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What can Avicenna teach us about the mind-body problem?

Philosophers of the Islamic world enjoyed thought experiments. If the heavens vanished, they wondered, would time continue to pass? If existence were distinct from essence, would that mean that existence itself must exist? Can God turn your household servant into a horse, so that you come back home to find it has urinated all over your books?But the most famous is the so-called 'flying man' thought experiment, devised by the most influential philosopher of the Islamic world, Avicenna (in Arabic,...
Tags: Psychology, Memory, History, Innovation, Philosophy, Mind, Aristotle, Self, Douglas Adams, Oxford University Press, Avicenna, Ibn Sina, Peter Adamson, Peter AdamsonThis


Can you step in the same river twice? Wittgenstein vs. Heraclitus

'I am not a religious man,' the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once said to a friend, 'but I cannot help seeing every problem from a religious point of view.' These problems that he claims to see from a religious point of view tend to be technical matters of logic and language. Wittgenstein trained as an engineer before he turned to philosophy, and he draws on mundane metaphors of gears, levers and machinery. Where you find the word 'transcendent' in Wittgenstein's writings, you'll likely find ...
Tags: Psychology, Religion, Innovation, Philosophy, Mind, Debate, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Heraclitus, Wittgenstein, Meister Eckhart, Ancient World, Parmenides, David EganThis


Where does nihilism come from?

Friedrich Nietzsche was most famously concerned with the problem of nihilism. All societies, in his view, rely on implicit value judgments. If the foundations of these are lost, he predicts terrible consequences: widespread apathy or violent, fanatical attempts to reclaim a sense of purpose, or perhaps both. We talk about values a lot, and we know they do something, but we have little idea how. Compounding this is uncertainty over their loss. Nihilism is not a choice or intellectual commitment, ...
Tags: Learning, Anxiety, Harvard University, Innovation, Philosophy, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mind, Morality, University Of California Berkeley, Personal Growth, Scott, Martha, Jane, Friedrich Nietzsche, Nietzsche, Nunn


Aphantasia: the rare brain condition that darkens the mind’s eye

Aphantasia, a recently identified psychological phenomenon, describes when people can't conjure visualizations in their mind's eye. A new study published in Cortex compared the visual memories of aphantasic participants with a group of controls. Its results found experimental validation for the condition. Escapism is one of the imagination's great joys. Through fantastic literature, we can explore the vast stretches Arrakis's deserts or the forests of Middle Earth alongside Gandalf the Grey. We...
Tags: Psychology, Memory, Brain, Creativity, Innovation, Literature, Visualizations, University Of Chicago, Mind, Senses, Middle Earth, Zeman, Gandalf, Bainbridge, Francis Galton, Galton


Study shatters the myth that BDSM is linked to early-life trauma

BDSM is a kind of sexual expression and/or practice that refers to three main subcategories: Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/submission, and Sadism/Masochism. It has been widely speculated that many BDSM practitioners or people who enjoy the BDSM lifestyle are drawn to it because of sexual trauma they experienced in the past. This 2020 study claims that BDSM practitioners deserve perception as normal sexual practice free from stigmatization rather than deviant behavior.BDSM is a kind of sexual exp...
Tags: Psychology, Learning, Sex, Relationships, Women, Mindfulness, Mental Health, Brain, Ptsd, Innovation, Men, Emotions, Mind, Bdsm, Self, Fetzer Institute


Michio Kaku: 3 mind-blowing predictions about the future

Carl Sagan believed humanity needed to become a multi-planet species as an insurance policy against the next huge catastrophe on Earth. Now, Elon Musk is working to see that mission through, starting with a colony of a million humans on Mars. Where will our species go next?Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku looks decades into the future and makes three bold predictions about human space travel, the potential of 'brain net', and our coming victory over cancer."[I]n the future, the word 'tumor' wil...
Tags: Space, Science, Technology, Biology, Cancer, Future, Neuroscience, Brain, Physics, Innovation, Universe, Disease, Planets, Illness, Mars, Mind


Habits: How to be successful every day

Habits, both good and bad, are pre-made decisions that makeup around 40 percent of our day and require no real conscious thought. In order to regain control, resist environmental temptations, and reduce your bad habits, it helps to understand the three parts of a habit loop: the cue (or trigger), the behavior itself, and the reward.Gretchen Rubin, Dan Ariely, Charles Duhigg, Adam Alter, and others explain how you can successfully hack your habits by shifting away from goal-based achievement mark...
Tags: Psychology, Motivation, Science, Success, Brain, Innovation, Mind, Self, Rubin


