Thursday, November 30, 2006
Figure: A simple dynamic causal model with hierarchically ordered bidirectional connections between vMFC (ventromedial frontal cortex), amygdala, FFA (fusiform face area), and IOG (inferior occipital gyrus). Face and nonface stimuli were modeled as inputs to IOG, and face sets as inputs to vMFC.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
It hardly seems surprising that genetic and developmental reasons lead some humans to be extremely affiliative, while others can be quite content in solitude. "Solitude: a return to the self" is in fact the title of an excellent and thoughtful book by Oxford University psychiatrist Anthony Storr. He notes: "The current emphasis upon intimate interpersonal relationships as the touchstone of health and happiness is a comparatively recent phenomenon. Earlier generations would not have rated human relationships so highly; believing, perhaps that the daily round, the common task, should furnish all we need to ask.." Storr provides an interesting history of how mental health came to be equated with the quality and quality of social relationships, and argues that a preference for solitude, self understanding, and a more muted social presence can be also be compatible with robust mental health.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Anyway, here is the latest bit from a Nature article:
"Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene) extends the lifespan of diverse species including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. In these organisms, lifespan extension is dependent on Sir2, a conserved deacetylase proposed to underlie the beneficial effects of caloric restriction. Here we show that resveratrol shifts the physiology of middle-aged mice on a high-calorie diet towards that of mice on a standard diet and significantly increases their survival. Resveratrol produces [biochemical] changes associated with longer lifespan......"
Monday, November 27, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
What is absent from his critique of religion is a positive scientifically grounded alternative that meets the same human needs for solice and community that religion sometimes serves. Relevant to this is the recent NYTimes article "A Free-for-All on Science and Religion." which describes a meeting held at th Salk Institute in San Diego which "began to resemble the founding convention for a political party built on a single plank: in a world dangerously charged with ideology, science needs to take on an evangelical role, vying with religion as teller of the greatest story ever told."
The Harris essay:
"Despite a full century of scientific insights attesting to the antiquity of life and the greater antiquity of the Earth, more than half the American population believes that the entire cosmos was created 6,000 years ago. This is, incidentally, about a thousand years after the Sumerians invented glue. Those with the power to elect presidents and congressmen—and many who themselves get elected—believe that dinosaurs lived two by two upon Noah's Ark, that light from distant galaxies was created en route to the Earth and that the first members of our species were fashioned out of dirt and divine breath, in a garden with a talking snake, by the hand of an invisible God.
This is embarrassing. But add to this comedy of false certainties the fact that 44 percent of Americans are confident that Jesus will return to Earth sometime in the next 50 years, and you will glimpse the terrible liability of this sort of thinking. Given the most common interpretation of Biblical prophecy, it is not an exaggeration to say that nearly half the American population is eagerly anticipating the end of the world. It should be clear that this faith-based nihilism provides its adherents with absolutely no incentive to build a sustainable civilization—economically, environmentally or geopolitically. Some of these people are lunatics, of course, but they are not the lunatic fringe. We are talking about the explicit views of Christian ministers who have congregations numbering in the tens of thousands. These are some of the most influential, politically connected and well-funded people in our society.
It is, of course, taboo to criticize a person's religious beliefs. The problem, however, is that much of what people believe in the name of religion is intrinsically divisive, unreasonable and incompatible with genuine morality. One of the worst things about religion is that it tends to separate questions of right and wrong from the living reality of human and animal suffering. Consequently, religious people will devote immense energy to so-called moral problems—such as gay marriage—where no real suffering is at issue, and they will happily contribute to the surplus of human misery if it serves their religious beliefs.
A case in point: embryonic-stem-cell research is one of the most promising developments in the last century of medicine. It could offer therapeutic breakthroughs for every human ailment (for the simple reason that stem cells can become any tissue in the human body), including diabetes, Parkinson's disease, severe burns, etc. In July, President George W. Bush used his first veto to deny federal funding to this research. He did this on the basis of his religious faith. Like millions of other Americans, President Bush believes that "human life starts at the moment of conception." Specifically, he believes that there is a soul in every 3-day-old human embryo, and the interests of one soul—the soul of a little girl with burns over 75 percent of her body, for instance—cannot trump the interests of another soul, even if that soul happens to live inside a petri dish. Here, as ever, religious dogmatism impedes genuine wisdom and compassion.
