Human Brain

The amount of stress you feel is based more on your perception of a person, place, or event than on the event itself (sometimes referred to as the 20:80 Rule). Counting to 10 may cool you down for a moment but doesn’t necessarily change your perception of the person or situation. (Childre, Doc. Freeze Frame - One Minute Stress Management. p 7. CA:Planetary Publications, 1999.)

According to Marcus Aurelius, if you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. This is sometimes referred to as the 20:80 Rule. ( Robbins, Anthony. Awaken the Giant Within. p 59-61. NY:Fireside, 1991.

The 80:20 Principle is a mental representation from Vilifredo Pareto, an Italian economist. Up to 80% of what you want to do can be accomplished in 20% of the expected effort. Examples: 80% of profits come from 20% of products; 20% of baggage screeners account for 80% of mistakes according to the New York Times. (Gardner, Howard. Changing Minds. p 7-8. MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2006.

The brain cannot tell the difference between something you vividly imagine and something you actually experience. (Robbins, Anthony. Awaken the Giant Within. p 136-138. NY: Fireside, 1991.)

Refer to Adapting and the Brain for additional information.

Brain scan studies have shown that adolescents have diminished brain capacity (compared to adults) due to the fact that their brains are not fully developed, particular in the frontal lobes that are crucial to reasoning skills. (Lynch, Zack, PhD., with Byron Laursen. The Neuro Revolution, p. 44-45. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2009.)

Affective processes differ from cognitive process. Affective or emotional processes may displace cognitive processing (at least momentarily). You can define an argument as a dialogue in which affect displaces cognition, and emotion overpowers reasoning. (Restak, Richard, MD. The Naked Brain. p 14-16. NY: Three Rivers Press, 2006.)

The early part of the new millennium is truly going to be the Age of Innovation (in part due to brain-based research). (Gurian, Michael. Boys and Girls Learn Differently! CA: Jossey-Bass, 2001. Website for Michael Gurian Institute)

Refer to Aging and the Brain for additional information.

Alpha waves (thought to be generated by the right hemisphere that is more in touch with the emotional feeling centers in the limbic system.) Alpha waves may be activated by meditation, relaxation, biofeedback, and imagery techniques. (Healy, Jane M., PhD. Your Child’s Growing Mind. p 324-325, 335-336. NY: Doubleday, 1987, 1989.)

The right hemisphere is more in touch with the emotional feeling centers in the limbic system. It likely generates alpha brain waves. (Healy, Jane M., PhD. Your Child’s Growing Mind. p 324-325, 335-336. NY: Doubleday, 1987, 1989.)

Sympathetic nervous system forms the basis for the fight-or-flight response and is activated by positive experiences. Parasympathetic nervous system is the body’s antagonistic quiescent system that helps to conserve energy. Increased activation of one system results in decreased activation of the other. (Newberg, Andrew, MD, et al. Why God Won’t Go Away. p 38-40. NY: Ballantine Books, 2001.)

Refer to Brain Dysfunctions for additional information.

The expert remains task focused even under the intense pressure of competition. The amateur turns attention inward and become self-focused rather than task focused, which disrupts the execution of previously learned subunits of performance and results in “choking under pressure.” (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 20-22. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

ASL has all the components and constrains (e.g., grammar and syntax) of spoken and heard language. If ASL is learned beyond a time-limited sensitive period for integration of the right hemisphere into the language system, the normal left-hemisphere specialization for language will prevail. (Hearing people who learned ASL, in order to teach deaf children for example, do not show any activation of the right hemisphere when reading or signing.) (Restak, Richard, MD. The Secret Life of the Brain. p 51. Washington D.C.: The Dana Press and Joseph Henry Press, 2001.)

Similar to spoken language in terms of brain processing. Sign language uses movement and vision (rather than sound) to activate the speech centers of the left hemisphere. (Brynie, Faith Hickman. 101 Questions Your Brain Has Asked About Itself But Couldn’t Answer, Until Now. p 131. CT: Millbrook Press, 1998.)

Twenty different amino acids combine in differing ways to form peptides, polypeptides, and proteins. (Tortora, Gerard J., and Sandra R. Grabowski. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, 10th Edition. p 48-49. NY:John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003.)

There are basically two kinds of amnesia: one is an inability to remember things that happened before the surgery or brain injury (called retrograde amnesia), the other is an inability to form new memories (called anterograde amnesia). Both forms are present in patients with damage to the temporal lobe. (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self, How Our Brains Become Who We Are. p 105-107. NY: Penguin Books, 2002.)

According to Eric Chudler, Director of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the University of Washington, studies by both EEG and PET scans have shown that the brain is constantly occupied in running brain-body systems and in thinking. (The myth "you only use 10 percent of your brain" may have originated in studies of damaged brains during the last half of the 20th century.) Having said that, most people have room for improvement by developing skills through practice—very different from the notion that they use only 10 percent of their brains. (Source)

The amygdala (one in each cerebral hemisphere) is part of the brain system that controls freezing behavior and other defensive responses in threatening situations. It plays an important role in fear responses and even in learning to fear new stimuli. It engages in implicit processing and learning, and strengthens the consolidation of explicit memories formed during emotional arousal. (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self, How Our Brains Become Who We Are. p 120-123, 222. NY:Penguin Books, 2002.)

One of the brain organs associated with fear – translates perception of danger into action. Input can arrive from the senses and/or from the cortex. (Shreeve, James. Beyond the Brain. p 20-21. National Geographic, Vol. 207, No. 3, March, 2005.

Cells in the amygdale exhibit electrical activity that is synchronized to the person’s heartbeat. This changes as the heartbeat changes. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution. p 141-142. CA:Harper SF, 1999.)

The trigger point for compelling emotions (when we perceive a threat or are under stress) is the amygdala, a limbic brain structure that scans what happens to us from moment to moment, ever on the alert for an emergency…the prefrontal area can veto an emotional impulse--and so ensure that our response will be more effective. (Goleman, Daniel, PhD, with Richard Boyatzis, and Annie Mckee. Primal Leadership. p 28. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2002.)

The brain is the last organ of the body to become anatomically mature. Early on children are very open and imaginative. Two brain-growth stages changes this:

  1. The five-to-seven shift when emotional circuitry comes under stgronger prefrontal control
  2. At puberty when the brain goes through radical sculpting

(Goleman, Daniel. The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights.p 71-73. MA: More Than Sound, 2011)

There are two cerebral hemispheres and four lobes in each hemisphere: frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal. (Brynie, Faith Hickman. 101 Questions Your Brain Has Asked About Itself But Couldn’t Answer, Until Now. p 15. CT:Millbrook Press, 1998. Giuffre, Kenneth, MD, with Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. The Care and Feeding of Your Brain. NJ: Career Press, 1999.)

The emotions of anger and of love are independent systems in the brain, although closely related. A person can be very angry and still in love. (Fisher, Helen, PhD. Why We Love. p 167-168. NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2004.)

In the human brain, the anterior commisure (one of the bridges that connects the two cerebral hemispheres), tranfers auditory and olfactory information (but does not transfer visual information. (Gazzaniga, Michael S. Who's In Charge? p 35-36. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2009)

The human brain is an anticipation machine, and "making future" (thinking about what will come "next") is the most important thing it does. (Gilbert, Daniel Todd, PhD. Stumbilng On Happiness. p 1-4, 30-40. NY:Vintage, 2007).

When highly anxious people takes tests, the heightened anxiety drives up the level of mental noise in the brain. They may literally see less of their environment, as though the brain space usually open for perception is busy with the internal noise. They will look at a test question and literally not see certain words, misinterpret the question and give the wrong answer, or miss seeing entire questions on the page. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. p 61-62. NY:Vintage Books, 2002.)

