I am your brain (The B Spot)

Hello, I am your brain :-)

… and I know we don’t usually talk like this, but here’s why today’s different…

You see, for decades now scientists have told you how I – all 100 billion neurons of me – am the single most complex machine in the known Universe.

So isn’t it funny how I’m the only machine that doesn’t come with a user manual?

Your car does. Your fridge does.

Yet when it comes to me, you’re born with me, society conditions me as you gradually ‘wake up’…

And then you’re left all alone!

Alone to iron out my maddening quirks. Work with my frustrating inconsistencies. And figure out how to squeeze out my full potential.

Most people never do.

And that’s a shame, because the truth is, I am the pink ‘n squishy key to having everything you’ve ever wanted.

The success, the purpose-driven path, the free-spirited lifestyle, the affluence, the power to help yourself and others.

BUT… I’m also frighteningly capable of tripping you up with self-doubt, fear and second-guesses.

Hey, I’m just a tool – the secret is in how you use me!

More specifically, it’s about how you shape 4 key functions in me, this wonderful machine between your ears:

1. Your beliefs

2. Your habits

3. Your emotions

4. Your goals

How?

The right way.

You can use your brain to overcome a chronic illness, and other extraordinary claims. Check out this documentary on Power of Human Brain (Mind Over Matter) – Full Documentary

Click on the brain artwork below to watch – and I promise we’ll be best friends from here on out :-)

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This video shows you how to use your brain to get almost anything you want.

Sincerely,

Your Brain

(originally shared by Amish Shah)

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Learning about the B Spot changes everything

David Rock at TEDxTokyo

Learning about the brain

learning-brain-b-spot

5 Crazy Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Brain Right Now

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The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: Barbara Arrowsmith-Young at TEDxToronto

The Woman Who Changed Her Brain Barbara Arrowsmith b-spot

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This is Your Brain on Porn

This is Your Brain on Porn  – 5-part series

“…For the first time in human history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn.” – Naomi Wolf

brain-porn

In his book Wired For Intimacy, neuroscientist William Struthers explains what pornography does to our brains. There are a lot of details about hormones and neurotransmitters, but to put it simply, pornography exploits our brains like an addictive drug.

What makes pornography so addictive is that it takes advantage of the brain’s pleasure and reward circuits. These are the parts of the brain that get used for the enjoyment of good things like food, drink, and (real) sex. Just like a drug, pornography overloads these circuits and creates desire, dependence, and desensitization.

For instance, when someone looks at porn, and especially when they masturbate to it, there is a combined release of many important hormones and neurotransmitters. Some especially powerful ones that Struthers mentions are dopamine (which creates focus, and desire), norepinephrine (which helps form memories), serotonin (which helps modulate your mood), and various endorphins (which create a feeling of euphoria). These chemicals combine to create a very strong experience, carving the memory of it deep into the very stuff of thought. Oxytocin and vasopressin, chemicals that help create bonding and attachment, are released especially strongly at orgasm.

Unfortunately, instead of bonding us to the partner whom we love and cherish (which is what would happen in real sex), these chemicals bond us to the viewed representations of sex. These pornographic representations are most often degrading, cheap, and unrealistic. As more and more porn is consumed, the brain and body become more and more desensitized. The hunger for greater stimulation grows, while more and more extreme situations are needed to get that same rush — the classic addict’s trap.

Struthers also mentions what he calls “mirror neurons.” These are part of a brain system that mentally mirrors the actions we see, and helps us to imagine ourselves in that same situation. When we see someone do something, it’s like our mirror neurons say “I can do that!” and then act out (in the brain) how they would do it.

When it comes to porn, this is especially insidious. Since porn is, for many, their most accessible window to sex and sexual pleasure, these mirror neurons ensure that porn becomes vicarious sex ed. When it comes time to actually have real life sex, our mirror neurons expect an over-the-top, degrading, and often violent and aggressive sexual experience.

When real sex fails to deliver, confusion and disappointment ensue, driving the viewer back to their old habit, in a vicious cycle.

Repeated porn use acts like a river flowing through a valley, carving deep channels that redirect nearby water through its banks. Since every interaction in porn is sexual, all our interactions with the opposite sex get funnelled into this same rut, and soon it is difficult to have any normal interactions that are not sexually charged. Sexual thoughts and fantasies hover constantly at the edges of thought, at the periphery of almost every conversation.

Continue reading here – Source http://convergemagazine.com/this-is-your-brain-on-porn-16203/

1st in series History of Porn: http://convergemagazine.com/the-history-of-porn-16078/

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The B-Spot on Love and Attraction

The B-Spot on Love and Lust

The brain science of sex and love and attraction. In a study published in 2002, anthropologist Helen Fisher PhD of Rutgers University and a multi-disciplinary team of experts recruited 40 young people madly in love – half with love returned, the other half with love rejected – and put them into an MRI with a photo of their sweetheart and one of an acquaintance. Each subject looked at the sweetheart photo for 30 seconds, then – after a diversion task – at the acquaintance photo for another 30 seconds. They switched back and forth for 12 minutes.

The result was a revealing photo album of the brain in love. Think like a brain scientist and you too would be excited by activity in the right ventral tegmental area. This is the part of the brain where dopamine cells project into other areas of the brain, including the posterior dorsal caudate and its tail, both which are central to the brain’s system for reward and motivation. The sweetheart photos, but not the acquaintance photos, were the cause. In addition, several parts of the prefrontal cortex that are highly wired in the dopamine pathways were mobilized, while the amygdala, associated with fear, was temporarily mothballed

When Love Blossoms

Romantic love, Dr Fisher explained in a lecture at the 2004 American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting, is not an emotion. Rather, it’s “a motivation system, it’s a drive, it’s part of the reward system of the brain.” It’s a need that compels the lover to seek a specific mating partner. Then the brain links this drive to all kinds of specific emotions depending on how the relationship is going. All the while, she went on to say, the prefrontal cortex is assembling data, putting information into patterns, making strategies, and monitoring the progress toward “life’s greatest prize.”

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Supercharge Your B-Spot (Brain) in 15 Simple Steps

Supercharge Your B-Spot Brain in 15 Simple Steps

1. Take a daily Vitamin B12 supplement

Vitamin B12 doesn’t just supercharge your brain, it actually grows the size of your brain! As you age, your brain gets smaller, which Vitamin B12 fights. The vitamin has also been proven to help you learn, concentrate, think critically, and even boost your test scores! Taking a Vitamin B complex supplement will ensure you get your daily recommended dose.

2. Eat a lighter dinner, earlier

Eating an earlier, lighter dinner has a ton of health benefits (like that it helps you lose weight), and it can also supercharge your brain. Eating earlier helps you sleep better because it gives your body more time to digest food properly, and prevents food and alcoholic beverages from disrupting your sleep. It also provides your brain with a more consistent flow of energy, without spiking your blood sugar levels like a huge, late dinner can.

3. Eat more almonds

Almonds are referred to as a superfood for a reason. In addition to their innumerable health benefits, almonds and other nuts “are good sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which is associated with less cognitive decline as you age.” They’re also chock full of amino acids and essential oils, which help your brain focus. Just be careful about eating too many—there are about 150 calories in 20 almonds, though they’re great for you in small doses.

almonds

4. Listen to music

Numerous studies have shown that listening to slow, relaxing music slows down your pulse and heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, and actually decreases the level of stress hormones in your body. Listening to music is healthy, recharges your brain, and best of all, is a ton of fun. What’s not to love?

5. Meditate

I’ve had a daily 30-minute meditation ritual for a few years, and can’t recommend the practice enough. Meditation is proven to help your mind de-stress and relax, and the practice has even been shown to reduce your blood pressure and levels of stress hormones! I also find that meditation allows me to de-fragment my thoughts, which heightens my ability to learn and retain information.

6. Drink apple juice

According to one study, “apples and apple juice may be among the best foods that baby boomers and senior citizens could add to their diet” because they help your body produce essential types of neurotransmitters that aid your memory, and help you retain information. Apples and apple juice have even been shown to protect your brain, and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s!

7. Have more sex

Sex is a lot of fun, but did you know it can help you supercharge your brain as well? Sex has been proven to cure headaches, reduce your stress levels, help you sleep better, increase blood flow to your brain, and increase your brain power in general!  This B-Spot Boost can get the G-Spot juices flowing!

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8. Spend time with friends and family

Spending time with your friends and family has “far-reaching benefits for your health.” Belonging to, and investing in a social support network rejuvenates your brain and provides you with more energy and inspiration, increasing your security, self-worth, sense of belonging, and even reducing your stress levels.

9. Go for a massage

Massages are so beneficial for your body and mind that I’m surprised more people don’t take them. “Clinical studies show that even a single 1.5-hour session can significantly lower heart rate, cortisol levels and insulin levels—all of which help reduce stress,” and rejuvenate your mind. Especially if your health plan covers massages, going for a massage is a no-brainer.

10. Read

Reading is a powerful way to provide your mind with an escape, and one study found that reading can reduce your mental stress by an astounding 68% because, “your mind is invited into a literary world that is free from the stressors that plague your daily life.”

11. Invest time in a creative hobby

When you invest time and attention in a creative hobby, as with reading, you provide your mind with a much-needed escape from your day-to-day stressors. You jump into a zone that has no pressures, deadlines, or rules, and provide your mind with a chance to recharge. Whether you’re into writing, painting, or woodworking, investing time in a creative hobby is a fantastic way to supercharge your brain.

12. Exercise, or play sports

Exercise has consistently been shown to be one of the most productive ways to supercharge your brain. It has been proven to make you procrastinate less, focus more, act more disciplined, and even “[reorganize] your brain to be more resilient to stress” in the long run!

13. Expose yourself to more natural light

Too much exposure to artificial light zaps your brain of energy, gives you less control over your attention, and even affects the quality of your sleep! Especially if you expose yourself to a lot of artificial light, expose your body to natural light to supercharge your mind.

14. Go for a nature walk

Going for a nature walk not only provides your body with exercise, but it also significantly rejuvenates your mind. One study found that, even when it was dead-cold outside, participants’ memory and attention spans improved by 20% when they took a walk through nature! To give your mind an even more productive break, I personally recommend leaving your phone and iPod at home when you head out.

15. Stop multi-tasking

When you try to take on too many things in one moment, your mind can become overwhelmed and eventually, something has to give. Multi-tasking has a huge impact on your productivity, but it also can impact your brain. Multi-tasking affects your memory, because it makes it harder for you to distinguish between what’s important and what isn’t. It has also been shown to make you more prone to errors, and add stress to your life. The solution? Stop multi-tasking!

Source: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/15-simple-ways-supercharge-your-brain.html

Click image below to see more on Life Hack for the B-Spot

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How "Brain Wiring" Prevents Wealth

This almost sounds like science fiction, but it turns out that the way that our brains are wired actually PREVENTS us from ever accumulating wealth.

But there’s something we can do about it, and a new PDF report that gives you the key to solve the puzzle.  “Why We Fail With Money”

Money’s Dirty Secret:  We’re Not Wired To Succeed With It

Evolutionary psychologists and “new wave” of scientists that study what they call “Behavioral Economics” and “Neuro-Economics” have been doing fascinating experiments with people in order to understand our b-spot behavior around money and wealth. It turns out that they are discovering some very surprising things about why we fail with money.

So what are these mistakes that we make that prevent us from accumulating enough assets to become wealthy?  

It’s not natural for the human mind aka the b-spot to translate value into something like time or the value of a physical object into money.   It’s hard enough when it is real money like gold or silver.  

Never mind into paper money, never mind into borrowed money, never mind into things that have monthly payments and interest in the future.

At this point when we start dealing with other factors our b-spot mind actually loses the ability to rationally calculate what is going on.

This coming Monday,  a new live #webinar called “How To Build Wealth In  2014” provided by Eben Pagan, where the b-spot will be featured and:

You’ll learn why something like a simple car payment can wind up costing you MILLIONS of dollars (you read that right, millions).

You’ll also learn why the “natural” way that most of us think about buying things costs us multiple TIMES the original price in the long-run (and this
isn’t because we use credit cards or pay interest). These insights have made a massive difference in my financial life, and I hope you use them to
build your own wealth and financial independence.

Enjoy!

P.S. This coming Monday,  a new live #webinar called “How To Build Wealth In  2014.”  The b-spot will be featured. As you’ve seen, the financial markets have
been completely whacky, and – just because they are showing us charts of lines going “up and to the right” does not mean “everything is now OK”
Something still feels very, very wrong, and we are going to talk about what that is, and what to do about it.

Here’s the link to register to attend this live class:
Register For Live Webinar Class

Here is how to join our webinar:

Date: Monday, January 13th, 2014

Time: Noon EST / 9am Pacific

Phone Number: (646) 307-1720

Access Code: 201-006-355

Recommended byThe Webinar Way

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The B-Spot brainomics

Dr. Chapman coined the term “brainomics” to define the high economic cost of poor brain performance, and she sees the brain as the most significant path to raise the standard of living globally.

Research shows that the brain changes minute to minute based off how it’s used. Now think about your work environment. What often hinders your performance? And what sparks those moments of creativity and innovation?

Join Dr. Sandra Chapman, brain research expert, as she reveals how investing in your brain’s health can boost performance, improve productivity and benefit your bottom line in this brainy webinar.

Brain webinar – Get your brain in gear @citrix
brain-webinar

The b-spot webinar – Get your brain in gear

Register here

Attend this live, interactive webinar to learn:

  • What’s toxic for your brain
  • Brain-boosting habits to leverage at work
  • How to help others improve their own brain health
  • And more…

More on Center for Brain Health and Sandra Chapman

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Mapping the Highways of the Brain

Mapping the Highways of the Brain

The database and brain map are a part of the Human Connectome Project, a roughly $40 million five-year effort supported by the National Institutes of Health. It consists of two consortiums: a collaboration among Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital and U.C.L.A. to improve M.R.I. technology and the $30 million project Dr. Barch is part of, involving Washington University, the University of Minnesota and the University of Oxford.

Source and version of this article appears in print on January 7, 2014, on page D1 of the New York edition with the headline: The Brain, in Exquisite Detail.
Mapping the Highways of the Brain: (video) 

Each of the 1,200 subjects whose brain data will form the final database will spend a good 10 hours over two days being scanned and doing other tests. The scientists and technicians will then spend at least another 10 hours analyzing and storing each person’s data to build something that neuroscience does not yet have: a baseline database for structure and activity in a healthy brain that can be cross-referenced with personality traits, cognitive skills and genetics. And it will be online, in an interactive map available to all.

Dr. Helen Mayberg, a doctor and researcher at the Emory University School of Medicine, who has used M.R.I. research to guide her development of a treatment for depression with deep brain stimulation, a technique that involves surgery to implant a pacemaker-like device in the brain, is one of the many scientists who could use this sort of database to guide her research. With it, she said, she can ask, “how is this really critical node connected” to other parts of the brain, information that will inform future research and surgery.

Deanna Barch and her colleagues are trying to map connections in the human brain. Dr. Barch is a psychologist by training and inclination who has concentrated on neuroscience because of the desire to understand severe mental illness. Her role in the project has been in putting together the battery of cognitive and psychological tests that go along with the scans, and overseeing their administration. This is the information that will give depth and significance to the images.

She said the central question the data might help answer was, “How do differences between you and me, and how our brains are wired up, relate to differences in our behaviors, our thoughts, our emotions, our feelings, our experiences?”

And, she added, “Does that help us understand how disorders of connectivity, or disorders of wiring, contribute to or cause neurological problems and psychiatric problems?”

The Human Connectome Project is one of a growing number of large, collaborative information-gathering efforts that signal a new level of excitement in neuroscience, as rapid technological advances seem to be bringing the dream of figuring out the human brain into the realm of reality.

Worldwide Study

In Europe, the Human Brain Project has been promised $1 billion for computer modeling of the human brain. In the United States last year, President Obama announced an initiative to push brain research forward by concentrating first on developing new technologies. This so-called Grand Challenge has been promised $100 million of financing for the first year of what is anticipated to be a decade-long push. The money appears to be real, but it may come from existing budgets, and not from any increase for the federal agencies involved.

A vast amount of research is already going on — so much that the neuroscience landscape is almost as difficult to encompass as the brain itself. The National Institutes of Health alone spends $5.5 billion a year on neuroscience, much of it directed toward research on diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

A variety of private institutes emphasize basic research that may not have any immediate payoff. For instance, at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, Janelia Farm in Virginia, part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and at numerous universities, researchers are trying to understand how neurons compute — what the brains of mice, flies and human beings do with their information. The Allen Institute is now spending $60 million a year and Janelia Farm about $30 million a year on brain research. The Kavli Foundation has committed $4 million a year for 10 years, and the Salk Institute in San Diego plans to spend a total of $28 million on new neuroscience research. And there are others in the U.S. and abroad.

To be sure, this is not the first time such a focus has been placed on brain research. The 1990s were anointed the decade of the brain by President George H. W. Bush. Strides were made, but many aspects of the brain have remained mysterious.

There is, however, a good reason for the current excitement, and that is accelerating technological change that the most sanguine of brain mappers compare to the growing ability to sequence DNA that led to the Human Genome Project.

Optogenetics is one new technique that has been transformative. It uses light to turn on different parts of the brain in laboratory animals to open and shut modified genes. Powerful developments in microscopy made possible movies of brain activity in living animals. A modified rabies virus can target one brain cell and mark every other cell that is connected to it.

“There is an explosion of new techniques,” said Dr. R. Clay Reid, a senior investigator at the Allen Institute, who recently moved there from Harvard Medical School. “And the end isn’t really in sight,” said Dr. Reid, who is taking advantage of just about every new technology imaginable in his quest to decipher the part of the mouse brain devoted to vision.

Charting the Brain

Of the many metaphors used for exploring and understanding the brain, mapping is probably the most durable, perhaps because maps are so familiar and understandable. “A century ago, brain maps were like 16th-century maps of the Earth’s surface,” said David Van Essen, who is in charge of the Connectome effort at Washington University, where Dr. Barch works. Much was unknown or mislabeled. “Now our characterizations are more like an 18th-century map.”

The continents, mountain ranges and rivers are getting more clearly defined. His hope, he said, is that the Human Connectome Project will be a step toward vaulting through the 19th and 20th centuries and reaching something more like Google Maps, which is interactive and has many layers.

Researchers may not be looking for the best sushi restaurants or how to get from one side of Los Angeles to the other while avoiding traffic, but they will eventually be looking for traffic flow, particularly popular routes for information, and matching traffic patterns to the tasks the brain is doing. They will also be asking how differences in the construction of the pathways that make up the brain’s roads relate to differences in behavior, intelligence, emotion and genetics.

The power of computers and mathematical tools devised for analyzing vast amounts of data made such maps possible. The gathering tool of choice at Washington University is an M.R.I. machine customized at the University of Minnesota.

An M.R.I. machine creates a magnetic field surrounding the body part to be scanned, and sends radio waves into the body. Unlike X-rays, which are known to pose some dangers, M.R.I. scans are considered to be safe. It is one of the few methods of noninvasive scanning that can survey a whole human brain.

There are a variety of ways to gather and interpret information in an M.R.I. machine. And different types of scans can show both basic structure and activity. When a volunteer is trying to solve a memory problem, the hippocampus, the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex are all going to be involved. An M.R.I. machine can detect the direction of information flow, in a technique called diffusion imaging. In that kind of scan, the movement of water molecules shows not only activity, but which way the traffic is headed.

A Path to Research

For Dr. Barch, 48, another kind of interest in the human brain put her on the path to Washington University. “I always knew I wanted to be a psychologist,” she said — specifically, a school psychologist. But as an undergraduate at Northwestern, she excelled in an abnormal psychology class, and the professor recruited her to do research.

“When I graduated from college, I decided to become a case manager for the chronically mentally ill for a year to kind of suss out, ‘Do I want to do more clinical work or research?’ ” she said. “That was a great experience, but it really made me realize that research is the only way you’re going to have an impact on many lives, rather than sort of individual lives.”

She obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. but then did postdoctoral study in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Her years in graduate school in the 1990s coincided with the development and use of the so-called functional M.R.I., which can show not just static structure, but the brain in action.

“I got into the field when functional imaging was just at its very beginning, so I was able to learn on the ground floor,” she said.

She moved to Washington University after her postdoctoral research partly because of the number of people there working on imaging, including Dr. Marcus E. Raichle, a pioneer in developing ways of watching the brain at work.

As a professor at Washington University and a leader of one of five teams there working on the Human Connectome Project, Dr. Barch focuses her research on the way individual differences in the brains of healthy people are related to differences in personality or thinking.

For instance she said, people doing memory tasks in the M.R.I. machine may differ in competitiveness and commitment to doing well. That ought to show up in activity in the parts of the brain that involve emotion, like the amygdala. However, she points out that the object of the Connectome Project is not to find the answers to these questions, but to provide the database for others to try to do so.

‘Pretty Close’

The project at Washington University requires exhaustive scans of 1,200 healthy people, age 22 to 35, each of whom spends about four hours over two days lying in the noisy, claustrophobia-inducing cylinder of a customized M.R.I. machine. Sometimes they stare at one spot, curl their toes or move their fingers. They might play gambling games, or try memory tests that can flummox even the sharpest minds.

“In an ideal world, we would have enough tasks to activate every part of the brain,” she said. “We got pretty close. We’re not perfect, but pretty close.”

Over the two days, the research subjects spend another six hours taking other tests designed to measure intelligence, basic physical fitness, tasting ability and their emotional state.

The volunteers (and they are all volunteers, paid a flat $400 for their time and effort) can also be seen in street clothes, doing a kind of race around two traffic cones in the sunlit corridor of the glass-walled psychology building, with data collected on how quickly they complete the course.

Or they can be glimpsed padding down a hallway in their stocking feet from the M.R.I. machine to an office where a technician dabs their tongues with a swab dipped in a mystery liquid, then asks them to identify the intensity and quality of the taste.

In the same office, they type in answers to cognitive tests, and to a psychological survey, for which they are left in solitude because of the personal nature of some of the questions: how they feel about life, how often they are sad. The results are confidential, as are all the test results.

So far almost 500 subjects have gone through the full range of tests, which amounts to about 5,000 hours of work for Dr. Barch and others in the program.

So far, data has been released for 238 subjects, and it is available to everyone for free through a web-based database and software program called Workbench.

The sharing of data is characteristic of most of the new brain research efforts, and particularly important to Dr. Barch.

“The amount of time and energy we’re spending collecting this data, there’s no possible way any one research group could ever use it to the extent that justifies the cost,” she said. “But letting everybody use it — great!”

The Elusive Brain

No one expects the brain to yield its secrets quickly or easily. Neuroscientists are fond of deflecting hope even as they point to potential success. Science may come to understand neurons, brain regions, connections, make progress on Parkinson’s. Alzheimer’s or depression, and even decipher the code or codes the brain uses to send and store information. But, as any neuroscientist sooner or later cautions in discussing the prospects for breakthroughs, we are not going to “solve the brain” anytime soon — not going to explain consciousness, the self, the precise mechanisms that produce a poem.

Perhaps the greatest challenge is that the brain functions and can be viewed at so many levels, from a detail of a synapse to brain regions trillions of times larger. There are electrical impulses to study, biochemistry, physical structure, networks at every level and between levels. And there are more than 40,000 scientists worldwide trying to figure it out.

This is not a case of an elephant examined by 40,000 blindfolded experts, each of whom comes to a different conclusion about what it is they are touching. Everyone knows the object of study is the brain. The difficulty of comprehending the brain may be more aptly compared to a poem by Wallace Stevens, “13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”

Each way of looking, not looking, or just being in the presence of the blackbird reveals something about it, but only something. Each way of looking at the brain reveals ever more astonishing secrets, but the full and complete picture of the human brain is still out of reach.

There is no need, no intention and perhaps no chance, of ever “solving” a poet’s blackbird. It is hard to imagine a poet wanting such a thing. But science, by its nature, pursues synthesis, diagrams, maps — a grip on the mechanism of the thing. We may not solve the brain any time soon, but someday achieving such a solution, at least in scientific terms, is the fervent hope of neuroscience.

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Love and the B-Spot

What does love have to do to your brain chemicals? When do you know if you like someone?

The science of love is about the love biochemicals and they affect you. With an irresistible cocktail of chemicals, our b-spot entices us to fall in love.

The most exhilarating of all human emotions is probably nature’s beautiful way of eliciting the sex response for reproducing and keeping the human species alive.  We believe we’re choosing a partner. But we may merely be the happy victims of nature’s lovely plan.  

It’s not just what you say… attraction to another person is mostly subconscious.

Psychologists have shown it takes between 90 seconds and 4 minutes to decide if you like someone.

Research has shown this has little to do with what is said, rather

  •     55% is through body language
  •     38% is the tone and speed of their voice
  •     Only 7% is through what they say, the words and subject they choose

3 Stages of Love

Helen Fisher of Rutgers University in the States has proposed 3 stages of love – lust, attraction and attachment. Each stage might be driven by different hormones and chemicals.

Stage 1: Lust

This is the first stage of love and is driven by the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen – in both men and women.

Stage 2: Attraction

This is the amazing time when you are truly love-struck and can think of little else. Scientists think that three main neurotransmitters are involved in this stage; adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin.

Adrenaline

The initial stages of falling for someone activates your stress response, increasing your blood levels of adrenalin and cortisol. This has the charming effect that when you unexpectedly bump into your new love, you start to sweat, your heart races and your mouth goes dry.

Dopamine

Helen Fisher asked newly ‘love struck’ couples to have their brains examined and discovered they have high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine a major love biochemical. Dopamine stimulates ‘desire and reward’ by triggering an intense rush of pleasure. It has the same effect on the brain as taking cocaine!

Fisher suggests “couples often show the signs of surging dopamine: increased energy, less need for sleep or food, focused attention and exquisite delight in smallest details of this novel relationship” .

Serotonin

And finally, serotonin. One of love’s most important chemicals that may explain why when you’re falling in love, your new lover keeps popping into your thoughts.

Does love change the way you think?

A landmark experiment in Pisa, Italy showed that early love (the attraction phase / infatuation) really changes the way you think.

Dr Donatella Marazziti, a psychiatrist at the University of Pisa advertised for twenty couples who’d been madly in love for less than six months. She wanted to see if the brain mechanisms that cause you to constantly think about your lover, were related to the brain mechanisms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

By analying blood samples from the lovers, Dr Marazitti discovered that serotonin levels of new lovers were equivalent to the low serotonin levels of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder patients.

Love needs to be blind

Newly smitten lovers often idealize their partner, magnifying their virtues and explaining away their flaws says Ellen Berscheid, a leading researcher on the psychology of love.

New couples also exalt the relationship itself. “It’s very common to think they have a relationship that’s closer and more special than anyone else’s”. Psychologists think we need this rose-tinted view. It makes us want to stay together to enter the next stage of love – attachment.

Stage 3: Attachment

Attachment is the bond that keeps couples together long enough for them to have and raise children. Scientists think there might be two major hormones involved in this feeling of attachment; oxytocin and vasopressin.

Oxytocin – The cuddle hormone

Oxytocin is a powerful hormone released by men and women during orgasm.

It probably deepens the feelings of attachment and makes couples feel much closer to one another after they have had sex. The theory goes that the more sex a couple has, the deeper their bond becomes.

Oxytocin also seems to help cement the strong bond between mother and baby and is released during childbirth. It is also responsible for a mother’s breast automatically releasing milk at the mere sight or sound of her young baby.

Side note: Diane Witt, assistant professor of psychology from New York has showed that if you block the natural release of oxytocin in sheep and rats, they reject their own young.  Conversely, injecting oxytocin into female rats who’ve never had sex, caused them to fawn over another female’s young, nuzzling the pups and protecting them as if they were their own.

Vasopressin
Vasopressin is another important hormone in the long-term commitment stage and is released after sex.

Vasopressin (also called anti-diuretic hormone) works with your kidneys to control thirst. Its potential role in long-term relationships was discovered when scientists looked at the prairie vole.

Prairie voles indulge in far more sex than is strictly necessary for the purposes of reproduction. They also – like humans – form fairly stable pair-bonds.

When male prairie voles were given a drug that suppresses the effect of vasopressin, the bond with their partner deteriorated immediately as they lost their devotion and failed to protect their partner from new suitors.

And finally … How to fall in love

New York psychologist, Professor Arthur Arun, has been studying the dynamics of what happens when people fall in love.

  •     Find a complete stranger.
  •     Reveal to each other intimate details about your lives for half an hour.
  •     Then, stare deeply into each other’s eyes without talking for four minutes.

In this study carried out at University of California, Santa Cruz, he asked his subjects who were strangers to follow the 3 steps above and found that many of his couples felt deeply attracted after the 34 minute experiment.  The simple act of staring into each other’s eyes has a powerful impact.

Afterwards many of his couples confessed to feeling deeply attracted to their opposite number and two of his subjects got married.  They invited the entire research team to their wedding.

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How to get glutamate into your brain in the right quantities? The B-Spot

Wouldn’t it be great to have a quick and easy button to push every time you wanted to put a toxic thought out in the trash? Well, you will absolutely love this read if you do!

Everyone has toxic thoughts now and then, but not everyone knows how to quickly identify and release the emotional effects such thoughts create.

There is scientific data to back up the notion of being able to trash toxic thoughts effectively. Dr. Caroline Leaf has done extensive research on how the mind works and how to work well with the positive gifts and the internal pharmacy your mind is wired to create to enhance genuine happiness.

“Toxic thoughts can increase the level of glutamate, which, in right quantities, is very important to memory building, but in the wrong quantities, it acts like battery acid, causing damage in the brain. Where there is damage, there will be inflammation cells in that particular area. This may manifest in various problems, such as depression or anxiety or learning problems or physical health issues and so on.”

So how do you get glutamate into your brain in the right quantities?

First, you must realize your attitude is a chemical configuration which reflects the “flavor” of your thoughts. Once you are able to quickly identify the stop sign you receive in the form of fear or anxiety, you are able to change and re-wire the pathway through your brain.

“The surprising truth is that every single thought – whether positive or negative – goes through the same cycle when it forms. Thoughts are basically electrical impulses, chemicals and neurons on a physical level, but when put together, something amazing happens. A unique thinking pattern emerges, different from every other person on the planet. This is very powerful because it means we have a distinct thinking signature, just as fingerprints are different and distinct to each person, so are our thought patterns.”

Dr. Leaf suggests using a four step method to help identify, capture, and transform toxic thoughts.

1. Capture the initial toxic thought in your frontal lobe which allows you to stand outside yourself and evaluate the thought.
2. Capitalize and use this discomfort you feel to identify the toxic thought block because this is a conscious and nonconscious mental activation of an attitude.
3. Rewire the thought to alter the chemical signature.
4. Decide to melt away the fear in the toxic thought with positive loving thoughts which generate a cascade of peace.

The key is trashing the toxic thought when it first arrives and is most vulnerable to being removed before it takes root and starts generating a full harvest of bad seeds all over your mind, which only grows a feeding frenzy for more toxic thoughts. Timing is key.

You have much more control
of your thoughts than you are probably aware. You are not a victim to any type of stinking thinking or hostage to horrible emotions. You have many choices available to rewire and trash toxic thoughts by getting really good at identifying them when they first start and putting the brakes on the rocky roller coaster ride before it has any chance to take off and run wild. There are numerous neuroplacity studies which prove you can change the structure of your brain.

“We express our attitudes – love or fear – through what we first think and then through the choices we make, which dictate what we say and do. When you add either love or fear emotions to a though cluster and give it a unique flavor, then it becomes an attitude. A bad attitude is proof that you are not operating in your gift. A good attitude is proof you are operating in your gift.”

The more you practice trashing toxic thoughts the easier it will become, the more positive your overall attitude will be, the better you will feel about yourself, others and life in general. Remember, this good change is about progress, not perfection. Be patient with yourself and hold onto the hope that the healthy healing of your mind is absolutely possible. Understanding allows you to overcome.

Source, Deb Scott: http://www.greenskyandbluegrass.com/how-to-trash-your-toxic-thoughts/01-2013/

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