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Category: Mind Power

29 Sep 2020
This study finds that those who retired early lost brain power

This study finds that those who retired early lost brain power

People who retire early suffer from accelerated cognitive decline and may even encounter early onset of dementia, according to a new economic study I conducted with my doctoral student Alan Adelman.

To establish that finding, we examined the effects of a rural pension program China introduced in 2009 that provided people who participated with a stable income if they stopped working after the official retirement age of 60.

We found that people who participated in the program and retired within one or two years experienced a cognitive decline equivalent to a drop in general intelligence of 1.7% relative to the general population. This drop is equivalent to about three IQ points and could make it harder for someone to adhere to a medication schedule or conduct financial planning.

The largest negative effect was in what is called “delayed recall,” which measures a person’s ability to remember something mentioned several minutes ago. Neurological research links problems in this area to an early onset of dementia.

Why it matters
Cognitive decline refers to when a person has trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating or making decisions that affect their everyday life. Although some cognitive decline appears to be an inevitable byproduct of aging, faster decline can have profound adverse consequences on one’s life.

Better understanding of the causes of this has powerful financial consequences. Cognitive skills – the mental processes of gathering and processing information to solve problems, adapt to situations and learn from experiences – are crucial for decision-making. They influence an individual’s ability to process information and are connected to higher earnings and a better quality of life.

Retiring early and working less or not at all can generate large benefits, such as reduced stress, better diets and more sleep. But as we found, it also has unintended adverse effects, like fewer social activities and less time spent challenging the mind, that far outweighed the positives.

While retirement schemes like the 401(k) and similar programs in other countries are typically introduced to ensure the welfare of aging adults, our research suggests they need to be designed carefully to avoid unintended and significant adverse consequences. When people consider retirement, they should weigh the benefits with the significant downsides of a sudden lack of mental activity. A good way to ameliorate these effects is to stay engaged in social activities and continue to use your brains in the same way you did when you were working.

In short, we show that if you rest, you rust.

What still isn’t known
Because we are using data and a program in China, the mechanisms of how retirement induces cognitive decline could be context-specific and may not necessarily apply to people in other countries. For example, cultural differences or other policies that can provide support to individuals in old age can buffer some of the negative effects that we see in rural China due to the increase in social isolation and reduced mental activities.

Therefore, we can not definitively say that the findings will extrapolate to other countries. We are looking for data from other countries’ retirement programs, such as India’s, to see if the effects are similar or how they are different.

How I do my research
A big focus of the economics research lab I run is to better understand the causes and consequences of changes in what economists call “human capital” – especially cognitive skills – in the context of developing countries.

Our lab’s mission is to generate research to inform economic policies and empower individuals in low-income countries to rise out of poverty. One of the main ways we do this is through the use of randomized controlled trials to measure the impact of a particular intervention, such as retiring early or access to microcredit, on education outcomes, productivity and health decisions.

Plamen Nikolov is an assistant professor of rconomics at Binghamton University, State University of New York. This was first published by The Conversation — “Retiring early can be bad for the brain“.

Source: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-study-finds-that-those-who-retired-early-lost-brain-power-11600790404

14 May 2020

Neuralink Will Do Human Brain Implant in “Less Than a Year”

For the second time in two years, entrepreneur and billionaire Elon Musk sat down with podcaster Joe Rogan to chat about the future of AI and its role in the symbiosis of man and machine.

In their conversation, Musk revealed that the secretive brain stimulation link startup Neuralink, which he co-founded, is close to starting testing in actual humans.

“We’re not testing people yet, but I think it won’t be too long,” Musk told Rogan. “We may be able to implant a neural link in less than a year in a person I think.”

The news comes after Musk teased in February that the brain-computer interface startup was working on an “awesome” new version.

In their conversation, Musk revealed that the secretive brain stimulation link startup Neuralink, which he co-founded, is close to starting testing in actual humans.

“We’re not testing people yet, but I think it won’t be too long,” Musk told Rogan. “We may be able to implant a neural link in less than a year in a person I think.”