A 3-day-old human embryo is a collection of 150 cells called a blastocyst. There are, for the sake of comparison, more than 100,000 cells in the brain of a fly. The embryos that are destroyed in stem-cell research do not have brains, or even neurons. Consequently, there is no reason to believe they can suffer their destruction in any way at all. The truth is that President Bush's unjustified religious beliefs about the human soul are, at this very moment, prolonging the scarcely endurable misery of tens of millions of human beings.
Given our status as a superpower, our material wealth and the continuous advancements in our technology, it seems safe to say that the president of the United States has more power and responsibility than any person in history. It is worth noting, therefore, that we have elected a president who seems to imagine that whenever he closes his eyes in the Oval Office—wondering whether to go to war or not to go to war, for instance—his intuitions have been vetted by the Creator of the universe. Speaking to a small group of supporters in 1999, Bush reportedly said, "I believe God wants me to be president." Believing that God has delivered you unto the presidency really seems to entail the belief that you cannot make any catastrophic mistakes while in office. One question we might want to collectively ponder in the future: do we really want to hand the tiller of civilization to a person who thinks this way?
Religion is the one area of our discourse in which people are systematically protected from the demand to give good evidence and valid arguments in defense of their strongly held beliefs. And yet these beliefs regularly determine what they live for, what they will die for and—all too often—what they will kill for. Consequently, we are living in a world in which millions of grown men and women can rationalize the violent sacrifice of their own children by recourse to fairy tales. We are living in a world in which millions of Muslims believe that there is nothing better than to be killed in defense of Islam. We are living in a world in which millions of Christians hope to soon be raptured into the stratosphere by Jesus so that they can safely enjoy a sacred genocide that will inaugurate the end of human history. In a world brimming with increasingly destructive technology, our infatuation with religious myths now poses a tremendous danger. And it is not a danger for which more religious faith is a remedy."
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Here is the experimental setup used for Dutch and Khosian children and adults:
Legend ((Click figure to enlarge)) Experimental setup in two consecutive example trials. Ten exactly identical cups were placed on two tables (five cups on each table). Participants were watching while a target was hidden under the cup depicted as white (HIDING). Then the participants moved to the other table and indicated where they thought a second target might be hidden (FINDING). The three differently striped cups show the different contingencies rewarded in the three consecutive blocks of trials.
Both children and adults were more accurate (made fewer errors) and were faster to learn the finding pattern that matched the FoR dominant in their language (egocentric for the Dutch, geocentric for the Khosian). This correlation is fully robust by age 8 and persists into adulthood.
Because of the shorter attention span of the ape participants, and because of their known limitations with respect to abstract reasoning, experimental conditions were simplified, so that three instead of five cups were on each table. As a result, the object-centered and geocentric conditions were collapsed. The three identical cups in a straight line offer only two alternative strategies: The egocentric one and an allocentric one, which could be based on either object-centered or geocentric cues. Experiments precisely analogous to the human experiment ware done, but more clear results were obtained in further experiments when rewards (food in one cup) were incorporated.
The bottom line, according to the authors: "All great ape genera prefer to process spatial relations based on environmental cues and not self. The standard methods of comparative cognition thus suggest a common phylogenetic inheritance of a preference for allocentric spatial strategies from the ancestor shared by all four existing genera of Hominidae (Pongo, Gorilla, Pan, and Homo). Based on this result, we argue that, at least for small-scale spatial relations, the inherited cognitive mode of operation is not, as argued by Kant and others, egocentric but preferably deploys environmental cues as common reference between objects."
