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Posted on 2024.11.15 at 00:42
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Posted on 2016.04.29 at 14:51


I woke up dead.

Posted on 2014.05.14 at 14:06
Holy crap, I had a nice and disturbing dream. I know a weird way to describe, but you'll see.

I can't remember what I was dreaming about orginally, but I was back in the hospital morgue area which I visited in year 10 during work experience. The experience was notable because this is where I saw preserved human brains in the anatomy museum for the first time, but it was right in the middle of my 'neurons' obsession.

I was running around, and somehow I realized I was dreaming. A lucid dream! I was expecting to wake up, because that's what tends to happen at this stage, but I could see I was deep in the dream delusion. I was trying to remember what I had to do in a lucid dream, as I realized I could do anything now (without fear of over exciment waking me up) because I wasn't going to wake up. From that I concluded that I was actually dead. My immediate reaction to that was the 'aha experience' because I has proved my hypothesis right. My 'hypothesis' was that your dreams are actually visits to the afterlife. When you die, you stay in the dream world forever. I actually considered this when I was a child. I tried to wake up by feeling my body lying in bed (this is what happens when I wake from a lucid dream, I can feel myself lying in bed while the dream hallucination turns into a daydream). I tried to wake up and couldn't. I am dead for sure! Goodbye life. Ah well, at least I 'proved' my hypothesis.

The next bit I can't remember well, which sucks. But I remembered what I was supposed to do in a lucid dream. 'That's right, I need to stimulate the pleasure centre!' and that's what I did. But I realized how useless it was because the purpose of pleasure was to generate life, and I was dead. Anyway, I did it by doing a reverse panic attack thing, can't remember well. After getting a few zaps in, I woke up. Not to mention, when I did wake up, the emotional state from the dream lasted, and it was like I generated enough life in the dream to come back from the dead. I woke up approx 3:30am and I felt so awake that I almost got out of bed. But after five minutes or so, the dream confusion went away and I fell back asleep pretty easily.

So yeah, that was an interesting dream. Especially that bit where I thought I was dead. Because while I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep I was thinking about dying in my sleep. I don't know why, I think I was thinking about fear of going under generali anethesia, and overdosing on it (that is how we kill mice by 'putting them to sleep'). Before I actually fall asleep, I start to lose control of my thoughts. A bit hard to explain what this, but like my thoughts are not actually being generated by myself, and that I start to seriously consider some of these thoughts. I consider it a semi delusional state but if I put 'effort' I can regain control of my thoughts. For example, I had this thought that if I fall asleep, I will die. It was freaky, and using reason was waking me up/waking up increased reason. But the more I got closer to sleep, the more I believed this but that was also waking me up because I need to stay awake to not die. So in the dream, it made sense that I was dead, even though I didn't remember what happened before fall asleep in the dream. Just remembering back.

It's also funny how I automatically 'know' some things in dreams, lucid or not. There are levels of lucidity and parts of the dream delusion still persist. In this case, I didn't reach a very high level of lucidity, as I actually believed I was in the after life. It's hard to even say that I was aware I was dreaming as 'the after life is a perminant dream world' doesn't really count as 'I know I am dreaming'. It did feel like I had control of myself and was self aware in the dream, but it's hard to even argue that. I wonder if there is some sort of test to 'prove' one is self aware in a dream.

Posted on 2014.03.31 at 00:40
Tags: ,
I scored a lucid dream.

I was climbing some massive tower. I don't know exactly why, but I think I was trying to break a world record. The lower bits were easy, it was just taking the stairs. Then when that ended, it was climbing onto the roof and following a path made out of roof, kind of like a platformer game. There were all these people cheering me on, but I couldn't see them. This tower thing was tall enough to reach the clouds.

The last part of the tower was basically a wall with windows just bellow the apex. I had to climb up the windowsills to get to the apex. There were some people cheering me on, while others were saying that's way too dangerous. I thought about it, and decided that I could do it. It looked more dangerous than it actually was. It was getting back in through the window which would be dangerous. But I also knew the prize for getting to the top is the power of flight, so no worries I could just fly back down.