A prayer without words: The story of the wanderer

A tale of silence, an icon of human solitude in the face of the forces of nature, or perhaps a memento of the great artist? I come down from the mountains,The valley dims, the sea roars.I wander silently and am somewhat unhappy,And my sighs always ask "Where?"This is the lamenting of the Wanderer from a song composed by 19-year-old Franz Schubert to the words of G.P. Schmidt. The stranger looks for a spiritual home everywhere, but is condemned to wander forever. Schubert's music was composed in ...
Tags: Art, Music, History, Nature, Innovation, Philosophy, Mind, Jesus Christ, Franz Schubert, SCHMIDT, Schubert, Greifswald, Friedrich Schiller, Friedrich, Der Spiegel, John Updike


Anxiety and depression can affect your learning ability

A new study confirms that anxiety and depression can lead to difficulties in analyzing data.Test subjects with symptoms of those conditions were slower to realize that changes in the game they were played occured. The study is not the last word on the topic, but its findings will prompt further investigations. Uncertainty is a fact of life that can often impede our ability to make decisions. While everybody knows what it's like to make the wrong choice based on incomplete data, a new study sugg...
Tags: Learning, Mental Health, Brain, Depression, Anxiety, Innovation, Mind, UC Berkeley, Berkeley News, Sonia Bishop


How to outsmart your COVID-19 fears and boost your mood in 2021

After a year of toxic stress ignited by so much fear and uncertainty, now is a good time to reset, pay attention to your mental health and develop some healthy ways to manage the pressures going forward.Brain science has led to some drug-free techniques that you can put to use right now.I am health psychologist who developed a method that harnesses our rip-roaring emotions to rapidly switch off stress and activate positive emotions instead. This technique from emotional brain training is not per...
Tags: Psychology, Happiness, Mental Health, Innovation, Fear, Mind, Personal Growth, New York University, Henry, Laurel Mellin CC BY NDTraditional, Laurel Mellin


Experiencing opposite-sex body in VR causes gender identity shifts

Scientists find that experiencing an opposite-sex body can affect a person's gender identity.A new study utilized virtual reality to get subjects to feel like they had a stranger's body.The researchers found that people's sense of their own gender became more balanced after the experiments. Is associating with a certain gender more of a flexible sense than hardwired biological fact? A new study shows that people who were put under the illusion of having an opposite-sex body developed a more equ...
Tags: Psychology, Gender, Sweden, Sex, Computers, Brain, Transgender, Innovation, Virtual Reality, Mind, Karolinska Institutet, Implicit Association Test IAT, Pawel Tacikowski


Getting opposite-sex body in VR study caused gender identity shifts

Scientists find that experiencing an opposite-sex body can affect a person's gender identity.A new study utilized virtual reality to get subjects to feel like they had a stranger's body.The researchers found that people's sense of their own gender became more balanced after the experiments. Is associating with a certain gender more of a flexible sense than hardwired biological fact? A new study shows that people who were put under the illusion of having an opposite-sex body developed a more equ...
Tags: Psychology, Gender, Sweden, Sex, Computers, Brain, Transgender, Innovation, Virtual Reality, Mind, Karolinska Institute, Implicit Association Test IAT, Pawel Tacikowski


New antidepressants can lift depression and suicidal thoughts fast, but don’t expect magic cures

Depression is the most common cause of disability in the world. Chances are high that you or someone you know will experience a period when depression gets in the way of work, social life or family life. Nearly two in three people with depression will experience severe effects.As a psychiatrist specializing in behavioral neuroscience, I help patients who suffer from mood disorders. Many have “treatment-resistant" depression and are on a nearly constant search for relief. There have been some ex...
Tags: Psychology, Mental Health, Brain, Depression, Healthcare, Innovation, National Institutes of Health, Mind, National Institute on Drug Abuse, SSRI, Nicholas Mischel, Behavioral Neurosciences


5 facts about positive affect for 2021

2021 won't reset the ills of 2020, but for many it's become a symbol of a fresh start.A positive affect is contagious, correlates with better health, and leads to more supportive social connections.However, positivity must be balanced with realism if it is to improve our well-being. The year 2020 was an unrelenting nightmare of negative stimuli. The coronavirus hit early and, in coastal cities like Seattle and New York, hit hard. Daily news reports tallied a death toll that today accounts for m...
Tags: Psychology, Health, New York, Relationships, America, Success, Mental Health, Depression, David, Language, Innovation, Emotions, University Of Chicago, Mind, Seattle, University Of Vermont


Loneliness is wired into the human brain. Here's what it looks like.

