Your Brain Knows More Than You Think

the new frontiers of neuroplasticity

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Author: Niels Birbaumer

Publisher: Scribe Publications

ISBN: 1925548317

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 8222

Our brains are more powerful than we ever realised. Too often, we humans tend to assume that nature is fixed, immutable — and this tendency is particularly strong when we think about matters of the mind and behaviour. People just can’t change, we say, so they must somehow be prevented from becoming a burden on society or from hurting themselves and others. Neuroplasticity — the virtually limitless capacity of the brain to remould itself — turns these notions on their heads. Leading brain researcher Niels Birbaumer brings new hope to those suffering from depression, anxiety, ADHD, addiction, dementia, the effects of a stroke, or even the extremes of locked-in syndrome or psychopathy. Like the fathers and mothers of psychiatry, Birbaumer explores the sometimes-wild frontiers of a new way of thinking about our brains and behaviour. Through actual cases from his research and practice, he shows how we can change through training alone, and without risky drugs. Open your mind to change.

Your Brain Knows More Than You Think

The New Frontiers of Neuroplasticity

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Author: Niels;Zittlau Birbaumer,Jörg Zittlau

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781925322361

Category: Neuroplasticity

Page: 272

View: 521

Too often, we humans tend to assume that nature is fixed, immutable - and this tendency is particularly strong when we think about matters of the mind and behaviour. People just can't change, we say, so they must somehow be prevented from becoming a burden on society or from hurting themselves and others. Neuroplasticity - the virtually limitless capacity of the brain to remould itself - turns these notions on their heads. Leading brain researcher Niels Birbaumer brings new hope to those suffering from depression, anxiety, ADHD, addiction, dementia, the effects of a stroke, or even the extremes of locked-in syndrome or psychopathy. Like the fathers and mothers of psychiatry, Birbaumer explores the sometimes-wild frontiers of a new way of thinking about our brains and behaviour. Through actual cases from his research and practice, he shows how we can change through training alone, and without risky drugs. Open your mind to change.

Rewire Your Brain

Think Your Way to a Better Life

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Author: John B. Arden

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9780470569849

Category: Self-Help

Page: 256

View: 602

How to rewire your brain to improve virtually every aspect of your life-based on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology on neuroplasticity and evidence-based practices Not long ago, it was thought that the brain you were born with was the brain you would die with, and that the brain cells you had at birth were the most you would ever possess. Your brain was thought to be “hardwired” to function in predetermined ways. It turns out that's not true. Your brain is not hardwired, it's "softwired" by experience. This book shows you how you can rewire parts of the brain to feel more positive about your life, remain calm during stressful times, and improve your social relationships. Written by a leader in the field of Brain-Based Therapy, it teaches you how to activate the parts of your brain that have been underactivated and calm down those areas that have been hyperactivated so that you feel positive about your life and remain calm during stressful times. You will also learn to improve your memory, boost your mood, have better relationships, and get a good night sleep. Reveals how cutting-edge developments in neuroscience, and evidence-based practices can be used to improve your everyday life Other titles by Dr. Arden include: Brain-Based Therapy-Adult, Brain-Based Therapy-Child, Improving Your Memory For Dummies and Heal Your Anxiety Workbook Dr. Arden is a leader in integrating the new developments in neuroscience with psychotherapy and Director of Training in Mental Health for Kaiser Permanente for the Northern California Region Explaining exciting new developments in neuroscience and their applications to daily living, Rewire Your Brain will guide you through the process of changing your brain so you can change your life and be free of self-imposed limitations.