I managed to get to the top, and as soon as I did, this golden feather icon floated down game style. I said 'omg this is awesome, it feels like I'm dreaming' and then I realized I was. I was half disappointed I didn't actually break this world record, but score, lucidity. I jumped off the tower and went flying. But I found it hard to render the images of the scenery below and I woke up fairly quickly. I did maintain for a bit though, trying to stop focusing on the details. But there was the residual excitement that was too stimulating so I woke up. I don't know what time I fell asleep, but I woke around 3:30am (that's when I used to fall asleep). And I felt wide awake. But that was a lie, I got back to sleep fairly easily.



Posted on 2013.08.24 at 14:15
So, my thesis.

First problem with it is that what I wrote was not clear. Simply a matter of not being specific with my language, and leaving out important details that the reader wouldn't know.

So, the thesis goes to my second supervisor. Now the problem is the thesis does not sounds 'scientific enough'. This is the final touch needed to get top marks.

The difficulty I have with learning how to write is that there do not seem to be any hard and fast rules to follow. For the basics, there are the rules of grammar. But this is the type of stuff that makes for good (scientific) writing:

"It must flow"
"Clear and concise"
"Must not look like stream of consciousness"

But how do I make it flow? How can I make it concise?

One thing she said was something like 'Using scientific language is important because it's the style of published articles. The more you read, the more you pick up the lingo. So if you write in 'layman language' it's clear you didn't read enough. This shows you don't really care about neuroscience enough, and therefore are not deserving of the H1 (high mark).

Of course this one really ground my gears. Not care about neuroscience? Who does she think she is talking to over here? My thought process went over to the PhD students who were excellent writers but struggled in other aspects of research. These are the ones getting scholarships while I cry in the corner.

I think she said that for exactly that reason. Because she went through it and started pointing out the problems. She picked out paragraphs and made them more concise by summarizing what was said without losing meaning.

For example I wrote something like "The mouse was killed two hours after being exposed to the stranger mouse. The mouse was killed with an overdose of lethabarb" and she turned it into "The mouse was killed with an overdose of lethabarb two hours after exposure to the stranger mouse." I don't know what the name of that problem is, but I do it a lot. I think this comes from over correcting for sentences which are too long, making them difficult to follow.

I also explained I don't like to use too much jargon because it sounds pretentious. But she explained that the reason we use jargon is to reduce the word count, making the writing more concise without losing meaning. We don't have time to read massive long articles. We want knowledge, and we want it now. And this is audience dependent. For example just yesterday I was demonstrating at work. One worksheet question used something like "affect of temporal variation between stimulations" and I got so many questions asking me to rephrase the question. It basically means "how does changing the amount of time between the stimulations effect the results?" The first sentence is more concise, but its useless if the reader doesn't understand it. The aim is to reduce the time spent reading while maximizing understanding/meaning. Jargon is useless if the reader has to find out the meaning of it, or even worse if they tune out.

The tricky thing is getting it just right, and this also depends on your audience. My supervisors were saying "a bloody professor will be reading this, not an undergraduate student!".

So the advice was basically 'stop being lazy and get used to summarizing!' And it's true, because I'm not used to writing like that. For example, I never bother to read back on livejournal entries, because the audience is basically me in the future and maybe 1 or 2 people. So I want it to follow my thought processes. But a thesis is not a giant livejournal entry.

tl;dr I must make my thesis into one big tl;dr summary.

Posted on 2013.02.05 at 00:27
Another fucked up dream courtesy of your Nervous_Neuron!

This one starts of where I am currently living. This is a bit hard to explain, but I was with a group of people who were torturing this guy who I knew was called Ben outside my house. I was able to turn him into plastic telepathically, and the way it looked in the dream was a bit disturbing. I looked at him, and his skin started melting off, and them melted skin turned into plastic, spreading outside in so he became this life sized doll thing. After this, I was also turning him into rubber instead of plastic while the others were holding him down. I complained that it was a shame I couldn't hear him scream in pain. Somebody else reminded me that I could mind read, so I could hear this guy, but I can't remember what he was thinking. But whatever it was made me feel good. I turned his face into something which reminds me of a zombie mask I have in waking life, that has exposed brain. In the dream, we pulled out the brain and he died.