Monday, November 20, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
"There is compelling evidence that sleep contributes to the long-term consolidation of new memories. This function of sleep has been linked to slow per se is unclear, but can easily be investigated by inducing the extracellular oscillating potential fields of interest. Here we show that inducing slow oscillation-like potential fields by transcranial application of oscillating potentials (0.75 Hz) during early nocturnal non-rapid-eye-movement sleep, that is, a period of emerging slow wave sleep, enhances the retention of hippocampus-dependent declarative memories in healthy humans. The slowly oscillating potential stimulation induced an immediate increase in slow wave sleep, endogenous cortical slow oscillations and slow spindle activity in the frontal cortex. Brain stimulation with oscillations at 5 Hz—another frequency band that normally predominates during rapid-eye-movement sleep—decreased slow oscillations and left declarative memory unchanged. Our findings indicate that endogenous slow potential oscillations have a causal role in the sleep-associated consolidation of memory, and that this role is enhanced by field effects in cortical extracellular space."
Thursday, November 16, 2006
The article reviews 37 modern neuroimaging studies, including functional (i.e. functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Positron Emission Tomography) and structural (i.e. Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Diffusion Tensor Imaging,Voxel Based Morphometry)paradigms. They converge on a striking consensus suggesting that variations in a distributed network predict individual differences found on intelligence and reasoning tasks. They describe this network as the Parieto-Frontal Integration Theory: P-FIT. (How is a network a theory? Oh well, not to worry).
The P-FIT includes, by Brodmann Areas (BAs): dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BAs 6, 9, 10, 45, 46, 47), the inferior (BAs 39/40) and superior parietal (BA 7) lobe, the anterior cingulate (BA 32), and regions within the temporal (BAs 21, 37) and occipital lobes (BAs 18 & 19). White matter regions (i.e., arcuate fasciculus) are also implicated.
The P-FIT is examined in light of findings from both human lesion studies, including missile wounds, frontal lobotomy/leukotomy, temporal lobectomy, and lesions resulting in damage to the language network (e.g., aphasia), as well as from imaging research identifying brain regions under significant genetic control. Overall, they conclude that modern neuroimaging techniques are beginning to articulate a biology of intelligence. They propose that the P-FIT provides a parsimonious account for many of the empirical observations to-date relating individual differences in intelligence test scores to variations in brain structure and function. They hope the model provides a framework for testing new hypotheses in future experimental designs.
Here is a graphic of the brain areas (copyright Cambridge University Press).
Legend: Brain regions by Brodmann Area (BA) associated with better performance on measures of intelligence and reasoning. Numbers represent BAs; solid blue circles = predominant left hemisphere associations; shadow blue circle = predominant left medial associations; shadow red circles = predominant bilateral associations; yellow arrow = arcuate fasciculus.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
They show that information that has not entered our consciousness, such as interocularly suppressed (invisible) erotic pictures, can direct the distribution of spatial attention. They further show that invisible erotic information can either attract or repel observers' spatial attention depending on their gender and sexual orientation. While unaware of the suppressed pictures, heterosexual males' attention was attracted to invisible female nudes, heterosexual females' attention was attracted to invisible male nudes, gay males behaved similarly to heterosexual females, and gay/bisexual females performed in-between heterosexual males and females.
Here is their description of how information is presented so that it does not enter consciousness. "In the interocular suppression paradigm, a pair of high-contrast dynamic noise patches are presented to both sides of a fixation point in one eye, and a test picture and its scrambled control are presented to the fellow eye in spatial locations corresponding to the noise patches. Because of strong interocular suppression, the intact meaningful image and its scrambled control remain invisible for the period they are presented. If the suppressed images exert a location-specific effect on the attentional system, these images could potentially act as attentional cues that would influence the distribution of spatial attention and thus performance on a subsequent detection task."
(click on image to enlarge it)
Figure: Schematic representation of the experimental paradigm for the invisible condition. For the visible condition, the noise patches were replaced with the same pair of intact and scrambled pictures presented to the other eye. In each trial, observers pressed one of two buttons to indicate the perceived orientation (CW or CCW) of a Gabor patch (the circle with lines in the right frame) briefly presented on either side of fixation. In the invisible condition, as shown, if observers detected any difference between the two sides of the fixation, they pressed another button to abort that trial.