The Brain's Way of Healing

Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity

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Author: Norman Doidge

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698191439

Category: Medical

Page: 432

View: 7644

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The New York Times–bestselling author of The Brain That Changes Itself presents astounding advances in the treatment of brain injury and illness. Now in an updated and expanded paperback edition. Winner of the 2015 Gold Nautilus Award in Science & Cosmology In his groundbreaking work The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge introduced readers to neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to change its own structure and function in response to activity and mental experience. Now his revolutionary new book shows how the amazing process of neuroplastic healing really works. The Brain’s Way of Healing describes natural, noninvasive avenues into the brain provided by the energy around us—in light, sound, vibration, and movement—that can awaken the brain’s own healing capacities without producing unpleasant side effects. Doidge explores cases where patients alleviated chronic pain; recovered from debilitating strokes, brain injuries, and learning disorders; overcame attention deficit and learning disorders; and found relief from symptoms of autism, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and cerebral palsy. And we learn how to vastly reduce the risk of dementia, with simple approaches anyone can use. For centuries it was believed that the brain’s complexity prevented recovery from damage or disease. The Brain’s Way of Healing shows that this very sophistication is the source of a unique kind of healing. As he did so lucidly in The Brain That Changes Itself, Doidge uses stories to present cutting-edge science with practical real-world applications, and principles that everyone can apply to improve their brain’s performance and health. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Brain That Changes Itself

Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

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Author: Norman Doidge

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101147115

Category: Psychology

Page: 448

View: 1431

What is neuroplasticity? Is it possible to change your brain? Norman Doidge’s inspiring guide to the new brain science explains all of this and more An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable, and proving that it is, in fact, possible to change your brain. Psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, M.D., traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity, its healing powers, and the people whose lives they’ve transformed—people whose mental limitations, brain damage or brain trauma were seen as unalterable. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, blind people who learn to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, stroke patients learning to speak, children with cerebral palsy learning to move with more grace, depression and anxiety disorders successfully treated, and lifelong character traits changed. Using these marvelous stories to probe mysteries of the body, emotion, love, sex, culture, and education, Dr. Doidge has written an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Mind and the Brain

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Author: Jeffrey M. Schwartz,Sharon Begley

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9780061961984

Category: Science

Page: 432

View: 7452

A groundbreaking work of science that confirms, for the first time, the independent existence of the mind–and demonstrates the possibilities for human control over the workings of the brain. Conventional science has long held the position that 'the mind' is merely an illusion, a side effect of electrochemical activity in the physical brain. Now in paperback, Dr Jeffrey Schwartz and Sharon Begley's groundbreaking work, The Mind and the Brain, argues exactly the opposite: that the mind has a life of its own.Dr Schwartz, a leading researcher in brain dysfunctions, and Wall Street Journal science columnist Sharon Begley demonstrate that the human mind is an independent entity that can shape and control the functioning of the physical brain. Their work has its basis in our emerging understanding of adult neuroplasticity–the brain's ability to be rewired not just in childhood, but throughout life, a trait only recently established by neuroscientists. Through decades of work treating patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), Schwartz made an extraordinary finding: while following the therapy he developed, his patients were effecting significant and lasting changes in their own neural pathways. It was a scientific first: by actively focusing their attention away from negative behaviors and toward more positive ones, Schwartz's patients were using their minds to reshape their brains–and discovering a thrilling new dimension to the concept of neuroplasticity. The Mind and the Brain follows Schwartz as he investigates this newly discovered power, which he calls self–directed neuroplasticity or, more simply, mental force. It describes his work with noted physicist Henry Stapp and connects the concept of 'mental force' with the ancient practice of mindfulness in Buddhist tradition. And it points to potential new applications that could transform the treatment of almost every variety of neurological dysfunction, from dyslexia to stroke–and could lead to new strategies to help us harness our mental powers. Yet as wondrous as these implications are, perhaps even more important is the philosophical dimension of Schwartz's work. For the existence of mental force offers convincing scientific evidence of human free will, and thus of man's inherent capacity for moral choice.

