Human Brain

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.)

DTI, a variation of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), is able to measure the diffusion of water molecules through tissue. In studies of 92 pairs of fraternal and identical twins, researchers found a strong correlation between the integrity of the white matter (e.g., myelin that coats neuronal axons) and performance on a standard IQ test. A high quality of myelin (that seems to be inheritable) appears to correlate with higher IQ scores. (Singer, Emily. Brain Images Reveal the Secret to Higher IQ. Technology, 2009.)

If you don’t give your brain a little direction, either it will just run randomly on its own, or other people will find ways to run it for you—and they may not always have your best interest in mind. Even if they do, they may get it wrong! (Bandler, Richard. Using Your Brain for a Change. Neuro-Linguistic Programming. p 8. Real People Press, UT, 1985)

The entorhinal cortex (EC) functions as a hub in a widespread brain network for memory and navigation and is the main interface between the hippocampus and the neocortex. This EC-hippocampus system plays a key role in autobiographical/declarative/episodic memories and in particular spatial memories including memory formation, consolidation, and optimization in sleep. The EC also plays a role in spatial directional activity. Studies of humans playing video games found path cells in the EC, the activity of which indicated whether the person was taking a clockwise or counterclockwise path. Such EC direction-path cells show this directional activity regardless of the location in which people experience themselves. This differs from place cells in the hippocampus that are activated by specific locations. (Jacobs J, et al. A sense of direction in human entorhinal cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107 (14): 6487–6492. 2010. Bibcode2010PNAS..107.6487J. doi:10.1073/pnas.0911213107. PMC 2851993. PMID 20308554. Source.)

Before age 8 or 9, children seem to use an additivity principle (think that people who performed activities for a reward like it more). By age 8 or 9, children begin to use discounting principle (assume that people who performed activities for rewards like them less than people who do not). (Wilson, Timothy D. Strangers to Ourselves. p 57-58. England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002.)

Divergent thinking (e.g., ability to deviate from one or more societal, cultural, or artistic norms) is an integral part of the creative process. This involves the ability to formulate alternative solutions by activating anatomically distinct representational networks that store different types of knowledge. (Schramm, Derek D., PhD. The Creative Brain. p 4-6. CA: Institute for Natural Resources, Health Update. 2007.)

Anomalous dominance has been observed in about 3% of the population in his studies (e.g., dominant eye differs from dominant hand). Is sometimes also referred to as mixed dominance. (Joy, Donald, PhD. The Innate Differences Between Males & Females (Audio Cassette). CO: Focus on the Family, 1967.)

A multidominant person (e.g., tribrainer) may find giving a party difficult because his friends don’t like each other. In fact, they may actively put each other down, as they compete for the person’s approval. (Benziger, I. Katherine, PhD. Thriving in Mind. p 159. TX:KBA Publishing, 2000.)

A preference or predisposition essentially opens up “the path of least resistance.” It takes special energy, conditions, and environment to over-ride or alter systems. (Blum, Deborah. Sex on the Brain. p 17-20. NY:Penguin Books, 1997.)

See Brain Lead and Lateralization for additional information.

Attention can become divided among the three brain layers when person is anxious, undecided, tense, etc. Each brain layer has its own agenda so person may think one thing, feel another, and act from completely different impulses. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. p 32-34. VT:Park Street Press, 2002.)

Refer to Downshifting and the Brain for additional information.

Speaking and drawing utilize different areas in the brain. Speaking and writing, however, share some of the same brain circuitry. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 60-62. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

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

Dreams are essentially visual experiences. Homing ability to visualize can bring us into closer contact with our inner selves. Waking and dreaming visualizations are part of the same process. (Fontana, David, PhD. Teach Yourself to Dream. p 31-34. CA:Chronicle Books, 1997.)

Dreams involve stored information that flows from the cells into the consciousness as during sleep. Information released during dreaming often can be valuable to personal and spiritual growth. (Pert, Candace, PhD Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind. CO: Sounds True, 2000.)