The news comes after Musk teased in February that the brain-computer interface startup was working on an “awesome” new version.

Musk likened the process of his neural stimulation device zapping the brain to “kicking a TV.”

While that sounds violent, the goal is to restore brain functionality. For instance, those with Alzheimer’s could have their memories restored.

“It’s like a bunch of circuits and those circuits are broken,” Musk explained.

But the technology is still in its early stages.

“There’s still a lot of work to do,” Musk said. Referring back to his timeline of testing within a year, he noted that “we have a chance of putting a link in someone and having them be healthy and restoring some functionality that they’ve lost.”

Eventually, as Rogan mused about becoming one with machines in the distant future, Musk countered that we have to keep up.

“Even in a benign [AI] scenario we are being left behind,” Musk said. “So how do you go along for the ride? If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

“We are already a cyborg to some degree,” Musk told Rogan. “You got your phone, you got your laptop… If you’re missing your phone, it feels like missing limb syndrome.”

Source: https://futurism.com/elon-musk-neuralink-human-brain-implant

18 Apr 2020

Neuroscience study indicates mindfulness training can recalibrate the brain’s response to fear in school kids

A new study provides evidence that a school-based mindfulness intervention can reduce perceived stress and modulate activity in a brain region associated with responses to fear and stress. The findings have been published in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Clemens C.C. Bauer, the corresponding author of the study and a postdoctoral associate at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, told PsyPost that his clinical practice helped to inspire the current research.

“I was a practicing family doctor in Mexico and I repeatedly witnessed how the mind state of my patients was key to their well-being and recovery from illness,” he explained. “I believe that mind states proceed biological states more than previously thought.”
The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the brain activity of a subset of 40 sixth graders who were enrolled in a randomized clinical trial examining the effect of mindfulness training.

In the trial, 99 students were randomly assigned to either receive mindfulness training every day for eight week or receive lessons about computer coding. The mindfulness curriculum, created by the nonprofit program Calmer Choice, was designed to encourage students to pay attention to their breath, and to focus on the present moment rather than thoughts of the past or the future.

The researchers measured activity in the amygdala as the students looked at pictures of faces expressing different emotions. Prior to the intervention, they found that students who reported greater stress tended to display greater activation in the right amygdala when viewing fearful facial expressions.

After the intervention, the children who received mindfulness training reported feeling less stress in daily life. These children also exhibited reduced right amygdala activation in response to fearful faces and stronger amygdala connectivity with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

Students in the mindfulness training group also reported fewer negative feelings, such as sadness or anger, after the training.
“These findings provide the first evidence, at any age, of an amygdala neural mechanism related to stress reduction following mindfulness training, specifically a reduced magnitude of amygdala response to negative stimuli (and no relation to amygdala response to positive stimuli),” the researchers wrote in their study.

The study indicates that “mindfulness training recalibrates the automatic and unconscious response to fear, which leads to a ubiquitous resilience to stress,” Bauer told PsyPost. “It is easy to learn and can be practiced everywhere.”

“Like any other scientific study, these results are in need of replication in this age group as well as in other age groups. We still don’t know how long the effects of training last and how much practice is needed to create more long term changes. With larger studies, one can also address possible side effects that may come up during practice and possible alternatives or special approaches in vulnerable populations,” Bauer added.

The mindfulness curriculum used in the study sought to alter students’ mindsets about their stress and help them to refocus attention on the present moment. It did not include any spiritual or religious instruction.

“It is very important for the general public to understand that mindfulness training is a completely secular practice similar to basketball training or any other physical activity. In some circles, mindfulness has been linked to Eastern philosophies which may impede its upscaling into the general public school system so it would be nice that the term mindfulness starts to be treated as a secular term,” Bauer said.

Source: https://www.psypost.org/2020/03/neuroscience-study-indicates-mindfulness-training-can-recalibrate-the-brains-response-to-fear-in-school-kids-56285

29 Mar 2020

The distorted idea of ‘cool’ brain research is stifling psychotherapy

There has never been a problem facing mankind more complex than understanding our own human nature. And no shortage of neat, plausible, and wrong answers purporting to plumb its depths.

