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The Lethality of Loneliness

The Lethality of Loneliness | Human condition | Scoop.it

The psychological definition of loneliness hasn’t changed much since Fromm-Reichmann laid it out. “Real loneliness,” as she called it, is not what the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard characterized as the “shut-upness” and solitariness of the civilized. Nor is “real loneliness” the happy solitude of the productive artist or the passing irritation of being cooped up with the flu while all your friends go off on some adventure. It’s not being dissatisfied with your companion of the moment—your friend or lover or even spouse— unless you chronically find yourself in that situation, in which case you may in fact be a lonely person. Fromm-Reichmann even distinguished “real loneliness” from mourning, since the well-adjusted eventually get over that, and from depression, which may be a symptom of loneliness but is rarely the cause. Loneliness, she said—and this will surprise no one—is the want of intimacy.


Via Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

"Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even cancer—tumors can metastasize faster in lonely people."

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Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor's curator insight, May 14, 2013 6:22 PM

For the first time in history, we understand how isolation can ravage the body and brain. Now, what should we do about it?

Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor's comment, May 15, 2013 2:32 AM
It's time to show the love!
Vloasis's curator insight, June 3, 2013 4:58 AM

A good article, and it describes the distinction between loneliness and other formers of depression.  I agree with the modern-day addition to the Fromm-Reichman guidelines, in that one could appear to be very much in the midst of things, surrounded by people--even friends--and be experiencing what is described as true loneliness.

Human condition
The effect of society and other factors on how we think and who we are. How our brains work. Why we think like we do.
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Spite Is Good. Spite Works.

Spite Is Good. Spite Works. | Human condition | Scoop.it
After decades of focusing on aggressiveness, selfishness, narcissism and greed, scientists have turned their attention to the subtler theme of spite.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

Spite, or a 'malicious ill will prompting an urge to hurt or humiliate', even when it may not be in you own best interest, is a part of human behavior not yet fully understood: given the choice between an unfair deal or no deal, why choose not to get anything?

 

Nietzsche said that punishment originally came from spite and only later became a mean to maintain justice and fairness. This would mean that spiteful societies are fairer ones? Well... Yes and no. What psychologists have found out using a game scenario with different test subjects is that completely non-spiteful groups of people were fine on their own but were particularly susceptible to cheaters who infiltrated their group. Completely spiteful societies were their own undoing through their own selfishness, but when non-spiteful and spiteful were mixed, the presence of this behavior served as a regulatory mean that lead towards fairer exchanges in the long run. Apparently, 'Selfish individuals have more reason than anyone else to want to get rid of other cheaters'. And thus spite, an emotion rising from selfishness and the feeling of unjust treatment, can then become an instrument of fairness.

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Fishing for facts: The Great Brain Experiment

Fishing for facts: The Great Brain Experiment | Human condition | Scoop.it
Attention all brain-gamers, neuroscientists, and the plain old neuro-curious…. Today sees the relaunch of The Great Brain Experiment, the world’s largest cognitive science experiment which anyone (...
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

This project provides addictive games in exchange for one thing: the opportunity to probe your brain. Thanks to handheld devices, these scientists have been able to obtain a population sample that is incredibly diverse, and submit their subjects to a bunch of psychological behavioral tests cleverly disguised as games. Hey, it's a win-win situation.

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-great-brain-experiment/id611203774?mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.ac.ucl.greatbrainexperiment&hl=en

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Study: Musical Training Teaches Us to Detect Our Own Mistakes

Study: Musical Training Teaches Us to Detect Our Own Mistakes | Human condition | Scoop.it

"New research finds musical training appears to sharpen our ability to detect our own mistakes, and rapidly make needed adjustments."

José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

According to this study, amateur musicians with more practice hours were better at processing conflicts and (such as the word "red" being written in blue) and reacted less, adjusting their responsiveness accordingly.

 

As the article puts it, "If you hit a wrong note, it’s important to be immediately aware of what you did wrong, but it’s just as important to not hesitate or second-guess yourself. You quickly take stock what happened and move on—a skill the musicians in the study applied to these two tests, and one players can presumably apply to an assortment of everyday challenges."

 

This could be yet another way to preserve mental health and prevent aging. Music, it would seem, can help you take in your environment faster, and keep your reactions sharp.

