She is a long time acquaintance of Bill Nye. He states that Dr. Berlin is among the world’s foremost authorities on the physiology of the brain and the nature of consciousness.
They are trying to figure out the neural correlates of consciousness. Scientists for different ways to peer into the brain in real time while it’s active and functioning.
When you have a thought, there are specific sets of neurons firing that represent that thought in your brain. Scientists will try to track a thought in order to make a correlation.
That scientists can track every thought or feeling to a specific set of neurons firing to make a correlation. It’s a hard problem to solve, but theoretically, they can correlate every thought, feeling, and perception we may have.
It’s being able to bridge the gap of why the physical mechanisms should correspond to a subjective experience. Why should the brain feel anything during these subjective states?
Dr. Berlin states that they can observe the build up of brain activity of a person prior to when they actually make the decision. They can base the prediction with accuracy up to 10 seconds before the person is consciously aware of the decision to make. Your brain can make free decisions, but you’re the last person to know about it.
We make better decisions when we allow our unconscious state to operate on many variables to make a decision that way, which is also called post decision satisfaction. Our unconscious can manipulate variables to make a decision if it’s a simple thing. As we think longer and more critically about life altering decisions, we tend to distract ourselves during the process.
Dr. Berlin states that first off, the brain cannot remember everything because t would be too much information. The brain needs to select the important information to remember. One reason that we remember certain things is due to emotions being tagged with a significant event.
The physiological process of information that goes to your brain is focused on either what you’re hearing or how you will respond next in the conversation. You have to consciously make yourself refocus on the conversation if you start to drift from it.
It’s because they aren’t common or regular nouns. Like a name, you have to really make a conscious effort to associate that name. Otherwise, it’s random information you won’t remember because it doesn't seem as important.
Dr. Berlin states that usually when we wake up, it takes about a half hour— subjectively speaking— for the brain to turn on. Some studies have found after the first half hour of sleep, the switching mode capacity between sleep and alertness isn’t as efficient to switch from daily, dreamy mode to attentive mode.
It’s because your body is seeking a homeostasis to stabilize. It could be better for your physiology to not put in substances that play around with your neurochemistry.
It is a useful strategy to implement into your day as you're beginning to wake up. Doing physical activities can increase blood flow to the brain.
Dr. Berlin states that hypnosis relates to suggestibility. There parts of our brain that are active and self-aware. When parts of our brain are turned down, our ego and self-awareness are lessened. We become vulnerable and are able to take suggestions much more easily.
Dr. Berlin states that there’s some sort of silent agreement between them, especially if it’s in front of an audience. There’s a social pressure to play along, and a conscious agreement to obey their commands.
Most of our decisions we make happen because of things that are occurring in the brain outside of awareness. Magicians and hypnotizers capitalize on these things.
When the prefrontal cortex is turned on, scientists can see that it down regulates memories and emotions that are still affecting our behavior. In hypnosis, it’s a way to turn down the activation of the prefrontal cortex to easily access and manipulate things so we don’t repeat our behaviors.
Dr. Berlin says it did. One example is the idea that we could have this whole universe within our minds. Theoretically, we could download something and learn it. It's all in our minds. She even states that we could be living in the Matrix.