Having treated many thousands of psychiatric patients in my career, and having worked on the American Psychiatric Association’s efforts to classify psychiatric symptoms (published as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-IV and DSM-5), I can affirm confidently that there are no neat answers in psychiatry. The best we can do is embrace an ecumenical four-dimensional model that includes all possible contributors to human functioning: the biological, the psychological, the social, and the spiritual. Reducing people to just one element – their brain functioning, or their psychological tendencies, or their social context, or their struggle for meaning – results in a flat, distorted image that leaves out more than it can capture.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) was established in 1949 by the federal government in the United States with the practical goal of providing ‘an objective, thorough, nationwide analysis and reevaluation of the human and economic problems of mental health.’ Until 30 years ago, the NIMH appreciated the need for this well-rounded approach and maintained a balanced research budget that covered an extraordinarily wide range of topics and techniques.

But in 1990, the NIMH suddenly and radically switched course, embarking on what it tellingly named the ‘Decade of the Brain.’ Ever since, the NIMH has increasingly narrowed its focus almost exclusively to brain biology – leaving out everything else that makes us human, both in sickness and in health. Having largely lost interest in the plight of real people, the NIMH could now more accurately be renamed the ‘National Institute of Brain Research’.

This misplaced reductionism arose from the availability of spectacular research tools (eg, the Human Genome Project, functional magnetic resonance imaging, molecular biology, and machine learning) combined with the naive belief that brain biology could eventually explain all aspects of mental functioning. The results have been a grand intellectual adventure, but a colossal clinical flop. We have acquired a fantastic window into gene and brain functioning, but little to help clinical practice.

The more we learn about genetics and the brain, the more impossibly complicated both reveal themselves to be. We have picked no low-hanging fruit after three decades and $50 billion because there simply is no low-hanging fruit to pick. The human brain has around 86 billion neurons, each communicating with thousands of others via hundreds of chemical modulators, leading to trillions of potential connections. No wonder it reveals its secrets only very gradually and in a piecemeal fashion.

Genetics offers the same baffling complexity. For instance, variation in more than 100 genes contributes to vulnerability to schizophrenia, with each gene contributing just the tiniest bit, and interacting in the most impossibly complicated ways with other genes, and also with the physical and social environment. Even more discouraging, the same genes are often implicated in vulnerability to multiple mental disorders – defeating any effort to establish specificity. The almost endless permutations will defeat any easy genetic answers, no matter how many decades and billions we invest.

The NIMH has boxed itself into a badly unbalanced research portfolio. Playing with ‘cool’ brain and gene research toys trumps the much harder and less intellectually rewarding task of helping real people.

Contrast this current NIMH failure with a great success story from NIMH’s distant past. One of the high points of my career was sitting on the NIMH granting committee that funded psychotherapy studies in the 1980s. We helped to support the US psychologist Marsha Linehan’s research that led her to develop dialectical behavior therapy; the US psychiatrist Aaron T Beck’s development of cognitive therapy; along with numerous other investigators and themes. Subsequent studies have established that psychotherapy is as effective as medications for mild-to-moderate depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric problems, and avoids the burden of medication side-effects and complications. Many millions of people around the world have already been helped by NIMH psychotherapy research.

In a rational world, the NIMH would continue to fund a robust psychotherapy research budget and promote its use as a public-health initiative to reduce the current massive overprescription of psychiatric medication in the US. Brief psychotherapy would be the first-line treatment of most psychiatric problems that require intervention. Drug treatments would be reserved for severe psychiatric problems and for those people who haven’t responded sufficiently to watchful waiting or psychotherapy.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a rational world. Drug companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year influencing politicians, marketing misleadingly to doctors, and pushing pharmaceutical treatments on the public. They successfully sold the fake marketing jingle that all emotional symptoms are due to a ‘chemical imbalance’ in the brain and therefore all require a pill solution. The result: 20% of US citizens use psychotropic drugs, most of which are no more than expensive placebos, all of which can produce harmful side-effects.