Heterosexual male observers were more accurate at the orientation discrimination task when the Gabor targets followed the site of the invisible nude female pictures (attentional benefit) and were less accurate when the Gabor patches were at the site of invisible nude male pictures (attentional cost). Thus, heterosexual male observers' attention was attracted to nude female images and was repelled from nude male images, even though the images were not consciously perceived by the observers. Similarly, heterosexual female participants showed an attentional benefit (attraction) to invisible nude male pictures (positive attentional effect, although they did not show a significant attentional effect to invisible nude female pictures. Gay males had a similar pattern to female participants in that invisible female nude pictures did not attract their attention while male erotic images enhanced performance. Gay/bisexual females fell in-between the heterosexual male group and the heterosexual female group.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
The charismatic practice of speaking with the full conviction that God is talking through you has ancient roots in many religious traditions, notably the Old and New Testaments. Its technical term is glossolalia. It is experienced as a normal and expected behavior in religious prayer groups in which the individual appears to be speaking in an incomprehensible language.
Newberg et al. at the University of Pennsylvania have now performed brain imaging on five women while they spoke in tongues (Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, Volume 148, Issue 1 , 22 November 2006, Pages 67-71) They tracked changes in blood flow in each woman’s brain as she sang a gospel song and again while speaking in tongues.
An interesting difference was observed between these two emotional, devotional activities , described in a review by Carey, was that the "frontal lobes — the thinking, willful part of the brain through which people control what they do — were relatively quiet, as were the language centers. The regions involved in maintaining self-consciousness were active. The women were not in blind trances, and it was unclear which region was driving the behavior."... "a co-author of the study, was also a research subject. She is a born-again Christian who says she considers the ability to speak in tongues a gift. “You’re aware of your surroundings,” she said. “You’re not really out of control. But you have no control over what’s happening. You’re just flowing. You’re in a realm of peace and comfort, and it’s a fantastic feeling.”
"The scans also showed a dip in the activity of the left caudate. .. the caudate is usually active when you have positive affect, pleasure, positive emotions, and is also involved in motor and emotional control...it may be that practitioners, while mindful of their circumstances, nonetheless cede some control over their bodies and emotions."
Friday, November 10, 2006
This graphic from the Nov. 7 Science section of the NYTimes, prepared by Robert Rohde at Berkeley, is so striking that I wanted to pass it on. Carbon dioxide levels have been much higher at various times in the past than they are now. The accompanying article helps frame the debate over carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
From my office in Bock Labs and the Wisconsin summer, to what it looks like now (It was 16 degress Farenheit last week), to the new alternative:
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Figure: anterior cingulate and ventromedial prefrontal areas examined in study.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
ANOTHER national election season has come to an end — the sorriest, sleaziest, most disheartening and embarrassing in memory. The best one can hope for is a candidate who is a complete cipher. How has American electoral politics come to this?
I think we can gain insight from a study published by the psychologist Eldar Shafir 13 years ago. Suppose you are confronted with the following problem:
You’re serving as a juror in a custody case in which each parent is demanding sole custody of an only child. The facts of the case are complicated by ambiguous economic, social and emotional considerations, and you decide to base your decision entirely on the following few observations:
• average income
• reasonable rapport with child
• relatively stable social life
• average working hours
• average health
• above-average income
• close relationship with child
• extremely active social life
• lots of work-related travel
• minor health problems
To which parent would you award sole custody of the child?
Parent A is average in every way, without compelling positive or negative features. Parent B has a mix of strong positive (very close to the child) and strong negative (lots of travel) features. Asked to make this choice, the majority of respondents — 64 percent — choose Parent B.
What makes this study really interesting is what happens when another group of respondents is given the same character sketches, but asked a slightly different question: “To which parent would you deny custody of the child?” Here again, a majority, 55 percent, choose Parent B.
How can it be that a majority both accept and reject the same parent?
Professor Shafir’s explanation is that when people are asked whom to accept, they look for positive features in the parents — reasons to accept one over the other — and Parent B has them. In contrast, when people are asked whom to reject, they look for negative features — and again, Parent B has them. No matter which question you ask, Parent B stands out.
What does this tell us about modern electoral politics? When you go into the voting booth, you’re trying to decide whom to accept or whom to reject. Are you judging who the good candidate is or who the less bad candidate is?
