Paul Thompson's Research Publications The brain's center of reasoning and problem solving is among the last to mature, a new study graphically reveals. The decade-long magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of normal brain development, from ages 4 to 21, by researchers at NIH's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) shows that such "higher-order" brain centers, such as the prefrontal cortex, don't fully develop until young adulthood. A time-lapse 3-D movie that compresses 15 years of human brain maturation, ages 5 to 20, into seconds shows gray matter - the working tissue of the brain's cortex - diminishing in a back-to-front wave, likely reflecting the pruning of unused neuronal connections during the teen years. "To interpret brain changes we were seeing in neurodevelopmental disorders like schizophrenia, we needed a better picture of how the brain normally develops," explained Rapoport. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Article:  Nitin Gogtay MD, Jay N.
Like it Or Not, Emotions Will Drive the Decisions You Make Today Your emotions will drive the decisions you make today, and your success may depend upon your ability to understand and interpret them. When an emotion is triggered in your brain, your nervous systems responds by creating feelings in your body (what many people refer to as a "gut feeling") and certain thoughts in your mind. A great deal of your decisions are informed by your emotional responses because that is what emotions are designed to do: to appraise and summarize an experience and inform your actions. But if an emotion is triggered, just how much should you pay attention to your visceral response and the thoughts it creates? Emotions are not particularly sophisticated or precise, but their speed and utility make up for what they lack in sophistication and precision. Emotions, when they are not disordered, provide information about your circumstances in a simple, quick way that does not involve a lot of cognition (thinking about it). Emotions have tremendous action potential.
Our brains are wired so we can better hear ourselves speak, new study shows Like the mute button on the TV remote control, our brains filter out unwanted noise so we can focus on what we’re listening to. But when it comes to following our own speech, a new brain study from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that instead of one homogenous mute button, we have a network of volume settings that can selectively silence and amplify the sounds we make and hear. Activity in the auditory cortex when we speak and listen is amplified in some regions of the brain and muted in others. In this image, the black line represents muting activity when we speak. (Courtesy of Adeen Flinker) Neuroscientists from UC Berkeley, UCSF and Johns Hopkins University tracked the electrical signals emitted from the brains of hospitalized epilepsy patients. Their findings, published today (Dec. 8, 2010) in the Journal of Neuroscience, offer new clues about how we hear ourselves above the noise of our surroundings and monitor what we say.
10 Ways Gratitude Can Change Your Life & 4 Step Gratitude Plan Gratitude can motivate others, increase self-control, build social ties and more…plus 4-step gratitude plan. Gratitude is the new miracle emotion. Although gratitude has been around for as long as human beings, it’s only recently started to get the big thumbs-up from science. So here are 10 ways gratitude can change your life, followed by a quick 4-step plan to help maximise your own gratitude, whatever level you start from. There’s even a trick for those suffering from ‘gratitude burnout’. 1. Gratitude is different things to different people: amongst them could be counting your blessings, savouring what life has given you, thanking someone or wondering at the natural world. Whatever form it takes, one of the best known and most researched effects of practicing gratitude is it makes you happier. Participants in one study were 25% happier, on average, after practicing a little gratitude over a 10-week period. 2. Gratitude isn’t just about feeling better, it’s also about thinking better. 3. 4.
Human Connectome Project | Mapping the human brain connectivity Emotional Wiring Different in Men and Women Men and women are actually from the same planet, but scientists now have the first strong evidence that the emotional wiring of the sexes is fundamentally different. An almond-shaped cluster of neurons that processes experiences such as fear and aggression hooks up to contrasting brain functions in men and women at rest, the new research shows. For men, the cluster "talks with" brain regions that help them respond to sensors for what's going on outside the body, such as the visual cortex and an area that coordinates motor actions. For women, the cluster communicates with brain regions that help them respond to sensors inside the body, such as the insular cortex and hypothalamus. These areas tune in to and regulate women's hormones, heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and respiration. Cahill and his co-author Lisa Kilpatrick, scanned the brains of 36 healthy men and 36 healthy women. Scientists still have to find out if one's sex also affects the wiring of other regions of the brain.
Morality Study Narrows Gap Between Mind And Brain The Neuroscience of Self-Esteem, Self-Criticism and Self-Compassion All the emphasis on self-esteem building in recent decades has done little to instruct people on what to do when they hit a bump in the road. Most of us, research shows, unleash our inner critic – even if the hardship is brought on by age, illness or another inevitable part of life. Recently, scientists such as Paul Gilbert of Kingsway Hospital in the United Kingdom and Kristin Neff of the University of Texas at Austin, have suggested being self-compassionate, rather than self-critical, especially in rough times, is more likely to help us rebound and may lead to greater success and happiness in the long run. This is not just semantics or new-age feel-good fluff. Gilbert associates self-esteem, self-criticism and self-compassion with three interacting emotional systems in the brain, each with their own evolutionary purpose and mediating neurotransmitters. The "drive" system The threat-protection system For many of us, these first two systems dominate. The mammalian care-giving system
Clearing the Mind: How the Brain Cuts the Clutter | Mind, Brain & Senses Newly discovered neurons in the front of the brain act as the bouncers at the doors of the senses, letting in only the most important of the trillions of signals our bodies receive. Problems with these neurons could be the source of some symptoms of diseases like attention deficit disorder and schizophrenia. "The brain doesn't have enough capacity to process all the information that is coming into your senses," said study researcher Julio Martinez-Trujillo, of McGill University in Montreal. "We found that there are some cells, some neurons in the prefrontal cortex, which have the ability to suppress the information that you aren't interested in. Humans are constantly taking in huge streams of data from each of our senses. A cluttered mind This "brain clutter," or inability to filter out unnecessary information, is a possible mechanism of diseases like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia. Mindful monkeys
Everyday Stress Can Shut Down the Brain's Chief Command Center The entrance exam to medical school consists of a five-hour fusillade of hundreds of questions that, even with the best preparation, often leaves the test taker discombobulated and anxious. For some would-be physicians, the relentless pressure causes their reasoning abilities to slow and even shut down entirely. The experience—known variously as choking, brain freeze, nerves, jitters, folding, blanking out, the yips or a dozen other descriptive terms—is all too familiar to virtually anyone who has flubbed a speech, bumped up against writer’s block or struggled through a lengthy exam. For decades scientists thought they understood what happens in the brain during testing or a battlefront firefight. In recent years a different line of research has put the physiology of stress in an entirely new perspective. Select an option below: Customer Sign In *You must have purchased this issue or have a qualifying subscription to access this content
100 Ways To Become More Conscious: How To Raise Your Consciousness 1. Connect with nature – Go for a walk in the forest, jungle, field of daisies, or wherever you feel like getting a connection with nature. It is possible to feel at deep sense of peace and oneness when you attempt to connect with nature. As you learn to connect and appreciate nature, you allow your consciousness to rise up. 2. – Exercise and dancing will raise your consciousness by promoting healthy brainwave patterns, healthy neurotransmitter levels, and great circulation throughout your nervous system. 3. - Whether you are an advanced meditator or a beginner, the benefits are tremendous and will allow you to tap into your highest state of conscious functioning if you stick around long enough. 4. - Find only friends that align with who you are, your beliefs, and your values – they will make you more conscious. 5. – If you have the intention to raise your consciousness and state of awareness, you are on the right track. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. - There are many ways to become more intelligent.