Something, perhaps my Dream Conscience asked me why I was doing this. The dream scene changed to what appeared to be an early memory, but it was in real time. I was younger, and lived in my hold house with my family. Not just my parents, but there were other kids, perhaps they were meant to be siblings. Ben, the guy I tortured previously was there. Or I knew him as Benny. He could turn into this large blue big cat type animal. It resembled an onyxian panther from WoW. How it looked kept changing in typical dream mode. But I was telepathically able to change it back to human form. But I only just started practicing this telepathic power, and couldn't do it reliably. Everyone was scared this cat form. I also knew that he lived in our garden, and he wouldn't leave and there was nothing we could do about it. I was inside, watching Benny. When I was alone, I changed him back into human form.

In the next scene, Benny flew out and brought back some kind of animals into the garden and killed them. I remember the first one was a bird, but then it became some other mythical creature, and maybe even a person. I can't remember this well, but I was getting progressively more disturbed with each kill, as they were escalating in terms of 'wrongness', but there was also some sort of feeling of admiration. On the last kill, I wondered why he couldn't be locked up in a cage so he stops killing things. But then I noticed my dad trying to build one, but Ben attacked him. Dad was doing something, and he turned around to warn me to get away or something like that. And I saw the injuries, which were extremely disturbing in the dream. Much of his leg had the flesh ripped off such that there was just bone there, and little shreds of muscle. There was also a chunk missing from his chest, with rib cage showing through. But he still went back to fight Ben or something and had no problems walking despite all this injury. Although as dreams are not good at keeping the same image, the next time I saw my dad, it looked like he was wearing a plastic skeleton costume thing that hung on his front. It was like a downgrade in the special effects.

I can't really remember what happened next, but in the next scene I was looking at a collector card of Ben. It had his full name, which was Benny followed by a bunch of letters I don't remember. But it explained something about the cat thing that I don't remember, but it made perfect sense in the dream. The next scene had him in stocks, about to be executed by a guillotine in some park area.

Perhaps another time. It's bed time for me, just wanted to get this dream down before I forgot it.


Dream 646267702

Posted on 2013.01.17 at 14:26
Tags: ,
Another interesting dream.

So I was at uni, signing up for the PhD course, but trying to explain that I was starting my PhD mid year. After some talking about that and what subjects I could still take, I went outside. And a war broke out. I kid you not. There were all these guys in some uniform with rocket launchers, shooting all over the place.

I soon realised that these guys were all on our side, but I might get hurt by this reckless shooting. Then one screamed 'the enemy is coming' and we all ran for it. I ran for it, with a sense they were after me. I ran towards this jungle that happened to be right next to uni in my dream. Then someone shouted that the enemy had been captured. I looked to see it was one girl.

It was Holly, someone who I pretty much for got about until this dream, but she was a friend/acquaintance at primary school. And it dawned on me that this army of guys with rocket launchers were all afraid of this one girl. I stood quite close to watch what was going on, as I felt safe now that she'd been captured. Now the guys were arguing about who had to be the one to kill her, but shooting her in the back of the head. She was too dangerous to be alive.

I don't know exactly what happened next, but I think she brain washed me or I realized we were on the same side all along, because I suddenly had the power to vaporise people. And I vaporised all these guys. Those that I didn't get, ran away. After, I met up with more of the 'enemy', who I was now a part of. I suddenly knew that we all had some super power, and my vaporising one was the most useful because we could use fear to keep the away from us. We were a small group of people, like 5-10 or something (dreams are not good at keeping things table). Against an endless army. Also, the best way to pick them off was to get them on their own, because they couldn't hurt you then. And the jungle forced them to disperse. Dream logic.