Drug companies are commercial Goliath with enormous political and economic power. Psychotherapy is a tiny David with no marketing budget; no salespeople mobbing doctors’ offices; no TV ads; no internet pop-ups; no influence with politicians or insurance companies. No surprise then that the NIMH’s neglect of psychotherapy research has been accompanied by its neglect in clinical practice. And the NIMH’s embrace of biological reductionism provides an unintended and unwarranted legitimization of the drug-company promotion that there is a pill for every problem.

A balanced NIMH budget would go a long way toward correcting the two biggest mental-health catastrophes of today. Studies comparing psychotherapy versus medication for a wide variety of mild to moderate mental disorders would help to level the playing field for the two, and eventually reduce our massive overdependence on drug treatments for nonexistent ‘chemical imbalances’. Health service research is desperately needed to determine best practices to help people with severe mental illness avoid incarceration and homelessness, and also escape from them.

The NIMH is entitled to keep an eye on the future, but not at the expense of the desperate needs of the present. Brain research should remain an important part of a balanced NIMH agenda, not its sole preoccupation. After 30 years of running down a bio-reductionistic blind alley, it is long past time for the NIMH to consider a biopsychosocial reset, and to rebalance its badly uneven research portfolio.

Source: https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2020/03/29/the-distorted-idea-of-cool-brain-research-is-stifling-psychotherapy/

11 Jan 2020

Mind-reading technology lets you control tech with your brain — and it actually works

  • CES featured several products that let you control apps, games and devices with your mind.
  • The technology holds a lot of promise for gaming, entertainment and even medicine.
  • NextMind and FocusOne were two of the companies that showed off mind-control technology at CES this year.


LAS VEGAS — It’s not the self-driving cars, flying cars or even the dish-washing robots that stick out as the most transformative innovation at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show: It’s the wearable gadgets that can read your mind.

There’s a growing category of companies focused on the “Brain-Computer Interface.” These devices can record brain signals from sensors on the scalp (or even devices implanted within the brain) and translate them into digital signals. This industry is expected to reach $1.5 billion this year, with the technology used for everything from education and prosthetics, to gaming and smart home control.


This isn’t science fiction. I tried a couple of wearables that track brain activity at CES this week, and was surprised to find they really work. NextMind has a headset that measures activity in your visual cortex with a sensor on the back of your head. It translates the user’s decision of where to focus his or her eyes into digital commands.

“You don’t see with your eyes, your eyes are just a medium,” Next Mind CEO Sid Kouider said. “Your vision is in your brain, and we analyze your vision in your brain and we can know what you want to act upon and then we can modify that to basically create a command.”

Kouider said that this is the first time there’s been a brain-computer interface outside the lab, and the first time you can theoretically control any device by focusing your thoughts on them.

Wearing a Next Mind headset, I could change the color of a lamp — red, blue and green — by focusing on boxes lit up with those colors. The headset also replaced a remote control. Staring at a TV screen, I could activate a menu by focusing on a triangle in a corner of the screen. From there, focusing my eyes, I could change the channel, mute or pause video, just by focusing on a triangle next to each command.

“We have several use cases, but we are also targeting entertainment and gaming because that’s where this technology is going to have its best use,” Kouider said. “The experience of playing or applying it on VR for instance or augmented reality is going to create some new experiences of acting on a virtual world.”


Next Mind’s technology isn’t available to consumers yet, but the company is selling a $399 developer kit with the hope that other companies to create new applications.

“I think it’s going to still take some time until we nail … the right use case,” Kouider said. “That’s the reason we are developing this technology, to have people use the platform and develop their own use cases.”

Another company focused on the brain-computer interface, BrainCo, has the FocusOne headband, with sensors on the forehead measuring the activity in your frontal cortex. The “wearable brainwave visualizer” is designed to measure focus, and its creators want it to be used in schools.

