Ninja Brain

The Ninja Brain: Humans Can Prioritise Meaningful Sounds Even While Asleep:

Teenage mutant ninja turtles

Teenage mutant ninja turtles by Adrián Pérez

We often think of sleep as a chance to switch off from the outside world, leaving us blissfully ignorant of anything going on around us. But neuroscience research has shown this is a fantasy – we still monitor the environment and respond to particular sounds while we’re sleeping (at least in some stages of sleep) – a fact that will be unsurprising to anyone who has woken up after hearing someone say their name.

A better example is anyone who has woken up after hearing their infant moving around. Part of the sensitivity is making sure the kiddo is okay. She is snoring? Good. Cannot hear anything at all? Is she breathing? This assessment that everything is fine occurs while still sleep-addled, which to me is amazing. Most likely the movement means in about 10 minutes she is going to wake up.

Probably this was good for keeping us alive on the savannah. Lions are nocturnal (night awake) where we are diurnal (day awake). It would be good for us to be able to sense the noises of a predator possibly coming to hunt us.

Shaving

I let the beard get too long. So much so the child was terrorized by seeing me. She didn’t think I am her loving father.

The laughter probably didn’t help. Nor did the change of clothes.

I usually do not go so long between shaves. Guess I ought to go back to the more frequent schedule.

Momo

I mentioned the Momo Challenge to Galahad who scoffed at it. Rightly so.

Momo was perfectly tuned to set off alarms in the mind of any parent: There’s something online that you don’t know about, and it’s about to kill or traumatize your child. Just one problem: There’s little evidence to confirm that the Momo challenge is real. Although multiple deaths are often attributed to the challenge in warnings about it, none has been confirmed.

Several parent friends shared news stories about it. G correctly noted that it was back, which adults seemed to have missed. Attaching the concern about teens committing suicide elevated the danger that overwhelmed the downsides of failing to share it. Death is a cheap and easy button for parents.

In my day it was Satanism and heavy metal music. Parents were concerned about kids listening to the music would be seduced by Lucifer and thus kill themselves, I guess so that would go to Hell because you cannot go to Heaven if you do that. Anyway, it was easy to get parents to worry each other by sharing with others how bad it would be for the teens to participate in that stuff.

That watching Youtube is something kids are doing outside the view of parents helps with the worry. We don’t necessarily know everything that kids are watching. So, it is easy to be concerned that they are getting influenced like parents in my day were terrified of what we were listening to under our headphones.