Not to worry – the vast majority of lasers are fine. They just have to burn some of your skin, usually on your jawbone.
There’s an exception to this rule.
If your surgeon and laser manufacturer don’t agree on which side of your laser is going to go, you’ve got to agree about what you need to do to replace that laser. For most people, we would only be able to replace the laser that was damaged in the laser tattoo removal procedure. Most of our lasers are laser-only, meaning they emit visible light.
I’ve long been fascinated by the idea of self-awareness: that is, the ability to see what is behind your own consciousness. What does our brain do to allow consciousness to emerge from the unconscious? What about the rest of your nervous system, your digestive system, what about the rest of your system? The whole area seems to be a little like the Holy Grail of neuroscience – a little bit beyond our ken, but a huge trove of stuff within it yet to discover.
A paper in Nature Neuroscience has now put forward a potential clue: it appears that a “neuro-connectivity” hub known as D2P2 encodes the contents of a set of brain regions called the default mode network, including our conscious states of mind.
And it seems that in general, humans have a more developed, more sophisticated and perhaps less conscious network than other species. In the brain, the D2P2-related regions, which are thought to function as an intermediary network between a person’s conscious state and non-conscious states, are much more abundant across humans than they are in other animals.
“The findings, which are based on extensive behavioural studies of mouse brain, support the widespread and well documented role played by the functional activity of the interplay of these different modules in mediating consciousness and regulating behaviour,” said the authors of the paper.
“This study supports the idea that D2P2 is a key player in controlling brain activity”.
They then go on to test the hypothesis that the presence of D2P2-related regions contributes to our ability to detect the presence of an object in space. This is to say that the activity in such a system – which they call DMN – is correlated with our sensitivity to and capacity to distinguish between objects.
They use mice to test the hypothesis that mouse brains contain many areas of the DMN and that they also have a distinct pattern of default
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