“FocusOne is detecting the subtle electrical signals that your brain is producing,” BrainCo President Max Newlon said. “When those electrical signals make their way to your scalp, our sensor picks them up, takes a look at them and determines, ‘Does it look like your brain is in a state of engagement? Or does it look like your brain is in a state of relaxation?’”

Wearing the headband, I tried a video game with a rocket ship. The harder I focused, the faster the rocket ship moved, increasing my score. I then tried to get the rocket ship to slow down by relaxing my mind. A light on the front of the headband turns red when your brain is intensely focused, yellow if you’re in a relaxed state and blue if you’re in a meditative state. The headbands are designed to help kids learn to focus their minds, and to enable teachers to understand when kids are zoning out. The headband costs $350 for schools and $500 for consumers. The headset comes with software and games to help users understand how to focus and meditate.

BrainCo also has a prosthetic arm coming to market later this year, which will cost $10,000 to $15,000, less than half the cost of an average prosthetic. BrainCo’s prosthetic detects muscle signals and feeds them through an algorithm that can help it operate better over time, Newlon said.

“The thing that sets this prosthetic apart, is after enough training, [a user] can control individual fingers and it doesn’t only rely on predetermined gestures. It’s actually like a free-play mode where the algorithm can learn from him, and he can control his hands just like we do,” Newlon said.

Source: CNBC

05 Nov 2019


The most important time… is the time you give to yourself.

And the most important time to do that is first thing in the morning…Because in the morning you set the intention for the rest of your day.

If you jump out of bed late, rushed, stressed, and in your head – that is what you are pre- paving for the rest of your day, and, in the case of most people… the rest of your life: More rush.
More stress.Less living the quality life you deserve.

The key is to get up early enough to allow yourself some time alone. Time to get clear about how you want to feel this day.

Time for intention.Time to get in the energy space of gratitude. Time for meditation.It’s about pre-paving what you want for this day, and your LIFE.

Setting a clear intention and energy, so you attract those things into your experience.

Set the intention for what you want out of the day ahead and get grateful in advance.

This will make sure that you are an energy match to it, and it will soon be in your experience as you are setting the intention for it to be so.

Just go on a rampage of gratitude, of intention and appreciation… It might go something like this:


I am grateful today for every moment of calm, every moment of peace, every moment of real connection.
I am grateful for amazing conversations, grateful for every laugh and smile today.
I am grateful for every moment of happiness, especially when I can give that moment to someone else.
I am grateful for every hug. Every kiss. Every moment of real love.
I am grateful for every moment of true presence. When I really feel more connected to everyone and everything around me.

As I am writing these words I am really feeling each moment as if it is really happening, that is perhaps the most important part… The feeling of it.

Putting yourself in that feeling state as if it is really happening. Raising your vibration to that feeling.

Now what that is doing is setting the intention for the day… putting those amazing things in your conscious mind – and so your attention for this day is going to be zeroed in on trying to find and make those things a reality.

This is such a powerful process.

Everything in life is energy. How you show up each day is energy. Your energy is determined by your intention and how you feel.

So make it a priority to feel good.Make it a priority to give yourself time every morning.

Time to meditate, release stress and increase calm.Time in gratitude and pre-paving intention to get in the right energy.

Use whatever words feel natural to you when setting your gratitude intention. Whatever you are really grateful for, and whatever you want to show up in your experience as a FEELING.

Source: https://iamfearlesssoul.com/pre-pave-with-intention/


24 Jun 2019
AI shows no signs of slowing down

AI shows no signs of slowing down

Despite artificial intelligence (AI) being woven tightly into the fabric of our daily lives – think Facebook algorithms and suggested email responses in Gmail as examples of AI in our daily life – the world has barely begun to scratch the surface of the extent of its capabilities.

Various industries are being transformed by AI and the emergence of new technologies, which means there are many new opportunities that can arise from this. This makes it a promising field for students to branch into to address the shortage of professionals in the field.