The effort by each side to coat the opposition in slime has made many of us cynical, giving us the sense that our task is to reject the worst, not select the best. Nobody’s any good, we think, but some are worse than others. Let’s keep those candidates out of office. Our job becomes one of denying, not awarding, office.
What that means is that if you want to win an election, you need to find candidates like Parent A, who give us no reason to say no, rather than Parent B, who present a complex set of features, some attractive and some problematic.
If somehow the cynicism lifted, and we saw ourselves charged with the task of deciding who to say yes to, we’d have more candidates like Parent B. Just one negative feature would not be enough to disqualify someone, in our minds. There would be little to gain by capturing and broadcasting “macaca moments,” or subtly invoking old Southern fears of black men cavorting with white women. Candidates would be able to take positions and speak their minds. This might lead to the arrival of candidates who actually have positions and minds. We might even be willing to risk generating a little enthusiasm at the prospect of being led by them.
But unless something is done to quell “gotcha” journalism and relentlessly negative campaigning — and as long as we continue to enter the voting booth looking for reasons to say no — the ciphers will be the winners.
To the Editor:
As a professional philosopher, I found myself with no worries about whether Marc Hauser’s theory would put my colleagues in ethics out of business. There’s a tremendous difference between the two questions: 1) Why do human beings make the judgments of right and wrong that they do?; and 2) Are these judgments correct?
Perhaps an evolutionary story can suffice to answer the first question, but I can’t imagine how it might answer the second.
The results were clear and strong...When the volunteers won more money than the three-star players, raising their status in the game, the brain scanner showed increased activity in three brain regions: the anterior cingulate, an area that has been shown to monitor conflict and resolve discrepancies; the medial prefrontal cortex, which processes thoughts about other people; and the precuneus, a region that some speculate is involved in the brain’s ability to think about itself.
In contrast, when the one-star players won more money during the game than the volunteers, lowering their status, activity increased in the ventral striatum and the insular cortex, or insula. This area appears to be responsible for the somatic representation of emotional states, such as disgust. The ventral striatum is a deep brain structure linked in primates to motivation and reward, and may be part of the neural circuitry that keeps track of progress through learning.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
By now I've probably read at least 5 mixed (mainly positive) reviews of Mark Hauser's new book "Moral Minds," and the commentary on the book by Nicholas Wade in the 10/31/06 New York Times stirs me to mention it in a post.
Hauser suggests that we have a universal and innate capacity for developing moral rules analogous to our capacity to develop language in the presence of other humans. A more reserved review in an earlier New York Times Book Review Magazine by Richard Rorty raises some concerns: "The exuberant triumphalism of the prologue to “Moral Minds” leads the reader to expect that Hauser will lay out criteria for distinguishing parochial moral codes from universal principles, and will offer at least a tentative list of those principles. These expectations are not fulfilled......the reader is left guessing about how he proposes to distinguish morality not just from etiquette, but also from prudential calculation, mindless conformity to peer pressure and various other things. This makes it hard to figure out what exactly his moral module is supposed to do. It also makes it difficult to envisage experiments that would help us decide between his hypothesis and the view that all we need to internalize a moral code is general-purpose learning-from-experience circuitry — the same circuitry that lets us internalize, say, the rules of baseball."
A review by Bloom and Jarudi in Nature makes some further points: "Certain deep parallels between language and morality make Hauser's proposal worth taking seriously. ....In other regards, however, language seems very different from morality. For one thing, linguistic knowledge is distinct from emotion. You might be disgusted or outraged by what somebody says, but the principles that make sense of sentences are themselves entirely cold-blooded. Your eyes do not well with tears as you unconsciously determine the structural geometry of a verb phrase. By contrast — and Hauser wrestles with this throughout Moral Minds — even those who accept that some moral capacity is innate often see it as inextricably linked to emotion. Perhaps the universal core of morality is a set of emotional responses — disgust, shame, sympathy, guilt and so on — that are triggered by certain situations. This hypothesis is supported by clear demonstrations that, at least in some circumstances, emotion precedes intuition. ...A different concern is that languages are combinatorial symbolic systems. An English speaker, for example, knows perhaps hundreds of thousands of words, and also knows principles of syntax that dictate how these words combine with one another to form sentences. There are other combinatorial systems in human cognition, such as number and music, but it's not clear that morality is one of them. Even if it is distinct from emotion, moral knowledge might be better characterized as a small list of evolved rules, perhaps simple (such as a default prohibition against intentional harm), perhaps complex (such as some version of the doctrine of double effect), but still very different in character from linguistic knowledge."