The Ghost in My Brain

How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get it Back

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Author: Clark Elliott

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698150147

Category: Medical

Page: 336

View: 3789

The dramatic story of one man’s recovery offers new hope to those suffering from concussions and other brain traumas In 1999, Clark Elliott suffered a concussion when his car was rear-ended. Overnight his life changed from that of a rising professor with a research career in artificial intelligence to a humbled man struggling to get through a single day. At times he couldn’t walk across a room, or even name his five children. Doctors told him he would never fully recover. After eight years, the cognitive demands of his job, and of being a single parent, finally became more than he could manage. As a result of one final effort to recover, he crossed paths with two brilliant Chicago-area research-clinicians—one an optometrist emphasizing neurodevelopmental techniques, the other a cognitive psychologist—working on the leading edge of brain plasticity. Within weeks the ghost of who he had been started to re-emerge. Remarkably, Elliott kept detailed notes throughout his experience, from the moment of impact to the final stages of his recovery, astounding documentation that is the basis of this fascinating book. The Ghost in My Brain gives hope to the millions who suffer from head injuries each year, and provides a unique and informative window into the world’s most complex computational device: the human brain. From the Hardcover edition.

Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain

How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves

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Author: Sharon Begley

Publisher: Ballantine Books

ISBN: 9780307492081

Category: Psychology

Page: 304

View: 6575

Is it really possible to change the structure and function of the brain, and in so doing alter how we think and feel? The answer is a resounding yes. In late 2004, leading Western scientists joined the Dalai Lama at his home in Dharamsala, India, to address this very question–and in the process brought about a revolution in our understanding of the human mind. In this fascinating and far-reaching book, Wall Street Journal science writer Sharon Begley reports on how cutting-edge science and the ancient wisdom of Buddhism have come together to show how we all have the power to literally change our brains by changing our minds. These findings hold exciting implications for personal transformation. For decades, the conventional wisdom of neuroscience held that the hardware of the brain is fixed and immutable–that we are stuck with what we were born with. As Begley shows, however, recent pioneering experiments in neuroplasticity, a new science that investigates whether and how the brain can undergo wholesale change, reveal that the brain is capable not only of altering its structure but also of generating new neurons, even into old age. The brain can adapt, heal, renew itself after trauma, and compensate for disability. Begley documents how this fundamental paradigm shift is transforming both our understanding of the human mind and our approach to deep-seated emotional, cognitive, and behavioral problems. These breakthroughs show that it is possible to reset our happiness meter, regain the use of limbs disabled by stroke, train the mind to break cycles of depression and OCD, and reverse age-related changes in the brain. They also suggest that it is possible to teach and learn compassion, a key step in the Dalai Lama’s quest for a more peaceful world. But as we learn from studies performed on Buddhist monks, an important component in changing the brain is to tap the power of mind and, in particular, focused attention. This is the classic Buddhist practice of mindfulness, a technique that has become popular in the West and that is immediately available to everyone. With her extraordinary gift for making science accessible, meaningful, and compelling, Sharon Begley illuminates a profound shift in our understanding of how the brain and the mind interact. This tremendously hopeful book takes us to the leading edge of a revolution in what it means to be human. From the Hardcover edition.

Soft-wired

How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life

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Author: Michael Merzenich, Dr, PhD,Michael M. Merzenich

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780989432825

Category: Brain

Page: 266

View: 9932

What if you had the power to change your brain for the better? In Soft-Wired, Dr. Michael Merzenich--a world authority on brain plasticity--explains how the brain rewires itself across the lifespan, and how you can take control of that process to improve your life. In addition to fascinating descriptions of how your brain has produced your unique memories, skills, quirks, and emotions, Soft-Wired offers sound advice for evaluating your brain and gives clear, specific, scientifically proven guidance for how to rejuvenate, remodel, and reshape your brain to improve it at any age.

You Are Not Your Brain

The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taki ng Control of Your Life

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Author: Jeffrey Schwartz MD,Rebecca Gladding MD

