Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 4: Blog Writing Challenge

Good morning. Well, I woke up covered in sweat and am not feeling so especially great this morning. I thought it was going to get easier to get up, especially if I got a full night's sleep, and especially if I got up right when the alarm went off, but I guess being sick makes it harder. What's annoying to me is that this has never progressed into a significant head cold. I am just super exhausted, feverish, have a lot of back pain, and a little congestion, but not a significant amount. Why do I feel like I'm not legitimately sick unless my voice sounds horrible and I'm blowing my nose every 5 minutes? I don't know. I went to work yesterday thinking I was much better, but I felt really hot all day and then went to the doctor and found out I have a low grade fever (If your normal body temp is 97.6 and you have a temp of 99.7, does that make the fever more significant?). A woman I work with told me that if you have a fever, that means you are contagious. I've never heard that before. I thought that you're only contagious for a few days at the beginning of the virus. So, now I don't know where my thermometer is and I think that I should probably stay home if I do still have a fever, but I have no way of knowing that, unless I only consider the fact that I woke up covered in sweat. Or, that it's probably freezing in my apartment, because the heat is not on, but I don't feel cold. Hm. That's not very scientific. Sorry I sound so whiney today. Anyway, I don't have anything interesting to say and I've reached my 200 words, so I'll leave you with something really interesting I read yesterday in the Wikipedia article on Free Will:

"It has become possible to study the living brain, and researchers can now watch the brain's decision-making process at work. A seminal experiment in this field was conducted by Benjamin Libet in the 1980s, in which he asked each subject to choose a random moment to flick her wrist while he measured the associated activity in her brain (in particular, the build-up of electrical signal called the readiness potential). Although it was well known that the readiness potential preceded the physical action, Libet asked whether the readiness potential corresponded to the felt intention to move. To determine when the subject felt the intention to move, he asked her to watch the second hand of a clock and report its position when she felt that she had the conscious will to move.[79]

Libet found that the unconscious brain activity leading up to the conscious decision by the subject to flick his or her wrist began approximately half a second before the subject consciously felt that she had decided to move.[79][80] Libet's findings suggest that decisions made by a subject are first being made on a subconscious level and only afterward being translated into a "conscious decision", and that the subject's belief that it occurred at the behest of her will was only due to her retrospective perspective on the event...

Related experiments showed that neurostimulation could affect which hands people move, even though the experience of free will was intact. Ammon and Gandevia found that it was possible to influence which hand people move by stimulating frontal regions that are involved in movement planning using transcranial magnetic stimulation in either the left or right hemisphere of the brain.[88] Right-handed people would normally choose to move their right hand 60% of the time, but when the right hemisphere was stimulated they would instead choose their left hand 80% of the time (recall that the right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere for the right). Despite the external influence on their decision-making, the subjects continued to report that they believed their choice of hand had been made freely..."
link to article

*ETA: I stayed home.

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