Countries such as China, Japan, Sweden, Australia, among many others, have recognised its importance and are pushing for it to be taught in universities to build a talent pipeline that’s able to tackle future demands and challenges with AI.

The Japan News reported that Japan plans to create a nationwide curriculum covering the basics of AI, which will be suitable for all of the country’s universities. The curriculum is expected to be introduced sometime next spring. The education ministry hopes some 500,000 students will study AI annually.

“Given the global trend of utilising AI for data analysis, Japan has lagged behind in fostering human resources related to artificial intelligence,” said the report.

“According to an Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry estimate, Japan had a shortage of 34,000 AI specialists as of 2018, and the shortage will further rise to a maximum of 124,000 people in 2030. There are also said to be very few top-level AI professionals in Japan.”

China’s government has also announced plans to unleash a massive number of university majors in AI and big data, cementing its position as a world leader in the field.

Meanwhile, Australia’s government is injecting over AUS$29 million to help grow and support the development of AI. Speaking to ABC News, University of New South Wales’ Professor Toby Walsh, an AI professor, said other nations such as the UK, France, Germany and China were pumping in billions of dollars towards AI and that Australia could not afford to be left behind.

As countries show their seriousness in embracing AI, reports also suggest that more and more companies are adopting or planning to adopt AI in their businesses.

A report by Webroot, an American cybersecurity company, found that approximately 74 percent of businesses across the US and Japan are already using some form of AI or machine learning (ML) to protect their organisations. In 2018, they found that 73 percent of respondents surveyed planned to use more AI/ML tools in 2019.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) notes that AI and robots could create as many jobs as they displace, estimating that some 58 million new jobs could be created by 2022.

As companies invest in AI, this can only mean demand for the right talent will also increase. A Deloitte report notes that a “Lack of AI/cognitive skills” was among the top-three concern for 31 percent of respondents who are early adopters of AI.

Some skills are needed more than others, with respondents reporting “the highest level of need for AI researchers to invent new kinds of AI algorithms and systems”.

It’s clear that the demand for AI professionals is already booming, and an increasing number of universities are already offering AI courses for students. All that’s left is for them to seize the opportunity.

Source: https://www.studyinternational.com/news/ai-shows-no-signs-of-slowing-down-heres-why-students-need-to-ride-the-wave/

28 Apr 2019

3 Steps To Access Your Hidden Brain Power

How—And Where—Intuition Actually Works

First, let’s consider how—and where—humans think, human beings actually have three brains. Since both our hearts and our intestines have neural tissue, we have the heart-brain, the gut-brain and the brain that sits in our cranium (or, if you count the one that sits in our cranium as three—reptile, mammalian, and human neo-cortex—then we actually have five brains!). Intuition operates in all of these brains, so it’s essential to understand how intuition actually works.

Where You Think:

  • Reptilian Brain: Instinct
    • An innate inclination toward a particular behavior in response to a certain stimulus
    • It’s hardwired in the body from birth to keep us “not dead”
    • Examples: we pull away from something hot, run from danger, etc.
  • Mammalian Brain: Where much intuition, or “gut feeling”, occurs
    • A natural, thoughtless process which requires no analysis or deep thinking
    • Unconsciously developed over time from our experiences and belief
    • Biases operate here and are unconscious—which is why they can be problematic
    • Examples: trusting someone that’s similar to you, feeling good around someone, etc.
  • Prefrontal Cortex: Analytical thinking
    • Intentional, organized, conscious thoughts
    • Used for planning, problem-solving, decision making
    • Some biases operate here too, such as making decisions based on a limited data set, or past experiences
    • Example: weighing the pros and cons of a decision before making it, analyzing potential return on investment before sponsoring a project, etc.

Check out these famous examples of intuition—what parts of the brain were involved?

