We've entered a golden age for brain research, but all these new findings haven't trickled down to the individual. Yet there are broad discoveries that make it possible to everyone to improve their brains.
Emma's Blog: The Home Research and Development Day London 28.11.12 Who Cares? Yesterday I spent the day at the Albany Theatre in Deptford South London with David Slater from Entelechy Arts, Deborah Dickinson ...
That transcendance has a history, which used to be viewed through the lens of gradual improvement. In 1920 Henry Gilbert published the text of a lecture he had given at Harvard University, called "Progress in Art".
Why is the brain divided? Despite much research and speculation, neurologists have struggled to make sense of hemisphere differences, or of their impact on human thought and experience.
In this remarkable and absorbing book, Iain McGilchrist argues that the two hemispheres have not merely different skills, but wholly different perspectives on the world. Drawing on a vast body of recent brain research, illustrated with fascinating case material, he suggests that the left hemisphere is designed to exploit the world effectively, but is narrow in focus and prizes theory over experience. It prefers mechanisms to living things, ignores whatever is not explicit, lacks empathy, and is unreasonably certain of itself. By contrast, the right hemisphere has a much broader, more generous understanding of the world, but lacks the certainty to counter this onslaught, because what it knows is more subtle and many-faceted.
It is vital that the two hemispheres work together, but in Western culture there is evidence of a power struggle, with the left hemisphere becoming increasingly dominant. The result is a dehumanized society, where a rigid and bureaucratic mentality, obsessed with structure and mechanism, holds sway, at huge cost to human happiness and the world around us.
According to noted neurologist Antonio R. Damasio, joy or sorrow can emerge only after the brain registers physical changes in the body
MIND: You differentiate between feelings and emotions. How so?
Damasio: In everyday language we often use the terms interchangeably. This shows how closely connected emotions are with feelings. But for neuroscience, emotions are more or less the complex reactions the body has to certain stimuli. When we are afraid of something, our hearts begin to race, our mouths become dry, our skin turns pale and our muscles contract. This emotional reaction occurs automatically and unconsciously. Feelings occur after we become aware in our brain of such physical changes; only then do we experience the feeling of fear.
MIND: So, then, feelings are formed by emotions?
Damasio: Yes. The brain is constantly receiving signals from the body, registering what is going on inside of us. It then processes the signals in neural maps, which it then compiles in the so-called somatosensory centers. Feelings occur when the maps are read and it becomes apparent that emotional changes have been recorded--as snapshots of our physical state, so to speak.
Experts warn that China's apparent claims to other territories could have a long-term impact on relations with its neighbours...
Many people assume oftentimes that a map merely reflects reality. In this passport map, China is flexing it's regional muscles, trying to reinforce their territorial claims as legitimate. Not surprisingly, their neighbors with competing claims are angered, calling this map dimplomatically "unacceptable." Some look at this map and dismiss it as a glorified watermark. What you you think the sub-text this maps is? You can find another article on this topic in the Washington Post.
Drummer and therapist find peace through artThe News-PressDrummer and therapist find peace through art. Sweet Gallery features wood sculptures and marble manipulations ... No blinding flash from paparazzi.
The seminar was supported by The Meath Foundation, The Arts Council, Dublin City of Science 2012 and The Centre for Ageing, Neuroscience, and the Humanities at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital (Tallaght).
Expression through art can be helpful, and turn a disability into an ability! Is it really a disability if you help others through your artwork to learn about a disease? Many of us do not understand aging and what it brings with it.
Of course, learned philosophy came through in their artwork, but the purpose was to select the greatest humanists, who were assumed to have the greatest wisdom and therefore an ability to make important governing ...
Psychologists from the University of Toronto and Harvard University have identified one of the biological bases of creativity.
... the brains of creative people appear to be more open to incoming stimuli from the surrounding environment.
Other people’s brains might shut out this same information through a process called “latent inhibition” – defined as an animal’s unconscious capacity to ignore stimuli that experience has shown are irrelevant to its needs.
“This means that creative individuals remain in contact with the extra information constantly streaming in from the environment,”
“If you are open to new information, new ideas, you better be able to intelligently and carefully edit and choose. If you have 50 ideas, only two or three are likely to be good. You have to be able to discriminate or you’ll get swamped.”
... during the early stages of diseases such as schizophrenia, which are often accompanied by feelings of deep insight, mystical knowledge and religious experience, chemical changes take place in which latent inhibition disappears.
“We are very excited by the results of these studies,” says Peterson. “It appears that we have not only identified one of the biological bases of creativity but have moved towards cracking an age-old mystery: the relationship between genius, madness and the doors of perception.”
"...One study of 65 subjects suggests that creativity prefers to take a slower, more meandering path than intelligence. 'The brain appears to be an efficient superhighway that gets you from Point A to Point B” when it comes to intelligence, Dr. (Rex) Jung explained. “But in the regions of the brain related to creativity, there appears to be lots of little side roads with interesting detours, and meandering little byways.'"
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."
Unicharm Corp.’s sales of adult diapers in Japan exceeded those for babies for the first time last year. At Daiei Inc. supermarkets, customers can feel Japan aging -- literally: It has made shopping carts lighter.
Japan's demographic shifts are well-chronicled: the Japanese are having fewer children and the improvements in healthcare mean that the elderly are living longer than ever. Combined this means that Japan's population pyramid is getting "top heavy." This population change is having huge econmic impacts as the percentage of Japanese people is now over 23%. Retailers and industries are heavily targeting this expanding demographic with financial clout that outspends all other cohorts.
Tags: Japan, declining population, economic, population, demographics, unit 2 population, East Asia, consumption.
The art of self-healing and the pursuit of longevity have been hallowed traditions in Eastern cultures for millennia and form an integral part of classical Chinese culture, and are often referred to as ways of “cultivation,” or ...
We age. Those with fond memories of us, when they see us now, still have sympathy but the old chemistry has gone the way of all things. It's not a tragedy, it's just life and we need to come to terms with that: ...
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