20th-century Neuroscientist Quotes
There is first the problem of acquiring content, which is learning. There is another problem of acquiring learning skills, which is not merely learning, but learning to learn, not velocity, but acceleration. Learning to learn is one of the great inventions of living things. It is tremendously important. It makes evolution, biological as well as social, go faster. And it involves the development of the individual.
Just as important as getting enough sleep is thinking about sleep in the right way. Stop thinking of sleep and naps as downtime or as a waste of time. Think of them as opportunities for memory consolidation and enhancing the brain circuits that help skill learning. Nor should you feel guilty about sleep. It's just as crucial a part of successful brain work as the actual task itself.
The tension felt in the modern world between those who look at the confluence of neuroscientific data, historical data, and other information illuminating our past and those who simply accept received wisdom as their guide in life is real and profound. Yet it may not be as divisive as one would think. It appears that all of us share the same moral networks and systems, and we all respond in similar ways to similar issues. The only thing different, then, is not our behavior but our theories about why we respond the way we do. It seems to me that understanding that our theories are the source of all our conflicts would go a long way in helping people with different belief systems to get along.
Although homosexual behavior is very common in the animal world, it seems to be very uncommon that individual animals have a long-lasting predisposition to engage in such behavior to the exclusion of heterosexual activities. Thus, a homosexual orientation, if one can speak of such thing in animals, seems to be a rarity.
Leaving out appraisal also would render the biological description of the phenomena of emotion vulnerable to the caricature that emotions without an appraisal phase are meaningless events. It would be more difficult to see how beautiful and amazingly intelligent emotions can be, and how powerfully they can solve problems for us.
We must be careful, however, not to let the process of acquiring new ideas interfere with the detailed knowledge that our vehicle has assiduously collected and carefully stored in many associative connections during its lifetime. We know that this may happen in humans who are overly dedicated to the development of ideas. They tend to connect many individual cases into general categories ad then use the categories as if they were things, losing the potential for categorizing in other ways by remembering each instance.