Brain Knowledge

Jevin

Chameleon Enthusiast
While not directly related to chams, what lead me to this choice startled with chameleons, humans and evolution. I've always wondered how the chameleon, something that is quite unique in some regards to the realm of reptiles, evolved similar to how humans evolved from apes.

While the two species are vastly different, I have a hunch it has to do with an aspect of neuroscience. This is due to the thought that while evolution does explain speciation to an extent, it tends to fall short in explaining how certain highly specialized species, namely humans and chameleons, evolved. Humans in particular have multiple characteristics that are generally considered to put us at a deficit in regards to survival.

My idea is that we know very little about the capabilities of the brains of various species, including our own, and the effect that they have had on a species evolution. The nervous system has after all evolved over millions of years, to multiple forms and is responsible for a large amount of the bodies functions. I've always found it interesting how some animals, like reptiles, are able to be born and know how to use their bodies perfectly from birth. In contrast, humans are relatively useless at birth and flying birds also go through a stage of learning to fly so to speak. As I've learned more about genetics and evolution, it would seem that some behaviours may be encoded within DNA to an extent, while others are learned. I'm in the early stages of learning about this stuff, however I have had encouragement from professors who have specialized into areas related to this.

I'm basically looking for help in expanding my knowledge in neuroscience. In particular newer research as I plan on doing a Masters focused on aspects of the human nervous system. I read recently that they have found some interesting new information about fruit fly brains that could relate to humans, but also help us understand more about the nervous system. If anyone has leads to help me learn more, I'd be happy to receive them.

On a side note, the older I get, the less I find conscious thought to be something that is unique to humans, although conscious thought as it is usually described is something that is described from a human perspective. I have started to believe that conscious thought is something that may be present in all forms of life with a nervous system, but is not how we, as humans, typically think is conscious thought.
 

Jevin

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think I read that article last year while my girlfriend at the time was taking a philosophy course and I was helping her out with it. It's this kind of stuff I'm interested in, but how it works, like how memories and knowledge is stored in the brain. We know the areas associated with it, partly because of the use of FMRI scans, however, those are more qualitative results rather than quantitative. FMRI works on the principal that oxygenated blood and deoxygenated blood have different magnetic properties, which is measurable through FMRI in a way. I'm going off memory, but basically it shows in theory that there is more activity in certain areas of the brain based on the idea that neurons firing uses oxygen that is delivered by blood.

I got a little off topic, but based on personal experience, the blood brain barrier exists for a reason, to protect the nervous system from infection, but also from the immune system, I believe. Other areas of the body have similar barriers, and they are present in organs that have highly specialized cells or cells that are not genetically identical to the rest of the body, so to speak.
 

Jevin

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah, thinking is my thing big time lol I can pull a C average in university without reading the required texts or paying active attention in class. I try the slightest bit and I pull B's, while actively trying, I'll pull A's. Basically my line of thought is either DNA or another component in nerve cells within the brain or nervous system is capable of holding a charge, similar to a bit in computer science is the base of computer code. This charged portion is then read or interpreted somehow to render thoughts, memories, knowledge and the like.
 
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Jevin

Chameleon Enthusiast
My parents got around C+and average with trying actively. My older brother pulled about a C+/B- with actively trying. My younger sister hasn't done any post secondary but pulled 70% if I remember correctly in highschool without actively trying. I never studied until university and pulled an 88% average in highschool. 2% shy of the requirements for biological sciences in university.
 

Jevin

Chameleon Enthusiast
So what does that make you think?

Well I know I tested in the gifted range for some academic stuff. University is also a whole different beast than highschool. Interestingly my younger sister thinks people only go to university to prove they are smart, but that's not the point of university at all. My family keeps telling me to go into trades, but I honestly think that would be a waste of my mind.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
IMHO university is a place to learn but it's also a place to grow.
What do you think it's for?
Did you do enrichment programs?
 
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