Satireday on Genes



Is the Brain a Sexual Organ?

Mentally Enhanced

by Chet Raymo
“Here she is, folks, from a report in the May 14, 2009 issue of Nature, the oldest known piece of representational art, a 35,000-year-old female figurine carved from mammoth ivory, from the Hohle Fels cave in southern Germany. Huge breasts. Explicit vulva. Tiny head. Are we surprised? The first images our male ancestors looked at were – porn.
But wait. Why do we automatically assume that the artist was male? Maybe while the guys were out hunting woolly mammoths, the gals were home carving figurines, magical talismans, meant to enhance their own fertility. Or perhaps the so-called Venuses (there are similar figurines) were religious icons, images of the Mother Goddess. Perhaps they stood in a shrine of sorts, a niche in the cave lit by votive lamps, were mostly women came to pray, the men milling about at the door of the cave waiting for the service to end.

In fact, archeologists don’t know who carved these figurines or why. All we can guess with reasonable probability is that sex was on someone’s mind, which comes as no surprise. Thirty-five thousand years ago is about the time that our direct Cro-Magnon ancestors were displacing Neanderthals in Europe. They had something going for them – more agile minds? language? imagination? Maybe the source of their success was not reproductive efficiency, as such, but eroticism. That is to say, maybe the conceptualization of sex was a driving engine of cerebral facility and language. The Playboy bunny. The Harlequin romance. Foreplay. Dirty dancing. Maybe sexual fantasy prepared the way for art and religion and technological innovation. Maybe the brain evolved as a sexual organ, and then found other things to do.”

She feels better now… I feel better

Repost from: On the Homefront

I have always considered minor memory lapses to be a sign of aging although they didn’t start recently, but have been with me for a long time. They don’t happen often, but small things like standing at the fridge with the door open wondering… “Why am I here?” Or entering another room, with the same bewilderment.

Read this this morning, now I feel much better.

Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to completely forget what that purpose was? Turns out, doors themselves are to blame for these strange memory lapses.

University of Notre Dame CampusUniversity of Notre Dame Campus
(Photo credit: adam79)

Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered that passing through a doorway triggers what’s known as an event boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next.

Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale.

So it’s not aging, it’s the damn door!

Thank goodness for scientific studies like this!

Are you like me and go back to the previous room where the thought originated to recover it?

And in answer to the author’s last question, yes, I have backtracked

You can read more on ABC News: Sorry, I Left My Memory in the Other Room