Meditation’s Effects on Alpha Brain Waves

A new study out of Brown University has found that a form of mindfulness meditation known as MBSR may act as a “volume knob” for attention, changing brain wave patterns.

What is MBSR?
Originally developed by a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) is based on mindfulness meditation techniques that have been practiced in some form or another for over two millennia. The 8-week MBSR program still follows some of the same principles of the original Buddhist practice, training followers to focus a “spotlight of attention” on different parts of their body. Eventually, it is hoped, practitioners learn to develop the same awareness of their mental states.

In the last 20 years, MBSR and a similar practice called mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) have been included in an increasing number of healthcare plans in the developed world. Some studies have shown that these practices can reduce distress in individuals with chronic pain and decrease risk of relapses into depression.

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Elétrons e quarks podem ter consciência, diz professor

Para ele, a consciência é a capacidade de experimentar o mundo de alguma forma, e até mesmo as mais simples formas de matéria podem ‘sentir’

A única razão aparente pela qual os seres humanos sabem sobre a existência da consciência (o fenômeno de ter sentimentos e experiências subjetivas) é porque, de fato, temos experiências e sentimentos. Mas, apesar de séculos de estudo, os cientistas ainda não fizeram avanços no entendimento desse fenômeno.

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Os nossos cérebros não analisam passivamente as informações sensoriais. Em vez disso, eles selecionam as informações mais importantes às custas daquelas momentaneamente irrelevantes. Esse processo ativo, denominado atenção seletiva, constitui um elo crítico entre o processamento sensorial e o conjunto cognitivo interno. Um dos dogmas fundamentais que sustentam as neurociências cognitivas é que a atenção é controlada por áreas corticais parietais e pré-frontais. O estudo da referência mostra que uma outra região no lobo temporal inferior exibe as propriedades de um mapa que codifica o foco da atenção. Através da ressonância magnética funcional de todo o cérebro, estimulação e registros eletrofisiológicos específicos, a nova pesquisa modifica nossa compreensão da organização das vias visuais e das funções das redes atencionais. 🧠📑


Why is 18 the age of adulthood if the brain can take 30 years to mature?

Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.

Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.

  • Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take place well into one’s 20s.
  • The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.

 

At what age does someone become an adult? Many might say that the 18th birthday marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. After all, that’s the age at which people can typically join the military and become fully independent in the eyes of the law.

But in light of research showing our brains develop gradually over the course of several decades, and at different paces among individuals, should we start rethinking how we categorize children and adults?

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Neuroscience Reveals: Gratitude Literally Rewires Your Brain to be Happier

When you say “thank you”, do you really mean it or is it just politeness to which you give little attention? Neuroscientists have found that if you really feel it when you say it, you’ll be happier and healthier. The regular practice of expressing gratitude is not a New Age fad; it’s a facet of the human condition that reaps true benefits to those who mean it.

Psychologists Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis and Dr. Michael McCullough of the University of Miami published a study in 2015 that looked at the physical outcomes of practicing gratitude. One third of the subjects in the study were asked to keep a daily journal of things that happened during the week for which they were grateful. Another third was asked to write down daily irritations or events that had displeased them. The last third of the group was asked to write down daily situations and events with no emphasis on either positive or negative emotional attachment. At the end of the 10-week study, each group was asked to record how they felt physically and generally about life.

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A educação que recebemos em nossa infância e o tipo de relacionamento que estabelecemos com nossos pais deixa marcas profundas. Sua atenção ou negligência, sua crítica ou elogio, determinam o estilo de apego que iremos desenvolver e tem um enorme impacto na imagem que formamos de nós mesmos, nossa autoestima e a atitude que assumimos antes da vida.

No entanto, tudo parece indicar que as consequências da crítica na infância não se limitam ao nível psicológico, mas também alteram a configuração do cérebro. Neurocientistas da Universidade Binghamton descobriram que, quando os pais criticam excessivamente seus filhos, eles afetam as áreas do cérebro dedicadas a processar estados emocionais.

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Finding Upends Theory about the Cerebellum’s Role in Reading and Dyslexia

Summary: New findings dispute the popular cerebellar deficit hypothesis of dyslexia. Researchers report the cerebellum is not engaged during reading in typical readers and does not differ in children with dyslexia.

New brain imaging research debunks a controversial theory about dyslexia that can impact how it is sometimes treated, Georgetown University Medical Center neuroscientists say.

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