Archive for the ‘Brain Myths’ Category

Changes That Occur When You Pay Attention

Being able to pay close attention is hard to accomplish due to the fact that a person’s attention is dragged in so many different directions during one particular moment. Attention takes many dimensions and unlike what many people think about having focus, it also involves information, which one’s brain is trying to filter.

Our attention is directed in two ways. One is overt attention which involves moving of eyes towards something in order to pay attention to it and the second is the covert attention which is paying attention to something, but without moving the eyes. The brain patterns in overt or covert attention are different. Depending on the one that we are paying attention to, certain parts of one’s brain begin to resonate at the same rate as that of the intensity of our attention and it is possible to tell whether a person is on an overtly or covertly attention.

The filtering ability of the brain is indeed a key for attention. Apparently, this is missing in some people especially those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, thus they hardly restrain any distractors. This means they are not able to sustain extended focus, even on a single task.

The front part of a person’s brain is responsible for higher cognitive functions. It works as a filter to let into the brain just the right information, which will enable a person to pay attention. Now, there is an opportunity for using cognitive brain-machine interfaces; especially, for those suffering from the stroke who are not able to speak or write. Using cognitive brain-machine interfaces, it is now possible to have computers, which could help people understand the thoughts of a person in a coma through the use of brain patterns.


The Perpetual Delusion of Separation


We think we are separate from others and the world around us. We think when we are separate from the rest of the world, we can be unattached and objective. With this illusion of separation and being objective, we believe we can manipulate and control ourselves without external influence. We make everything else objects that can be observed, manipulated and controlled. We think we can control other people, animals and nature around us and even God to meet our wishes.

This separation is an illusion. This is a view that arises from within the mind of an individual. We are essentially connected to our environment. Our environment exists the way it does only because we observe it the way we do. How we, as society, have chosen to view and perceive the world is an illusion that we have created. How we as an individual have chosen to view the world from within our society is another illusion. There are a variety of other ways to view reality and our role in reality to create alternative ways of living and being in the world. Some views cause us to live in separation and other allows us to live in wholeness. To move past the illusion of separation, we must adopt beliefs which will allow us to move past it. This separation scatters and fragments our creative life energy. It does not allow us to connect with all that is around us and draw from it power into our own being. It is more like we starve ourselves rather than feed on what is readily available.

There are three conditions that force us to be in the illusion of separation. One is that we think we are a separate entity unconnected to any other aspect of the environment. The second is that we believe there is a past, present and future. Rather than living in the present moment and being open to what the moment presents, we hold to the past and project it into the future. The third is that we separate and compartmentalize our life experience to be confined to different aspects of our life and keep them bound as separate from the other aspects.

Pain, in one form or another, is what ultimately keeps us in the illusion of separation and does not allow us to experience the oneness of how everything is interconnected. We can adopt new beliefs so we can sit in the present moment and create wholeness within our being, but often in oneness we feel pain for many of us are in pain. If we are unable to face the pain we feel, ours or that of another, we will continue to keep ourselves in the illusion of separation.

The key to facing the pain we experience is to understand pain and the origins of pain. Then, when we experience pain, before we mitigate it or look to alleviate it, we need to ask our intuitive guidance, from where does this pain arise and what do I need to do or become to address it at its root and then be open to honor the guidance we get.

Fear of Fear

Fear is a permanently formed neuronal circuit in all creatures.  Young children fear because they are vulnerable and unable to protect themselves.  Men fear fear because they associate such emotions with a dangerous lack of control over the self and world.  To avoid this, men gravitate away from the emotional world of fear and anxiety toward a more analytical and objective life in which logic rules over feelings.  Fear, kept unexamined and dammed up for too long, will then manifest in excess when a crisis really arrives.  In humans and in all animals, the purpose of fear is to promote survival.  Our will and reason are powerless against the imagination of a danger which has never been experienced.

We feed our fears in five patterns.  We are always looking for things to support our fear when they are not there.  We have recognize fear for what it is, and challenge the thought.  We sometimes decide there is nothing we can do to get over the fear, that we are just going to be stuck with it. ‘Don’t give in. You are in control.  Automatic thoughts take over when you let the chatterbox in your head run riot, change the voice or tell it to shut up.  Some of us imagine our demise in glorious technicolor. Now you run the scary movie in your head in black and white so you drain the color, turn the sound down, mess around with the image in your head until it has less power to affect you.

The solution for the fear of fear is to recognize the patterns for what they are and then break them.

Posted July 5, 2017 by dranilj1 in Brain Myths

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Quite Mind

Our brain is the center of all our perceptions. More acute and alert our perception is more sensitive and sharper our brain will be. Brain is also the place where memory resides. Brain is where our experiences, knowledge and tradition are stored. Our brain’s pursuits are all planned, clearly thought out in accordance to reason and logic and all reasons and logic functions in limitation of space and time. The brain cannot understand the complete mind. When our mind is free of greed, envy, ambition, then it can comprehend that which is real.

Love is completeness. The word “love” shows up about 85 times in the Gospels. We know that parental love includes setting boundaries, meting out consequences, and training that can be boring. Even friendship love involves speaking the honest truth, even when it hurts, but I suspect that the charges against us as unloving people have nothing to do with these sorts of things. I suspect that it has to do with what we do because we do not trust the power of love in practice. We rely on force, argument, judgment and authority instead.

