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Tell Your Brain To Take A Hike

Of course, the restorative effects of nature have long been known, if not scientifically proven. What better way to take a break from our harried modern routines than spend a weekend in the country? It may seem obvious, but when science investigates common sense it often yields uncommon insights. Would you have thought, for example [ … ]

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Balance Your Energy … And Your Brain

Calmness and assertiveness are the energies of the two main branches of our autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system plays a major role in sensory awareness, emotions, behaviors, and basic organ-system functioning. Its two main branches are the sympathetic and parasympathetic, and they are managed by subcortical brain structures. [ … ]

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Colorful Language: How Synesthetes Perceive Words

Although the phenomenon of synesthesia has been known for centuries, it is only in the last 20 years or so (since scientists developed brain-imaging technology) that synesthesia has been seriously studied. In 1995, Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, a Cambridge University neuroscientist, headed a team that undertook brain-imaging studies [ … ]

aging

“Yanny” Versus “Laurel”: When Your “Reality” is Open to Interpretation

It’s the return of the great “What color is this dress?” controversy of 2015, but in audio form. By the time I had heard “Laurel” I immediately began researching the reasons for the differences of opinion. Some had said age matters, or what kind of speakers you are listening to with, or if you have some kind of hearing loss, but I had a chance to immediately put this to the test. [ … ]

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Epigenetics: Where Consciousness Meets DNA

The study of epigenetics is illuminating more of the intricacies of how our genes affect, and are affected by, our life. “Epi” comes from Greek, meaning “upon,” “over,” or “near,” so epigenetics is the study of mechanisms “on top of” or “near” the classical mechanisms that affect gene expression. I [ … ]

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Dreaming on Demand: Becoming A Lucid Dreamer

Lucid dreaming is the act of dreaming while maintaining consciousness during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. This type of dreaming allows you to tell yourself that “you are dreaming” without waking up. Awake consciousness, if used correctly, gives one the opportunity to keep on participating in the dream while defining it to be something else. [ … ]