We decided to go have a party in the middle of the jungle. One of these people were like the old spice guy and his power was to make things pretty. So there was this water feature thing and he turned it into a pool. Old spice guy blew out all these green rose petals or leaves or something I dunno so it rained down like confetti. We all thought that was so amazing. Someone else suggests that an ecstasy pool party would be a good idea. So someone cracks out the ecstasy pills. It was a packet of fruit tingles. And these fruit tingles are being passed around and I say no thanks, lets kill someone instead.

So I go out and get one of those rocket launcher guys. Or well, he just appeared there, but I knew that I actually went and picked him up and brought him here. But dream timelines. Someone asked how to kill this guy, and I told them to rip him apart. Which meant grabbing him by the limbs and pulling in opposite directions. The dream didn't show me what that actually looked like, it was just a group of people stacked on one and the water turned red.


Nice one brain. This dream uses the major dream troupe of 'me against the world'. And 'together, we can stand against the world' or 'together, they can't get us'. This troupe involves feelings of persecution by an entity greater than myself, usually a large group of people. Then I find either one person or a small group of people who are my friends, and the persecution problem solves itself.

Another dream troupe than sometimes happens is 'they can't get me, but they can get you to get me' or 'I fuck up everything'. This is where after I realise they can't hurt me, I do something reckless which gets Friend hurt or killed. Like Random Shooter cannot shoot me, so I run out to fight him but slowly for the fun of it or to show off, not to quickly get rid of the threat. But he can still shoot Friend. Surprisingly this troupe did not happen, probably woke up/stopped remembering before it got to that point.

What was also interesting is that I was actually part of the 'world' in the first place. Although I was not really 'with' them, more on my own, but they were protecting us all and not my enemy. But powerless as still one person was terrorising us. Powerless, both in not having a super hero (or villain?) power and not being able to do anything about the situation I was in, but hope I don't get shot. Turning over to the 'enemy' group seemed to give me the actual and metaphorical power to get out of the situation. And it was even better because in this group I was the protector, rather than the person running away.

The whole thing did not have much emotion with it. The whole thing was matter of fact. When I was running for my life, I didn't feel much fear, but I knew I was scared. It was kind of like 'ah, this again'. The 'party' thing had the feeling of social acceptance, which was good. If a dream decides to reward me, it does it with social acceptance, leading to a complete dissolution of social anxiety.

It parallels with relationships in waking life. The army in the dream represents my peers. People who I go to school with, people who I go to work with. The people I try to impress, but they make me anxious. I'm not sure who's side they're on. The 'enemy' represents the 'losers that no one really likes'. Although this kind of thinking was for primary school, which is probably why it had a primary school friend in it. And she was from the time I did the turncoat from the 'normal people' to the 'nerds'. I had a friend in grade 4, called Bossy Peta because she always told us what to do. At lunch time, she made us do some gymnastics class. She was into that, but I wasn't. She'd constantly praise my other friend while putting me down. But I also received the praises once. She seemed to just pick people. It was quite manipulative thinking back to it. I hated lunch times because of this, and hated school too. Ironically there was someone who used to physically attack Peta. Peta would never defend herself, even though this girl was really small, so I used to attack her back. She had ADD and I used to pick on her for it. You're crazy, you need to take your pills, and I'd try to force her to take them. It's okay to attack her, because she is crazy so it serves her right. We're not all victims in this.

One day, I had it with Bossy Peta. I was making friends with Awesome Angela and some other people. So I decided to go play with them at lunch. And I actually started having a good time at lunch. Of course, it wasn't all perfect, but it was sure better than Bossy Peta. Even though everyone liked bossy Peta more than awesome Angela. I remember saying something along the lines of 'I think I am using you. I only hang around you because you make me feel good' or something to that extent. I think we had a thing about how bad it is to use people and take advatange of others, so that was the insult. But it was something like 'you're only my friend because you're my friend'.


23.4.04 10:15 am.

