Pictures of the Mind: What the New Neuroscience Tells Us About Who We Are

Pictures of the Mind: What the New Neuroscience Tells Us About Who We Are

Miriam Boleyn-Fitzgerald

Language: English

Pages: 180


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Neuroscientists once believed your brain was essentially "locked down" by adulthood. No new cells. No major changes. If you grew up depressed, angry, sad, aggressive, or nasty, you'd be that way for life. And, as you grew older, there'd be nowhere to go but down, as disease, age, or injury wiped out precious, irreplaceable brain cells. But over the past five, ten, twenty years, all that's changed. Using fMRI and PET scanning technology, neuroscientists can now look deep inside the human brain and they've discovered that it's amazingly flexible, resilient, and plastic.

Pictures of the Mind: What the New Neuroscience Tells Us About Who We Are shows you what they've discovered and what it means to all of us. Through author Miriam Boleyn-Fitzgerald’s masterfully written narrative and use stunning imagery, you'll watch human brains healing, growing, and adapting to challenges. You'll gain powerful new insights into the interplay between environment and genetics, begin understanding how people can influence their own intellectual abilities and emotional makeup, and understand the latest stunning discoveries about coma and "locked-in" syndrome. You'll learn about the tantalizing discoveries that may lead to cures for traumatic brain injury, stroke, emotional disorders, PTSD, drug addiction, chronic pain, maybe even Alzheimer's. Boleyn-Fitzgerald shows how these discoveries are transforming our very understanding of the "self", from an essentially static entity to one that can learn and change throughout life and even master the art of happiness.

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creatures “who are capable of being responsive to reasons and of using reasons in our everyday lives. I don’t think that there is anything that neuroscience is likely to find that is going to tell us that that picture of ourselves is radically false,” he says. For advocates of a justice system grounded in prevention rather than retribution, the crux of the matter is not whether neural activity is an excuse, but whether it is an explanation. If we understand the mental activity underwriting

eight lists of personality-trait adjectives, some positive (cheerful, mature, or talented, for example) and some negative (bitter, envious, or unkind). One group had registered for an eight-week mindfulness training class at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto but had not yet attended it; the other group had just completed the course. The investigators first trained both groups to employ narrative focus (with an emphasis on judging and evaluating what the personality-trait word means, and whether

Mingyur Rinpoche, “The Joy of Living: A Public Talk,” given in Hartford, Connecticut, 9 August 2007, clip available at 26Antoine Lutz, Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, Tom Johnstone, and Richard Davidson, “Regulation of the Neural Circuitry of Emotion by Compassion Meditation: Effects of Meditative Expertise,” PloS One 3, no. 3 (March 2008). 27Clara Moskowitz, “Neuroscience May Explain the Dalai Lama,” MSNBC’s LiveScience, 27 March 2008. 28Ibid. 29Dan Rather,

Steven E. Petersen, and Bradley L. Schlaggar, “The Maturing Architecture of the Brain’s Default Network,” PNAS 105, no. 10 (11 March 2008): 4028–4032. 25Decety, J., Michalska, K.J., & Akitsuki, Y. “Who Caused the Pain? A Functional MRI Investigation of Empathy and Intentionality in Children,” Neuropsychologia 46 (2008): 2607–2614. 26Sharon Begley, “Religion and the Brain,” Newsweek, 7 May 2001. 27V.S. Ramachandran in “God and the Temporal Lobes,” 28V.S.

89 brain challenges for memory enhancement, 89-90 brain death, diagnosis of, 11 brain scans. See neuroimaging brain stem, sleep cycles and, 3 breath awareness, 130-131 Breath by Breath (Rosenberg), 131 Buckner, Randy, 91-94 Buddha, 109 bullies, brain imaging of, 43-44 Burghart, Daniel, 85 Bushnell, Catherine, 54 c caudate, 86 causality of behavior, 78 CD (conduct disorder), 43-44 charity, 84-88 chemical dependency. See addiction Chialvo, Dante, 61 Childs, Nancy, 12

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