DreamMachine Project in London


Unique Experience Not To Be Missed! Dreamachine is now open in London (until July 24, in Woolwich) and Cardiff (until June 18, Temple of Peace), and is opening later in Belfast (July 25 –September 04) and Edinburgh (August 13 – September 25).



Alpha Brain Waves’s Speed Predicts with 100% Accuracy the Intensity of the Experience of Post-surgery Pain


“In a pilot study, published today (DATE) in the British Journal of Anaesthesia, a team of researchers showed how electroencephalography (EEG) can be used to measure brain activity in patients about to undergo chest surgery, or thoracotomy.

Before surgery, the team measured the patients’ alpha waves, brain signals which oscillate between 8 and 14 Hz. Then, over 72 hours following surgery, patients were asked to score their pain on a scale from 1-10. The researchers were able to demonstrate a clear link between the patient’s alpha waves and their responses to pain. In particular, they found that people whose alpha waves oscillated below 9 Hz were much more vulnerable to severe pain post-surgery.

The alpha waves measured before surgery were able to predict, with 100 per cent accuracy, which patients would report a pain score after surgery of 7/10 or higher.

This work extends findings from a longstanding collaboration between Dr Mazaheri and Dr David Seminowicz (Western University, Canada), in which work led by Dr Andrew Furman (University of Maryland Baltimore) showed PAF is a reliable predictor of pain sensitivity across multiple pain models and timescales (Furman 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021). The new study adds a crucial piece to this literature: the first validation of the pain sensitivity biomarker in a clinical population.”

The above excerpt is taken from: University of Birmingham. (2022, April 5). Alpha brain waves can predict post-surgery pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 15, 2022 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/04/220405123910.htm

Original study reference: Samantha K. Millard, Andrew J. Furman, Amy Kerr, David A. Seminowicz, Fang Gao, Babu V. Naidu, Ali Mazaheri. Predicting postoperative pain in lung cancer patients using preoperative peak alpha frequencyBritish Journal of Anaesthesia, 2022; DOI: 10.1016/j.bja.2022.03.006

Intelligence as a Function of Neural Network Switch Efficiency


“A new study recently published in the journal Cerebral Cortex suggests that the higher a person’s intelligence score, the easier it is for them to switch between resting state and different task states. This ability is based on certain neuronal networks and their communication structures. “The functional brain network architecture of individuals with higher test intelligence scores during resting state is more similar to the architecture as required for various cognitive tasks,” says Dr. Kirsten Hilger.

“Intelligence is a phenomenon of the whole brain adapting to different requirements,” Hilger says. The more intelligent an individual, the better their brain’s network architecture is suited to perform various cognitive tasks.”

Source: Medical Express

Original Article in Cerebral Cortex: Jonas A Thiele, Joshua Faskowitz, Olaf Sporns, Kirsten Hilger, Multitask Brain Network Reconfiguration Is Inversely Associated with Human Intelligence, Cerebral Cortex, 2022;, bhab473, https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhab473

Heightened Sensitivity in the Cardiovascular System, combined with Lower Activation Levels in the Ventro-Medial Prefrontal Cortex, May Create the Experience of Generalised Anxiety


Summary: Researchers identified an abnormal link between the autonomic and central nervous system via communication between the heart and parts of the prefrontal cortex in women with generalized anxiety disorder.

Heightened sensitivity in the cardio-vascular system and the insula (higher heart rates and more intense perception of the heartbeats) and lowered sensitivity/neural activation levels within the ventro-medial prefrontal cortex (part of the brain engaged with regulating autonomic arousal) may cause the GAD suffering. Link to the full Neuroscience News article can be found here.

“Hangxiety”: Why Some People Experience Anxiety During Hangover?


As the body recovers from a night of drinking, a hangover creates a state of physiological stress. This manifests with increased cortisol (stress hormone) levels, increased blood pressure and heart rate – changes that typically accompany the experience of anxiety. The brain is also affected by bio-chemical changes; the amount of available endorphins and dopamine (key neurotransmitter involved in reward, learninig and, among others, in regulating anxiety) is lower during a hangover, reducing the system’s natural capability to cope with anxiety. This heightened physiological stress state makes it more difficult for someone to cope with any additional stress that may happen throughout the period.

Link to the full article from Neurosciencenews.com is here

Feeling the Vibe? Physiological Synchrony, and Not Overt Social Signals Predicts Attraction in a Blind Date Setting


Whether two people will feel attracted to each other can be predicted from the moment they meet.

In a recent study led by Dr Eliska Prochazkova, researchers from the University of Leven measured the physiology (heart rate and skin conductance response), and observed the body language (eye contact, gaze direction, smiles, mimicry, etc.) between volunteers participating in a blind date experiment.

The research team discovered that overt social signals, such as smiles, laughter, eye gaze or the mimicry of those signals, did not significantly correlate with mutual attraction. Instead, attraction was predicted by synchrony in heart rate and skin conductance (physiological signals, which are covert, unconscious and difficult to regulate) between partners.

It appears that the effortless, subconsious synchronisation of physiological phases of arousal and relaxation (as encoded through heart rate and skin conductance levels) between two individuals, forms the basis of romantic attraction.

In a separate study, the same team showed that the physiological synchronisation (skin conductance levels) can also predict cooperative success among individuals in real-life interactions.

Prochazkova, E., Sjak-Shie, E., Behrens, F. et al. Physiological synchrony is associated with attraction in a blind date setting. Nat Hum Behav (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-021-01197-3

Behrens F., Snijdewint J.A., Moulder R.G., Prochazkova E., Sjak-Shie E.E., Boker S.M. & Kret M.E. (2020), Physiological synchrony is associated with cooperative success in real-life interactions, Scientific Reports 10(1): 1-9.

Exercise Effect on the Body Dependant on Circadian Clock


“Summary: Study reveals how the body produces different health-promoting signaling molecules in an organ-specific manner following exercise at different points during the day.

Source: Helmholtz

It is well established that exercise improves health, and recent research has shown that exercise benefits the body in different ways, depending on the time of day. However, scientists still do not know why the timing of exercise produces these different effects. To gain a better understanding, an international team of scientists recently carried out the most comprehensive study to date of exercise performed at different times of the day.”

The above excerpt is from the NeuroscienceNews.com. Access the full article here. Access the original journal article Atlas of exercise metabolism reveals time-dependent signatures of metabolic homeostasis published in Cell Metabolism can be found here.