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101516119

Category: Psychology

Page: 368

View: 6121

Two neuroscience experts explain how their 4-Step Method can help break destructive thoughts and actions and change bad habits for good. A leading neuroplasticity researcher and the coauthor of the groundbreaking books Brain Lock and The Mind and the Brain, Jeffrey M. Schwartz has spent his career studying the structure and neuronal firing patterns of the human brain. He pioneered the first mindfulness-based treatment program for people suffering from OCD, teaching patients how to achieve long-term relief from their compulsions. For the past six years, Schwartz has worked with psychiatrist Rebecca Gladding to refine a program that successfully explains how the brain works and why we often feel besieged by bad brain wiring. Just like with the compulsions of OCD patients, they discovered that bad habits, social anxieties, self-deprecating thoughts, and compulsive overindulgence are all rooted in overactive brain circuits. The key to making life changes that you want-to make your brain work for you-is to consciously choose to "starve" these circuits of focused attention, thereby decreasing their influence and strength. As evidenced by the huge success of Schwartz's previous books, as well as Daniel Amen's Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, and Norman Doidge's The Brain That Changes Itself, there is a large audience interested in harnessing the brain's untapped potential, yearning for a step-by-step, scientifically grounded and clinically proven approach. In fact, readers of Brain Lock wrote to the authors in record numbers asking for such a book. In You Are Not Your Brain, Schwartz and Gladding carefully outline their program, showing readers how to identify negative brain impulses, channel them through the power of focused attention, and ultimately lead more fulfilling and empowered lives.

My Plastic Brain

One Woman's Yearlong Journey to Discover If Science Can Improve Her Mind

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Author: Caroline Williams

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1633883914

Category: Psychology

Page: 278

View: 6786

Using herself as a guinea pig, a science journalist explores "neuroplasticity" to find out whether she can make meaningful, lasting changes to the way her brain works. In books like THE HAPPINESS PROJECT, THE NO-SPEND YEAR, and THE YEAR OF YES, individuals have tried a specific experience and then reported on it, sharing the takeaway for the rest of us. In MY PLASTIC BRAIN, Caroline Williams spends a year exploring "neuroplasticity"--the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections--to find out whether she can make meaningful, lasting changes to the way her brain works. A science journalist with access to cutting edge experts and facilities, she volunteers herself as a test subject, challenging researchers to make real changes to the function and performance of her brain. She seeks to improve on everyday weaknesses such as her limited attention span and tendency to worry too much. She then branches out into more mysterious areas such as creativity and the perception of time. From Boston to Oxford, England, and Philadelphia to Freiburg, Germany, Williams travels to labs or virtually meets with scientists and tries their techniques of mindfulness meditation, magnetic brain stimulation, sustained focus exercises, stress response retraining, and more. She shares her intimate journey with readers to discover what neuroscience can really do for us.

How I Rescued My Brain

a psychologist’s remarkable recovery from stroke and trauma

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Author: David Roland

Publisher: Scribe Publications

ISBN: 1925106004

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 3881

As a forensic psychologist, David Roland often saw the toughest, most heartbreaking cases. The emotional trauma had begun to take its toll — and then the global financial crisis hit, leaving his family facing financial ruin. When he found himself in an emergency ward with little idea of how he got there, doctors wondered if he had had a nervous breakdown. Eventually they discovered the truth: David had suffered a stroke, which had resulted in brain injury. He faced two choices: give up or get his brain working again. Drawing on the principles of neuroplasticity, David set about re-wiring his brain. He embarked on a search that brought him into contact with doctors, neuroscientists, yoga teachers, musicians, and a Buddhist nun, and found the tools to restore his sense of self: psychotherapy, swimming, music, mindfulness, and meditation. This is the story of David’s neurological difficulties and of his remarkable cognitive recovery. It is also an account of a journey to emotional health. How I Rescued My Brain is an amazing tale of one man’s resilience, and his determination to overcome one of the most frightening situations imaginable — the fear that he had lost his mind and might not get it back.

Your Brain on Ink

A Workbook on Neuroplasticity and the Journal Ladder

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Author: Kathleen Adams,Deborah Ross

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1475814267

Category: Education

Page: 150

View: 6375

A growing body of neuroscience research has established the principle of neuroplasticity; a powerfully hopeful message that we can use our minds to change our brains in the direction of greater health and well-being. The key to shaping this change rests in how we direct and focus and our attention. In an easy-to-use workbook format this publication offers a strengths based, preventative, positive approach, grounded in neuroscience research, for creating a stronger sense of overall well-being. It contains more than 65 unique writing prompts and a facilitator’s guide with complete facilitation plans for 1-hour, 90 minutes and 2-hour groups.