  • 44 BCE: Calpurnia, the wife of Julius Caesar, dreams of her husband’s assassination and urges him not to go to the Senate, where he goes anyway and is killed
    • It’s not magic: Calpurnia was unconsciously reacting to the tensions and signs of political dissent brewing in the Roman Empire [some heart brain, some gut brain, some reptilian and mammalian brain activation]
  • 1936: On a hunch, automobile tycoon Charles Howard purchases an underweight colt named Seabiscuit, who goes on to become one of the greatest racehorses in history
    • It’s not magic: Howard’s business savvy and military cavalry training gave him the experience to recognize a gifted horse and a sound financial bet  [some gut brain, some mammalian and prefrontal cortex brain activation]
  • 1962: After being rejected by dozens of publishers, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time is picked up by John Farrar of Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, which had not published children’s books before [some heart brain, some gut brain, some mammalian and possibly prefrontal cortex brain activation]

Most cultures today worship the intellect—the prefrontal cortex functions—and thus often unintentionally condition children to discount their intuition. So let’s consider Albert Einstein and how when he discovered the theory of relativity he said (to paraphrase) “First I felt it, then I saw it, then I could explain it.” Sounds like a bunch of five brain activity to me!

How Intuition Works

Your intuition is much faster than your analytical mind and relies on feelings—note above I refer to the neural tissue we all have in both our gut and our heart.

We often hear about women’s intuition and how it’s stronger than men’s. Why? Two reasons: first, the insula in the female human brain is larger than in the male. The insula is often called the seat of intuition in human beings, and it’s where hurt feelings fester and hunches often spring from. Second, our female ancestors needed to ensure not only their own survival but also their children’s. While the males were often single-tasking such as hunting (with their larger amygdalas), the females were multi-tasking. The females were caring for the children, watching for danger as they gathered food, tracking non-verbal cues from others, and organizing environmental input and information.

Read more:

27 Jan 2019
How you can use your intuition to create miracles in life

How you can use your intuition to create miracles in life

Human beings are the most evolved creatures. Our intuition should be better than other animals. What has happened to us?

We, the so called 21st century human beings, try to predict things based on small amount of data. Even if there are a million entries in your ‘excel sheets’, it is negligible in comparison to the enormous data we have been storing in our mind through millions of years of the process of evolution.

The functionality of our mind that computes this enormous data is called intuition. It’s like a software, an app that computes thousands of years of data.

Why is your intuition app not working?

When your smartphone starts hanging, the technician tells you that there is not enough RAM in your phone. For instance, if you have 1 GB RAM in your phone and you are running 100 apps in it, your phone will start hanging. Your apps will not work smoothly.

You need to delete or disable some of the apps and free your RAM.

Equivalent of RAM in your mind is Perception.

If you want your intuition app to work, you need to free up your perception. How? By disabling some other apps in your mind that are consuming your perception. You will be surprised to know that you are running thousands of apps in your mind all the time.

Lets look at them.

There is an app in your mind that tells you who is your family and who is not. This app has all the data related to your interactions with your family.

There is an app in your mind that tells you which is your country and which is not. At the mention of your country’s name, this app pulls out all the related data.

There is an app which shapes your opinions about people, there is an app which holds your likes and dislikes with things, there is an app which defines your fears, there is an app which holds your prejudices, and so on.

In short, all these hundreds of apps collectively make you who you are. These apps are so integrated with you that you can’t imagine yourself without any of them. They seem to be in-built apps. They keep running in the background all the time and consume all your perception.

You know that in-built apps in your phone can’t be deleted but they can be disabled.

Similarly, in-built apps of your mind can’t be deleted. If you delete them, you lose your identity, you become ‘Shunya’ or nothingness.

But the inbuilt apps can be disabled temporarily to free the perception.

Once in a while, even animals disable all their apps to let their intuition app function which can predict big dangers like earthquake and Tsunamis.

But we human beings keep thousands of apps running all the time. So, our intuition app fails to run.

If you can disable these thousands of app even for a few seconds everyday, your intuition app will be able to run and guide you in your life.

Your intuition ‘app’ is very powerful if you can get it running. You can use it to solve problems in life, to detect flaws in your plans before they become failures, to recognize and seize opportunities, to meet right people who can make your life better, to predict questions before they come in exam or interview, to better your relationships, to influence people, to orient your body energies towards health and happiness, and so on.

