Tag Archives | Mind

Are Our Minds Really Confined To Our Brains?

Via Reality Sandwich, Rupert Sheldrake argues no:

Materialism is the doctrine that only matter is real. Hence minds are in brains, and mental activity is nothing but brain activity. This assumption conflicts with our own experience.

In his study of children’s intellectual development, the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget found that before about the age of ten or eleven, European children were like “primitive” people. They did not know that the mind was confined to the head; they thought it extended into the world around them. But by about the age of eleven, most had assimilated what Piaget called the “correct” view.

But not all philosophers and psychologists believe the mind-in-the-brain theory, and over the years a minority has always recognized that our perceptions may be just where they seem to be, in the external world outside our heads, rather than representations inside our brains.

My own interpretation is that vision takes place through extended perceptual fields, which are both within the brain and stretch out beyond it.

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How To Engage In Lucid Dreaming

A series of simple methods (and a few advanced ones) to take control of your dreams:

The risk here is that you’ll experience sleep paralysis, a completely normal phenomenon that prevents your body from moving during sleep. Except you’ll be awake, which can be somewhat frightening. The extra caveat is that during sleep paralysis the brain can play tricks on you, inducing strong feelings of fear and causing hallucinations of dark and scary figures approaching you.

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The LSD Revelations Of The Advanced Study Foundation

Could LSD push the brains of our brightest scientists and thinkers to a higher level? The Morning News on the government funded institute which, right before it was shut down, demonstrated just this:

It was the summer of ’66. At the International Foundation for Advanced Study, an inconspicuously named facility dedicated to psychedelic drug research, an architect and three senior scientists donned eyeshades and earphones, sank into comfy couches, and waited for their government-approved dose of LSD to kick in.

The couched volunteers had each brought along three highly technical problems from their respective fields that they’d been unable to solve for months. In two hours, when the LSD became fully active, they were going to remove the eyeshades and earphones, and attempt to find some solutions…Over the course of the preceding year, IFAS researchers had dosed a total of 22 other men for the creativity study.

Here’s the clincher. The LSD absolutely…helped them solve their complex, seemingly intractable problems.

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Scientists Develop Device To See Inside Dreams

valerie-and-her-week-of-wonders-1970-3Suspect that your spouse is enamored with another? For a fee, you’ll be able to get a recording of their dreams to playback and double check. The Telegraph reports:

The secret world of dreams has been unlocked with the invention of technology capable of illustrating images taken directly from human brains during sleep.

A team of Japanese scientists have created a device that enables the processing and imaging of thoughts and dreams as experienced in the brain to appear on a computer screen.

While researchers have so far only created technology that can reproduce simple images from the brain, the discovery paves the way for the ability to unlock people’s dreams and other brain processes.

A spokesman at ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories said: “It was the first time in the world that it was possible to visualise what people see directly from the brain activity.

“By applying this technology, it may become possible to record and replay subjective images that people perceive like dreams.” The scientists, lead by chief researcher Yukiyaso Kamitani, focused on the image recognition procedures in the retina of the human eye.

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Scientists Find Evidence That Hypnotic Trances Are Real

eyesMany people are skeptical of hypnosis, believing it to be a pseudoscientific practice based on some combination of relaxation/image visualization/the power of suggestion, et cetera.

However, a group of Scandinavian scientists say they have evidence that hypnotic trances are a real and unique state of consciousness, which cannot be imitated or faked by the non-hypnotized, and which (at least some) hypnotists can activate and deactivate at will using a one-word cue. So be careful out there. Nano Patents and Innovations writes:

A multidisciplinary group of researchers from Finland and Sweden has found that strange stare may be a key that can eventually lead to a solution to this long debate about the existence of a hypnotic state.

One of the most widely known features of a hypnotized person in the popular culture is a glazed, wide-open look in the eyes. Paradoxically, this sign has not been considered to have any major importance among researchers and has never been studied in any detail, probably due to the fact that it can be seen in only some hypnotized people.

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Brain Development May Begin With Faulty Wiring

Photo: Ranveig

Via Live Science:

Very early in life, neurons in the brain begin forming connections with one another. But it turns out that during normal development, a startling number can link up to the wrong cells and must be pushed back in the right direction, according to a new study on baby mice.

The finding, detailed Feb. 8 in the journal PLoS Biology, could shed light on brain disorders such as autism, according to one researcher. Mice are often used as a model for human biology, and the researchers think a similar phenomenon occurs in humans.

An international research team made their discovery by observing the development of the cerebellum – a region of the brain responsible for motor control and also linked with attention, language and emotion in humans. During the first three weeks after a mouse is born, the neurons of the cerebellum connect to one another by forming synapses.

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