Things Are Good: Practicing Meditation Changes Your Brain and Sense of Self

Achieving mindfulness through mediation can help you relax and even assist you in achieving a more fulfilling life. Recent fMRI studies have shown that this can be proven by looking at the brain itself; indeed, structures inside your brain tend to alter based on how much meditation one does! This is really neat stuff because ...

Things Are Good: The Science Behind How Nature Changes Your Brain

Talking a walk amongst plants is good for you in many ways, but why? This questions recently bothered some neuroscientists and they set out to answer it. It turns out that exposure to nature changes the way blood flows in our brain in a way that makes us feel better. Then the scientists randomly assigned ...

Things Are Good: Travel For a Better Brain

I just booked a flight to London and coincidentally came across an article that says that our brains can benefit greatly from exploring the world. A good way to start the day! It turns out that the ability of the brain to handle new information is connected to well-being and that travel can get your ...

Things Are Good: Keep Your Brain Healthy by Living in Walkable Neighbourhoods

Just when you think there couldn’t be more reasons to live in and build walkable communities another one pops up. We already know that walkable communities are safer, more environmentally healthy, and better for everyone’s health. We can now add to that list that walkable places are good for keeping of mental issues that occur ...

Things Are Good: New Research: Brains Do Heal Themselves

After a traumatic brain injury, it sometimes happens that the brain can repair itself, building new brain cells to replace damaged ones. But the repair doesn’t happen quickly enough to allow recovery from degenerative conditions like motor neuron disease (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS). Siddharthan Chandran walks through some new techniques using ... Also, I look like shit

My neurologist switched me to daily Topamax for migraine prevention a couple of months ago. Topamax is an anti-seizure medication. At first it didn’t work. I had a non-stop headache for weeks. But then the headache went away. I haven’t had a migraine for a few weeks now, which is nice. But I still have ...

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Thag Go Grunka Gathering!

Everyone at the Grunka Gathering was in good spirits, except Thag. Every fifth or sixth summer, depending on the position of the stars, all of the Grunka clans would gather and share their stories, swap items (sometimes mates too) and … Continue reading →

Things Are Good: Artists Better Protected Against Cognitive Decline

People who engage in music or visual arts are better protected against dementia and other cognitive decline issues. Nows the time to pick up that instrument you keep meaning to learn how to play! Artists compared with non-artists are better protected, he added. “Due to their art, the brain is better protected [against] diseases like ...

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Thag do meditation!

Every morning before they started the hunt, Thag would sit down away from the others, close his eyes, and listen to the wind. It was more than that, but that is what he told the other hunters. Really what he … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Thag want be millionaire!

It had been an unlucky hunting season. First of all, their big man, Grunk, got himself gored by a woolly rhinoceros in the first week of the expedition. Grunk — always the big swinging dick that Grunk — had tried … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Thag brain not hear, honey

“Thag, don’t forget to bring home that chunk of mammoth meat you left to hang in the forest.” No response from Thag, who is knapping flint with his whacker. He is making more flint arrowheads to replace all of those … Continue reading →

Death By Trolley: Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought

I am currently reading Philosophy in the Flesh: The embodied mind and its challenge to Western thought. Authored by Cognitive Scientists George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, this book asks 1) What do major lines of Western philosophical thought assume about the mind? 2) What has cognitive science learned about the mind through rigorous research? 3) ...

Death By Trolley: Don’t We All Hear Voices? A Mindfulness-Informed View of Schizophrenia and the “Normal” Mind

The hallmark of schizophrenia is perceiving things that are not there. Auditory hallucinations, including “hearing voices”, is particularly common. What if this clinically distinguishing feature of schizophrenia differs from the cognitively distinguishing feature? What if, cognitively speaking, what distinguishes schizophrenia is not the presence of voices, but rather how one interprets them? WHAT IF WE ...

Death By Trolley: Is belief in God a choice?

The following satirical video, “Gay Scientists Isolate Christian Gene”, pokes fun at the concept of a “gay gene” and religious opposition to homosexuality. The proportion of people who believe that homosexuality is chosen is decreasing. That’s not to imply that homosexuality is the phenotype expressed by a “gay gene”. Just that whatever makes one gay ...

cartoon life: The state of my brain

Filed under: art, cartoon, comment, digital, drawing, life Tagged: always wear your helmet kids, brain, Concussion

cartoon life: The state of my brain 6

Filed under: digital, drawing, life Tagged: brain, Concussion

cartoon life: The state of my brain 5

Filed under: art, life Tagged: brain, Concussion

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: When your imaginary friend is a jerk

Why do our brains do this? Or is it just me and The Oatmeal? Alltop has tons of imaginary friends,and they’re all super!

The Scott Ross: Time Will Merge What Liberals & NDPers Can’t

Up upon an isolated mountain top, in a dark and long forgotten manor, underneath thunderous clouds, a large titanic body of gears and motors emblazoned in red stands motionless. The large lifeless liberal leviathan, composed of parts gathered from across the land and across time is all but complete except for a spark, that force ...

Things Are Good: Music Therapy Helps Brain Damaged Patients

Music therapy can help people who have severe brain damage regain control of their brain and heal faster. This is really nifty! But how does music find a pathway inside a damaged brain that regular speech can’t negotiate? According to Morrow, it has to do with the parts of the brain where music comes from. ...

cartoon life: Suggestions of something real

Derya Unutmaz originally shared this post on Google+ Philosopher Dan Dennett makes a compelling argument that not only don’t we understand our own consciousness, but that half the time our brains are actively fooling us. Dan Dennett: Can we know our own minds? Mute the volume until Dennett is onscreen. Filed under: comment Tagged: brain

Things Are Good: New Way to Examine Consciousness in Comatose Patients

There are a lot of ethical issues about what to do with a person in a vegetative state in a hospital, and sometimes pulling the plug (so to speak) isn’t the best course of action. Thanks to some smart researchers we can now tell which patients are still thinking and which patients have no activity ...

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: If Autism Is A Brain Disorder, Surely We Need To Look At The Brain?

Dr. Aditi Shankardass: It it is a brain disorder, surely we need to look at the brain! Autism is one of the developmental disorders described as a brain based disorder in the presentation by Dr. Aditi Shankardass in which she makes the observation that if developmental disorders are brain disorders shouldn’t we look at the brain ...

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: High Functioning Autism fMRI Brain Scan Study Misrepresented to the Public

“research in ASD has tended to use overwhelmingly White, middle to upper middle class samples, and has often excluded children with multiple disabilities and/or severe to profound intellectual disabilities“. [underlining added – HLD] Catherine Lord, Social Policy Report, Autism Spectrum Disorders Diagnosis, Prevalence, and Services for Children and Families Yet another fMRI brain scan study, The neural basis of deictic ...