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A German company has created a way to beam ads into your brain

A German company has created a way to beam ads into your brain | Human condition | Scoop.it

This demo will make you want to never fall asleep against a train window again. It uses something called “bone conduction technology” which transmits sound to the inner ear by passing vibrations through the skull so that it seems like the sound is coming from inside your head. No one else will be able to hear the message.

José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

A new way to bombard us with advertising, and now when we're at our weakest. Tired, groggy, just looking for some rest... and you are confronted with an ad, inside your own head. What if you fall asleep hearing a message telling you to buy this or that? What happens if you hear a message over and over again like this?

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Touchscreens and toddlers: The research is mostly good news - Deseret News

Touchscreens and toddlers: The research is mostly good news - Deseret News | Human condition | Scoop.it

Children are mesmerized by touchscreens — babies and toddlers not excepted — and it's easy to hand a fussy child a smartphone or tablet that responds with intriguing sounds and images when poked. But can very young children really learn useful things from touchscreens? And if so, what parameters should parents set to make sure children don't get so focused on virtual interactions that they miss out on the real world?

Preliminary research is encouraging. A 2013 study from the University of Wisconsin and Hollins University found that "interactive screens do hold potential for early learning." The guidelines say television and other entertainment media should be avoided for children under 2, but that may only be applicable for passive media.

 

However, "Young children are very tactile learners, you can't replace having two blocks in your hands, and figuring out how to stack one on top of the other. Kids have to manipulate things with their hands." That doesn't mean parents need to berate themselves for letting kids enjoy supervised play with touchscreens, though.

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The Six Major Anxieties of Social Media

The Six Major Anxieties of Social Media | Human condition | Scoop.it

"Because each social media network rewards different elements of human behavior, each gives rise to a different inferiority complex. Let us explore the unique forms of oppression we willingly subject ourselves to when we join and engage the following social networks. Some of the fears are wholly new. Others have IRL (In Real Life) precedents from decades — even centuries — past."

José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

1. PINTEREST: FEAR OF DOMESTIC INADEQUACY

2. INSTAGRAM: FEAR OF MISSING OUT

3. TWITTER: FEAR OF LOOKING DUMB

4. FACEBOOK: FEAR OF PERSONAL FAILURE

5. LINKEDIN: FEAR OF CAREER FAILURE

6. SPOTIFY: FEAR OF BAD TASTE

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The Internet May Not Be Doing Our Brains Much Good [Video]

The Internet May Not Be Doing Our Brains Much Good [Video] | Human condition | Scoop.it

"Working on the Internet every day, you start to have certain suspicions about how it affects the way you think and process information. Turns out, there's something to that."


Via Beth Dichter
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Rachel Hall's curator insight, May 9, 2013 12:00 AM

the good and the bad....

Tracy Shaw's curator insight, May 9, 2013 4:27 PM

Thought provoking book ------ taking time to 'unplug' is really a necessity we need to model for students.

Ken Morrison's comment, May 12, 2013 9:44 PM
Brilliant! Thanks for sharing. Also, congrats on your scoop.it score of 92!
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6 year project to map how nerve connections develop in babies' brains while still in the womb and after birth

6 year project to map how nerve connections develop in babies' brains while still in the womb and after birth | Human condition | Scoop.it
Scientists in the UK have launched a six-year project to create the first map of babies' brain in a critical period of growth in the womb and after birth.

 

By the time a baby takes its first breath many of the key pathways between nerves have already been made. And some of these will help determine how a baby thinks or sees the world, and may have a role to play in the development of conditions such as autism, scientists say.

 

But how this rich neural network assembles in the baby before birth is relatively unchartered territory.

 

Researchers from Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, King's College London, Imperial College and Oxford University aim to produce a dynamic wiring diagram of how the brain grows, at a level of detail that they say has been impossible until now.

 

They hope that by charting the journeys of bundles of nerves in the final three months of pregnancy, doctors will be able to understand more about how they can help in situations when this process goes wrong.

 

Prof David Edwards, director of the Centre for the Developing Brain, who is leading the research, says: "There is a distressing number of children in our society who grow up with problems because of things that happen to them around the time of birth or just before birth.