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

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Author: Nicholas Carr

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393079364

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 6634

Finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction: “Nicholas Carr has written a Silent Spring for the literary mind.”—Michael Agger, Slate “Is Google making us stupid?” When Nicholas Carr posed that question, in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet’s intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. As he describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by “tools of the mind”—from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer—Carr interweaves a fascinating account of recent discoveries in neuroscience by such pioneers as Michael Merzenich and Eric Kandel. Our brains, the historical and scientific evidence reveals, change in response to our experiences. The technologies we use to find, store, and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways. Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic—a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption—and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection. Part intellectual history, part popular science, and part cultural criticism, The Shallows sparkles with memorable vignettes—Friedrich Nietzsche wrestling with a typewriter, Sigmund Freud dissecting the brains of sea creatures, Nathaniel Hawthorne contemplating the thunderous approach of a steam locomotive—even as it plumbs profound questions about the state of our modern psyche. This is a book that will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.

Thinking is Overrated

empty brain — happy brain

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Author: Niels Birbaumer,Jörg Zittlau

Publisher: Scribe Publications

ISBN: 1925548627

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 4638

Find the happiness of emptiness. Few things scare us more than inner emptiness. The presumed emptiness of coma or dementia scares us so much that we even sign living wills to avoid these states. Yet as Zen masters have long known, inner emptiness can also be productive and useful. We can reach this state through meditation, concentration, music, or even during sex. In fact, our brain loves emptiness — it makes us happy. Leading brain researcher Niels Birbaumer investigates the pleasure in emptiness and how we can take advantage of it. He explains how to overcome the evolutionary attentiveness of your brain and take a break from thinking — a skill that’s more important than ever in an increasingly frantic world.

The Teenage Brain

A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults

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Author: Frances E. Jensen,Amy Ellis Nutt

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062067869

Category: Psychology

Page: 384

View: 5836

A New York Times Bestseller Renowned neurologist Dr. Frances E. Jensen offers a revolutionary look at the brains of teenagers, dispelling myths and offering practical advice for teens, parents and teachers. Dr. Frances E. Jensen is chair of the department of neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. As a mother, teacher, researcher, clinician, and frequent lecturer to parents and teens, she is in a unique position to explain to readers the workings of the teen brain. In The Teenage Brain, Dr. Jensen brings to readers the astonishing findings that previously remained buried in academic journals. The root myth scientists believed for years was that the adolescent brain was essentially an adult one, only with fewer miles on it. Over the last decade, however, the scientific community has learned that the teen years encompass vitally important stages of brain development. Samples of some of the most recent findings include: Teens are better learners than adults because their brain cells more readily "build" memories. But this heightened adaptability can be hijacked by addiction, and the adolescent brain can become addicted more strongly and for a longer duration than the adult brain. Studies show that girls' brains are a full two years more mature than boys' brains in the mid-teens, possibly explaining differences seen in the classroom and in social behavior. Adolescents may not be as resilient to the effects of drugs as we thought. Recent experimental and human studies show that the occasional use of marijuana, for instance, can cause lingering memory problems even days after smoking, and that long-term use of pot impacts later adulthood IQ. Multi-tasking causes divided attention and has been shown to reduce learning ability in the teenage brain. Multi-tasking also has some addictive qualities, which may result in habitual short attention in teenagers. Emotionally stressful situations may impact the adolescent more than it would affect the adult: stress can have permanent effects on mental health and can to lead to higher risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression. Dr. Jensen gathers what we’ve discovered about adolescent brain function, wiring, and capacity and explains the science in the contexts of everyday learning and multitasking, stress and memory, sleep, addiction, and decision-making. In this groundbreaking yet accessible book, these findings also yield practical suggestions that will help adults and teenagers negotiate the mysterious world of adolescent development.