Approach-Withdraw is the fastest decision the brain makes in any new situation. The left hemisphere likely mediates approach; the right hemisphere withdrawal. (Siegel, Daniel J. The Developing Mind. p 150-155. NY:The Guilford Press, 1999.)

Sympathetic nervous system is the body’s arousal system (prepares body for action). It forms the basis for fight-or-flight response and is activated by positive experiences. Parasympathetic nervous system is the body’s quiescent system that helps to conserve energy. These systems are antagonistic. Increased activation of one results in decreased activation of the other. (Newberg, Andrew, MD, et al. Why God Won’t Go Away. p 38-40. NY: Ballantine Books, 2001.)

Only the occipital lobe is dedicated to straightforward processing of a single sensation, vision. The other three each dedicate a small portion (about 25%) to simple sensory or motor civilities. The remaining 75% makes up the association cortex, a vast network of communicating fibers that unifies diverse perceptual and behavioral experiences. (Restak, Richard. Mysteries of the Mind. p 20. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2000.)

Athleticism requires skills from the perceptual-motor systems of the brain. (Miller, Lawrence, PhD. Inner Natures. Brain, Self & Personality. p 273-290. NY: Ballantine Books, 1990.)

The neural pathways by which will is translated into physical movement have been trained in the brain/body of athletes until they react to the slightest impulse. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 50-51. PA:Rodale, 2003.)

The brain cannot focus on more than one stimulus at a time. What may appear to be multitasking, or simultaneous focusing, is in fact a rapid alternation of focus. The more routine a stimulus is, the less it interferes with rival stimuli. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 489-490. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

The region just behind the bridge of the nose, the prefrontal cortex, is associated with the ability to pay attention and focus. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 181. CA: University of California Press, 1998.)

General rule: expect to keep a learner’s interest for the number of minutes represented by the person’s age (e.g., 10 minutes for a 10-year old). Rarely will a listener be able to concentrate on a lecture for more than 25 minutes at one time. (Jensen, Eric. Brain-Based Learning (Revised). p 301-302. CA: The Brain Store, 2005.)

Studies: Cell phone conversation disrupts attention. It even disrupts walking. It leads to inattentional blindness. Your brain is designed to respond to one thing at a time. Multitasking (doing several things at once efficiently and well) is a myth. (Macknik, Stephen L. PhD and Susana Martinez-Conde PhD. Sleights of Mind. p 84-90. NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2010.)

Brain imaging shows that people with ADD have abnormalities in the way the brain burns glucose. (Carper, Jean. Your Miracle Brain. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 2000.)

Human beings can focus on one thing at a time because the brain’s nonconscious filter examines sensory information and decides what to admit to consciousness. There can be some conscious control (e.g., can turn to another radio station). This filter also scans information to which we are not paying conscious attention in case something important happens (e.g., red lights flash on the car ahead of us). (Wilson, Timothy D. Strangers to Ourselves. p 28. England: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002.)

The brain appears to have a limited capacity for attention (refered to a a spotlight of attention). There are many different types of attention. It appears they are linked to your short-term memory and your ability to focus. For example:

  • Overt - look directly at what you are paying attention to
  • Covert - look away from what you are paying attention to ("Head fake" in sports)
  • Tunnel vision - actively ignore all but what you're paying attention to
  • Top-down - voluntarily paying attention to a TV program
  • Bottom-up - someone in the environment talks and distracts you
  • Joint attention - you look at something and another looks at what you're looking at
  • Exogenous attentional capture (passive misdirection) - juggling skills to draw your attention while another secret move is being made as in a big move covers a small move.

(Macknik, Stephen L. PhD and Susana Martinez-Conde PhD. Sleights of Mind. p 60-64. NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2010.)

Stress, both emotional and physical, greatly depletes the immune system. Greatest stress is generated by denying the authentic self (e.g., life energy is being diverted; compromised mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically). (McGraw, Phillip C., PhD. Self Matters. p 17-18, 33-34. NY: Simon & Schuster Source, 2001.)

It is possible to program your unconscious, a process known as autosuggestion, by making repeated suggestions to yourself during the day. (Some have said to make the suggestions aloud.) (Fontana, David, PhD. Teach Yourself to Dream. p 70-72. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 1997.)

Part of one's day is spent in a state of hyperconsciousness (e.g., logical, rational, decision-oriented, verbal mode) in which one foreces the mind to attend. At other times, one operates in an altered state of consciousness. THink of it as the "automatic pilot effect" (e.g., you are driving and many miles have gone by outside conscious awareness). Most of what one is capable of is determined by part of the mind of which you can never become aware: the unconscious mind. (Padus, Emrika, Exec. Edit. The Complete Guide to Your Emotions and Your Health. p.398-400. PA: Rodale Press, Inc, 1992)

Automatic thinking has five features: nonconscious, fast, unintentional, uncontrollable, and effortless (e.g., the tendency to categorize and stereotype others). The process of automatic stereotyping is probably innate; the content of the stereotypes is not. (Wilson, Timothy D. Strangers to Ourselves. p 52-53. England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002.)

Part of one's day is spent in a state of hyperconsciousness (e.g., logical, rational, decision-oriented, verbal mode) in which one foreces the mind to attend. At other times, one operates in an altered state of consciousness. THink of it as the "automatic pilot effect" (e.g., you are driving and many miles have gone by outside conscious awareness). Most of what one is capable of is determined by part of the mind of which you can never become aware: the unconscious mind. (Padus, Emrika, Exec. Edit. The Complete Guide to Your Emotions and Your Health. p.398-400. PA:Rodale Press, Inc, 1992)

The tendency to categorize and stereotype other people is an example of automatic thinking, which is likely innate. The brain is prewired to fit people into categories. The content of one’s stereotypes is not innate, however. (Wilson, Timothy D. Strangers to Ourselves. p 52-53. England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002.)

Automatic processing: you took an immediate dislike to someone you just met and are really unable to explain the reason. It involves regions toward the back of the brain (occipital, parietal, and temporal).

Controlled processing: you can recall the last time you worked on your income tax and are able to explain your thought processes to someone else. It involves regions mainly in the orbital and prefrontal areas.

Most of what you do involves a necessary balance between controlled and automatic processing. Too much automatic and you behave impulsively; too much controlled and you become paralyzed by indecision. (Restak, Richard, MD. The Naked Brain. p 13-14. NY: Three Rivers Press, 2006.)

This term cognitive unconscious refers to one way in which the brain processes information. The person unknowingly does an action without the usual subjective feeling that accompanies willed action. There is a split between intention and conscious awareness, on the one hand, and the carrying out of a complex series of manoeuvres, on the other. Michael Faraday discovered this during investigations of table-turning session, Ouija boards, and automatic writing. (Restak, Richard, MD. The Naked Brain. p 26-27. NY: Three Rivers Press, 2006.)

Human beings become experts by developing automatic pattern recognition for a specific job. Automaticity comes with practice (e.g., sports, music, typing). (Gazzaniga, Michael S. Who's in Charge? p 81-82. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011)

Repetitive behaviors that require little mental or physical effort tend to drop off over time because of fatigue or boredom. The performance level of these behaviors does not drop over time in people with higher testosterone levels (they make fewer mistakes and don’t tire as quickly. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 691. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

Nerve pathways from the spinal cord throughout the body are regulated by the ANS. It is divided into: SNS – Sympathetic Nervous System, activated in adults by stress (e.g., fight-or-flight). The PSNS – Parasympathetic Nervous System involves the relaxation response. (Guiffre, Kenneth, MD, with Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. The Care and Feeding of Your Brain. p 25-26. NJ: Career Press, 1999.)

