It’s been nearly a year since the poet laureate of medicine, author and neurologist Oliver Sacks, took his final bow as a sentient being on this beautiful planet, succumbing, at 82, to metastases of ocular melanoma which spread to his liver.
The New Yorker marks the occasion by publishing Sacks’ fellow neurologist and author Dr.
Procrastination is a skill, an art, a slight-of-hand technique. I’m procrastinating right now, but you’d never know it. How many tabs do I have open in my multiple browser windows? Pick a number, any number. How many tasks have I put off today? How many dreams have I deferred? I’ll never tell.[...]
We all understand that hallucination involves seeing things that aren’t really there, but what are hallucinations themselves? “They don’t seem to be of our creation. They don’t seem to be under our control. They seem to come from the outside, and to mimic perception.” Those words come from Oliver Sacks, who would know.[...]
Video games, the world has come to realize, can do good. Twenty or thirty years ago, people had a harder time accepting this, much to the frustration of daily-gaming youngsters such as myself.[...]
We’ve posted on meditation research lately because it’s so compelling, and meditation music and instructions because so many creative people have found it liberating. But it’s always worth noting that a few meditation skeptics have weighed in with pointed objections to the large claims meditation teachers often make.[...]
I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but meditation may have saved my life. During a particularly challenging time of overwork, underpay, and serious family distress, I found myself at dangerous, near-stroke levels of high cholesterol and blood pressure, and the beginnings of near-crippling early-onset arthritis. My doctors were alarmed.[...]
When MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) first started making headlines in 2012, we read stories about thousands of people enrolling in courses on Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science.[...]
From the time my daughter was born, my wife and I took her out to restaurants—not to annoy the other diners, mind you, she was usually very well behaved—but to expose her palate to as much variety as possible and socialize her early to new and unfamiliar environments.[...]
The refinements of medical imaging technologies like fMRI have given neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers better tools with which to study how the brain responds to all sorts of stimuli. We’ve seen studies of the brain on Jane Austen, the brain on LSD, the brain on jazz improv….[...]
Talk to nearly any veteran of sixties counterculture, and you’re bound to hear a story or three about an acid trip. Some of those trips were bad, man, full of nightmare hallucinations and severe anxiety. In other accounts, however, LSD gets credit for opening up the mind, releasing old patterns of thought, and freeing up latent creative energy.[...]