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Posts Tagged ‘Brain’

How Meditation May Change the Brain

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 28, 2013

Getty Images

Over the December holidays, my husband went on a 10-day silent meditation retreat. Not my idea of fun, but he came back rejuvenated and energetic.

He said the experience was so transformational that he has committed to meditating for two hours daily, one hour in the morning and one in the evening, until the end of March. He’s running an experiment to determine whether and how meditation actually improves the quality of his life.

I’ll admit I’m a skeptic.

But now, scientists say that meditators like my husband may be benefiting from changes in their brains. The researchers report that those who meditated for about 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had measurable changes in gray-matter density in parts of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. The findings will appear in the Jan. 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. Read the rest of this entry »

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Optical Illusions Show How We See

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 17, 2012

By Beau Lotto
How Our Minds Shape Perception

Watch Beau Lotto’s talk above on optical illusions and how information can differ depending on perception.

Imagine… as you wake later than usual rolling over towards the window, you notice that it’s a gorgeous day outside. Warm, yellow sunlight shines in through glass illuminating floating “dust angles.” On the other side of the glass, past the oak tree with yellowing leaves, you see a brilliant blue sky. For the first time it occurs to you that a blue sky is a contradiction: the sky at night is devoid of color, so why during the day does the world seem to be shrouded in a blanket of blue? Years previously as a child full of questions you asked your parents, but the answer they offered seemed somehow inadequate at the time… less than magical. And so the question remains… as it does the most of us.

The answer is this: The sky isn’t actually colored at all (not blue or yellow or red or green). Rather, it’s your mind that’s colored. The world around us is physics devoid of meaning, whereas our perception of the world is meaning devoid of physics. In terms of physics, the light in the sky is heavily biased towards smaller wavelengths (around 450 nanometers). This is because the air itself scatters smaller wavelengths of light more than it does larger ones. Which means the air in the sky is like a filter, letting primarily medium to long wavelengths through more easily than short wavelengths. Hence why the sky is composed primarily of shorter wavelengths (and so appears bluish), whereas the light from sun is composed primarily of longer wavelengths (and so appears more reddish). While the differential scattering of sunlight by the air explains the non-uniform distribution of wavelengths across the sky, it doesn’t explain why shorter wavelengths are seen as blue and the longer ones as red.

The sky isn’t actually colored at all (not blue or yellow or red or green). Rather, it’s your mind that’s colored. The world around us is physics devoid of meaning, whereas our perception of the world is meaning devoid of physics. — Beau Lotto

And yet color is the simplest sensations the brain has. What may surprise you is that even at this most basic level we never see the light that falls onto our eyes or even the real-world source of that light. Rather, neuroscience research tells us that we only ever see what proved useful to see in the past. Illusions are a simple but powerful example of this point. Like all our perceptions, we see illusions because the brain evolved not to see the retinal image, but to resolve the inherent ‘meaninglessness’ of that image by continually redefining normality, a normality that is necessarily grounded in relationships, history and ecology. Which is why we innately find regularities in information and reflexively imbue those regularities with value. But it is the value, not the information itself we see. So, tomorrow morning when you open your eyes and look “out into” the world, don’t be fooled. You’re in fact looking in. You’re not seeing the world covered in a blue blanket at all; you’re seeing a world… an internal map of value-relations derived from interactions within a particular, narrow context. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hacking Your Memory: Could Total Recall Really Happen?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 6, 2012

Columbia Pictures


Do we really need a remake of Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 sci-fi thriller Total Recall? No, but Hollywood is giving us one anyway, this time with Colin Farrell in the place of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the memory-challenged Douglas Quaid.

At the center of both movies is a company called Rekall that can implant fake memories and erase real ones with the help of a bulky, futuristic-looking machine. The original movie doesn’t explain how this happens, but that hasn’t stopped fans from speculating — something that carries extra weight when the fan is a professor specializing in both neuroscience and engineering.

“Here’s my crazy, mad scientist idea,” says Dr. Charles Higgins, a neuromorphic engineer at the University of Arizona. “If you’re going to program memories all over the brain without doing anything invasive like opening up the skull and sticking all kinds of probes in, maybe what they injected was nanorobots — lots of them, maybe millions or billions of them.

“Those go to preprogrammed locations all over the brain and the big machine we see in the movie is there to interact with the nanorobots, to tell them how to change synapses all over the brain in order to correspond with whatever the fake memory is going to be.”

(MORE: Five Miniature Robots Designed to Travel Inside Humans)

We already know that people can be influenced to remember things that never happened, as in the famous “Lost in the Mall” experiment conducted by psychologist Elizabeth Loftus in which people were told four anecdotes that were supposedly from their childhood. Read the rest of this entry »

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Albert Einstein’s brain on public display in London

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 29, 2012

By JohnThomas Didymus

London – Sections of the brain of the famous Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein, were put on public display on Thursday at the Wellcome Collection museum in London, as part of the exhibition “Brains: Mind as Matter.”
The exhibition that runs from March 29 to June 17, displays preserved samples of Einstein’s brain on slides on loan from the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, The Guardian reports. On display are brains of other famous persons such as English mathematician Charles Babbage and some infamous persons such as the murderer William Burke. Also on display is the brain of 19th century killer Edward Rullof, one of the largest known. Visitors will also see on exhibition the brain of U.S. suffragette Helen Gardener, who donated her brain to science to help disprove theories about her gender. The brain of an Ancient Egyptian, the oldest on display, and another with a bullet wound are also on display.