 

"It is very important to be able to scan babies before they are born, because we can capture a period when an awful lot is changing inside the brain, and it is a time when a great many of the things that might be going wrong do seem to be going wrong."

 

The study - known as the Developing Human Connectome Project - hopes to look at more than 1,500 babies, studying many aspects of their neurological development.

 

By examining the brains of babies while they are still growing in the womb, as well as those born prematurely and at full term, the scientists will try to define baselines of normal development and investigate how these may be affected by problems around birth.

 

Researchers aim to understand more about how the brain is affected by prematurity

And they plan to share their map with the wider research community.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Testing brain pacemakers to zap Alzheimer's damage - Fox News

Testing brain pacemakers to zap Alzheimer's damage - Fox News | Human condition | Scoop.it
Health Aim
Testing brain pacemakers to zap Alzheimer's damage
Fox News
A dramatic shift is beginning in the disappointing struggle to find something to slow the damage of this epidemic: The first U.S.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

Implanting electrodes into a brain and promising results.

 

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Eliminating useless information important to learning, making new memories

Eliminating useless information important to learning, making new memories | Human condition | Scoop.it
As we age, it just may be the ability to filter and eliminate old information – rather than take in the new stuff - that makes it harder to learn, scientists report.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

So it's not just about creating connections, but also eliminating them...

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5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think | TED Blog

5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think | TED Blog | Human condition | Scoop.it
A look at the ways that the construction of language can have implications for the way we think, act and parse the world around us.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:
The way we think and act depends on our values and our culture, which is in itself inseparable from the language upon which it is based and which it created. If the way we think has an impact on how we talk about something, why wouldn't the way we talk about it influence our way of thinking, especially if these patterns are learned from a very young age?
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Poor sleep tied to Alzheimer's-like brain changes

Poor sleep tied to Alzheimer's-like brain changes | Human condition | Scoop.it
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older adults who don't sleep well have more of the brain plaques that are hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

It is still unclear whether poor sleep incurs in beta-amyloid plaques (characteristic of Alzheimer's disease) or the opposite. Some scientists it might be a vicious circle between both of them. The next step would be to follow patients with irregular sleep patterns and beta-amyloid plaques in order to try and determine if an improvement in sleep habits can lead to Alzheimer's prevention.

 

In any case, it is important to keep regular sleep patterns and to get enough sleep, because many essential brain processes take place during our slumber : brain plasticity depends on it, and now, maybe even dementia.

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Milgram's Experiment on Obedience to Authority

Milgram's Experiment on Obedience to Authority | Human condition | Scoop.it

"Why is it so many people obey when they feel coerced? Social psychologist Stanley Milgram researched the effect of authority on obedience. He concluded people obey either out of fear or out of a desire to appear cooperative--even when acting against their own better judgment and desires. Milgram’s classic yet controversial experiment illustrates people's reluctance to confront those who abuse power."

José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

Interesting experiment from the 50's which shows how people react when confronted with an order from a respectable authority figure but which goes against their moral principles. This is particularly interesting in a post-WWII context because it could be applied to the situation created under certain kinds of regimes. Even though no actual cohersion took place, 65% percent of people tested carried out their orders to the end. Is power over people that easy to obtain?

 

The principle was simple: a "teacher" applied an increasing amount of voltage to a "student" he could not see every time the latter provided a wrong answer to a question. The voltage buttons were labeled "slight shock", "moderate shock", "strong shock", "very strong shock", "intense shock", "extreme intensity shock", "Danger: Severe Shock" and lastly a grim "XXX." Even though no actual current was applied, the actor playing the student would react to the increasing voltage: the teacher would hear his grunts, whines, screams and pleas, until finally just silence. Some teachers actually thought they had killed their student, and yet they had carried on to the end when prompted to. If you were confronted with this situation, how far would you go in your obedience?

 

Some teachers rebelled, of course, but more than a half obeyed. Of those, some blamed themselves but others had transferred responsibility to either the student or the authority figure, which is what allowed them to go on: they were just following orders. 

 

It seems that "In general, more submission was elicited from "teachers" when (1) the authority figure was in close proximity; (2) teachers felt they could pass on responsibility to others; and (3) experiments took place under the auspices of a respected organization."