The outcomes of an inclination can be encoded in brain activity up to ten seconds before it enters awareness. The brain has acted before its person is conscious of it. Brain activity involved in the initiation of an action such as pushing a button, occurred about 500 milliseconds before the action. Brain activity increased as many as 300 milliseconds before the conscious intention to act was reported by the subject. (Gazzaniga, Michael S. Who's in Charge? p 128-129. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011)

Axons are the brain’s equivalent of wires. The thin threads are each only 1 hundredth of the thickness of a human hair. (Katz, Lawrence C., PhD and Manning Rubin. Keep Your Brain Alive. p 11. NY: Workman Publishing Company, Inc., 1999.)

Axons can be 3 feet long, but dendrites are always short—less than a millimeter. (Brynie, Faith Hickman. 101 Questions Your Brain Has Asked About Itself But Couldn’t Answer, Until Now. p 11, 32, 41. CT:Millbrook Press, 1998.)

Refer to Neurons and Neurotransmitters for additional information.

In the normal brain, there is a balancing system in which the parts of the brain responsible for excitatory processes (e.g., brain stem, mid-brain, limbic system) are held in check by executive functions in the cortex. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 159-160. NY:Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Three masses of gray matter, collectively termed the basal ganglia, are located deep within each cerebral hemisphere. They receive input from the cerebral cortex and provide output back to motor parts of the cortex. They also control subconscious contractions of skeletal muscles (e.g., arm swings while walking, laughing in response to a joke) and may act with the limbic system to regulate emotional behaviors. (Tortora, Gerard J. and Sandra Reynolds Grabowski. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, 10th Edition. p 469-471. NY:John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003.)

Differences in human behavior depend on the interaction between hormones and the brain. (Moir, Anne, and David Jessel. Brain Sex. p 38. NY:Carol Publishing Group, 1989, 1991.)

The human brain forms beliefs. Proofs about beliefs are also a form of “belief” and are not exempt from errors. (Newberg, Andrew, MD., and Mark Robert Waldman. Why We Believe What We Believe. p 20-21. NY:Free Press, 2006.)

When you believe in yourself, brain circuits are open wide, allowing the knowledge and wisdom already there to circulate freely. Emotional channels open wide, allowing you to love and be loved, to enjoy life to the fullest. All your talents are mustered by belief. (Fox, Arnold, MD, and Barry Fox, PhD. Wake Up! You’re Alive! p 54-55. FL: Health Communications, 1988.)

Includes a table outlining the dimensions of the Big Five Personality Model, especially as relates to extraverts, introverts, and ungulate. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 430-432. GA:Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

Learning and performance is dramatically influenced by biological rhythms, including: circadian (24-hour solar and 25-hour lunar); seven-day cycle, personal internal rhythms or chronomes, and the brain’s 90-minute cycles. (Jensen, Eric. Brain-Based Learning (Revised). p 41-42. CA:The Brain Store, 2005.)

Human variation has biological roots in the nervous system that may or may not be genetic. Distinct differences exist between genetic causes (e.g., chromosomes) and biological causes (e.g., environmental modifications occurring prenatally or at any time from birth onward). (Claridge, Gordon. Origins of Mental Illness. p 68-70. MA: Malor Book, 1995.)

“No mind should have to beg to differ.” Levine, Mel, MD. A Mind at a Time. p 336. NY:Simon & Schuster, 2002.)

Ability of people to see things without being conscious that they are seeing them. (e.g., blinded soldiers were seen to duck bullets even thou they had no ideas they were doing so). Reflex actions do not involve cortical activity (e.g., clutching and reacting to pinpricks). A subsection of the visual cortex (V1) lights up during blindsight. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 185-187. CA: University of California Press, 1998.)

About 15%-20% of the blood flow leaving the heart is destined for the brain. In order to function normally, the brain needs a reliable fund of oxygen, glucose, and other nutrients. If this supply is cut off for only 8-10 seconds, unconsciousness results. If oxygen deprivation lasts over 30 seconds, permanent damage may occur. (Restak, Richard. Mysteries of the Mind. p 11. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2000.)

PET scan: Learning a skill (e.g., stick-shifting) requires generalized blood flow all over the brain. In contrast, an experienced stick-shift driver has blood flow efficiently concentrated to a few specific areas. (Giuffre, Kenneth, MD, with Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. The Care and Feeding of Your Brain. p 28. NJ:Career Press, 1999.)

Although only 2% of the body’s weight, the brain gets 20% of the blood flow and uses 20% of the oxygen supply. (Enchanted Learning: Nourishment of the Brain.)

Although the brain accounts for only 2% of the whole body's mass, it uses 20% of all the oxygen we breathe. Approximately 20% of the blood flowing from the heart is pumped to the brain. The brain needs constant blood flow in order to keep up with the heavy metabolic demands of the neurons. Brain imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) rely on this relationship between neural activity and blood flow. (Brain Connection. Scientific Learning Corporation.)

Although only about 2% of total body weight in humans, the brain receives 15-20% of body’s blood supply. Even if other organs need blood, the brain is the top priority as brain cells will die if the supply of blood (which carries oxygen) is stopped. (The Blood Supply of the Brain.)

BB isolates the central nervous system (CNS = brain and spinal cord) from even the blood and fluids that bathe all other tissues in the body. The cells forming the walls of blood vessels in the cental nervous system are sealed together so tightly that cells and molecules in the bloodstream that freely pass into tissues elsewhere in the body are unable to cross into brain tissue. This deprives the CNS of access to immune system cells that do not penetrate the CNS. (Fields, R. Douglas, PhD. The Other Brain. p 41-43. NY:Simon & Schuster, 2009.)

Zonulin is a protein made by the human body that appears to impact the development of auto-immune diseases as well as those that involve blood-barrir dysfunctions such as multiple sclerosis, HIV infection, and brain tumors. Zonulin acts as a gate-keeper for brain and body tissues. It can open junctions between cells known as zonula occludens, allowing some subsgances to pass through that ordinarily would be stopped. This phenomenon has been shown to occur not only in the intestines (zonulin levels are higher in individuals with celiac disease) but also in the blood-brain barrier. Korn, Dana, with contributions by Michelle Maria Pietzak MD, and Alessio Fasano MD. Wheat Free - Worry Free. p 333-340. CA:Hay House, 2002.)

Refer to Microglia in Glial Cells – the Other Brain for additional information.

Lifestyle choices, foods, common drugs and supplement have a profound effect on when to what degree your mind can “boot up” to full capacity. Sometimes it receives what it needs to boot up efficiently and sometimes it doesn’t. (Guiffre, Kenneth, MD, with Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. The Care and Feeding of Your Brain. p 27, 30. NJ:Career Press, 1999.)

Brain cells begin to form as early as three weeks after conception and they multiply more rapidly than other body cells. (Healy, Jane M., PhD. Your Child’s Growing Mind. p 13. NY:Doubleday, 1987.)

Each human brain is on its own unique timetable for development. Completely normal development can differ by a spread of three years between learners. (Jensen, Eric. Brain-Based Learning (Revised). p 15. CA:The Brain Store, 2005.)

Learning physically alters the human brain. (Jensen, Eric. Brain-Based Learning (Revised). p 30. CA:The Brain Store, 2005.)

Your brain creates your world. Everything begins and ends in the brain. How it functions determines the very quality of your life (e.g., your happiness level, relationship success, and career success). Without optimal brain function it is difficult to be successful in any area of life. (Amen, Daniel G., MD. Change Your Brain Change Your Life. p 7-8, 34-36. NY:Times Books, 1998.)

The human cerebral cortex is the “most intricately organized and densely populated expanse of biological real estate in the world.” One cubic millimeter of it—roughly the size of a coarse grain of sand—contains about 100,000 nerve cells that can make about ten billion connections. (Restak, Richard. Mysteries of the Mind. p 11-12, 20-21. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2000.)

Within 3-4 weeks of training (e.g., learning a sequence of finger movements) fMRI studies could discern changes in activity patterns in three progressive parts of the brain: prefrontal cortex, supplementary motor cortex, and primary motor cortex. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 8-10. PA:Rodale, 2003.)

The brain is a physical object that can be seen, held, and touched. It is about the size of a grapefruit, divided into two hemispheres by a midline cleft extending from front to back. (Restak, Richard. Mysteries of the Mind. p 13. Washington, DC:National Geographic, 2000.)

Brain size is determined by body size. Intelligence is not related to size. (Greenfield, Susan, Con. Ed. Brain Power, Working out the Human Mind. p 146. The Ivy Press Limited, 1999.)

The brain has a metabolic rate 7.5 times greater than the average body tissue. Although it makes up only 2% of the body’s mass, the brain accounts for 15% of the body’s total metabolism. (Nedley, Neil, M.D. Proof Positive. p 273-275. OK:Nedley, 1998, 1999.)

A computer can’t do anything without software. Metaprograms are the brain’s internal software programs, of sorts. (Robbins, Anthony. Unlimited Power. p 26, 53-55. NY:Fireside, 1986.)

Workers need a 5-10 minutes break (ideally involving some level of exercise) for every one-two hours of work. (Brain Ergonomics and the Workplace.)

Physical movement increases the oxygen in the blood stream and leads to improved concentration. In addition, adding a movement or physical action to a learning point will help recall. (Expanding the horizons of possibilities. What are brain breaks?)

Even when “brain death” has been declared, the heart (with its own nervous system) can continue to keep beating. (Pearsall, Paul, PhD. The Heart’s Code. p 65-66. NY:Broadway Books, 1998.)

According to Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories, BFT is able to detect the presence or absence of information stored in the brain. It does not measure guilt or innocence nor participation or non-participation in a crime. (Lynch, Zack, PhD., with Byron Laursen. The Neuro Revolution, p. 31-32. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2009.)

The discipline of epistemology involves the study of the origin, nature, methods, and limits of knowledge. It is exemplified by Brain Function, a new field of science. Brain function is new field of science made up of more than one traditional field of study with research conducted by investigators from seven broad fields (biology, chemistry, psychology, information science, philosophy, anthropology, and linguistics). (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 25-26, 726. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

Basically, imaging techniques are either structural or functional. A CAT scan or MRI captures an image of your brain's structure. MRI, fMRI, PET, or SPECT scan depicts what your brain is doing over a specific period of time ranging from seconds to minutes. Brain actifity leads to changes on blood flow, elecgrical discharges, and magnetic fields. (Restak, Richard, MD. The Naked Brain. p 10-13. NY:Three Rivers Press, 2006.)

Brain imaging technologies (PET, fMRI) are modalities that show the brain neighborhoods that are active during a specific mental activity. (Schwartz, Jeffrey M., MD, and Sharon Begley. The Mind & the Brain. p 23-24. NY:Regan Books, 2002.)

Three principal types of brain scans include: CAT or CT, MRI, and PET (160, Greenfield, Susan, Con. Ed. Brain Power, Working out the Human Mind. The Ivy Press Limited, 1999.

Brain scanning techniques are showing just how precisely it is possible to pin down even the most sophisticated and complex machinations of the human brain. MRI, PET, fMRI, NIRS, EEG, MEG, etc. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 25-27. CA:University of California Press, 1998.)

Transcranial Magnetic stimulation (TMS) involves plastic-enclosed coils of wire placed on the outside of the skull. When activated, a magnetic field is produced that passes through the skull and induces a current in the brain that locally activates the nerve cells. Acitivy of parts of the brain can also be inhibited to allow study of what a specific area does when it is disconnected from the processes of other areas. (Gazzaniga, Michael S. Who's In Charge? p 113. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011)

Three layers of the brain are known for distinct functions (though all functioning areas constantly interact). Brain stem (fight or flight, instinct); Limbic system (emotion is processed); Four lobes at the top of the brain, generally where conscious thinking occurs. (Gurian, Michael, PhD, and Patricia Henley, with Terry Trueman. Boys and Girls Learn Differently! p 18. CA:Jossey-Bass, 2001.)

The fourth brain layer is defined as the prefrontal cortex. It can function, especially the left hemisphere portion, without being influenced unduly by the first two brain layers. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. p 36-38. VT:Park Street Press, 2002.)

An innate biochemical preference for processing information in an energy-efficient manner (includes an assessment for each cerebral mode). Correlates brain dominance in the business community with a variety of professions / careers. (Benziger, I. Katherine, PhD. Thriving in Mind. p 8-33, 88-103. TX: KBA Publishing 2000.)

The Whole Brain Model is the product of numerous studies (knowledge of the brain doubles every ten years). Identifies characteristics using examples of CEOs, number crunchers, characters in movie scripts, sports figures, business managers, etc. (Herrmann, Ned. The Whole Brain Business Book. p 16-18, 58-78. NY:McGraw-Hill, 1996.)

Study of children ages 2 and a half to five: they already showed clear indications to be either verbalizers (left hemisphere) or visualizers (right hemisphere). (Healy, Jane M., PhD. Your Child’s Growing Mind. p 335-336. NY:Doubleday, 1987, 1989.)

The term Hemispheric Preference refers to one hemisphere’s tendency to determine the style of processing that will be used for the task at hand. Study: Children between the ages of 2.5 and 5 years already showed clear inclinations to be either verbalizers or visualizers. See also Brain Lead. (Healy, Jane M., PhD. Your Child’s Growing Mind. p 136-137, 335. NY:Doubleday, 1987.)

Hemispheric specialization is likely present from birth. Its development is shaped by demands and input. (Healy, Jane M., PhD. Your Child’s Growing Mind. p 136-137. NY:Doubleday, 1987.)

Each person’s brain is unique and operates most efficiently when involved in activities it does best. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot. p 214-216. NY:Harmony Books, 2001.)

Those with dominance in the right hemisphere are usually easily hypnotized and sometimes are even affected when someone else is the subject. (Whole Brain Thinking. Jacquelyn Wonder & Priscilla Donovan. p 116. Ballentine Books, 1984.)

Much of the energy influencing your decision to put off doing certain tasks comes from your natural dominance and your own internal desire to do the things that uplift and energize you, even if you have not known that they did this because: they use your preference, or they match your natural extraversion or introversion, or they do both. (Thriving in Mind. Benziger, I. Katherine, PhD. p 133. TX:KBA Publishing, 2000.)

Human beings are billboards of their genetic disposition. Although each person is a blend of four personality types, they express some of these types more regularly and naturally than others. Both your primary and secondary biological type are central to your temperament. (Fisher, Helen, PhD. Why Him? Why Her? p 1-15. NY:Henry Holt and Company, 2009.)

See also Reptilian Brain, Mammalian Brain, and Neocortex.

See also Dominance.

Most people habitually access a minute fraction of their brain’s power. About 10% say scientists at the Stanford Research Institute. That leaves 90% of one’s potential brain power untapped (see also Myths.) (Stine, Jean Marie. Double Your Brain Power. p 15-16. NY: Prentice Hall, Inc. 1997.)

It is a myth that humans use only 10% of their brains. People actually use virtually all parts of their brain every day. (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self, How Our Brains Become Who We Are. p 33-34. NY:Penguin Books, 2002. On the Brain, newsletter. www.PositScience.com CA:2005.)

Differing areas of the brain are specialized for different functions. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot. p 86-88. NY: Harmony Books, 2001.)

Brains are like fingerprints. Each brain possesses a unique neurological topography. (Johnson, Steven. Mind Wide Open. p 4. NY: Scribner, 2004.)

The average brain-stem setting for the input system differs in each brain. The amount of amplification influences everything. Some, with low amplification in their nervous system, are starved for stimulation all the time; others, with very high amplification, are surfeited. The remainder are somewhere in the middle. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD. The Roots of the Self. p 52-53. NY:HarperCollins Publishing, 1995.)

Connections between brain stem and limbic system help keep you conscious, alert, and in control. Communication between the limbic system and the cortex allows you to balance logic with emotions, and facts with feelings. (Brynie, Faith Hickman. 101 Questions Your Brain Has Asked About Itself But Couldn’t Answer, Until Now. p 12. CT: Millbrook Press, 1998.)

The brain stem, the most primitive part of our brain, is where fight-flight responses are harbored. (Gurian, Michael, PhD, and Patricia Henley, with Terry Trueman. Boys and Girls Learn Differently! p 17-20. CA: Jossey-Bass, 2001.)

The cerebellum (action brain) coordinates balance, movement, and posture. It keeps you upright and keeps your muscles working together. It’s the part that learns to play a piano or hit a tennis ball automatically. When you make a conscious decision to move quickly, the cerebellum monitors the speed, direction, force, and steadiness of the motion. The decision itself, however, comes from the thinking brain. (Brynie, Faith Hickman. 101 Questions Your Brain Has Asked About Itself But Couldn’t Answer, Until Now. p 17. CT:Millbrook Press, 1998.)

The brainstem is a type of combined power station and telephone exchange. It links the brain and the spinal cord, and also controls a range of facial movements (eye, ear, face, teeth, speech, facial expression). (Greenfield, Susan, Con. Ed. Brain Power, Working out the Human Mind. p 17, 39. The Ivy Press Limited, 1999.)

The brainstem connects the upper brain with the spinal cord. It houses much of the basic nervous system controls including the reticular activating system (RAS). Axons from nerve cells—that make dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and histamine—reach out to other parts of the brain. All spinal cord nerves to and from the cortex pass through the brainstem along with those to and from the cerebellum. Coma occurs when the brainstem malfunctions; death when it is severed. (Guiffre, Kenneth, MD, with Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. The Care and Feeding of Your Brain. p 19, 22-23. NJ:Career Press, 1999.)

Human beings were designed to function at optimum capacity when the heart and head are working in concert and highly attuned to each other. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution. p 40. CA:Harper SF, 1999.)

The brain can interpret events that arise in the body or from the environment (bottom-up) as well as those that are just imagined in the brain or dreamed (top-down). (Benson, Herbert, MD, with Marge Stark. Timeless Healing. p 74-80. NY:Schribner, 1996.)

Human beings are designed to express thoughts and beliefs (brain) through symptoms that are exhibited physically (body). (Benson, Herbert, MD., with Marg Stark. Timeless Healing. p 20-22. NY:Scribner, 1996.)

Refer to Brain-Body Connection for additional information.

Humans possess five different brain or neural structures: four in the head (reptilian, mammalian, neo-cortex, pre-frontal cortex) and one in the heart. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. p 2-4. VT:Park Street Press, 2002.)

There is probably no difference between the brain (the organ you think with) and the mind (the content of your thoughts). We can’t separate them. The mind is the interaction between the brain and neurotransmitters at various sites around the body. (Brynie, Faith Hickman. 101 Questions Your Brain Has Asked About Itself But Couldn’t Answer, Until Now. p 137-138. CT: Millbrook Press, 1998.)

The brain is a collection of physical structures, versus the mind that is a phenomenon of memories, emotions, and thoughts that arise due to perceptual processes of the brain. The brain makes mind. (Newberg, Andrew, MD, et al. Why God Won’t Go Away. p 32-34. NY: Ballantine Books, 2001.)

Five brain-wave patterns include:

  • Delta – slow (during sleep
  • Theta – slow (daydreaming, relaxing)
  • Alpha – during relaxed states
  • Sensorimotor rhythm or SMR – during states of focused relaxation
  • Beta – fast (occurring during concentration or mental work states)

(Amen, Daniel G., MD. Change Your Brain Change Your Life. p 142-143. NY:Times Books, 1998

You need both hemispheres for effective brainstorming. The open-ended, nonjudgmental stage of brainstorming is a right brain experience. The analyzing and evaluating of the ideas is a move to the left. Five states that describe the process include: preparation, concentration, incubation, illumination, and evaluation. Ideas to stimulate brainstorming:

  • Visualize the extreme opposite
  • Look at space around the problem
  • Reverse the objective / components
  • Assume your information is wrong
  • Brag, lie, exaggerate, or change
  • Reverse all physical characteristics
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Forget what you know
  • Imagine being someone else

(Wonder, Jacquelyn, and Priscilla Donovan. Whole Brain Thinking. p 98-100, 142-144. NY:Ballantine Books, 1984.)

Refer to Creativity and the Brain for additional information.

Fat in fish (or flaxseed oil) can help to protect arteries from clogging and the heart from shutting down, as well as the brain from depression. This may help explain why depression often precedes and predicts heart disease. Hippocrates said it first: food that is good for the heart is likely to be good for the brain. (Carper, Jean. Your Miracle Brain. p 79-81. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000.)

Studies by Mark Cregan PhD, a molecular biologist with The University of Western Australia: breast milk has been found to contain cells that possess all the characteristics of stem cells. This could provide science with a method of harvesting stem cells for research. (Hartley, Jo. Stem Cells Discovered in Human Breast Milk, NaturalNews.com)

Studies: Conscious breathing is powerful. Changes in the rate/depth of breathing produces changes in the quantity and type of peptides that are released from the brain stem. And vice versa! By consciously either holding your breath or breathing extra fast you cause the peptides to diffuse rapidly throughout the cerebrospinal fluid. Since many of these peptides are endorphins, you can even reduce pain. (Pert, Candace, PhD. Molecules of Emotion. p 186-187. NY: Scribner, 1997.)

Alter primary breathing from one nostril to the other to achieve changes in short-term hemispheric processing. If you want to alter an unwanted state, breathe through the more congested nostril. Breathe through left nostril to stimulate the right hemisphere and vice versa. (Wonder, Jacquelyn and Priscilla Donovan. Whole Brain Thinking. p 45-47. NY: Ballantine Books, 1984.)

Paul Broca, a young surgeon, eventually pinpointed the area of the brain involved in instances of conscious speech loss (circa 1864). It has since come to be known as Broca’s area. (Springer, Sally p., and Georg Deutsch. Left Brain, Right Brain. p 11-14. NY: W.H. Freeman and Co., 1997.)

Audible speech is produced in Broca’s Area (left frontal lobe). Heard speec is processed in Wernicke’s area (also located in the left hemisphere for most people). (Brynie, Faith Hickman. 101 Questions Your Brain Has Asked About Itself But Couldn’t Answer, Until Now. p 129-130. CT: Millbrook Press, 1998.)

Damage to Broca’s area can result in expressive dysphasia. Damage to Wernicke’s area can result in receptive dysphasia. (Greenfield, Susan, Con. Ed. Brain Power, Working out the Human Mind. p 55. The Ivy Press Limited, 1999.)

Broca’s area activates during audible speech or reading aloud. It is located toward the center of the frontal lobe in the left hemisphere. First however, the brain must assemble appropriate words in Wernicke’s area and then relay them to Broca’s area for transshipment to the motor cortex that controls speech production. (Restak, Richard, MD. The Secret Life of the Brain. p 42. Washington D.C.: The Dana Press and Joseph Henry Press, 2001.

The hippocampus helps to provide a keen memory of context (e.g., difference between a bear in the zoo versus one in your backyard). The amygdala contributes the emotional flavor that goes along with those faces. (Goleman, Daniel, PhD. Emotional Intelligence. p 20-21. NY: Bantam Books, 1995.)

The tendency to categorize and stereotype other people is an example of automatic thinking, which is likely innate. The brain is prewired to fit people into categories. The content of one’s stereotypes is not innate, however. (Wilson, Timothy D. Strangers to Ourselves. p 52-53. England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002.)

The caudate is involved with preferring, anticipating, and seeking a reward. The ventral tegmental area houses cells that make and distribute dopamine, the brain chemical associated with feelings of elation (e.g., core feelings of romantic love). (Fisher, Helen, PhD. Why We Love. p 69-80. NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2004.)

The Central Nervous System consists of the brain and spinal cord. The CNS is connected via the Peripheral Nervous System to body sensory organs, muscles, glands, and blood vessels. (Reiness, Gary. Development of the nervous system – Introduction. Accessed 2007.)

According to Dr. Zull, the biggest differences in brain function (after right-left hemispheric differences), involve the front and back cortical systems of the cerebrum. The cerebral cortex has four major functions and if any of those are missing, you are missing a nervous system. The four major functions are: 1) Sensing,  2) Moving [motor], Integrating [two types]. Of these, integrating is one of the most crucial aspects of how brains learn and involves the interplay of the front and back cortex regions of the brain. The frontal cortex is involved in creating ideas, transforming ideas into actions, and then taking action, while the back cortex is involved with information, data, and memories. (Zull, James E., PhD. The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning. VA: Stylus Publishing, 2002.)

Studies: Cell phone conversation disrupts attention. It even disrupts walking. It leads to inattentional blindness. Your brain is designed to respond to one thing at a time. Multitasking (doing several things at once efficiently and well) is a myth. Change blindness can occur if changes in a visual scene occur during a transient interruption; or gradual changes in body pains over time; or small changes in jobs and relationships. (Macknik, Stephen L. PhD and Susana Martinez-Conde PhD. Sleights of Mind. p 90-95. NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2010.)

The human brain sometimes fails under pressure (witness the unexpected catastrophes in the Olympic trials and in almost any high-stakes sports event) although the reasons may be worlds apart. In “The Art of Failure,” Malcom Gladwell described the difference between panic (too little thinking and reverting to instinct) and choking (thinking too much and a loss of instinct). Although most people get nervous at times, not everyone chokes. A team of neuroscientist in London used fMRI studies to gain insight into choking. They found that activity in the ventral striatum (a subcortical brain region dense with dopamine neurons) tended to increase as people got more excited about potential rewards. In some, however, striatum activity was inversely related to the magnitude of the reward. Translated, this may mean that some individuals fall apart (choke) under the pressure of the moment because they care too much. The pleasure of the activity has vanished. What remains is the fear of losing, a fear of failure, which can trigger choking. (Source 1) (Source 2)

It was painters, not scientists, who first figured out the rules of visual perspective and occlusion. Knowing these rules permitted painters to make pigments on a flat canvas appear like a beautiful landscape, rich in depth. Magicians are just a different type of artist. Instead of using color and form, they manipulate the brain’s attention and cognition. (Macknik, Stephen L. PhD and Susana Martinez-Conde PhD. Sleights of Mind. p 4-6. NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2010.)

Cognition is a process, including any mental activity such as your perceptions of what is going on around you, your thought, and all actions you might take in response to your innter and outer experiences. It is different from emotional or affective processes. (Restak, Richard, MD. The Naked Brain. p 14-16. NY: Three Rivers Press, 2006.)

This term refers to one way in which the brain processes information. The person unknowingly does an action without the usual subjective feeling that accompanies willed action. There is a split between intention and conscious awareness, on the one hand, and the carrying out of a complex series of manoeuvres, on the other. Michael Faraday discovered this during investigations of table-turning session, Ouija boards, and automatic writing. (Restak, Richard, MD. The Naked Brain. p 26-27. NY:Three Rivers Press, 2006.)

Individuals at the top of their game, so called, who have mastered a domain of expertise, and who are often world class in their performance, have practiced typically a minimum of 10,000 hours. When performing, their overall levels of brain arousal tend to become lower, their are in "flow," which suggests taht for them this particular activity has become relatively effortless, even at its peack. While in flow, only those brain areas relevant to the activity at hand are activated. (Goleman, Daniel Jay, PhD. The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights. p 50-52. MA:More Than Sound, 2011)

Competency and Preference are not the same. Everyone can and generally does develop competencies in every cerebral mode. Some of the competencies may be at a very high level (e.g., mastery). It is possible for a person to develop this type of mastery in more than one of the four specialized cerebral regsions. But each person only has one preference (e.g., one specialized region with natural efficiency that allows it to use 1/100th the energy that is required by the other three modes). Competency alone may improve efficiency by 1-2 percent. While the person’s one and only preference improves efficiency by 100 percent. Thinking with “preference” uses so little energy the person feels it is easy and effortless. This was shown originally more than a decade ago by Dr. Richard Haier and subsequently by other independent researchers including Dr. Karl Pribram. (Benziger, Katherine, PhD. Thriving in Mind: The Art and Science of Using Your Whole Brain. p 250-263. IL:KBA, 2009.)

Cognitive neuroscients believe that one can use training exercises for a keener attentional focus, a way of building concentration. Meditation methods can be used to build concentration. The cardinal rule of all concentration enhancement techniques is to focus on something specific and whenever your mind wanders off to a different topic, bring your wandering mind back to your initial focus. Every time you do this you are enhancing the muscle of concentration and attention. (Goleman, Daniel Jay, PhD. The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights. p 50-52. MA:More Than Sound, 2011)

Using your brain structure, your dominance also determines which of your non-preferred modes you are most likely to use. Two of your less efficient modes are more available to you because they are located next to your preference and are connected to it by substantial neuronal bridges. Where such bridges exist, communication between modes and consequently iterative thinking is faster and easier. It is these two non-preferred modes, connected to your preference that you can use as auxiliaries.

Mutually Available Modes

Bridges Connecting Them

Frontal Left and Frontal Right

Corpus callosum

Basal Left and Basal Right

Corpus callosum

Frontal Left and Basal Left

Conduit between Broca’s and Wernicke’s

Frontal Right and Basal Right

Conduit between two unnamed, similarly located areas, in right hemisphere

Frontal Left and the Basal Right

Not connected

Frontal Right and the Basal Left

Not connected

Your third non-preferred mode, the one that is not next to your preference and is not connected to it by a bridge built of neurons, is your natural weakness. It is as inefficient as your other non-preferred modes and is located diagonally across the brain from your preference.  As no diagonal bridges exist in the brain, getting from your preference to this non-preferred mode is difficult. And, communication between this mode and your preference is significantly more work.  It is this third non-preferred mode, the one that is not connected to your preference, that you cannot readily use as an auxiliary and that you must ultimately accept as your weakest mode or inferior function. (Benziger, I. Katherine, PhD. Thriving in Mind – The Art and Science of Using Your Whole Brain. p. 55. IL: KBA The Human Resource Technology Company, 2006.)