Countering these reservations, from Wade's article: "Much of the present evidence for the moral grammar is indirect. Some of it comes from psychological tests of children, showing that they have an innate sense of fairness that starts to unfold at age 4. Some comes from ingenious dilemmas devised to show a subconscious moral judgment generator at work. These are known by the moral philosophers who developed them as “trolley problems." ...Suppose you are standing by a railroad track. Ahead, in a deep cutting from which no escape is possible, five people are walking on the track. You hear a train approaching. Beside you is a lever with which you can switch the train to a sidetrack. One person is walking on the sidetrack. Is it O.K. to pull the lever and save the five people, though one will die?...Most people say it is....Assume now you are on a bridge overlooking the track. Ahead, five people on the track are at risk. You can save them by throwing down a heavy object into the path of the approaching train. One is available beside you, in the form of a fat man. Is it O.K. to push him to save the five? Most people say no, although lives saved and lost are the same as in the first problem." (Note: Brain imagining experiments show the second scenario activates emotional areas of the brain that counter the more frontal rational areas engaged by the first scenario.).. "Why does the moral grammar generate such different judgments in apparently similar situations? It makes a distinction, Dr. Hauser writes, between a foreseen harm (the train killing the person on the track) and an intended harm (throwing the person in front of the train), despite the fact that the consequences are the same in either case. It also rates killing an animal as more acceptable than killing a person... Many people cannot articulate the foreseen/intended distinction, Dr. Hauser says, a sign that it is being made at inaccessible levels of the mind. This inability challenges the general belief that moral behavior is learned. For if people cannot articulate the foreseen/intended distinction, how can they teach it?"
This last point seems weak, all kinds of teaching occurs without articulation. Even given that some moral judgements can be more rapid than conscious thought, or are carried out by unconscious background processes, how do we design experiments to distinguish whether they are innate or learned? We need a paradigm as powerful that provided by the Nicaraguan school for deaf children, where the children invented among themselves a unique sign language following Chomsky's rules for a universal grammar. Would a group of children isolated from outside moral influence develop universal moral codes (an experiement that can't be done) or would we have the scenario of Golding's "The Lord of the Flies?"
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Above video (click the rectangle to play) was taken from the Elmo lipstick camera embedded in the mirror on Happy's first day of marking. Happy repetitively touches the mark or the area immediately around the mark with her trunk while in full view of the mirror. She never touches the sham-mark during this session.
Here's the abstract from the Nature article:
Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene) extends the lifespan of diverse species including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. In these organisms, lifespan extension is dependent on Sir2, a conserved deacetylase proposed to underlie the beneficial effects of caloric restriction. Here we show that resveratrol shifts the physiology of middle-aged mice on a high-calorie diet towards that of mice on a standard diet and significantly increases their survival. Resveratrol produces changes associated with longer lifespan, including increased insulin sensitivity, reduced insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I) levels, increased AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor- coactivator 1 (PGC-1) activity, increased mitochondrial number, and improved motor function. Parametric analysis of gene set enrichment revealed that resveratrol opposed the effects of the high-calorie diet in 144 out of 153 significantly altered pathways. These data show that improving general health in mammals using small molecules is an attainable goal, and point to new approaches for treating obesity-related disorders and diseases of ageing.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Figure: The amygdala enhances transfer of sensory information.
Sensory input flows from the neocortex to the hippocampus via the rhinal cortices (descending arrows). The hippocampus in turn assists in consolidating and storing this information through projections back to neocortex (ascending arrows). (a) During spontaneous activity, with low amygdala firing rates (blue traces on left), transfer of information from perirhinal cortex (Prh) to entorhinal cortex (Ent) is minimal (thin red arrows). (b) Following reward, the amygdala increases its firing rate and synchrony. This enables the transfer of sensory information through the rhinal cortices into the hippocampus (large red arrow).