The Hidden Brain

How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives

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Author: Shankar Vedantam

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

ISBN: 9781588369390

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 4008

The hidden brain is the voice in our ear when we make the most important decisions in our lives—but we’re never aware of it. The hidden brain decides whom we fall in love with and whom we hate. It tells us to vote for the white candidate and convict the dark-skinned defendant, to hire the thin woman but pay her less than the man doing the same job. It can direct us to safety when disaster strikes and move us to extraordinary acts of altruism. But it can also be manipulated to turn an ordinary person into a suicide terrorist or a group of bystanders into a mob. In a series of compulsively readable narratives, Shankar Vedantam journeys through the latest discoveries in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral science to uncover the darkest corner of our minds and its decisive impact on the choices we make as individuals and as a society. Filled with fascinating characters, dramatic storytelling, and cutting-edge science, this is an engrossing exploration of the secrets our brains keep from us—and how they are revealed.

The Emotional Life of Your Brain

How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live--and how You Can Change Them

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Author: Richard J. Davidson,Sharon Begley

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0452298881

Category: Psychology

Page: 279

View: 2248

A pioneer in brain research outlines a blueprint for human emotions while sharing practical strategies for correcting unhealthy emotional styles, providing recommendations for areas ranging from everyday well-being to the treatments of such conditions as autism and depression. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.

Rewire Your Anxious Brain

How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry

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Author: Catherine M Pittman,Elizabeth M Karle

Publisher: New Harbinger Publications

ISBN: 1626251150

Category: Self-Help

Page: 224

View: 5522

Do you ever wonder what is happening inside your brain when you feel anxious, panicked, and worried? In Rewire Your Anxious Brain, psychologist Catherine Pittman and author Elizabeth Karle offer a unique, evidence-based solution to overcoming anxiety based in cutting-edge neuroscience and research. In the book, you will learn how the amygdala and cortex (both important parts of the brain) are essential players in the neuropsychology of anxiety. The amygdala acts as a primal response, and oftentimes, when this part of the brain processes fear, you may not even understand why you are afraid. By comparison, the cortex is the center of “worry.” That is, obsessing, ruminating, and dwelling on things that may or may not happen. In the book, Pittman and Karle make it simple by offering specific examples of how to manage fear by tapping into both of these pathways in the brain. As you read, you’ll gain a greater understanding how anxiety is created in the brain, and as a result, you will feel empowered and motivated to overcome it. The brain is a powerful tool, and the more you work to change the way you respond to fear, the more resilient you will become. Using the practical self-assessments and proven-effective techniques in this book, you will learn to literally “rewire” the brain processes that lie at the root of your fears.

Neuroplasticity

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Author: Moheb Costandi

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 026233707X

Category: Science

Page: 192

View: 4601

Fifty years ago, neuroscientists thought that a mature brain was fixed like a fly in amber, unable to change. Today, we know that our brains and nervous systems change throughout our lifetimes. This concept of neuroplasticity has captured the imagination of a public eager for self-improvement -- and has inspired countless Internet entrepreneurs who peddle dubious "brain training" games and apps. In this book, Moheb Costandi offers a concise and engaging overview of neuroplasticity for the general reader, describing how our brains change continuously in response to our actions and experiences. Costandi discusses key experimental findings, and describes how our thinking about the brain has evolved over time. He explains how the brain changes during development, and the "synaptic pruning" that takes place before brain maturity. He shows that adult brains can grow new cells (citing, among many other studies, research showing that sexually mature male canaries learn a new song every year). He describes the kind of brain training that can bring about improvement in brain function. It's not gadgets and games that promise to "rewire your brain" but such sustained cognitive tasks as learning a musical instrument or a new language. (Costandi also notes that London cabbies increase their gray matter after rigorous training in their city's complicated streets.) He tells how brains compensate after stroke or injury; describes addiction and pain as maladaptive forms of neuroplasticity; and considers brain changes that accompany childhood, adolescence, parenthood, and aging. Each of our brains is custom-built. Neuroplasticity is at the heart of what makes us human.