Love is the constant feeling of completeness when you are with that someone and not wanting that moment to end for anything. Our brain must develop. Its development will always be from a cause, from a reaction, from violence to non-violence. Our brain has developed from the primitive state. However, refined, intelligent, technical, our mind is, it is still within the confines of space and time.

Humility’s twin is anonymity. Let your brain became very quiet, fully alive with every sense being alert. Such brain is something that is immensely alive, vibrant and then it is not merely a gadget of recording. Self-critical awareness is essential. Imagination and illusion distort clear observation. Illusion will always exist, so long as the urge for the continuation of pleasure and the avoidance of pain exist. Seeking of pleasure and the avoidance of pain always breed illusion. To get away the illusion altogether, understand pain and pleasure, not by control or sublimation, identification or denial of pain and pleasure.

When your mind is quiet your can observe honestly. Can our mind be ever quiet? It can be, when mind becomes very sensitive and is devoid of its extraordinary power of distortion. Nothing ever goes away as long as it does not teach us that we need to know! I am at the same time enchanted and repelled by the intimidating inexhaustibility of life’s variety!

Posted February 11, 2017 by dranilj1 in Brain Myths

Daydreaming and Attention Lapses

It is common in many everyday situations to suddenly notice that, for some time, we have been focusing on thoughts and feelings that are unrelated to what we are doing. These often unintentional mental states are examples of daydreaming, attention lapses, or mind wandering. During mind wandering, performance of the primary task ceases to be supervised by our attention and, instead, proceeds automatically. Our attention switches from the primary task, and our private thoughts become the focus of awareness. Because mind wandering involves a focus on internal information, these episodes involve a state of decoupled processing, as indicated by its relation to encoding. The experience of catching mind wandering indicates that we often lack awareness that one is off task. The failure to recognize that one is off task suggests that mind wandering involves a temporary failure in the ability to reflect upon the content of one’s own mental state.

If we are unaware that we are off task, we cannot acknowledge that we are mind wandering. In the absence of awareness that one is mind wandering, we cannot instantiate the control processes necessary to remedy the consequences of off-task episodes on performance. However, if we are aware that we are mind wandering, our behavior becomes more flexible, because we can strategically account for some of the negative consequences of off-task experiences.

Thinking about thinking mean you are in a conscious state thinking about your situational awareness. It may not come intuitively or automatically for us to be consciously thinking about our situational awareness while fulfilling all our duties and responsibilities at an emergency scene, but if we are able to elevate awareness to the conscious level, then awareness becomes as important as anything else we may be doing or thinking about. Situational awareness is an individual’s ability to perceive clues and cues about what is happening in his or her environment and to understand the meaning of those clues and cues in the context of how time is passing and then be able to make accurate predictions about future events to avoid bad outcomes.

Mind Wandering is Opposite of Mindfulness

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Our minds wander, on average 50 percent of the time. Noticing where your mind has gone disengages your brain from where it has wandered and activates brain circuits that can help your attention get unstuck and return to the work at hand. A simple mental exercise such as watching your breath, noticing when your mind has wandered off, letting go of the wandering thought and bringing it back to your breath again acts like a mental workout; the equivalent of repetitions in lifting free weights: Every repetition strengthens the muscle a bit more. In mindfulness what gets stronger are the brain’s circuits for noticing when your mind has wandered, letting go, and returning to your chosen focus. That is just what we need to stay with during that one important task we are working on.

Posted January 18, 2017 by dranilj1 in Brain Myths

We Compare Even When We Should Not



We enjoy comparison. It is a personality flaw hidden deep in our heart. We compare using diverse metrics: Job title, income level, house size, and worldly successes. Using relativity is how most of us make decisions in life. Once we start down that road of comparison, there is no end. Comparison is always unfair. It makes us miserable because of resentment and envy. We are too unique to compare fairly. Comparisons result in bitterness; bitterness towards others and towards ourselves and rob us of joy.

It’s easy to see the success of others as a reminder of your own shortcomings, but your envy is really a window into seeing what qualities you should improve upon. Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides. You have no idea what it took for them to get there. Don’t act like this was unearned, effortless, or pure dumb luck. Comparison can be a dark, stuck place, but only if you allow it to be. There is light to be found in your comparison habit, if you’re willing to look for it. The light we see in others can help us see our own and appreciate it.

No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you. So, instead of training to stop comparing altogether, we can simply redirect the comparison to a past and a present self and keep the comparison within. Comparing ourselves with someone else is an inaccurate and inappropriate measuring stick. To deal this it is recommended we control the circles in which we compare ourselves. You consciously move away from people who boast of their big salaries and talk with someone else instead. When spending or purchasing, consciously only view things that are truly within your budget.

If we do move up the ranks, it is clear that we will only stay satisfied with this higher standard of living for a short period of time before we restart looking to an even higher standard. The more we have, the more we want. If you took the strengths of others, and compared them to your weaknesses, how do you think you’d size up? Do you think this would make you feel good? Being able to look at your own strengths, and see your true value is the key to success, because without this ability, you will be unmotivated, and won’t believe in yourself. The only cure for this is to break the cycle of comparison.

Posted June 4, 2016 by dranilj1 in Brain Myths

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