Studies suggest: a person’s unconscious dreaming state may be a window through which the thoughts of others may enter. (Dossey, Larry. MD. Healing Words. p 106-108. NY:HarperPaperbacks, 1993.)

We dream every night. Dreams are an opportunity to understand ourselves better. It involves the body as well as the brain…the process of dreaming is important. Can remember about 80% of a dream episode if we are roused immediately after its completion. (Fontana, David, PhD. Teach Yourself to Dream: A Practical Guide. p Intro, 10, 16-17. CA:Chronicle Books, 1997.)

Occurs due to interactions between the emotional brain, and the temporal lobes and right hemisphere of the neocortex. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. p 30-32. VT:Park Street Press, 2002.

When engaged in an activity it finds easy, the brain doesn’t have to work as hard (e.g., uses less energy, shows up as a less active PET scan). (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 30-31. PA:Rodale, 2003.)

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.)

An analysis of Einstein’s brain showed the same number of neurons in the creative cerebral cortex, on average, as in the cortex of males not noted for being unusually creative. What was different was nearly twice as many non-neuronal cells (about one for every neuron instead of one for every two neurons). (Fields, R. Douglas, PhD. The Other Brain. p 6-7. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2009.)

Nerves do conduct electricity, but in a special way. Electricity does not flow passively through as nerve as it does through a wire. Rather, impulses conducted through nerves are biologically propagated, moving along by electrochemical reactions, a process that takes a lot longer than passive physical condition. (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self, How Our Brains Become Who We Are. p 40-44. NY:Penguin Books, 2002.)

This instrument can detect electrical information patterns generated by the heart in the person’s brain waves. There is a direct energetic interaction between the electromagnetic field produced by the heart and that produced by the brain. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution. p 33. CA: Harper SF, 1999.)

Refer to Electromagnetic Energy for additional information.

The amygdala in the emotional brain is highly attunded to symbolic meanings (via fantasy, play, metaphor, story, myth, the arts). These mediums can be used to create terror, and/or to help individuals recover from trauma. (Goleman, Daniel, PhD. Emotional Intelligence. p 208-210. NY:Bantam Books, 1995.)

Emotional perception is associated with the posterior structures of the right hemisphere. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 361-370. GA:Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

The mammalian brain contains functions related to the immune system, memory, biorhythms, personal relationships, awareness of one’s internal world including past and present, and tools (e.g., emotions) by which relationships are qualitatively evaluated. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. p 24-32. VT: Park Street Press, 2002.)

Activity of the right hemisphere enables us to both express our own emotions and read the emotions of others. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot. p 73-74. NY:Harmony Books, 2001.)

Emotional expression is associated with the frontal lobes. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 361-370. GA:Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

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.)

All organizations are living systems composed of people who think and feel. Smart people and smart organizations will recognize and seek to measure and balance thinking and feeling. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution. p 243. CA:Harper SF, 1999.)

Emotional intelligence involves circuitry that runs between the brain’s executive centers in the prefrontal lobes and the brain’s limbic system, which governs feelings, impulses, and drives. Skills based in the limbic areas are best learned through motivation, extended practice, and feedback. (Goleman, Daniel, PhD, with Richard Boyatzis, and Annie Mckee. Primal Leadership. p 102-104. Boston:Harvard Business School Press, 2002.)

Emotional Intelligence is a learnable skill. It can be developed and improved at any time and at any age. (Cooper, Robert K., PhD., and Ayman Sawaf. Executive EQ. p xxxii-xxxiii. NY:Grosset/Putnam 1997.)

Refer to Emotional Intelligence for additional information.

The amygdala in the emotional brain can trigger an emotional response because the higher cortical centers have fully understood what is actually happening. In other words, anatomically, the emotional brain system can act independently of the cortical brain system. (Goleman, Daniel, PhD. Emotional Intelligence. p 18-20. NY:Bantam Books, 1995.)

The prefrontal cortex can put “the brakes on the amygdala’s impulse to rampage.” It is unable to prevent the initial reaction from occurring. (Goleman, Daniel, PhD. Emotional Intelligence. p 208-210. NY:Bantam Books, 1995.)

Each emotion appears to have specific and unique physiological responses (e.g., fear causes vasoconstriction, anger leads to vasodilation). (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 361-370. GA:Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

Learning seems to occur best when positive emotions facilitate chemical secretions in the brain that help messages cross synapses. (Healy, Jane M., PhD. Your Child’s Growing Mind. p 25-26. NY:Doubleday, 1987.)

Emotional responses trigger release of neurotransmitters, biologically marking an event as significant. Therefore, intense emotions can strengthen learning. (Jensen, Eric. Brain-Based Learning (Revised). p 37. CA:The Brain Store, 2005.)

Refer to Emotions and Feelings for additional information.

The brain uses more energy than any other human organ, accounting for up to 20 percent of the body's total haul. A new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA indicates that two thirds of the brain's energy budget is used to help neurons or nerve cells "fire'' or send signals. The remaining third is used for housekeeping or cell-health maintenance. (Swaminathan, Nikhil. Why Does the Brain Need So Much Power? Scientific American, April 2008.

Energy moves up and down in the brain on a vertical access going from brain stem to cortex and back down again. (Jensen, Eric. Brain-Based Learning (Revised). p 16-17. The Brain Store, 2005.)

Although the brain is only about 2% of the body’s entire weight, it can consume 20%-30% of the body’s entire energy. The brain stores so little glucose or energy that, if not replenished, it would be all used up within 10 minutes. Nothing is more critical to your brain than the type of sugar (glucose) that circulates in your blood and cells, and is largely determined by what you eat. (Carper, Jean. Your Miracle Brain. p 106-107. NY:HarperCollins Publishers, 2000.)

Refer to Energy and the Brain for additional information.

Sugar, or glucose, is the brain’s main energy source, and blood sugar levels affect both mood and memory. Unlike other cells in our body, brain cells cannot convert fats or proteins into glucose, so they depend on daily dietary sugar for optimal functioning and survival…. Abnormally low or high blood sugar levels will affect memory and learning abilities. (Small, Gary, M.D. The Memory Bible. p 151-153. NY:Hyperion, 2002.)

Researchers at UCLA studied three connected brain regions in mice: the new brain (neocortex), the old brain (hippocampus), and the intermediate brain (entorhinal cortex or EC) that connects the new and the old brains, so called. They discovered that the activity of the entorhinal cortex (EC), a brain region known to be involved in learning, memory, and Alzheimer’s disease behaves as if it’s remembering something during sleep. The EC showed persistent activity even when the brain was under anesthesia. This means that the neocortex and the hippocampus “talk” to each other during sleep and anesthesia. According to researcher Mehta, the results are entirely novel, surprising, and important—since humans spend one-third of their lives sleeping and a lack of sleep results in adverse effects on health, including learning and memory problems. (Source)

Enzymes are types of proteins that speed up (regulate) most biochemical reactions. (Tortora, Gerard J., and Sandra R. Grabowski. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, 10th Edition. p 48-49, G-24. NY:John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003.)

The Science of Epigenetics involves the study of the molecular mechanisms by which environment controls gene activity. Meaning “control above genetics,” epigenetic research has established that a variety of environmental influences (e.g., nutrition, stress, emotions) can modify genes without changing their basic blueprint and this can be passed on to future generations. (Lipton, Bruce, PhD. The Biology of Belief. p 67-68. CA:Mountain of Love/Elite Books, 2005.)

Refer to Cellular Memory for additional information.

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. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 25-26, 726. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

Executive functions are achieved by a set of interconnected circuits that are spread over multiple regions in the frontal cortex (and even other regions), although not necessarily in equal distribution. (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self. p 187-188. NY: Penguin Books, 2002.)

Functions/abilities in the brain must be exercised and honed to realize their potential. Provides more than 95 exercises that can have a positive effect on the brain (e.g., scenario planning, thinking space, reflective writing). (Dickman, Michael H., et al. Leading with the Brain in Mind. CA: Corwin Press, 2004.)

Neuronal synapses are uniquely affected by life experiences. Synaptic connections evolve or originate as a consequence of an individual’s experiences and continue evolving throughout the person’s life. 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.)

Refer to Exercise and the Brain for additional information.

Study: of four-months of labeling: Both groups of children lived up to the labels that had been assigned to them. Identical IQs, etc., but one group was told they were exceptional, the other that they would struggle. (McGraw, Phillip C., PhD. Self Matters, Creating Your Life From the Inside Out. p 209-210. NY: Simon & Schuster Source, 2001.)

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. Synaptic connections evolve or originate as a consequence of an individual’s experiences and continue evolving throughout the person’s life. 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.)

Do you tend to take the advice of an "expert" (so-called) instead of doing your own thinking? Studies by Berns, a neuroeconomist at Emory University in Atlanta, found that the brains of participants raised few objections when presented with seemingly expert guidance. This suggested that the normal mechanisms people use to evaluate risk and reward are not being used when someone they perceive is an expert is telling them what to do. The conclusion is that people should take expert advice – fiscal, medical or otherwise – more shrewdly. In Berns' opinion, decision-making shouldn't be handed over to anyone, expert or otherwise. A summary article was published in the New Scientist. (Source)

The space outside the membrane between two neurons, filled with liquid. This liquid allows transmitter molecules to cross the extracellular space (the synapse), and the liquid contains all sorts of chemicals, many with electric charges, that influence cellular function. (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self, How Our Brains Become Who We Are. p 54-55. NY: Penguin Books, 2002.)

Colin DeYoung and colleagues at the University of Minnesota completed brain-imaging studies on 116 volunteers. They found that the medial orbitofrontal cortex (a part of the brain involved with considering rewards that is just above and behind the eyes)( was significantly larger in study subjects who exhibited a lot of extraversion. The study also was able to correlate larger brain regions for a number of other traits: conscientiousness, which is associated with planning; neuroticism, a tendency to experience negative emotions that is associated with sensitivity to threat and punishment; and agreeableness, which relates to parts of the brain that allow us to understand each other's emotions, intentions, and mental states. Only openness/intellect didn't associate clearly with any of the predicted brain structures. (Source)

Most people have a dominant eye (just as most people have a dominant hand). Estimates are that two-thirds of the population is right-eyed. Approximately two to four percent have no discernible dominant eye. Generally, right-handers are also right-eyed; while left-handers are often left-eyed. Some individuals are cross-dominant, however. The dominant eye provides visual input to control movement and posture and is better at sighting targets. Acording to Mark A. W. Andrews, professor of physiology and director of Independent Study Pathway at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, use the Porta test: With both eyes open, point an index finger at a distant object. Alternately close each eye to view the object with one eye at a time. The eye that views your finger as pointing directly at the object is your dominant eye. (Ask the Brains. Scientific American Mind. Oct/Nov 2007. www.sciammind.com)

Hearing and non-hearing people can mentally reharse a speech, mull over a conversation in their head, or rammble internally about the day's happenings. Non-hearing individuals do this in a type of sign language, talking to themselves in gestures. Non-hearing individuals who use any of the world's sign languages talk to themselves regularly in signs, just as hearing people talk to themselves in speech. Due to an internal sensorimotor feedback loop that has links back to the brain's perceptual system, people have the sense that they are hearing (or for signs, seeing) their internal dialogue.  (Ask the Brains. Scientific American Mind. Oct/Nov 2007. www.sciammind.com)

Only two hours after birth newborns are able to follow a slowly moving light in front of their eyes. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD. The Roots of the Self. p 38. NY: HarperCollins Publishing, 1995.)

Human beings have some 7,000 odd facial expressions in their repertoire. Social smile is quite distinct from genuine smile of pleasure. The two types of smiles are brought about by a different set of facial muscles, which are in turn controlled by entirely separate brain circuits. (Disgust, Expression of fear, 85, Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. CA: University of California Press, 1998.)

