Neuroscientists Have Followed a Thought as It Moves Through The Brain

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We didn’t think it was possible.
MIKE MCRAE 18 JAN 2018

 

A study using epilepsy patients undergoing surgery has given neuroscientists an opportunity to track in unprecedented detail the movement of a thought through the human brain, all the way from inspiration to response.

 

The findings confirm the role of the prefrontal cortex as the coordinator of complex interactions between different regions, linking our perception with action and serving as what can be considered the “glue of cognition”.

Previous efforts to measure the passing of information from one area to the other have relied on processes such as electroencephalography (EEG) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which, whilenon-invasive, offer less than perfect resolution.

The study led by researchers from the University of California, Berkley, recorded the electrical activity of neurons using a precise technique called electrocorticograhy (ECoG).

This required hundreds of tiny electrodes to be placed right up against the cortex, providing more spatial detail than EEG and improving the resolution in time of fMRI.

While this poses an unethical level of risk for your average volunteer, patients undergoing surgery for epilepsy have their brain activity monitored in this very way, giving the researchers a perfect chance to conduct a few tests.

Each of the 16 test subjects performed a number of tasks varied to suit their individual arrangement of electrodes, all while having their neural activity monitored and tracked.

Participants were required to listen to a stimulus and respond, or watch images of faces or animals on a screen and asked to perform an action.

Some tasks were more complex than others; for example, a simple action involved simply repeating a word, while a more complex version was to think of its antonym.

Researchers monitored the split-second movement of electrical activity from one area – such as areas associated with interpreting auditory stimuli – to the prefrontal cortex, to areas required to shape an action, such as the motor cortex.

 

While none of this threw up any surprises, the results clearly emphasised the role of the prefrontal cortex in directing activity.

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Celebrate our differences

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Celebrate who you are, let go, live, bring happy along with you.

I love this scene, a sort of candid camera type glimpse into a life, hopefully, lived to the beat of that different drummer.

 

 

Celebrate your flaws, they are also impermanent, part of the fiber that makes us human, imperfect, sentenced to die as each life succumbs to nature.

 

 

Judgment does not leave this planet with us, so why value it.

 

 

Judgment is air without action, not even a breeze.

 

 

Judgment shackles the expansive mind with ego limiting thoughts, thoughts comparing, doubting, worrying, and fearing.

 

 

Our prison in life is our ego, small, rigid, adolescent and its glaring weakness, it can never feel equal to anyone.

 

 

This is a challenge for me.   My childhood imprint was one of constant critical comments and physical punishments.

 

 

Deep inside me, that imprint manifests as doubt, worry, fear and unworthiness.

 

 

Daily practice has given me weapons, skills and experience to apply and navigate this scary maze of trauma.

 

 

It it is not easy or calm some days.

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Updated: A follower asks a question about his mate having Complex PTSD

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Hi Marty

I am a partner of someone with cptsd. We’ve been together for 8 years and half of that feels like it’s been taken away by cptsd. I’ve read lots of things but I cannot reach her anymore. She has a therapist now and this feels has been helpful but at times it’s like nothing has changed. She shares nothing with me, doesnt discuss her diagnosis (2.5 years) or how to move forward or where her therapy is heading. Refuses to discuss how to deal with triggers or situations that will harm our family. Any feelings are thrown at me in anger, rages which can last days, then the dust settles and my life partner is left broken, lost, in turmoil it feels….. Wanting me and our son yet wanting to leave us. We can’t seem to communicate anymore. So much hurt and anger has been felt these last few years and it feels like I’m always ‘the bad guy’ when I’m the only person that’s ever truely been there for her. As for the real ‘bad guys’ she allows them in at times and it causes so much damage. It’s like she believes in people that don’t know her, don’t support her and dont care about her or her family but it’s me that is controlling, abusive, not supportive Doesnt listen.
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Where can I get help to understand her more, is there anyone that can teach me how to reach her and have what we used to have again? I’m desperately in love with her and I know she feels the same. I know she tries so hard with her therapy. I’ve had your blog bookmarked for 2.5 years and come back to it regularly, you and the people that contribute are amazing which is why I’m here….is there something or someone you know that can help a partner of someone with cpsd? I am really desperate…… Thank you so much.
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C-PTSD is extremely difficult for your mate to navigate life. Trauma manifests itself in fears that are scary as death or emotional death of our ego. Sometimes our mate does not hear our advice or aims their anger at us. Their behavior can be erratic at times, seemingly neutral or mundane situations can trigger violent panic attacks.
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Find out who she confides in, then try to work through this person. Ask to be included in a therapy session. What therapy is she using? Does she do homework from therapy or practice some skill to improve daily?

Does she Meditate or is she open to exploring new areas on her journey?  She needs a skill to practice daily to help healing.

The more you can learn about complex PTSD, the better. Try not to react when she is triggered. She needs understanding and support. Critiquing her or criticizing her will not end well.

If I were you, I would start meditating and using mindfulness to help yourself. You will be ready to support her and lead her to let go of those thoughts.

Hope this helps.
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Fears

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I will always have fears,

 

but I need not be my fears,

 

for I have other places within myself

 

from which to speak and act.

 

PARKER J. PALMER
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Bruce Lee: part two

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Knowing is not enough,

 

we must apply.

 

Willing is not enough,

 

we must do.

 

Bruce Lee
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My two cents. Oh my, this holds true in all facets of life.

 

Healing or happiness is obtained through application and doing.

 

Get to it, then!
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Bruce Lee: part one

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“It’s not the daily increase
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but daily decrease.
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Hack away at the unessential.”
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Bruce Lee
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My two cents:

 

Decrease

 

judgment,

 

Thought,

 

doubt,

 

worry,

 

dissociation,

 

anger,

 

jealousy,

 

and unworthiness.

 

 

All unessential.

 

 

Essential:

 

 

worthiness

 

 

gratitude

 

 

happiness. .

 

 

Updated: Shaila Catherine: desire, aversion, doubt

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“It is imperative for the sincere meditator to unwaveringly witness the functions of desire, aversion, restlessness, and doubt, witness these forces arising—but without acting them out, without buying into them.
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See them arise as empty thoughts, and see them pass just as quickly.
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If they are not seen clearly, these mental states can obstruct progress in concentration.
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Doubt can assail the mind with indecision, worry, or chronic judgment. Unabated, the momentum of uncertainty can paralyze spiritual progress.
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Yet doubt is nothing more than a thought.
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Through examining the experience of doubt, you will come to understand doubt, rather than be consumed by it.
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Doubt is a category of thought that you can definitively set aside.
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The very instant you realize you are thinking you have an opportunity to affect the patterns of mind.
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Thoughts of self can clutter attention with a plethora of diversified tales—preventing composure, stillness, and unification.
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Concentration abandons this diffusing activity.
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When you clearly perceive a thought, natural disinterest replaces identification with the stories.
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As the mind calms, mental seclusion is established.”
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