A study of 40,000 participants shows specific signatures in the brain scans of lonely people.Loneliness is linked to variations in grey matter volume and connections in the brain default network. This area of the brain is connected to the use of imagination, memory, future planning, and daydreaming. COVID-19 has exacerbated the worldwide spread of loneliness that had been alarming researchers prior to the pandemic. A new study pinpoints a distinct signature that can be observed in the brains of...
Tags: UK, Memory, Neuroscience, Intelligence, Brain, Canada, Innovation, Mind, Loneliness, Nathan Spreng, Spreng, Surprising science


Brains of lonely people change from using imagination and memory

A study of 40,000 participants shows specific signatures in the brain scans of lonely people.Loneliness is linked to variations in grey matter volume and connections in the brain default network. This area of the brain is connected to the use of imagination, memory, future planning and daydreaming. Covid-19 has exacerbated the worldwide spread of loneliness that has been alarming researchers prior to the pandemic. Now a new study pinpoints a distinct signature that can be observed in the brains...
Tags: UK, Memory, Neuroscience, Intelligence, Brain, Canada, Innovation, Mind, Loneliness, Nathan Spreng, Spreng, Surprising science


By the age of 3, children appreciate nature's fractal patterns

A new study from the University of Oregon found that, by the age of three, children understand and prefer nature's fractal patterns.A "fractal" is a pattern that the laws of nature repeat at different scales. Exact fractals are ordered in such a way that the same basic pattern repeats exactly at every scale, like the growth spiral of a plant, for example.Separate studies have proven that exposure to fractal patterns in nature can reduce your stress levels significantly.A new study from the Unive...
Tags: Psychology, Garden, Science, Biology, Environment, Trees, Happiness, Mindfulness, Creativity, Nature, Innovation, Evolution, Exploration, Mind, Senses, Self


Mind uploading: Can we become immortal?

Technology has evolved to a point where humans have overridden natural selection. So what will our species become? Immortal interstellar travelers, perhaps.Scientists are currently mapping the human brain in an effort to understand the connections that produce consciousness. If we can re-create consciousness, your mind can live on forever. You could even laser-port your consciousness to different planets at the speed of light, download your mind into a local avatar and explore those worlds.But i...
Tags: Space, Science, Life, Future, Neuroscience, Brain, Robots, Innovation, Consciousness, Mind, Self, Physiology, David Eagleman, Steven Kotler, Jason Silva, Michio Kaku


Psychedelics: The scientific renaissance of mind-altering drugs

Having been repressed in the 1960s for their ties to the counterculture, psychedelics are currently experiencing a scientific resurgence. In this video, Michael Pollan, Sam Harris, Jason Silva and Ben Goertzel discuss the history of psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin, acknowledge key figures including Timothy Leary and Albert Hoffman, share what the experience of therapeutic tripping can entail, and explain why these substances are important to the future of mental health.There is a stigma sur...
Tags: Health, Science, Medicine, Empathy, Mindfulness, Mental Health, Brain, Depression, Anxiety, Medical Research, Spirituality, Innovation, Consciousness, Emotions, Mind, Self


Is free will an illusion?

The debate over whether or not humans have free will is centuries old and ongoing. While studies have confirmed that our brains perform many tasks without conscious effort, there remains the question of how much we control and when it matters.According to Dr. Uri Maoz, it comes down to what your definition of free will is and to learning more about how we make decisions versus when it is ok for our brain to subconsciously control our actions and movements."If we understand the interplay between ...
Tags: Decision Making, Science, Neuroscience, Brain, Innovation, Philosophy, Mind, Self, Free Will, Maoz, Uri Maoz


Zebrafish give new insight to sound sensitivity in autism

Fragile X syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by changes in a gene that scientists call the "fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1)" gene. People who have FXS or autism often struggle with sensitivity to sound. According to the research team, FXS is caused by the disruption of a gene. By disrupting that same gene in zebrafish larvae, they can examine the effects and begin to understand more about this disrupted gene in the human brain.Using the zebrafish, Dr. Constantin and the team were able t...
Tags: Health, Dna, Neuroscience, Intelligence, Fish, Brain, Genetics, Medical Research, Innovation, Mind, Sound, Senses, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Constantin, Cognitive Science, Ethan Scott


Adult language-learning changes how the brain’s hemispheres function

Language processing has long been thought to occur primarily in the left hemisphere of the brain.A new study used fMRI on groups of adults to examine how the brain's left and right hemispheres contribute to learning a new language.The results showed that, as the participants progressed, they began to use more of their right hemisphere, but only for some aspects of language processing. Learning a new language as an adult changes how the brain's hemispheres contribute to language processing, acco...
Tags: Learning, Neuroscience, Brain, Language, Innovation, Mind, Broca, Steve Kaufmann, Wernicke


