The sixth sense


The existence and nature of a “sixth sense”:http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/node/7036 is all the rage in science right now, ever since someone discovered that none of the “wildlife in a park in Sri Lanka”:http://wildasia.net/main/article.cfm?articleID=169 perished in the recent tsunami catastrophe. (That is not to say they didn’t suffer any deletirious effects as a result of harm to their habitat.) Now, scientists are focusing on the ACC(anterior cingulate cortex) as a possible mechanism for an “early warning response.” The ACC(anterior cingulate cortex) seems to be active during very complex cognitive tasks, such as the assessment of danger. It also spikes during the “oh shit” response.

Essentially, the idea is that the brain takes all subtle environmental cues — windspeed, temperature, vibration, etc. — and assesses danger quickly and perhaps unconsciously. It’s a rather mundane version of the sixth sense, but one that’s often effective.

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