Art De Vany’s three talks at The Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC)

Art De Vany has now given three talks at The Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC), who describe themselves as “pioneers [of] technologies aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities”.

Two are talks he gave at their Evening Lecture series in December 2016 and December 2019, and his third is an interview in STEM-talk in April 2017.

Renewing Cycles (2016)

The human species is a young species, no more than 200,000 years old; we are also the first species to live long enough to experience aging and significant brain degeneration. The large human brain coevolved with extended human longevity within the last 100,000 years in the harsh world of the Ice Age when intelligence became the basis for survival. Longevity was a requirement to develop a larger brain. The prolonged and complex development required to build the fetal brain left residual stem cells in protected niches in every cell as a reserve for future growth and renewal. What an elegant design — our body is manufactured to have all the spare parts we will ever need in the stem cells hidden in protected niches that can renew or repair damaged parts.

Hollywood Economics, the Paleo Way, and the Role of Fitness (2017)

In Episode 30 of STEM-Talk, host Dawn Kernagis and IHMC Founder Ken Ford have a wide-ranging conversation with De Vany that covers his statistical study of home-run hitting to the dynamics of box-office revenues to the role that exercise and diet play in aging.

The Youthful Brain (2019)

Dr. DeVany’s talk is a continuation of his ongoing study of the evolution of the human body and brain as a unitary system; a controller (brain) and effector (muscle) model coupled by systemic signals. This integrated view, centered on brain-body signaling, reveals new strategies for preventing brain deterioration and maintaining a healthy, lean body. It makes clear that Alzheimer’s disease and many other diseases of neural degeneration and cognitive decline are largely metabolic diseases compounded by loss of muscle mass and stem cell exhaustion. For example, a loss of insulin sensitivity precedes the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by at least 15 years. Remarkably, the areas of the brain most affected are the most recent additions to the brain and are the most dependent on glucose metabolism. This connection has an evolutionary basis for counter measures to prevent metabolic decline and loss of neurons and muscle mass. The many pathways and genes involved in the loss of cognition and motor coordination are sketched in my talk and they are part of a revolution in the scientific understanding of brain/body signaling and cognitive decline.

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