The brain gathers information from all types of sources to make decisions, moment to moment. It gathers information, computes, makes a decision, and then you get the sensation of conscious experience. Consciousness takes time--it arrives after the work is done.(Gazzaniga, Michael S. Who's in Charge? p 127. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011)

The conscious mind has the power to control many so-called involuntary actions. For example, “wet dreams” have rarely been observed in a dream lab. Using biofeedback techniques laboratory subjects have learned how to consciously alter actions (e.g., lower blood pressure, control amount of acid secreted in the stomach, regulate body temperature, and increase frequency of alpha waves in their brains). They have even learned to regulate their dreams (even children can learn to do this). (Padus, Emrika, Exec. Edit. The Complete Guide to Your Emotions and Your Health. p.318-320. PA: Rodale Press, Inc, 1992)

What did you grow up learning about your “mind” and “consciousness?” Although there are still multiple definitions for the mind (versus the brain), studies are showing a different concept of “mind.” According to work by Lorimer, your mind appears to be a multi-component unit that is not only interacting with the physical environment through demonstrable means, but also has the capacity to communicate with the cosmic universe through non-physical pathways.This certainly is, as the title of his book puts it, a wider science of consciousness. (Lorimer D. Thinking Beyond the Brain: A Wider Science of Consciousness; 34-80. Edinburgh, UK: Floris Books, 2001)

The conscious mind can be defined as whatever you are aware of at a moment in time. “Unconscious” is everything else that’s outside of your awareness at a point in time. The unconscious mind is responsible for about 95% of your learning and skill. (Bandler, Richard, and John Grinder.Frogs into Princes. p 37-38. UT: Real People Press, 1979.)

Did you know the conscious mind has the power to control many so-called involuntary actions? Using biofeedback techniques laboratory subjects have learned how to consciously alter actions (e.g., lower blood pressure, control amount of acid secreted in the stomach, regulate body temperature, and increase frequency of alpha waves in their brains). They have even learned to regulate their dreams (even children can learn to do this). For another example, “wet dreams” have rarely been observed in a dream lab yet it's a natural and common occurrence for males (e.g., males ejaculate semen during a dream). The conclusion by some researchers is that some type of control is involved (e.g., the brain is "conscious" of being observed and actively prevents an otherwise involuntary action from taking place). (Padus, Emrika, Exec. Edit. The Complete Guide to Your Emotions and Your Health. p.318-320. PA: Rodale Press, Inc, 1992)

Consciousness does not constitute a single, generalized process. Rather it involves a multitude of widely distributed specialized systems and disunited processes. The products of these are integrated in a dynamic manner by the interpreter module. Conscious experience is assembled on the fly, as the brain responds to constantly changing inputs, calculates potential courses of action, and execute responses like a streetwise person. (Gazzaniga, Michael S. Who's in Charge? p 102. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011)

Studies suggest that consciousness emerges from the brain and body acting together. A growing body of evidence suggests that the heart plays a particularly significant role in this process. Far more than a simple pump, the heart is now viewed as a highly complex, self-organizing information processing center. It has its own functional heart-brain that communicates with, and influences, the cranial brain via the nervous system, hormonal system, and other pathways. (Popper, K., and J. C. Eccles. (2000), "The Self-Conscious Mind and the Brain." In: The Self and Its Brain. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, London and New York: 355-376)

The physiochemical brain does enable the mind in some way we don’t understand. In so doing, it follows the physical laws of the universe just like other matter. (Gazzaniga, Michael S. Who’s In Charge? p 3. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011)

Part of one's day is spent in a state of hyperconsciousness (e.g., logical, rational, decision-oriented, verbal mode) in which one foreces the mind to attend. At other times, one operates in an altered state of consciousness. THink of it as the "automatic pilot effect" (e.g., you are driving and many miles have gone by outside conscious awareness). Most of what one is capable of is determined by part of the mind of which you can never become aware: the unconscious mind. (Padus, Emrika, Exec. Edit. The Complete Guide to Your Emotions and Your Health. p.398-400. PA: Rodale Press, Inc, 1992)

Studies have shown that the brain may have difficulty (or may not do so at all) distinguiging between supraliminal (above the conscious threshold) and subliminal (below the conscious threshold. (Restak, Richard, MD. The Naked Brain. p 33-34. NY: Three Rivers Press, 2006.)

The outcomes of an inclination can be encoded in brain activity up to ten seconds before it enters awareness. The brain has acted before its person is conscious of it. Brain activity involved in the initiation of an action such as pushing a button, occurred about 500 milliseconds before the action. Brain activity increased as many as 300 milliseconds before the conscious intention to act was reported by the subject. (Gazzaniga, Michael S. Who's in Charge? p 128-129. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011)

What is your definition of romance? It may need to be expanded! Romance is the part of you that keeps the wonder in your life, that sees your life in beautiful terms, that creates a transcendent moment in time, that (as with a prism) breaks trivialities into the brilliant colors of true meaning. Consciousness is the lifeblood of romance. Develop the art of paying attention. You can do that by looking on things from the perspective of a child’s eye. (Padus, Emrika, Exec. Edit. The Complete Guide to Your Emotions and Your Health. p.60-63. PA: Rodale Press, Inc, 1992)

Several studies have shown that homosexual men have an increased prevalence of non-right-handedness and atypical patterns of hemispheric functional asymmetry. Non-right-handedness in men has been associated with increased size of the corpus callosum (CC), particularly of the isthmus, which is the posterior region of the callosal body connecting parietotemporal cortical regions. (Witelson, Sandra F., et al. Corpus Callosum Anatomy in Right-Handed Homosexual and Heterosexual Men. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Volume 37, Number 6(2008), 857-863, DOI: 10.1007/s10508-007-9276-y)

Imagination forms the foundation for every uniquely human achievement. Creativity, progress, innovation, inventions, and so on all require imagination. As Ken Robinson PhD put it, through imagination you not only bring to mind things you have experienced, but things you have never experienced. You can conjecture, hypothesize, speculate, and suppose. Through imagination you can visit the past, contemplate, and present, and anticipate the future. You can also do something else that is both profound and of immense significance: you can create. Of all the brain’s capacities, the ability to imagine may be the one that most people tend to take for granted. That’s unfortunate. And yet imagination is different from creativity. Think of creativity as applied imagination, putting your imagination to work. Make something new, come up with new solutions to problems, think of new questions. Apply your imagination to every day living. (Robinson, Ken, PhD. The Element. p 65-70. NY:Penguin Books, 2009.)

Intelligence and creativity are blood relatives, according to Faith Ringgold, acclaimed artist and creator of painted story quilts. Everyone is born with tremendous capacities for creativity and the trick is to develop these capacities. You can be creative at anything at all--anything that involves your intelligence. You can't be creative without acting intelligently; the highest form of intelligence is to think creatively. (Robinson, Ken, PhD. The Element. p 51-56. NY:Penguin Books, 2009.)

Refer to Creativity and the Brain for additional information.

A person’s verbalization of time appears to differ based on language. Here are some examples:

  • English speakers tend to use horizontal spatial metaphors for times (e.g., this time is ahead of us, that time is behind us)
  • Mandarin speakers tend to use vertical metaphors for time (e.g., next month is the “down month,” last month is the “up month”)
  • English speakers talk about duration of time in terms of length (e.g., that was a short talk, the meeting didn’t take long)
  • Spanish and Greek speakers are more likely to talk about duration of time in terms of amount (e.g., use words such as much, big, and little rather than “short and “long”)

Interestingly enough, when English speakers were taught to use different ways in which to speak of time, for example using size metaphors as in Greek to describe duration )e.g., a movie is larger than a sneeze), their cognitive performance began to resemble that of Greek or Mandarin speakers. (Max Brockman, Editor. What’s Next? Dispatches on the Future of Science. p 118-123. NY:Vintage Books, 2009.)

Refer to Cultural Neuroscience for additional information.

Refer to Practical Applications and Cultural Neuroscience for additional information.

After birth the brain wires up differently in different cultures; even their visual systems are not exactly the same (e.g., people who grow up in forests lack depth perception that others have). You can remake yourself in adulthood to some degree, but can never abandon your inherent nature. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD. The Roots of the Self. p 12. NY: HarperCollins Publishing, 1995.)

