Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Psychology’

Can a brain scan reveal how smart you are?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 4, 2012

Reuters / Sage Center for the Study of the Mind, University of California, Santa Barbara / Handout

Reuters / Sage Center for the Study of the Mind, University of California, Santa Barbara / Handout

A question has plagued scientists for years: When it comes to intelligence, what distinguishes the brains of exceptionally smart humans from the rest? New research reveals that a brain scan could offer an answer.

The brain’s mass and the size of its prefrontal cortex – a region just behind the forehead – have long been believed to play a role in intelligence. New research published in the St. Louis-based Washington University Journal of Neuroscience suggests that up to ten percent of individual differences in intelligence lie in the strength of neural pathways between the brain and the left prefrontal cortex – the region linked to personality and cognitive behaviors.

In other words, the better and more efficient the neural pathways are, the more intelligent the person is. It is a new approach for understanding human intelligence, dubbed “global brain connectivity.”

This marks the first example of solid evidence that neural connections between the left prefrontal cortex and the rest of the brain are a powerful contributing factor to human intelligence, said the study’s lead author Michael W. Cole, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in cognitive neuroscience at Washington University. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Beyond the Matrix — A Buddhist Approach

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 3, 2012

By John Stanley and David Loy

“To be, or not to be: that is the question.”
–Hamlet

“Psychopaths are capable of taking the perspective of somebody else, but only to take better advantage of you. They’re able to play the empathy game, but without the feelings involved. It’s like an empty shell. The core of empathy — being in tune with the feelings of somebody else — seems to be completely lacking. They are like aliens among us.”
–Frans de Waal

The Believing Brain

The human brain often functions as a “believing organ.” Our beliefs develop for many different subjective and psychological reasons, and according to various contexts (family, relationships, culture, media, advertising). There is evidence that many beliefs are largely subconscious in nature. That does not stop us inventing conscious explanations for them. We rationalize, defend and fight for our beliefs — often as if our identity depended upon it. And often it does.

If some new reality challenges our mental map, our understanding of it will usually be limited by our old beliefs. Evidently human ideologies provided some evolutionary advantage in the past. But the enormous evolutionary crisis we are now facing requires rapid creative adaptation to unprecedented realities. The believing organ is being challenged as never before.

Democracy or Corporatocracy?

At the outset of the 21st century, the dominant institution is not government but business corporations, which have learned how to manipulate the democratic process. These legal entities have an insatiable appetite for profit and work to undermine any limitations on their power to pursue it. A prime example was the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to permit unlimited corporate cash donations to political campaigns. Big Carbon companies responded to this new legalization of corruption by financing lavish advertising to capture a majority in the House of Representatives. Defying the unprecedented frequency of extreme weather events occurring worldwide — including a record 12 events imposing aggregate damages of $52 billion on the U.S. itself — their “representatives” blocked any attempts to address the climate crisis. They attacked environmental regulations across the board and cut the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency (which they also threatened to abolish). They organized witch-hunts of eminent climate scientists, reminiscent of the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Article | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

‘Modern capitalism has reached the end of its rope’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 5, 2011

There is barely a corner of the globe that has not been touched by the current financial meltdown. But a senior sociology scholar at Yale University thinks the crisis is far wider than the economic crash – it is capitalism itself which is collapsing.

Immanuel Wallerstein explained his theory to RT.

“Modern capitalism has reached the end of its rope. It cannot survive as a system,” Wallerstein said. “And what we are seeing is the structural crisis of the system. The structural crisis goes on for a long time. It really started more or less in the 1970s and will go on for another 20, 30, 40 years. It is not a crisis of a year or of a short moment, it is the major structural unfolding of a system.  And we are in transition to another system and, in fact, the real political struggle that is going on in the world that most people refuse to recognize is not about capitalism – should we have or should we not have it – but about what should replace it.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Want Happiness? Don’t Buy More Stuff — Go on Vacation

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 22, 2011

When it comes to spending money on things or experiences, the research is clear: Doing brings more happiness than owning.

Given that it’s vacation season for many folks, we thought it a good time to devote this Mind Over Money post to a brief

WALKER AND WALKER / GETTY IMAGES

discussion of what personal finance is ultimately all about. Some people, of course, really enjoy counting their money, deriving great satisfaction simply from watching their bottom line grow, often quite removed from any thought of what they might do with their riches. But for most of us, money is just a token for what we can do with it — pay the mortgage or rent, send kids to college, buy a TV or travel to Italy. And for nearly all of us, money is finite; there isn’t enough to do all we want, so we must be selective. That raises a crucial question: If we want to maximize the happiness or satisfaction we get from our money, how should we spend it?

There’s been a lot of recent research on this subject, much of it conducted at Tom’s home institution, Cornell University (a lot of it by Tom). And the answer is clear. If you’re conflicted about whether to spend money on a material good (say, a computer) or personal experience (say, a vacation), the research says you’ll get much more satisfaction — and for longer — if you choose the experience. Most of us, it turns out, get more bang from the experiential buck. Indeed, when people are asked to recall their most significant material and experiential purchases over the previous five years, they report that the experience brought more joy, was a source of more enduring satisfaction and was more clearly “money well spent.”

(PHOTOS: Top 10 Most Expensive Cities)

This might seem counter-intuitive. After all, when faced with a trade-off between doing and buying, many people opt for the material good because “it will still be there” long after the experience would have been enjoyed. In one sense that’s correct: The material good lasts while the experience is fleeting. But psychologically it’s the reverse. We quickly adapt to the material good, but the experience endures in the memories we cherish, the stories we tell and the very sense of who we are. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Article | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CIA using social networks

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 15, 2011

Wayne Madsen has written about intelligence in America for decades, having transitioned from a Naval officer to journalist, specializing in investigative reporting.

In the past he’s written about the FBI’s Carnivore Internet monitoring program, but now, he says, the government isn’t watching what we do online, but is using the web, rather, to tell us how to do it.

Using the media for propaganda purposes is nothing new for the CIA, says Madsen. He cites the 1960s pirate station Radio Swan as an example of the American government’s attempt to discretely influence the public over 50 years ago, broadcasting messages in favor of the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Now, says Madsen, the government is taking to Twitter and Facebook to get their point across—but isn’t being clear at all on how it’s doing it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

US “sparked Russian spy sensation” in wake of WikiLeaks broadside

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 27, 2010

In an effort to distract attention from the release of thousands of secret documents on the Afghanistan War, the US Anna Chapmanrounded up 11 Russian “spies” according to internal sources.

Just weeks after being hung out to dry after getting branded in the US media spin machine as “spies”, the wrist-slapped Russians are back in Moscow, where “their future looks bright,” Prime Minister Vladimir Putin assured them.

Anna Chapman, for example, whose perky good looks were enhanced by an alluring cloak-and-dagger lifestyle that never seemed to get more exciting than a trip to the local coffee shop, suddenly acquired enough star collateral to reject an invitation by actress Angelina Jolie to the Russian premiere of the film “Salt”, in which Brad’s better half plays – all too surreally in light of recent events – a suspected Russian spy. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in International | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are Eastern Religions More Science-Friendly?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 6, 2010


There are lots of things that could prove that science is quite behind than Eastern philosophy. Just one example: astronomy was developed thousands year ago and our common sense tells us that size of different planets, their distances, their movement are very necessary for this science. However our modern science came to have these information not so long. Then how astronomy could explain and forecast correctly?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: