Philip Seymour Hoffman's sudden death from a heroin overdose has sparked a conversation on the nature of addiction. Neuroscience professor David Linden joins Open Source to talk about what drugs and addiction do to the human brain.
First I would say that the human brain or the human mind is disposed to create stories or narratives. Children love stories, make up stories. Jerome Bruner, a great psychologist, has spoken of two modes of thinking. One is to create narratives, one is to create paradigms or explanations or models. And of course some of these will come together because then you want to have a story which explains. We all come into the world and human beings are evolved into a mysterious world and had to wonder where they came from, how the world came from, what are the stars doing. And in the absence of better explanations, I think, supernatural explanations sort of come to mind. There must have been some great figure who created the universe and who perhaps is keeping an eye on us now. .
Via Alessandro Cerboni
A key point was the fact that bodily experiences always exists in the present moment. The experience of the body, the balance, and stability of the physical self were basic experiences that were connected to the conception of well-being and control. To understand one's emotions and needs through the awareness of the body were understood as the base for self-confidence, trust in one-self, and the ability to take care of oneself and one's needs physically and mentally. The subcategory "living in relation to others and in society" was conceived as an important aspect for the embodied self to interact with others and for societal participation. Working with the body in physiotherapy practice should include an understanding that body awareness is inseparable from the identity and may have an impact on the health of the individual. full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
Via ddrrnt, Jocelyn Stoller
Neuroscience: Joined-up thinking Nature.com Chris Frith explores a masterful model of how consciousness plays out in the theatre of the brain. Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts.
Along this empathic continuum we have things like sympathy, understanding, pity, sensitivity, acceptance, and compassion. When parents provide this for their children it takes on special importance. Empathy is then called attunement or mirroring, and a young child’s well-being or even survival depends on it.
While all resonance along the empathic continuum is affirmative, some are more costly than others, requiring more or less adjustment of our own personal needs or attitudes. Interpersonal resonance is a skill, a gift, a choice, and a commitment.
On the empathic continuum, pity is the least demanding because it posits a degree of separateness between or among persons or groups.
PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
There are five major categories of brain waves, each corresponding to different activities. Meditation enables us to move from higher frequency brain waves to lower frequency, which activates different centers in the brain....
Jean Fain of Concord says the secret to overcoming food and body image issues isn’t depriving yourself at the dinner table or killing yourself at the gym. It’s about cultivating self-compassion wherever you are.In her new "Body Compassion" video series, the Harvard Medical School-affiliated psychotherapist prescribes loving-kindness with support from cognitive-behavioral therapy and other proven strategies for changing how you feel about your body—a shift that, paradoxically, makes it easier to change your body for good.author’s website, http://www.jeanfain.com, and her YouTube channel,http://www.youtube.com/user/jeanfain
Via Edwin Rutsch
Sometimes, the impossible takes place: Sherlock Holmes makes a mistake. Yes, it happens. The master detective falls prey to some of the very errors he urges us to avoid. If even he falters, what chance do we mere mortals have? Well, for one, we can examine those moments when Holmes does go wrong and see what we can learn from the shortcomings of the normally infallible master–after all, it is often in the very errors and flaws of a process that we are able to discern the most about how something actually functions.
In “Silver Blaze,” one of the paragons of logical reasoning, Holmes admits to a rare lapse in judgment. In the story, a prize horse goes missing. As Holmes and Watson head to Dartmoor to help with the investigation, Holmes mentions that on Tuesday evening, both the horse’s owner and Inspector Gregory had telegraphed for his assistance on the case. The flummoxed Watson responds, “Tuesday evening! And this is Thursday morning. Why didn’t you go down yesterday?” To which Holmes answers, “Because I made a blunder, my dear Watson–which is, I am afraid, a more common occurrence than anyone would think who only knew me through your memoirs. The fact is that I could not believe it possible that the most remarkable horse in England could long remain concealed, especially in so sparsely inhabited a place as the north of Dartmoor.”
And there you have it. The great Holmes has made a blunder.
“ National Geographic Hyperactive Brain May Create "Near Death" Visions National Geographic When researchers recorded and analyzed electroencephalograms (EEGs) of the brain activity of rats during cardiac arrest, they discovered that in the seconds...”
Embodied cognition, the idea that the mind is not only connected to the body but that the body influences the mind, is one of the more counter-intuitive ideas in cognitive science. In sharp contrast is dualism, a theory of mind famously put forth by Rene Descartes in the 17th century when he claimed that “there is a great difference between mind and body, inasmuch as body is by nature always divisible, and the mind is entirely indivisible… the mind or soul of man is entirely different from the body.” In the proceeding centuries, the notion of the disembodied mind flourished. From it, western thought developed two basic ideas: reason is disembodied because the mind is disembodied and reason is transcendent and universal. However, as George Lakoff and Rafeal Núñez explain: “Cognitive science calls this entire philosophical worldview into serious question on empirical grounds… [the mind] arises from the nature of our brains, bodies, and bodily experiences. This is not just the innocuous and obvious claim that we need a body to reason; rather, it is the striking claim that the very structure of reason itself comes from the details of our embodiment… Thus, to understand reason we must understand the details of our visual system, our motor system, and the general mechanism of neural binding.” What exactly does this mean? It means that our cognition isn’t confined to our cortices. That is, our cognition is influenced, perhaps determined by, our experiences in the physical world. This is why we say that something is “over our heads” to express the idea that we do not understand; we are drawing upon the physical inability to not see something over our heads and the mental feeling of uncertainty. Or why we understand warmth with affection; as infants and children the subjective judgment of affection almost always corresponded with the sensation of warmth, thus giving way to metaphors such as “I’m warming up to her.”
Via ddrrnt, Jocelyn Stoller
Raymond Tallis: Increasing claims for neuroscience – that it can locate jealousy or Muslim fundamentalism – are ludicrous
The grip of neuroscience on the academic and popular imagination is extraordinary. In recent decades, brain scientists have burst out of the laboratory into the public forum. They are everywhere, analysing and explaining every aspect of our humanity, mobilising their expertise to instruct economists, criminologists, educationists, theologians, literary critics, social scientists and even politicians, and in some cases predicting a neuro-savvy utopia in which mankind, blessed with complete self-understanding, will be able to create a truly rational and harmonious future.
When we clamp down on our inner experience or avoid emotions, the path to kindness is also obscured. Kindness toward others is actually synonymous with kindness toward self.
Compassion is an inner stance, not an external pose. We can only know the difference through an ongoing connection to our own heart. When we allow ourselves to feel, it is possible to detect what is most compassionate in any situation. When we are afraid to feel, it is not. So one could say that when we lean into our heart of hearts, we discover the fount of kindness. When we clamp down on our inner experience or avoid emotions, the path to kindness is also obscured. Kindness toward others is actually synonymous with kindness toward self.
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