Consciousness
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Consciousness
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Meditate Your Way To A More Creative Mind

Meditate Your Way To A More Creative Mind | Consciousness | Scoop.it

Re: the research of therapist and meditation teacher named Ron Alexander.


"Mindfulness helps you to build what I call 'mind strength,' " Alexander says. "Your awareness and consciousness become really toned. This is an excellent strategy for becoming successful in your profession, as well as the bigger game of transforming yourself and the people who work with and for you."


Alexander's metaphor is grounded in science. In a move partly spurred by recent improvements in the resolution of computer-generated brain images as well as advances in stem-cell research, neuroscientists have been learning that our brains are more malleable than was once presumed. "A decade ago, we thought you got what you were given at birth and that was pretty much it," says Joshua Aronson, a psychologist at New York University who studies intellectual performance. "But now we know the number of brain cells can increase throughout your life through neurogenesis. There's great evidence that shows if you really work on a skill, the part of the brain associated with that skill grows. The mind is like a muscle. If you don't keep exercising it, it will atrophy."


When adults practice juggling, for example, gray-matter volume in motor areas increases after just two weeks. A classic series of experiments showed that London taxi drivers, who go through detailed training to memorize their city's layout, emerge with enlarged hippocampal regions, which are associated with memory.


But can intelligence and creativity really be as "neuroplastic" as memory and motor skills? Intelligence, much less creativity, has not been conclusively linked with any one area in the brain. The closest analogues are the so-called executive functions, brain systems involved in planning, integrating of sensory information, and abstract thinking, that are thought to be concentrated in the prefrontal cortex. There is, says Aronson, a way to improve executive functioning, and it's the very same practice prescribed by Alexander: mindfulness meditation. In fact, Aronson is currently planning a meditation study with undergrads at NYU. "Some studies show that people who do mindfulness meditation gain as much as 10 IQ points," he says. "What that seems to indicate is that it works on the ability to screen out irrelevant information, to clear out the mind of distractions, and to focus intently on relevant stimuli, which frees up resources to solve problems."


Fast Company

Anya Kamenetz

18 May 2011

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Dibyendu De's comment, December 5, 2012 8:09 PM
Thanks for sharing.. Some quantification as justification for obsessively Left Brained ones.
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Neuroscience: Idle minds

Neuroscience: Idle minds | Consciousness | Scoop.it

Neuroscientists are trying to work out why the brain does so much when it seems to be doing nothing at all.


“Connections between neurons turn over in minutes, hours, days and weeks,” says Raichle. “The structure of the brain will be different tomorrow but we will still remember who we are.”


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Location of the mind remains a mystery

Location of the mind remains a mystery | Consciousness | Scoop.it

A patient who preserved their self-awareness despite extensive brain damage suggests that our map of the brain needs rethinking... the mind might be more like a virtual machine running on distributed computers, with brain resources allocated in a flexible manner,


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A Drug That Could Give You Perfect Visual Memory

A Drug That Could Give You Perfect Visual Memory | Consciousness | Scoop.it

Imagine if you could look at something once and remember it forever. You would never have to ask for directions again. Now a group of scientists has isolated a protein that mega-boosts your ability to remember what you see.


A group of Spanish researchers reported today in Science that they may have stumbled upon a substance that could become the ultimate memory-enhancer. The group was studying a poorly-understood region of the visual cortex. They found that if they boosted production of a protein called RGS-14 (pictured) in that area of the visual cortex in mice, it dramatically affected the animals' ability to remember objects they had seen.


Mice with the RGS-14 boost could remember objects they had seen for up to two months. Ordinarily the same mice would only be able to remember these objects for about an hour. (...)


If this protein boosts visual memory in humans, the implications are staggering. In their paper, the researchers say that it could be used as a memory-enhancer – which seems like an understatement. What's particularly intriguing is the fact that this protein works on visual memory only. So as I mentioned earlier, it would be perfect for mapping. It would also be useful for engineers and architects who need to hold a lot of visual images in their minds at once. And it would also be a great drug for detectives and spies.


io9.com

Annalee Newitz

02 Jul 2009



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Using Pattern Recognition to Enhance Memory and Creativity

Using Pattern Recognition to Enhance Memory and Creativity | Consciousness | Scoop.it

It seems to be the season for fascinating meditations on consciousness, exploring such questions as what happens while we sleep, how complex cognition evolved, and why the world exists. Joining them and prior explorations of what it means to be human is The Ravenous Brain: How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning (public library) by Cambridge neuroscientist Daniel Bor in which, among other things, he sheds light on how our species' penchant for pattern-recognition is essential to consciousness and our entire experience of life.


The process of combining more primitive pieces of information to create something more meaningful is a crucial aspect both of learning and of consciousness and is one of the defining features of human experience. Once we have reached adulthood, we have decades of intensive learning behind us, where the discovery of thousands of useful combinations of features, as well as combinations of combinations and so on, has collectively generated an amazingly rich, hierarchical model of the world. Inside us is also written a multitude of mini strategies about how to direct our attention in order to maximize further learning. We can allow our attention to roam anywhere around us and glean interesting new clues about any facet of our local environment, to compare and potentially add to our extensive internal model.

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Universal Theory | Holonomic Brain Theory

Universal Theory | Holonomic Brain Theory | Consciousness | Scoop.it
Memory is not lost when the brain is sliced in different directions. This defies the assumption that memory storage occurs in specific parts of the brain. The Holonomic Brain theory suggests that memory is stored in spectral form.
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