IB Times reports a statement by the museum said, “[The Exhibition] explores what humans have done to brains in the cause of medical intervention, scientific enquiry, cultural meaning and technological change.”

According to Ken Arnold, head of public programs at Wellcome Collection, commenting on the exhibition themed on the human brain: “We all recognise its outline and know that it is the most important part of us, but for many, the brain remains as mysterious as it is beguiling. This exhibition presents brains of extraordinary people among other intriguing specimens and showcases remarkable tales from more than 500 years of scientific investigation into the physical matter of the mind.”

The human brain.

Gutenberg Encyclopedia
The human brain.

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Good News: You Are Not Your Brain

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 27, 2012


By Deepak Chopra, M.D., FACP, and Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School Director, Genetics and Aging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Like a personal computer, science needs a recycle bin for ideas that didn’t work out as planned. In this bin would go commuter trains riding on frictionless rails using superconductivity, along with interferon, the last AIDS vaccine, and most genetic therapies. These failed promises have two things in common: They looked like the wave of the future but then reality proved too complex to fit the simple model that was being offered.

The next thing to go into the recycle bin might be the brain. We are living in a golden age of brain research, thanks largely to vast improvements in brain scans. Now that functional MRIs can give snapshots of the brain in real time, researchers can see specific areas of the brain light up, indicating increased activity. On the other hand, dark spots in the brain indicate minimal activity or none at all. Thus, we arrive at those familiar maps that compare a normal brain with one that has deviated from the norm. This is obviously a great boon where disease is concerned. Doctors can see precisely where epilepsy or Parkinsonism or a brain tumor has created damage, and with this knowledge new drugs and more precise surgery can target the problem. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr Joe Dispenza – How to evolve our brain to experiment a new reality? Stepping in the unknown

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 30, 2012

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Scientists Prove DNA Can Be Reprogrammed by Words and Frequencies

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 11, 2011

By Grazyna Fosar and Franz Bludorf

THE HUMAN DNA IS A BIOLOGICAL INTERNET and superior in many aspects to the artificial one. Russian scientific research directly or indirectly explains phenomena such as clairvoyance, intuition, spontaneous and remote acts of healing, self healing, affirmation techniques, unusual light/auras around people (namely spiritual masters), mind’s influence on weather patterns and much more. In addition, there is evidence for a whole new type of medicine in which DNA can be influenced and reprogrammed by words and frequencies WITHOUT cutting out and replacing single genes.

Only 10% of our DNA is being used for building proteins. It is this subset of DNA that is of interest to western researchers and is being examined and categorized. The other 90% are considered “junk DNA.” The Russian researchers, however, convinced that nature was not dumb, joined linguists and geneticists in a venture to explore those 90% of “junk DNA.” Their results, findings and conclusions are simply revolutionary! According to them, our DNA is not only responsible for the construction of our body but also serves as data storage and in communication. The Russian linguists found that the genetic code, especially in the apparently useless 90%, follows the same rules as all our human languages. To this end they compared the rules of syntax (the way in which words are put together to form phrases and sentences), semantics (the study of meaning in language forms) and the basic rules of grammar. They found that the alkalines of our DNA follow a regular grammar and do have set rules just like our languages. So human languages did not appear coincidentally but are a reflection of our inherent DNA.

The Russian biophysicist and molecular biologist Pjotr Garjajev and his colleagues also explored the vibrational behavior of the DNA. [For the sake of brevity I will give only a summary here. For further exploration please refer to the appendix at the end of this article.] The bottom line was: “Living chromosomes function just like solitonic/holographic computers using the endogenous DNA laser radiation.” This means that they managed for example to modulate certain frequency patterns onto a laser ray and with it influenced the DNA frequency and thus the genetic information itself. Since the basic structure of DNA-alkaline pairs and of language (as explained earlier) are of the same structure, no DNA decoding is necessary. Read the rest of this entry »

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War of The Worldviews: Where Science and Spirituality Agree and Disagree

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 13, 2011

Leonard describes Einstein’s theory of relativity, and quantum theory, and how they are combined to create a scientific theory of how the universe began and evolved. He describes the impressive agreement between the theoretical predictions based on this picture and actual observations of the heavens made by astronomers. Deepak proposes a creative first cause that preceded the infinitesimally brief Planck epoch (10-43 seconds) following the Big Bang. He suggests that since the laws of nature and perhaps space and time emerged after the Planck epoch, any understanding of the pre-created universe remains outside the scope of objective science.


It is said that real spiritual world starts when science ends. According to this science and real spiritual world can not go together.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Brains of Buddhist monks scanned in meditation study

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 27, 2011

By Matt Danzico

The study peers into brains of monks

In a laboratory tucked away off a noisy New York City street, a soft-spoken neuroscientist has been placing Tibetan Buddhist monks into a car-sized brain scanner to better understand the ancient practice of meditation.

But could this unusual research not only unravel the secrets of leading a harmonious life but also shed light on some of the world’s more mysterious diseases?

Zoran Josipovic, a research scientist and adjunct professor at New York University, says he has been peering into the brains of monks while they meditate in an attempt to understand how their brains reorganise themselves during the exercise. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Human Brain: 9 Of The Most Stunning Images Ever (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 6, 2010

Very interesting!
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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