Let me think of some natural highs:
-When you do your homework for tomorrow and you find its not even due, so you can relax the next day.
-When a bird does not fly away from you as you get closer to it.
-When something a friend has been worrying about for a while turns out well in the end.
-Waking up in the morning, alive.
-Waking up after a nightare about something I was nervous about, going wrong, like an exam and in the nightmare I miss the exam, then I wake up, feeling like I have been given a second chance in life.
-The word “shoogle” :P
-When something I have said to someone has affected them in a positive way
-Tasting food at recess or lunch after a long and boring class
-Finally understanding something I never did
-Knowing someone trusts you.

I am guessing the exercise was to think of natural highs?

Anyway, what is intersting is the lack of mention of the phase word or even neuroscience. Perhaps because I thought it an 'unatural high' lol.

What is kinda creepy is the trust one. It was written in slightly different hand writing, down the bottom. I suppose it's creepy in the context that for different research projects I have injected mice and rats with MDMA, 8-OH-DPAT and oxytocin, drugs which are thought to increase trust.

But anyway, what's interesting is my thought on what a 'high' is supposed to be. And that they are the more socially acceptable ones. I didn't write 'watching someone's neck being broken in a movie'. Well I suppose it would really be "writing that my natural high is 'watching someone's neck being broken in a movie' and then thinking about the horror and/or disgust on the teacher's face. Trololol". Well I suppose I could have written scaring people and disgusing people. Disgusting people... I don't know how to write this to make sense. Making people feel the emotion of disgust? That's better.


Oxytocin Fail Part #1

Posted on 2012.10.03 at 00:35
As my research area is in social behaviour, I've done a bit of work with oxytocin, the hormone made famous by its role in forming of socially monogamous pairs in voles. Unfortunately this had led people to think it will be some sort of love potion. It has also been shown to increase trust in a neuroeconomic game which goes like this: participant 1 is given $10. Participant 1 can send some money to paricipant 2 where it is tripled. Participant 2 has the option of sending some money back to participant 1 as thanks. I believe the measure of trust was the amount of money participant 1 sent, and I can't remember what the amount participant 2 was called. From this, it was concluded that oxytocin is involved in trust behaviours.

And companies have jumped on board selling synthetic versions. The worst guys are at Verolabs, who are selling Liquid Trust. More like Liquid Con. That, or they don't have basic knowledge on how peptides work. Because here is there instructions:

1. Apply Liquid Trust to yourself in the morning while getting dressed, before important meetings during the day or in the evening before going out to socialize.

2. Everyone you encounter will immediately and unconsciously detect the pure human Oxytocin in Liquid Trust that you are wearing.

3. Without realizing why, the people around you have a strong feeling of trust. They can’t explain it, but you know that Liquid Trust is doing its magic!

Yes, this is as exactly as lifted from their site. Just to make it clear, you spray it on yourself like perfume, and it will travel to the noses of the people you meet and alter their behaviour.

Let me explain what's wrong.

A. Route of Administration fail. Oxytocin is administered as a nasal spray because works in double blind experimental trials, and does get into the blood through the blood vessels in the nose (like cocaine). Just because it goes in the nose, it doesn't mean that the drug is volatile!! Like it won't lift off your clothes and travel up the noses of people you meet. This is akin to spraying yourself with cocaine and getting everyone around you high. Even smelling cocaine won't get you high! You have to actually snort a line.

B. Dose fail. I believe the doses used in studies are around 24 international units (IU) in humans (I don't do human stuff, so this is off the top of my head on what I've read). Wikipedia says 1 IU of oxytocin is 2ug (micrograms). I give my mice doses ranging from 1mg/kg-20mg/kg when giving into the peritoneal cavity. The point is that assuming that some of the oxytocin does become airborne and acts as a volatile substance, it won't be 24 IU per person they meet (I don't even know if IU account for body weight). Might as well be homeopathy. A good dose of MDMA in a human is about 1-3mg/kg. About 120mg if you got your pillz in the 80s. 30mg is threshold on average. I have held an open container of 20g (20,000mg to keep the units same) of MDMA and by this logic, I should get a buzz just by being near it. Ha! Actually more relevant, I have been injecting rats and mice with it... was I getting an oxytocin hit too?? I bet I was getting more of an oxytocin 'hit' from picking up the cute rats and mice than the bottle of oxytocin.