The universe works like a huge human brain, discover scientists

A new study finds similarities between the structures and processes of the human brain and the cosmic web.The research was carried out by an astrophysicist and a neurosurgeon.The two systems are vastly different in size but resemble each other in several key areas. Scientists found similarities in the workings of two systems completely different in scale – the network of neuronal cells in the human brain and the cosmic web of galaxies. Researchers studied the two systems from a variety of angle...
Tags: Astronomy, Biology, Neuroscience, Brain, Innovation, Universe, Mind, Galaxy, Astrophysics, University of Bologna, Cosmos, Michio Kaku, Human body, University of Verona, Franco Vazza, Alberto Feletti


Autistic people's nerve cells differ before birth, new study finds

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. Although a diagnosis of autism can typically be made around the age of 2, the average age for diagnosis in the United States is after 4 years old.A new study shows that the atypical development of autism in human brain cells starts at the very earliest stages of brain organization, which can happen as early as the third week of pregnancy.Autism spectrum di...
Tags: Children, Cdc, Pregnancy, Neuroscience, Brain, Genetics, Disability, Autism, United States, Innovation, Cambridge, Emotions, Mind, Cambridge University, Autism Spectrum Disorder, King s College London


One is the loneliest number: the history of a Western problem

'God, but life is loneliness,' declared the writer Sylvia Plath in her private journals. Despite all the grins and smiles we exchange, she says, despite all the opiates we take: when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter – they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.By the 21st century, loneliness has become ubiquitous. Commentators call it 'an epidemic'...
Tags: Psychology, Europe, UK, Australia, Relationships, US, History, Mental Health, United Kingdom, Innovation, Brazil, Community, Charles Darwin, Mind, Parliament, Donald Trump


Psychogenic shivers: Why we get the chills when we aren’t cold

A few years ago, I proposed that the feeling of cold in one's spine, while for example watching a film or listening to music, corresponds to an event when our vital need for cognition is satisfied. Similarly, I have shown that chills are not solely related to music or film but also to the practice of science (mainly physics and mathematics) and to the social logic of religious rituals. I believe that chills and aesthetic emotions in general can teach us something that we do not know yet. They ca...
Tags: Psychology, Brain, Sociology, Innovation, Emotions, Ibm, Mind, Lyon, Leon Festinger, Human body, Rolf Landauer, Perlovsky


Can you solve what an MIT professor once called 'the hardest logic puzzle ever'?

Logician Raymond Smullyan devised tons of logic puzzles, but one was declared by another philosopher to be the hardest of all time.The problem, also known as the Three Gods Problem, is solvable, even if it doesn't seem to be.It depends on using complex questions to assure that any answer given is useful. Despite the general dislike of mathematics that most profess to have, many people enjoy logic puzzles. This is strange, as many logic puzzles are just variations of math problems. Gleefully ign...
Tags: Math, New York, Learning, Russia, Logic, Mit, Rome, Brain, Puzzles, Iowa, Italy, Innovation, Philosophy, University Of Chicago, Mind, Princeton


How music therapy benefits the autistic brain

Music is used in many different therapies. Used in conjunction with traditional therapies, music therapy benefits us in a variety of different ways.According to a 2004 study, music intervention used with children and teens with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) can improve their social behaviors, increase focus and attention, and reduce their anxiety and improve body awareness.Various music therapy activities and tools can be used to help improve the quality of life of children with autism. Music ...
Tags: Psychology, Health, Music, Parenting, Children, Youth, Communication, Neuroscience, Play, Teaching, Mental Health, Brain, Creativity, Disability, Language, Innovation


What stops people from changing their minds?

When you want someone to see things differently and to abandon their previous stance, sometimes persistence is not key. "Too often we think change is about pushing," says Jonah Berger, author of the book The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind, and a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. "We think if we just come up with one more way people will eventually come around." Through speaking with people who have successfully changed minds of others, Berg...
Tags: Psychology, Business, Politics, Activism, Relationships, Communication, Brain, Innovation, University of Pennsylvania, Mind, Berger, Social Change, Wharton School, Jonah Berger


How confident are you in making decisions?

Researchers at the University Hospital Bonn linked confidence in decision-making to neurons in the medial temporal lobe. Learned memories appear to instill confidence in many of the decisions you make. The team believes identifying these individual neurons opens up new areas of research moving forward. Earlier this week, we discussed the role the cerebellum plays in split-second decision-making. Researchers at the University of Colorado discovered that this brain region, which has previously be...
Tags: Psychology, Decision Making, Motivation, Facebook, Neuroscience, Brain, Innovation, Bonn, Mind, University Of Colorado, Derek, University Hospital Bonn, Alexander Unruh Pinheiro, Epileptology, Florian Mormann, Mormann