Sometimes referred to as "flaming," cyber-disinhibition is a phenomenon that can occur when a person is upset and sends an angry or other type of emotionally-charged and often unfortunate message via e-mail. A disconnect between the social brain (designed for face-to-face interaction) and a computer monitor results in a lack of emotional cues, which typically are picked up in person or even via telephone calls from the tone of voice. (Goleman, Daniel. The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights. p. 58-60. MA: More Than Sound, 2011)

An area in the brain known as the insular cortex can trigger sudden death (e.g., voodoo spells, crime victim, broken heart deaths) when activated by extreme panic or despair. (Benson, Herbert, MD, with Marg Stark. Timeless Healing: The Power and Biology of Belief. p 87-90. NY: Scribner, 1996.)

fMRI study by neuroscientist and co-author John-Dylan Haynes of Max Planck Institute: researchers could predict people's decisions (e.g., using right or left hand to push a button) seven seconds before the test subjects were aware of making them. During those seven seconds activity was evident in their fronto-polar cortex and then in the parietal region. It seems that your consciousness is only aware of some of the things your brain is doing. (Keim, Brandon. Brain Scanners Can See Your Decisions Before You Make Them. Nature Neuroscience. April, 2008.)

PET scan studies: It appears there is a default network that becomes active whenever the brain is not specifically occupied and breaks off when the brain has other tasks to attend to. The default network utilizes large amounts of glucose, and more oxygen gram for gram that a beating heart. With strong connections to the hippocampus, it appears to be involved in selectively storing and updating memories. (Fox, Douglas. The Secret Life of the Brain. New Scientist. 2008.)

Stanford University studies: The hippocampus appears to be part of what is now being called the default network of the brain. The activity of the default network is diminished in individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease as compared to the brains of healthy elderly adult controls. It may be that this can be used as an early marker for AD. (Greicius, Michael D., et al. Default-mode network activity distinguishes Alzheimer’s disease from healthy aging: Evidence from functional MRI. CA, 2004.)

The human brain has some default positions, One of those is a tendency to analyze everything in terms of “what does this mean to me?” Examples of defaults:

  • Perception that something you want is growing scarcer (whether or not this is actually occurring)
  • First impressions of other people

(Ornstein, Robert, PhD, and Paul Ehrlich. New World New Mind. p 90-93. MA: Malor Books, 1989, 2000.)

Typically there is instant communication between hemispheres, although each perceives events and records information independently. This provides an illusion of unity. Déjà vu may result when there is a brief delay in transmission of information. (Bragdon, Allen D., and David Gamon, PhD. Brains that Work a Little Bit Differently. p 52-56. NY:Barnes and Noble Books, 2000.)

Refer to Neurons and Neurotransmitters for additional information.

Refer to Care of the Brain for additional information.

No two brains are exactly the same. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot. p 89-90. NY:Harmony Books, 2001.)

No two human brains are alike. (Healy, Jane M., PhD. Your Child’s Growing Mind. p 4-5. NY:Doubleday, 1987, 1989.)

Every human brain is as unique as a fingerprint; no two are exactly alike. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that no two brains function identically. (Williams, Linda. Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind. p 25. CA:Touchstone Books: 1986.)

The particular configuration of bumps and fissures along the cortical surface of any individual brain is as unique as the pattern of loops and whorls in a fingerprint. (Miller, Lawrence, PhD. Inner Natures. Brain, Self & Personality. p 27. NY:Ballantine Books, 1990.)

Like fingerprints, each human brain is different. (Herrmann, Ned. The Creative Brain. p 22. NC:Ned Herrmann Group, 1993.)

Your brain possesses a unique neurological topography. Brains are like fingerprints. (Johnson, Steven. Mind Wide Open. p 4. NY:Scribner, 2004.)

Many thinkers have confused the desire to improve the lot of people through giving them equality of opportunity with the idea that people are the same. Offering compensation for deficiencies is one thing, but assuming that they are biologically identical is a myth that destroys. Human beings inherit a set of abilities that form a common ground. Yet the inheritance is so complex that is not exactly the same in each person. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD. The Roots of the Self. p 32. NY:HarperCollins Publishing, 1995.)

Synaptic connections evolve or originate as a consequence of an individual’s experiences and continue evolving throughout the person’s life. The term Experience-Dependent Brain Development refers to the way in which unique or individual experiences contribute to brain growth and refine existing brain structures. Neuronal synapses are uniquely affected by life experiences. Differences among the brain of individuals (e.g., poets, mechanics, and mathematicians) can be attributed to each person’s habitual exercise of differing regions in the brain. (Schramm, Derek D., PhD. The Creative Brain. p 2, 7-8. CA:Institute for Natural Resources, Health Update. 2007.)

People differ with respect to the structure and organization of their brains, which includes variability in the encoding of individual abilities. There is no one “best” personality-type. (Miller, Lawrence, PhD. Inner Natures. p 32-33. NY:Ballantine Books, 1990.)

Each brain’s developmental pattern is unique so no two brains are alike. Even the brains of identical twins are not exactly the same. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 3, 191-192. PA:Rodale, 2003.)

The brain of each human being on planet earth is unique. (Levine, Mel, MD. A Mind at a Time. p 13-14, 60-62. NY:Simon & Schuster, 2002.)

Although people’s brains don’t look much different from each other, they are as different as their faces. No two brains on the planet are exactly alike. Each brain is different. (Brynie, Faith Hickman. 101 questions your brain has asked about itself but couldn’t answer until now. p 15. CT:Millbrook Press, 1998.)

Individual differences in brain structure will be the norm rather than the exception, even in identical twins. (Byrnes, James, p. Minds, Brains, and Learning. p 44. NY:The Gulford Press, 2001.)

There are about 6 billion belief systems in the world (since each human brain is unique). (Newberg, Andrew, MD., and Mark Robert Waldman. Why We Believe What We Believe. p 25. NY:Free Press, 2006.)

According to Katherine Benziger, PhD, author of “The Human Brain,” every brain is unique and complex but is ultimately designed to thrive. (Koch, Liz. Whole Brain Learning is a new frontier for science. Santa Cruz Style, March 7, 2005.)

Each brain contains approximately the same number of neurons in each brain system. The particular way those neurons are connected is distinct, however. That uniqueness makes us who we are. (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self. p 300-304. NY:Penguin Books, 2002.)

All brains look very much the same to the naked eye. (Greenfield, Susan, Con. Ed. Brain Power, Working out the Human Mind. p 105. NY:Ivy Press Limited, 1999.)

Each mind has its specialties and frailties. No one can be good at everything. However, society / school expects children to shine in all classes, athletics, and in following verbal directions. (Levine, Mel, MD. A Mind at a Time. p 60-62. NY:Simon & Schuster, 2002.)

All of our brains have the same general features that make us human, but each neural connection is unique, reflecting a person’s special genetic endowment and life experience. Circuit connections are made stronger or weaker throughout a lifetime according to use. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. p 30-31. NY: Vintage Books, 2002.)

Every time one individual duplicates another, the world has lost a person. In the process they lose their own identity and their unique contribution to the world. (Conway, Jim and Sally. Women In Midlife Crisis. p 99-100. IL:Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1971.)

Synaptic connections evolve or originate as a consequence of an individual’s experiences and continue evolving throughout the person’s life. The term Experience-Dependent Brain Development refers to the way in which unique or individual experiences contribute to brain growth and refine existing brain structures. Neuronal synapses are uniquely affected by life experiences. Differences among the brain of individuals (e.g., poets, mechanics, and mathematicians) can be attributed to each person’s habitual exercise of differing regions in the brain. (Schramm, Derek D., PhD. The Creative Brain. p 2, 7-8. CA:Institute for Natural Resources, Health Update. 2007.)

People differ with respect to the structure and organization of their brains, which includes variability in the encoding of individual abilities. There is no one “best” personality-type. (Miller, Lawrence, PhD. Inner Natures. p 32-33. NY:Ballantine Books, 1990.)

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