Neuroscience Student Pursues Steemit over PhD?!
After just over a month on Steemit, I call tell that this platform offers something truly unique. After learning more about the technical aspects of Steemit and the Steem blockchain, and exploring different communities using the platform, I can say that I am very excited about the future of this project. It allows me to integrate so many of my interests into one effort. It has provided me with an outlet for my science/philosophy writing hobby, and has connected me with other researchers, clinicians, students, and science enthusiasts with whom I can discuss interesting topics. It resonates with my blockchain interests, and reminds me of what got me excited about crypto to begin with: the incredible potential to provide social and financial freedoms for the masses of people without them.
With the explosion of new users on Steemit, and the updates being made by the Steemit team and @heimindanger to dTube, I am growing confident that this ecosystem is only improving. Having become less and less enthusiastic about continuing in academia (for a plethora of reasons), I will be putting much of my effort into Steemit. I will soon be announcing a new project which will aim to further bring on new users and promote quality content on Steemit! Steemit has the potential to let me live the life that I want to live; one where I can do work while I travel, and direct my own research and work.
Who am I
I am a Behavioral Neuroscience and Cognitive Psychology student at Lehigh University, where I also do Neurodegenerative research in a Fruit Fly lab. I became extremely interested in what I later learned is called the hard problem of consciousness, the question about how a subjective experience can arise from a physical substrate or process. For this reason I decided to study the two fields which saddle this amazing phenomenon: Neuroscience, the study of the brain, and psychology, the study of the mind. In doing so I have become extremely interested in molecular biology, neuro-psychopharmacology (the study of conscious altering substances like LSD on the mind and brain), theoretical physics, and mindfulness meditation. Basically, I just want to know all the answers to life and the universe.
Between dissecting fly brains and studying for exams I enjoying reading and writing about science, politics, and philosophy. I am a big traveler, and hope to share some of my up coming backpacking trips with Steemit! I like to hike, ski and snowboard, play guitar, and cook!
Goal of my Blog
Overall, my goal is to integrate peer reviewed literature with the experiences of everyday life. I want to help bridge the gap between scientific discovery and practical use, and facilitate a more articulate and productive conversation. I attempt to do this in my writing by pulling on both peer reviewed literature and books, podcasts, news articles, and videos. I value facts over feelings in writing, and my goal is to think and learn, not to force a particular argument.
Here is a short preview of some of my previous writing, which might give you a feel for my writing style. Most of them start by discussing psychological or philosophical questions, and then they dive into some neuroscience or chemistry later on.
We experience life linearly through time as a single person. While we feel like individual, unchanging entities, our bodies and minds are always changing. From moment to moment you are made up of a significantly different population, organization, orientation, and state of cells. You are in a unique instance in your life which consists of a unique environmental situation and a unique psychological perspective.
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.” - Heraclitus
While every moment is intrinsically distinct, one thing is certainly conserved: We only live in the current moment. We have the capacity, however, to remember the past, and to think about the future. This is different than the ability to actually experience the future or past; it could be thought of as a present experience which contains the conceptualization or depiction of the future or past. But each experience molds us like waves on a rock, and leave memories and physical alterations behind.
Through memories, our past experiences shape how we respond to an event. This is especially true for the formative early years of our lives, during the "critical period" when our neurons can rapidly change by forming new connections and 'pruning' others through elevated neural plasticity. This malleable stage of life enables quick adaptation to new environments and rapid and robust learning. It is responsible for children being capable of picking up a language or skill far quicker than an adult could, and for childhood experiences having a large impact on a persons conceptualization of the world.
Since early experiences can have such an impact on children, a single bad event can cause serious trauma or fear. These fears can follow an individual into adulthood even if the adult recognizes the fear as being irrational. Some adults can even point to the event(s) in their childhood which they think started the fear.
Thanks so much for reading! I am very excited to continue posting on Steemit and reading more awesome content by you guys!