Read more: http://www.mindpowernews.com/CreateMiracles.html

17 Jan 2019
Using neuroscience to prevent drug addiction among teenagers

Using neuroscience to prevent drug addiction among teenagers

One way to deter harmful recreational drug use by teenagers is to treat them like adults. Rather than simply tell them to “Just Say No” to alcohol, tobacco or illicit drugs, it may be more helpful to explain how these substances create unique risks for them — risks that arise due to the changing state of the adolescent brain.

It’s an approach recommended by Dr. Robert DuPont, the first director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the second White House “drug czar” and the current head of the Institute for Behavior and Health.

Scientists have long recognized that people who use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs while adolescents are far more likely to use more dangerous drugs in their 30s and 40s. Back in 1984, researchers writing in the American Journal of Public Health reported that “the use of marijuana is a good predictor of the use of more serious drugs only if it begins early” and that early drinking is a similar “predictor of marijuana use.”

It should come as no surprise, then, that Americans in their 30s and 40s who used recreational drugs as teenagers are the group most severely affected by opioid overdoses today.

Unfortunately, neither the media nor popular culture adequately informs young people about the neurological damage alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana can inflict on the brain. On the contrary, despite strong evidence that early recreational drug use increases the likelihood of future drug addiction, the media and today’s culture often describe marijuana use as an “organic,” “natural” approach to anxiety and stress management. Indeed, Northern Michigan University launched the nation’s first medicinal plant chemistry major, offering students the chance to focus on marijuana-related studies. What message does that send to the still-developing minds of college students?

One group is taking a non-traditional approach to convincing students otherwise.

One Choice is a drug prevention campaign developed for teenagers by the Institute for Behavior and Health. It relies on cutting-edge neuroscience to encourage young Americans to make decisions that promote their brain health.

Pioneered by Dr. DuPont, One Choice specifically advocates that adolescents make “no use of any alcohol, nicotine, marijuana or other drugs” for health reasons. The theory is that adolescents who make the decision not to use alcohol, nicotine, or marijuana at all — that make “One Choice” to avoid artificial, chemical brain stimulation — are far less likely to wind up addicted to drugs such as opioids later on.

The One Choice approach is evidence-based. In 2017, scientists at Mclean Hospital and Harvard Medical School published their findings on the impact of early substance use on cognitive development. They explained that the brains of teenagers are still developing and can be negatively impacted by substance use. Adolescent brains are still forming the communication routes that regulate motivation, stress and habit-formation well into adulthood. As such, it is easier for substances to hijack and alter those routes in developing brains than in adult brains.

Hindering the vital attributes of habit formation, stress management and motivational behavior can drastically affect a young person’s academic performance. Collectively, and in the long run, that can impair the competitiveness of a national economy. Thus, it is crucial that young Americans learn to prioritize brain health.

The timing for the innovative One Choice approach is propitious. Today’s young Americans are more interested in biology, psychology and health sciences than ever before. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the field of “health professions and related programs” is the second most popular major among college students, with psychology and biological or biomedical sciences following as the fourth and fifth most popular, respectively. By explaining developmental neuroscience to teenagers, One Choice engages young people on a topic of interest to them and presents the reality of a pressing public health issue, instead of throwing moral platitudes and statistics at them.

Pro-marijuana legalization organizations, such as the Drug Policy Alliance, agree: “The safest path for teens is to avoid drugs, doing alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription drugs outside of a doctor’s recommendations.” And certainly honesty, along with scientific accuracy, is critical if we are to persuade adolescents not to use drugs.

Brain health is critical to the pursuit of happiness. And leveraging scientifically accurate presentations and testimonies to convince young Americans to prioritize their own brain health early on can prevent future substance abuse.

Source: https://www.postbulletin.com/opinion/other_views/commentary-using-neuroscience-to-prevent-drug-addiction-among-teenagers/article_4c3ef834-ef62-5e0e-a878-a3e5aba36135.html