When making simple decisions, neurons in the brain apply the same statistical trick used by Alan Turing to help break Germany’s Enigma code during World War II, according to a new study in animals by researchers at Columbia University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and Department of Neuroscience. Results of the study were published Feb. 5 in Neuron.
As depicted in the film “The Imitation Game,” Alan Turing and his team of codebreakers devised the statistical technique to help them decipher German military messages encrypted with the Enigma machine. (The technique today is called Wald’s sequential probability ratio test, after Columbia professor Abraham Wald, who independently developed the test to determine if batches of munitions should be shipped to the front or if they contained too many duds.)
Powerful people like to talk about themselves, it may seem vainglorious to the rest of us, but in fact they draw inspiration from themselves and not others. Perhaps they don’t think our lives are particularly interesting, and it may be that they don’t care that we disapprove of them talking about themselves.
Want to improve your immune system and maybe have more positive emotions? Expose yourself to great art or nature, the researchers say. Awe, amusement, compassion, joy all help lower pro inflammatory proteins.