By studying the injuries and aptitudes of Vietnam War veterans who suffered penetrating head wounds during the war, scientists are tackling—and beginning to answer—longstanding questions about how the brain works.
Medical Xpress New protein structure could help treat Alzheimer's, related diseases Medical Xpress University of Washington bioengineers have a designed a peptide structure that can stop the harmful changes of the body's normal proteins into a...
"...One of the hallmarks of heartbreak, Piver claims, is obsessiveness: you can’t help but wonder if things would have turned out different if you were taller or shorter or more or less sensitive or a better communicator or if you would have said something else in an argument or made your needs more plainly known or cut off all your hair much earlier. “Your rational mind cannot step in and go, ‘stop that,’” Piver says. “The first step in calming this wild animal is just develop some kind of relationship with that obsessiveness so you can begin to calm it.” Without that relationship, you’re just on the “holy shit the sky is falling” ride all the time. But calm doesn’t come from telling the wild animal of the broken-hearted discursive mind to shut up. Instead, Piver says the calm comes from sitting down, making space, letting the wild animal go crazy, and watching it subside..." [click on the title for the full article]
"When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout."
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion — the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
A new study by researchers at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that adults can be trained to be more compassionate. The report, published Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, investigates whether training adults in compassion can result in greater altruistic behavior and related changes in neural systems underlying compassion.
“Our fundamental question was, ‘Can compassion be trained and learned in adults? Can we become more caring if we practice that mindset?’”
says Helen Weng, lead author of the study and a graduate student in clinical psychology. “Our evidence points to yes.”
Currently there is just one drug that has been approved for treatment of acute stroke—recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, or t-PA. Essentially it works by thinning blood clots. Researchers at the University of Georgia (UGA) announced last week that they have developed a magnetic nanoparticle that when combined with t-PA can make the drug significantly more effective.
The Georgia researchers injected magnetic nanorods into the bloodstream. When stimulated by rotating magnets the nanorods act as a kind of mixing tool that shakes up blood clots that have already been thinned by t-PA.
The injected nanorods "act like stirring bars to drive t-PA to the site of the clot," said Yiping Zhao, professor of physics at UGA, in a press release. "Our preliminary results show that the breakdown of clots can be enhanced up to twofold compared to treatment with t-PA alone."
Researchers have developed a new cognitive test that can better determine whether memory impairments are due to very mild Alzheimer’s disease or the normal aging process. Their study appears in the journal Neuropsychologia.
I decide to conduct an experiment, a simple experiment in empathy. I ask myself, is it possible, in spite of how insane and dead-wrong this storeowner is, that I could -- in some way -- begin to empathize with him? Just before bed, I write a list of how I imagine he might be seeing the issue -- and at first, it's physically painful to write:
1. Though I totally disagree with his policy and his intransigent stance, I must also admit that I don't know a damn thing about running a store.
============================ After the phone call I feel like a tiny tear in the fabric of my own humanity has been restored. All through this simple experiment in empathy....
Your measured brain signals can reveal whether you are thinking about an animal or a tool. That's what neuroscientist Irina Simanova discovered during her PhD at Radboud University, where she investigated the conceptual representation of words and objects in the human brain. This knowledge is useful ...
by Bill Cloke So how do we know when we are being empathic? One way is to check it out. Asking for acknowledgement is one way to know what someone is feeling...
How can we define empathy? Heinz Kohut, one of the fathers of modern psychology describes it best when he defines empathy as "vicarious introspection." Kohut describes empathy as an intellectual process and is distinguished from compassion and sympathy by our ability to determine what the other is about without the aid of emotion. He uses the example of how Hitler understood empathy when he placed sirens on his dive bombers because he knew what it would do to the people on the ground. As his troops came into town the people were so scared they immediately surrendered because he had already won the psychological battle.
It was Kohut who postulated that all psychological difficulties begin with empathic failures.
(HealthDay)—Although dehydration significantly reduces blood flow to the brain, researchers in England have found that the brain compensates by increasing the amount of oxygen it extracts from the blood.
The basic requirement for Empathy is to identify the Common Ground. Once the common ground is established, it gives the person an opportunity to walk in the other person’s shoes.
Stephen R. Covey states “Nothing is more validating and affirming than feeling understood. And the moment a person begins feeling understood, that person becomes far more open to influence and change. Empathy is to the heart what air is to the body.”
We should never make assumptions and must have the courage to ask questions to understand from the other person’s perspective.
Here are some powerful quotes from various people that emphasize the Importance and the Power of Empathy.
A prerequisite to empathy is simply paying attention to the person in pain. – Daniel Goleman
Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place. – Daniel H. Pink
When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems. – Stephen Covey
“Our research examines how moral values of empathy and justice have distinct influences on people when they are asked to make donations benefiting others whose choices have led them to an unfortunate place in life,”
write authors Saerom Lee (University of Texas at San Antonio), Karen Page Winterich (Pennsylvania State University), and William T. Ross Jr. (University of Connecticut).
“Our results can help non-profits be more cautious when describing the causes and beneficiaries they are supporting. Donation appeals should specify or imply low responsibility of the charity recipients or, alternatively, seek to elicit empathy to increase donations,” the authors conclude.
“Rather than appealing to a broader spectrum of moral values, messages should focus on the moral values of empathy and benevolence.”
The world's leading humanoid robot, ASIMO, has recently learnt sign language. The news of this breakthrough came just as I completed Level 1 of British Sign Language (I dare say it took me longer to master signing than it did the robot!
Cognitive science is partly defined as the study of thought, learning, and mentalorganization, which are all investigable functions of the human brain. Therefore, byunderstanding the principles of the brain, we can take a step forward in holistically knowing whatthe mind is.Neuroscience and ConsciousnessThe brain is comprised of billions of neurons. Neurons are the fundamental cells in thebrain that communicate to perform most bodily functions and higher-level cognitions. The thingthat makes these cells unique is that they are plastic and able to adapt based on the experiencesthey encounter. Scientists' ability to study the connections and specific importances of groups ofneurons across the brain contributes to the understanding of how humans learn, think, andchange.Various behavioral methods like electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magneticresonance imaging (fMRI) allow us to record neural action in the brain during various tasksrelating to cognitive function. By using these techniques, and others, it has been proven that thefrontal lobe of the brain plays a large part in higher-level cognitive functions like analyzinginformation, solving future problems, developing strategies, and controlling purposeful behaviors.This is significant because lower-level primates do not have developed frontal lobes andtherefore are unable to complete these complex actions. This ability to perform higher-levelfunctions, that aren't simply primitive or instinctive responses, is what makes us distinctlyhuman, and ultimately what composes our unique conscious mind.While neuroscience can solve many questions about what it truly means to be aconscious being (like the ability to control instinctive behaviors), it cannot answer them all. Somehuman functions still remain mysterious because neuroscience can't pin down concepts likefree will or behavioral control. In conclusion, the mind is certainly an emergence from the brain,but it isn't necessarily a distinct subject that can be entirely comprehended by science in today’stime.3
Recent published research in the Journal of Clinical Investigation demonstrates how changes in dopamine signaling and dopamine transporter function are linked to neurological and psychiatric diseases, including early-onset Parkinsonism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Researchers have suggested that alterations in eye movements when reading could be linked to impairments in working memory and an early indication of Alzheimer’s disease according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental...