We can also train our brains to behave in a more ‘aware’ way by engaging in activities that facilitate greater connection or neural synchronisation. Higher synchronisation – imagine a large group of brain cells singing together – has been found following the practice of different contemplative paradigms, such as meditation and prayer (creating, as it were, slower ocean waves, now growing calmer and calmer). One way of interpreting this is that neuronal synchronisation enhances our brain ‘harmony’ or ‘integrity’ – achieving a state in which the brain works in a more congruent way, adopting a more global perspective. Other findings point to the psychological consequences of this state – greater neuronal synchronisation tends to enable a greater ability to make moral judgments and problem-solve creatively.
— Read on psyche.co/amp/ideas/spirituality-is-a-brain-state-we-can-all-reach-religious-or-not
To understand brains, we record tiny pulses of electricity, the spikes sent from one neuron to another. Those spikes are you moving your eyes to read this text, cocking an eyebrow at the content therein; you sensing the gentle breeze and the waning sun on the skin; your vivid memory of strolling the streets of a beloved city. Spikes are the brain’s own language, so capturing them promises a profound understanding of how brains work.
— Read on slate.com/technology/2021/04/neuroscience-recording-brain-spikes-ethics.amp
A new paper by organisational researchers from the University of Illinois suggests chronic workplace stress can change your personality in the long term.
— Read on mashable.com/article/work-stress-personality-change.amp
Sharing our personal experiences on social media may negatively impact how we feel about our memories, especially if the post doesn’t get many likes, a new study reports.
— Read on neurosciencenews.com/memory-social-media-18263/amp/
Bruce Gordon: Now coming at it from the other direction, from the top down, you’ve got something like cosmopsychism. And it would say that all facts about consciousness in general, and about human consciousness in particular, are grounded in facts about consciousness that concern the universe as a whole. So the universe itself is conscious, and somehow our individual consciousnesses within the universe are manifestations or particularizations of this universal consciousness that’s gotten separated off and seems to be unto itself, but is not. It’s really a manifestation of the universe’s consciousness as a whole.
Research in mice shows that neural representations of sensory information get rotated 90 degrees to transform them into memories. In this orthogonal arrangement, the memories and sensations do not interfere with one another.
The great divide between scientific and mystical views of reality lands on the question of our subjective awareness. It is harder to demonstrate objectively the transformative experiences that a seeker may undergo. Ultimately it comes down to how someone feels. This domain of feeling is so extraordinary and intricate in our subjectivity, and yet it has been often quite disregarded as the source of our capacity to orientate and connect with our environment.
The two researchers hypothesized that there might be a psychological explanation: when faced with a problem, people tend to select solutions that involve adding new elements rather than taking existing components away.
— Read on www.scientificamerican.com/article/our-brain-typically-overlooks-this-brilliant-problem-solving-strategy/
Reciting it once purifies the karmic obscurations that you have accumulated over one hundred thousand eons. If you recite it three times a day every day, all your misdeeds will be purified, and you will obtain the roots of virtue generated by one thousand buddhas. If you recite it twenty-one times it will purify the four root downfalls.11 If you recite it one hundred thousand times you will have a vision of Noble Maitreya. If you recite it two hundred thousand times you will have a vision of Noble Avalokiteśvara. If you recite it three hundred thousand times you will have a vision of the tathāgata Amitābha. Since the additional benefits are innumerable, this is only a brief summary.
— Read on read.84000.co/translation/toh679.html
None of this is to say we ought to eat more meat. Our evolutionary past isn’t an instruction guide on human health, and as the researchers emphasize, our world isn’t what it used to be.
But knowing where our ancestors sat in the food web has a big impact on understanding everything from our own health and physiology, to our influence over the environment in times gone by.