Edward Weston Pepper (1930) & Nude (1936)
The heliospheric current sheet results from the influence of the Sun’s rotating magnetic field on the plasma in the interplanetary medium (solar wind)
Even among scientists who disagree about the dream process, no one thinks that dreams have only one purpose. Since dreams can occur at different times during the sleep cycle, they have different functions. Let’s look at a few that have been proposed.
Some researchers do believe that dreams help the brain organize and manage the tremendous amount of day-to-day input humans face. Evidence of this in found in research on infant sleep. Most dreams occur during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is normally characterized by brain activity very similar to waking and significant body paralysis (still allowing for twitches and eye activity). This occurs during roughly 20 percent of adults’ sleep sessions, but infants are in REM sleep during half of their slumber hours. Infants need to categorize and understand an entirely new world, but they spend a good deal of their time asleep. In order to be efficient, it’s likely that their active brains are multitasking, using sleep to help deepen the neuron pathways for new information. Studies with infant and adult rats indicate they share the same type of neuron firing during sleep. Researchers concluded that if the purposes of sleep were different for infants and adults, then their brain activity would not be comparable [source: Karlsson, et al]. Therefore, it’s a safe bet that a good deal of dream time is spent organizing data we’ve absorbed.
What else could be happening? Some therapists think that a good deal of a person’s dreaming is the unconscious knocking on the door, trying to get out and express itself. This began with Freud, who believed the unconscious focused on aggression and sex. Modern therapists adopt a wider view of the unconscious, believing it contains information about many topics our brain hasn’t (or won’t) process.
There are brain researchers who believe that many of our dreams are simply random neuronal firing. Since a dreaming brain is obviously very active but not technically conscious, the brain is essentially producing dreams to keep itself busy. This could account for the seemingly disjointed and weird aspects of some dreams.
Much information has been collected about dream states using technology such as PET, EEG, EOG and EMG, as well as observations of sleepers and self-reports of dreams. The brain, however, is not yet wide open for exploration and still holds many secrets, including the details of dreaming.
We look at women the same way we look at houses and sandwiches: as composites of attractive parts.
Problem: Few would argue that the objectification of women is a real thing — and a real problem — but as yet there’s been no cognitive explanation for it in a literal sense. Do we really look at women differently than we do men, and are they actually objectified in the eye — and brain — of the beholder?
Methodology: Images of average, fully clothed individuals were quickly flashed before the eyes of participants. After each one, the participants would then be shown two side-by-side images that zoomed in on one, “sexual” aspect of the individual (for example, a woman’s midriff) and asked to identify the version that hadn’t been modified. The experiment was also reversed, so that participants first looked at a specific part and then had to identify it in the context of an entire body. The test was designed to clue researchers in on whether the participants were using global or local cognitive processing while looking at the images — in other words, whether they perceived the individuals as a whole or as an assemblage of their various parts.
Results: Regardless of gender, participants consistently recognized women’s sexual body parts more easily when presented in isolation. Men’s sexual body parts, on the other hand, were more memorable as part of their entire bodies.
Conclusion: The cognitive process behind our perception of objects is the same that we use when looking at women, and both genders are guilty of taking in the parts instead of the whole. When we look at men, we use global processing to see them more fully as people.
The full study,”Seeing women as objects: The sexual body part recognition bias,” is published in the European Journal of Social Psychology.
Rainbow Eucalyptus trees on Maui, Hawaii
These haven’t been painted. The phenomenon is caused by patches of bark peeling off at various times and the colors are indicators of age. A newly shed outer bark reveals bright greens which darken over time into blues and purples and then orange and red tones.