C. The obvious, no PhD required. So, you spray it on you, and everyone else if affected? Well if you spray it on you, wouldn't you be the first affected?

There is not much further explanation of why it would work. Perhaps there is a substance that does make it airborne. 'The spray has a time release effect to make the effects last for hours after being applied to you' What is the time release effect? 'Time release' is a valid pharmacology term for oral administration with a capsule/pill! It's based on the drug being placed into substances that are slow to be dissolved by the STOMACH. The spray is a liquid on your clothes. How can you time release that? The only thing I can suggest is some sort of nanotechnology thing I have no idea about. It's much more plausible to assume they are bullshitting. Surely if they had the tech to make the oxytocin a time release volatile substance that had immediate effects, surely people would be doing it a bunch of other drugs too.

Now that's just the pharmacokinetics problems. What they claim 'the power of trust' does is another story.

So I was at mum's place, and the radio was on. There was an interesting story being read on there. It was about the male narrator seeming to fall in love with a female violinist. He is becoming obsessed with her, she is eccentric and doesn't really show interest. She introduced him to a doll she called Julio. The writing style was very interesting. It sounded cool and it had the phase word four times in close proximity (I suppose it sounded cool after that) so I googled some of the sentences I remembered and found it to be a short story by Daphne du Maurier called The Doll. It was written in 1928 but it was only published in a collection of stories rejected by publishers. It was rediscovered two years ago.

Here it is: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/apr/30/the-doll-daphne-du-maurier

Basically the tl;dr story is boy becomes obsessed with girl, girl is indifferent until boy gets girl, then girl is hot and cold, she's yes then she's no, she's in then she's out... you know how the song goes. Girl introduces boy to creepy boy doll called Julio. Boy loves girl so hard that he gets jelly because someone that good must have had so many lovers (and boy is not one of them). Girl tells boy to come back for more tomorrow, he leaves but comes back to her place because he wants some more. He lets himself in and walks in on girl and Julio. Girls tells boy 'lol I dun love u'. Heart = broken. End.

Julio is apparently a 'mechanical male sex doll'. I wasn't actually sure when I read it as it doesn't explicitly say in the story, but that's what came to mind.

The themes are interesting. It seems to be a story about male anxiety of the vibrator making women reject them (I assume 'mechanical male sex dolls did not exist). I looked it up and the vibrator was around in the 1920s. Wikipedia said that the vibrator was patented in 1902 and were regularly advertised as a muscle massager. But the adds disappeared because they started appeared in porn in the 1920s and was associated with sex. So it is a plausible theory.

The doll was described as "a machine – something worked by screws – he was not alive, not human – but terrible, ghastly" which could describe feelings towards a vibrator. She explained to him "And you expect me to love you. Don't you see that I can't – I can't? How can I care for you, or any man? Go away, leave me. I loathe you. I loathe you all. I don't need you. I don't want you." Basically, this doll can satisfy me so I don't need you to do it.

Although there does seem to be something more? The doll is described in a sinister way. It may be a personification of this anxiety, or is the doll doing something more. It's difficult when the concepts of lust and love are so intertwined by the author that it's hard to tell the difference. Why can't she love a man? Love a man as in have sexual attraction, or have a romantic relationship? Perhaps masturbation does not count as monogamy? Perhaps this makes more sense back in its times.

When I was reading the story, I got the impression she had some sort of 'borderline' personality going on. One day she's making advances on the protagonist, the other day she explains she hasn't slept well and made a mistake. But also she did explain earlier on "Is it possible to love someone so much, that it gives one a pleasure, an unaccountable pleasure to hurt them? To hurt them by jealousy I mean, and to hurt oneself at the same time." so perhaps she has this sadomassochism thing going on? Maybe she loves AND hates him at the same time?

Review: http://www.theshortreview.com/reviews/DaphneDuMaurierTheDoll.htm

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