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13 Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics [HTML 5]

13 Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics [HTML 5] | Human condition | Scoop.it

Today we suffer from information overload. We receive FIVE times more information than we did 30 years ago, but it doesn't all get through to us. It's too much. However, visually presenting something helps us process a given piece of information, and here are 13 visually-presented reasons why.

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The Lethality of Loneliness

The Lethality of Loneliness | Human condition | Scoop.it

The psychological definition of loneliness hasn’t changed much since Fromm-Reichmann laid it out. “Real loneliness,” as she called it, is not what the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard characterized as the “shut-upness” and solitariness of the civilized. Nor is “real loneliness” the happy solitude of the productive artist or the passing irritation of being cooped up with the flu while all your friends go off on some adventure. It’s not being dissatisfied with your companion of the moment—your friend or lover or even spouse— unless you chronically find yourself in that situation, in which case you may in fact be a lonely person. Fromm-Reichmann even distinguished “real loneliness” from mourning, since the well-adjusted eventually get over that, and from depression, which may be a symptom of loneliness but is rarely the cause. Loneliness, she said—and this will surprise no one—is the want of intimacy.


Via Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

"Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even cancer—tumors can metastasize faster in lonely people."

more...
Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor's curator insight, May 14, 2013 6:22 PM

For the first time in history, we understand how isolation can ravage the body and brain. Now, what should we do about it?

Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor's comment, May 15, 2013 2:32 AM
It's time to show the love!
Vloasis's curator insight, June 3, 2013 4:58 AM

A good article, and it describes the distinction between loneliness and other formers of depression.  I agree with the modern-day addition to the Fromm-Reichman guidelines, in that one could appear to be very much in the midst of things, surrounded by people--even friends--and be experiencing what is described as true loneliness.

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Alcohol sharpens the mind, research finds - Telegraph

Alcohol sharpens the mind, research finds - Telegraph | Human condition | Scoop.it
Men who drink two pints of beer before tackling brain teasers perform better than those who attempt the riddles sober, scientists have found.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

Sometimes losing a few inhibitions can help think more creatively.

 

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Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed

Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed | Human condition | Scoop.it
We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we...

Via Mayra Morales
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

We're all slowly turning into consumerism zombies as the system absorbs us. Work is seen as a burden, in the way of our spare time, but when we do seem to have some time for ourselves, we waste it offhandedly, mostly just spending what we earned "by the sweat of our brow". This has become our goal in life: to work so that we can escape from work. However, somewhere along the line we give up small parts of ourselves, because "we just don't have the time anymore" or we're just "too tired". We numb ourselves down, and we do it willingly, so that in the end we're nothing more than an empty shell, faintly remembering others of what we could have been.

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Mayra Morales's curator insight, April 22, 2013 4:49 PM

I'm already feeling it... how the hell am I supposed to write my mémoire in these conditions???

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The Benefits of Bilingualism

The Benefits of Bilingualism | Human condition | Scoop.it
Being bilingual makes you smarter and can have a profound effect on your brain.

Via Aurélie Duquennoy
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Ashlyn Kristine Brundy's comment, February 4, 2:38 PM
It is very interesting that bilinguals’s brains are always active. It gives the brain a challenge to identify what language to use, and when you are speaking one language, the brain is also processing the second language. I also thought it was very interesting to see that bilinguals are better at performing tasks and that they are more efficient in their thought process and actions than monolinguals. This is a great article.
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Lifelong bilinguals may have more efficient brains - The Chart - CNN ...

Lifelong bilinguals may have more efficient brains - The Chart - CNN ... | Human condition | Scoop.it
There was a variety of languages represented among the bilinguals, which adds to the strength of the experiments, said Judith Kroll, professor of linguistics and psychology at Pennsylvania State University, who was not involved in this study.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

It's the switching between languages that gives plasticity according to this article, so maybe it's about actually managing to think in another language instead of translating everything and copying structures, as we often do with languages we are less familiar with ?

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Study: Bilinguals Have Faster Brains

Study: Bilinguals Have Faster Brains | Human condition | Scoop.it
Speaking two languages can actually help offset some effects of aging on the brain, a new study has found.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

Everything that creates connections between different parts of the brain helps prevent aging, according to something else I read.

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