Emerging Paradigms of Consciousness Research: News and Views on Consciousness and Mind Science Connected and Gathered from around the Internet

"When I consider this carefully, I find not a single property which with certainty separates the waking state from the dream. How can you be certain that your whole life is not a dream? ~ Rene Descartes"

Brain and Body

An Interview with: Candace Pert

Biology and chemistry are allied sciences. Even our thoughts and emotions are based on chemical events in the brain. Candace Pert and Solomon Snyder revolutionized neurochemistry in 1972, when they discovered opiate receptors in the brain. These receptors, molecules on the outer membranes of brain cells, are the sites where morphine, heroin, and other opiate drugs bind and trigger their effects on behavior.

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The Passion Cycle

Are lovers struggling against a neurochemical tide?

As we become sexually aroused, dopamine (the "I gotta have it!" neurochemical) rises in our reward circuitry. It is also implicated in addictions. In fact, in 2003 Dutch scientist Gert Holstege announced in a press release pertaining to his research that brain scans of orgasm resembled brain scans of shooting heroin. What goes up must come down.

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Pim van Lommel - Consciousness Beyond Life (two parts)

Mel Van Dusen interviews renowned cardiologist Pim van Lommel about his research into the near-death experience and it's implications for a radically new paradigm for living in the 21st century.

Good Connection Really Does Lead to Mind Meld

When two people experience a deep connection, they’re informally described as being on the same wavelength. There may be neurological truth to that.

Brain scans of a speaker and listener showed their neural activity synchronizing during storytelling. The stronger their reported connection, the closer the coupling.

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Study of brain injury hints at roots of creativity

In 1997, when she was 44, a massive stroke cost painter Katherine Sherwood the permanent use of her right hand.

Today, the Bay Area artist is painting with her left hand, her career more successful than ever.

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Alternative Sleep Patterns: Polyphasic Sleep, the Da Vinci Sleep Cycle and Uberman Sleep

Polyphasic sleep, also known as the Da Vinci sleep cycle, is a sleep pattern that greatly reduces the time individuals spend sleeping, from around six to nine hours a day to about two to five hours each day. In polyphasic sleep, individuals take catnaps throughout the day rather than sleep for a long period of time at night.

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Brain Matter Linked to Introspective Thoughts: Structure of Prefrontal Cortex Helps Humans Think About One's Own Thinking

A specific region of the brain appears to be larger in individuals who are good at turning their thoughts inward and reflecting upon their decisions, according to new research published in the journal Science. This act of introspection -- or "thinking about your thinking" -- is a key aspect of human consciousness, though scientists have noted plenty of variation in peoples' abilities to introspect.

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Jill Bolte Taylor on "How it feels to have a stroke"

An obligatory article for any good consciousness blog. If you haven't seen it, watch it already!!

How Stress Affects The Brain

It is not difficult to see that stress affects the brain in many ways. Think about it in your daily life. Does added stress help you think through problems? Or when under stress do you need a little quiet time to reflect? Those under a great deal of emotional strain often have trouble thinking clearly and making good decisions. These affects also translate into problems for the body when the brain cannot properly rest because of anxiety and stress.
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..Is all that we see or seem,
but a dream within a dream.
Edgar Allan Poe