research of gecko brains, scientists will be able to determine how to trigger this type of regeneration. It has the potential to help heal degenerative diseases and those who have suffered brain injuries or brain damage.

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New Physics Theory Questions The Big Bang: How Did Our Universe Really Begin?

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Popular writer and scholar Graham Hancock once said that we’re like a species with amnesia, and it’s true, the origins of the human race, and the universe is supposedly unknown to us. But it’s human nature to question things, and as a result, we’ve developed a few theories that despite being pushed as fact within the mainstream educational realm, they’re not scientifically sound in several ways and actually appear to be very weak. The theory of evolution is one great example, and the big bang is another.

The big bang theory suggests that everything in existence results from one event that sparked the creation of physical matter and that everything in our entire universe, and in existence as we know it, was part of a single, infinitely dense point, also known as the “singularity.”  Scientists estimate that it occurred approximately 13 billions of years ago, which created ‘cosmic inflation’ milliseconds afterwards.

The theory has come under a tremendous amount of scrutiny over the years, almost to the point where it should be deemed false, or at the very least, admit that our universe, other universes and also dimensions, have resulted from something far greater and perhaps more complex than our ‘intelligent’ explanation.

There are numerous examples that span scientific literature for several years. For example, the cover story of the April 2011 edition of Scientific American included the article, “Quantum Gaps in Big Bang Theory: Why Our Best Explanation of How the Universe Evolved Must Be Fixed – or Replaced.”

As Jim Mars points out, in his, “Our Occulted History.”

“In the article, Paul J. Steinhardt, director of Princeton University’s Center for Theoretical Science, pointed out that astrophysicists have left a number of problems with the theory unresolved, stating that “the case against the Big Bang theory challenges the logical foundations of the theory. Does the theory really work as advertised? Are the predictions made in the early 1980’s still the predictions of the inflationary model as we understand it today? There is an argument to be made that the answer to both questions is no.”

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Numerous discoveries have come to light when it comes to examining the nature of our reality, and we now know, through quantum physics, that consciousness has a direct relationship with what we regard as physical material matter. We also have evidence which suggests that consciousness might not be a product of our brain, and can exist without the physical body. On the other hand, we have no evidence that shows consciousness is a direct byproduct of the brain.

Research in quantum physics and parapsychology has also seen quantum phenomenon occur at classical physical scales, which is also very interesting. One example in itself would be how consciousness can influence physical material reality, but also real world, documented examples of people with special abilities who are about to influence matter with their mind.

This also brings up huge questions with regards to consciousness, does it come before matter, or after matter? Is consciousness required for the creation of matter, and, if it is, what does that say about the big bang theory? The fact that the origins of our universe might have a non-physical, non-material origin, which is being shown by science, is simply hard for many to accept.

I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” – Max Planck, the originator of quantum theory (source)

It’s not only the connection between quantum physics and our physical material world but what we once thought was nothing, is actually something.

No point is more central than this, that space is not empty, it is the seat of the most violent physics – John Wheeler

The fact of the matter is, space is not empty, and it’s full of energy. What we once thought was nothing, is not, and this is no longer trivial in the world of physics. How much energy? According to Nassim Haramein, “there’s a lot of it and we can actually calculate how much energy there is in that space and that reality might actually come out of it. Everything we see is actually emerging from that space.

Now we know that there is the possibility that matter is formed from this void, from this ’empty space,’ it’s one of many examples where ancient knowledge is coming together with modern-day science. We see this with quantum physics, neuroscience, Buddhism and other sects of ancient eastern philosophy.

Idham thadhakshare parame vyoman

This is from ancient Vedic scripture, and it means “the aakaash is not destructible, it is the primordial absolute substratum that creates cosmic matter and hence it is:

The Aakash is not destructible, it is the primordial absolute substratum that creates cosmic matter and hence it is:

Parame vyoman

“The aakaash is the eternally existent, superfluid reality, for which creation and destruction are inapplicable.”

This “aakaash” has been written about since the beginning of time, which again, is super interesting given the fact that in this day in age, we can actually detect it!

We’ll get to that later…

Mainstream science and education, or those who create it, continue to hide this from our textbooks, in the same way, they don’t teach students about Nikola Tesla…

All perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the akasha or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life-giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never-ending cycles all things and phenomena – Nikola Tesla, Man’s Greatest Achievement, 1907.

This is one of my favourite examples from antiquity, although there are several:

And they allowed Apollonius to ask questions; and he asked them of what they thought the cosmos was composed; but they replied; “Of elements.” “Are there then four?” he asked. “Not four,” said Larchas,  “but five.” “And how can there be a fifth,” said Apollonius, “alongside of water and air and earth and fire?” “There is the ether,” replied the other, “which we must regard as the stuff of which gods are made; for just as all mortal creatures inhale the wire, so do immortal and divine natures inhale the ether.” “Am I,” said Appollonius, “to regard the universe as a living creature?” “Yes,” said the other. – The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Philostratus, 220AD (source)

Related CE Article: How Vedic Philosophy Influenced Nikola Tesla’s Idea of “Free Energy.” 

