What our brains learn, they can also unlearn—including what makes us anxious. That's the idea behind Neurotic Neurons, an interactive work by Nicky Case that explores the neuroscience of anxiety, and particularly the theory of Hebbian learning, wherein "neurons that fire together, wire together" and create associations in the mind.
Click on a star-shaped neuron in the simulation and you'll hear a satisfying snap, as it reaches out and forms a connection to another neuron; in the anxious mind, Case explains, this can mean connecting "innocent" thoughts to upsetting thoughts.
Case, who co-created the interactive social bias experience Parable of the Polygons, also explores how the brain can "unlearn" and break associations as well, and how this is used therapeutically to treat phobias, anxiety disorders and PTSD. Although Case notes that some aspects of the model are simplified—and that rewiring your own brain is neither easy nor quick—it's something that they can speak to personally as well, after years of struggling with persistent anxiety. "I'm proof," says Case. "It can be done."
The Offworld Collection, presenting the very best features and essays from Offworld, is finally available to buy directly from Campo Santo for $40. I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating this splendid 250-page hardcover volume, but it’s the excellent writing, edited by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson, that makes it an essential buy. You […]
Zoya Street, curator of Critical Distance, offers slow reflections on the fast-paced world of digital play…
This week, our partnership with Critical Distance brings us reading on parenting via Tomb Raider, the utility of the word ‘gameplay’, and experiences from Nintendo ‘play counselors’ from the 1980s and 90s.
In case it wasn’t clear from the Google pedigree, Google Go has a ton of support in the coding world. Already, this new programming language is the fourth most active on Github, and developers who work with Go are the third-highest paid globally in the Stack Overflow developer survey for 2019. Globally, the average Go […]
When it comes to large computer systems, not one of them is fully secure. Even with constant updates to the platforms that keep vital networks humming, there’s always a back door. And companies are willing to pay handsomely to effective bouncers that can keep an eye on them. Call them ethical hackers or white hat […]
So you’ve visited the Kennedy Space Center every year. You’ve watched “The Right Stuff” for the 95th time. There must be something to do while you’re waiting to join Space Force for the next manned mission to Mars or the moon. Here’s a combo that should raise a salute from any fan of space or […]