Why You Should Ignore All That Coronavirus-Inspired Productivity Pressure

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By Aisha S. Ahmad

Global catastrophes change the world, and this pandemic is very much akin to a major war. Even if we contain the Covid-19 crisis within a few months, the legacy of this pandemic will live with us for years, perhaps decades to come. It will change the way we move, build, learn, and connect. There is simply no way that our lives will resume as if this had never happened. And so, while it may feel good in the moment, it is foolish to dive into a frenzy of activity or obsess about your scholarly productivity right now. That is denial and delusion. The emotionally and spiritually sane response is to prepare to be forever changed….

The link to the full version of Aisha S. Ahmad’s beautifully written personal account of adapting to living in the Corona-virus induced crisis and withstanding the “productivity pressure” can be found here

Coronavirus- Staying Safe During your Neuro-sessions

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As concerns about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) intensify, we wanted to share the steps Bright Brain Centre takes currently and will continue to implement.

  • We are sanitizing all surfaces including door knobs and front door after each client.
  • Please use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the office.
  • For neurofeedback clients, we will be wearing gloves as we place your cap on and prepare for your session.
  • The caps used for neurofeedback are washed, dried and treated with antibacterial and antiviral agent after each client
  • We will endeavor to keep our distance, we will no longer shake hands or hug.
  • If you experience any cold or flu-like symptoms, if you have been tested positive, or have been in touch with someone who has been tested positive for COVID-19, please, refrain from coming into our office and do not put vulnerable clients at risk.
  • If you consider yourself vulnerable due to age, underlying health conditions or weakened immune system, please, stay home!

Let’s all play it safe for ourselves, our loved ones, the elderly and our neighborsWith precautions in place, we will hopefully be back to normal in a couple of months.

Five Steps to Living with Uncertainty during Coronavirus- Dr Inna Khazan

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A Guide For Responding to Anxiety and Lack of Control by Dr Inna Khazan published online in Psychology Today

In the last few weeks, with the coronavirus making its rounds around the world, there is more uncertainty as to what we’ll be doing in the next few months, weeks, or even days than many of us can remember experiencing in a very long time…. read more from the full article published online in Psychology Today by Dr Inna Khazan- a renown biofeedback therapist and mindfulness expert.

Neurofeedback induced Alpha waves desynchronisation enhances attention

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In a recent MEG neurofeedback study, participants learned to desynchronize their left and right parietal Alpha oscillations. The hemisphere-specific alpha supression training resulted in enhanced spatial attention for stimuli presented in the corresponding visual hemifield.  The study highlights the role of Alpha wave suppression in spatial attention. A link to the article in Neuron can be found here.

Ayahuasca compound changes brainwaves to vivid ‘waking-dream’ state- a fascinating scientific report coming from the Imperial College, London

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Ayahuasca and EEGIn a recent study conducted at the Psychodelic research Lab at the Imperial College London, scientists explored the electrophysiological changes, accompanying the altered states of consciosness induced by intake of the DMT component extracted from the Ayahuasca plant.

The EEG records made, while an individual was under the influence of DMT (the psychoactive component of the Ayahuasca plant), revealed EEG dynamics, different from the one observed during the intake of other consciousness state altering substances, such as psylocybin. Besides the expected drop in alpha and beta waves and the overall network desynchronysation,  scientists observed the emergence of a dominant rhythm in the Delta/Theta frequency range out of the neural chaos. This study opens a new window for exploring the role of criticality, counsciousness and their role in personally transformative experiences.

Link to the Imperial news report by Ryan O’Hare can be found here.

Original article: Timmermann, C., Roseman, L., Schartner, M. et al. Neural correlates of the DMT experience assessed with multivariate EEG. Sci Rep 9, 16324 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41598-019-51974-4

Humans aren’t designed to be constantly happy – so stop trying

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human-happiness-neuroscience-public.jpg“A huge happiness and positive thinking industry, estimated to be worth $11bln a year, has helped to create the fantasy that happiness is a realistic goal. Chasing the happiness dream is a very American concept, exported to the rest of the world through popular culture. Indeed, “the pursuit of happiness” is one of the US’s “unalienable rights”. Unfortunately, this has helped to create an expectation that real life stubbornly refuses to deliver…”

The excerpt above stems from an article published in the online scientific writing space www.theconversation.com. Rafael Euba, the autor of the article, who is a consultant and senior lecturer in Old Age Psychiatry at King’s College London, explains why a permanent state of happiness would not be evolutionary advantageous and why humans are not hard-wired to be constantly happy. Link to the full article here

 

A computer system that knows how you feel

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Philip Kragel
CU Boulder postdoctoral researcher Philip Kragel. Credit: Glenn Asakawa/CU Boulder

The excerpt below stems from an article reviewing an intriguing study on emotion processing and identification is from the online journal Medical Express.

“Machine learning technology is getting really good at recognizing the content of images—of deciphering what kind of object it is,” said senior author Tor Wager, who worked on the study while a professor of psychology and neuroscience at CU Boulder.

We wanted to ask: Could it do the same with emotions? The answer is yes.

Part machine-learning innovation, part human brain-imaging study, the paper, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, marks an important step forward in the application of “neural networks”—computer systems modeled after the human brain—to the study of emotion.

It also sheds a new, different light on how and where images are represented in the human brain, suggesting that what we see—even briefly—could have a greater, more swift impact on our emotions than we might assume.

“A lot of people assume that humans evaluate their environment in a certain way and emotions follow from specific, ancestrally older brain systems like the limbic system,” said lead author Philip Kragel, a postdoctoral research associate at the Institute of Cognitive Science. “We found that the visual cortex itself also plays an important role in the processing and perception of emotion.”

Link to the full Medical Express article here.