The most recent discovery in this field comes from the late Paramahamsa Tewari, the former Project Director of the Kaiga Atomic Power Project, and retired Executive Nuclear Director, Nuclear Power Corporation, in the Department of Atomic Energy in India.  He recently published a paper in Physics Essays titled  “structural relation between the Vacuum Space and The Electron. You can access the full study here.

The study discusses how this non-material superfluid, also discussed by the ancients, is the makeup of space, also known as the vacuum. It’s incompressible, non-material, massless and not perceivable to the human senses, and it can pose a steady flow varying from zero to light velocity.

This paper presents a formulation of Absolute principles for vacuum-space that enable revealing the process of creation of a stable electron and its known properties of mass and charge. Fundamental questions on the electron’s charge and mass are derived from first principles from the vacuum vortex of the electron’s structure. Also, generation of electrostatic, electromagnetic, and gravitational fields are shown to arise from the vacuum vortex structure of the electron. The electron and positron have been pinpointed to be the fundamental particles of matter.

So basically, the matter is created within these pockets of “empty space” which exists from space.

What’s even more shocking is that Tewari has developed an electrical generator that proves the theory, and it’s over-unity (free energy). A prototype of the machine was built and tested by Kirloskar Electric, a manufacturer of electrical generators in India. There, it exhibited 165 % efficiency (over-unity).

Below is a picture with, from right, Paramahamsa Tewari, Executive Director Nuclear Power Corporation, Ret., Murlidhar Rao, Technical Director, Karnataka Power Corporation, Ret., Chief Engineer, electrical engineer, a mechanical engineer. From Left, Vice President of Kirloskar Rotating Machines Group, General Manager Hubli facility.

 

Below is a Discussion of test results during the filming of AUS DEM NICHTS (Out of the Void), with the device in the Kirloskar facility.

The information listed above is a tidbit of information on why the Big Bang theory isn’t really a sufficient explanation for the creation of matter. This ‘void’ seems to be, and we actually have the ancient knowledge and theoretical physics by real-life experimental demonstrations, like the machine above. These are concepts that are being published in physics journals all over the world.

One study even suggests that the universe has no beginning, which again, correlates to the information above, stating that this ether or ‘Akash’ do not fit in the same category of creation or destruction, meaning that creation and destruction are inapplicable to the Akash, which is definitely hard to wrap your head around.

The theory also suggested as Tewari has for years, that there are no singularities or dark matter, and that the universe is filled with a “quantum fluid,” which is itself filled with gravitons,  According to Phys.org:

The scientists propose that this fluid might be composed of gravitons—hypothetical massless particles that mediate the force of gravity. If they exist, gravitons are thought to play a key role in a theory of quantum gravity.

“A century from now, it will be well-known that: the vacuum of space which fills the universe is itself the real substratum of the universe; vacuum in a circulating state becomes matter; the electron is the fundamental particle of matter and is a vortex of vacuum with a vacuum-less void at the center and it is dynamically stable; the speed of light relative to vacuum is the maximum speed that nature has provided and is an inherent property of the vacuum; vacuum is a subtle fluid unknown in material media; vacuum is mass-less, continuous, non viscous, and incompressible and is responsible for all the properties of matter; and that vacuum has always existed and will exist forever….Then, scientists, engineers and philosophers will bend their heads in shame knowing that modern science ignored the vacuum in our chase to discover reality for more than a century.” – Tewari

If all this IS, then how can the big bang theory hold true? Perhaps there is a lot we are missing…

Huge Implications

“Ether has got to be, once again, established, then there will be the meaningful understanding of physics, meaningful understanding of metaphysics, and meaningful understanding of spiritual processes” – Tewari (source)

Just like anything else, this information has indeed been suppressed, in various forms, but it’s slowly creeping into the mainstream, and the acknowledgment of these machines, and this science in general, which goes way beyond just energy generating devices…

As you can see above, science is now confirming the spiritual realms…

According to Sir James Jeans: “the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter… we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.”…The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual/”  Richard Conn Henry, Professor in Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University (source)

Once the world accepts this, and if it does, it means a complete paradigm shift with regards to the perception of reality. This has happened multiple times, our laws of science were made to be broken, Einstein’s paper on special relativity is one example, the Earth not being flat anymore, is another…

Non-material science, in general, has huge implications, we are at the beginning of the next scientific revolution.

Today, this work is breaking long-held science beliefs that have now turned into dogma, but what we think we know is always changing. Take Lord Kelvin, for example, who stated in 1900 that there is nothing new to be discovered in physics and that all which remains is more and more precise measurement. This assertion was shattered only five years later when Einstein published his paper on special relativity.

Related CE Article: Distinguished Scientists Gathers To Emphasize, Matter is Not The Only Reality

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