Third and fourth generation science writers, Sandra Blakeslee and her son Matthew, discussed their new book The Body Has a Mind of Its Own, which explores the breakthrough technology of body mapping.
"Your brain actually has literal maps of your body quilted into its surface," Mathew explained, pointing out the two fundamental maps are for touch and movement. Sandra revealed the brain also has maps of the envelope of space that surrounds our bodies, out to the tips of our fingers or to the end of a tool we may be holding in our hands. She said personal space maps can even extend to include the dimensions of a vehicle.
They talked about phantom limb syndrome, the (often painful) sensation felt by amputees that a missing limb is still attached to the body. Matthew said the brain keeps maps for missing limbs, which according to Sandra can be activated by the stimulation of adjacent tissue.
Sandra shared the story of Esref Armagan, a blind Turkish artist who is able to sense his environment and paint realistic pictures. The two spoke about musician's cramp, which they said is caused by blurred body maps, and what musicians can do to cure it. Sandra also shared some details about recent OBE (Out-of-Body Experience) research in Switzerland and England, where experts were able to induce OBEs using virtual reality goggles (article).
In the first hour, investment advisor Catherine Austin Fitts commented on Dubai's recently announced deal to purchase a 20 percent stake in Nasdaq (article). She also discussed the devaluation of the U.S. dollar and what she refers to as the 'tapeworm economy.'
Bumper music from Saturday September 22, 2007