Ability to recognize the meaning of a facial expression (amygdala) is quite separate from the ability to recognize who the face belongs to. (76-77, Greenfield, Susan, con. Ed. Brain Power. Britain: Element books Limited, 1999)

Problems with facial recognition occur after right temporal lobectomy (but not after left temporal lobectomy (when right hemisphere is nondominant for speech). (319, Pribram, K. H., ed. Brain and Behavior 2, Perception and Action. Britain: Penguin Books Inc., 1969)

PET scans of face recognition task show activation of posterior right hemisphere regions. (81-83, Springer, Sally P., and Georg Deutsch. Left Brain, Right Brain. NY: W.H. Freeman and Co., 1997.

Brain-scan study, co-author Matthew D. Lieberman, UCLA associate professor of psychology: the brain may be hard-wired to treat fairness as a reward. Receiving a fair offer activated the same brain circuitry as when you eat craved food, win money, or see a beautiful face. It activated the same part of the brain as is activated in rats in response to food. (Article: Wolpert, Stuart. Brain reacts to fairness as it does to money and chocolate. UCLA. Journal Psychological Science. April, 2008.)

Fantasizing is something that everybody does but relative few people use consciously and volitionally. Distinction: difference between an unwelcome visitor who chatters and distracts you and an imaginative colleague who contributes to your efforts. (116-118, Williams, Linda. Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind. CA: Touchstone Books: 1986.)

According to Dr. Yaryura-Tobias, the brain tires in a similar way to muscle tissue. When a muscle is fatigued, it gives you a signal (e.g., pain, cramps) which is due to lack of oxygen to the muscle. In order to recover you must rest. The same with the brain. It gives you signals when it is fatigued. These include:

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Inability to put thoughts together
  • Irritability to minor things
  • A sense of being jumpy or nervous
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Moving from lows to highs as the brain cannot control itself effectively

Lack of coordination in the brain will result in lack of coordination in thought processes, mood, and intellectual capacity. (Editors of Prevention Magazine. How to Boost Your Brain Power to Enrich Your Life. p 17-18. PA:Rodale Press, Inc.)

Any form of fear or anger (e.g., any type of negative response) shifts energy and attention from the neocortex to the reptilian brain (see also downshifting). (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. p 30-36. VT:Park Street Press, 2002.)

Refer to Emotions and the Brain for additional information.

Refer to Emotions and Feelings for additional information.

In the first month after conception, the human brain begins to develop. Approximately 250,000 neurons are generated each minute, so within six months most of the billions of neurons have been created. Shortly after their creation, neurons become differentiated, assume specialized roles, migrate to their assigned position, and form synapses so they can store information and communicate with each other. (Schramm, Derek D., PhD. The Creative Brain. p 2. CA: Institute for Natural Resources, Health Update. 2007.)

Refer to Fetal Brain Development for additional information.

Human beings need to move around in space in order to conceptualize. Study of kittens that observed versus explored environment physically: those that had been in the carriages behaved as though they were blind. A lack of field independence early in life may have implications for direction finding in adulthood. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Exploring Consciousness. p 145-267. CA:University of California Press, 1998.)

Freedom to explore one’s environment (field independence) and to develop one’s bodily abilities is a link to intellectual development. We now know that physical freedom in the earliest years develops spatial-visual skills that are important in math, problem solving, and the ability to think for oneself. (Steinem, Gloria. Revolution From Within. p 204-205. MA:Little, Brown, & Co., 1992.)

There are limits to the brain’s flexibility as it ages. It gradually finds it more difficult to reroute and establish new circuits). (Ratey, John J. MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. p 39-50. NY: Vintage Books, 2002.)

Flow is a condition in which the individual experiences intense enjoyment, losing all sense of time, place, and extraneous physical sensations. Eight ingredients comprise this state. Two factors influence it: proficiency of individual, and level of difficulty of the activity. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 619. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

Peak experiences sometimes referred to as flow (e.g., Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) or by others as being in the zone, have been associated with physiological changes in the body. These may include the release of adrenalin and endorphins, changes in metabolic rates, alteration in patterns of breathing and heart rate, an increase in alpha wave activity, increased energy, and so on. It comes about through a sense of doing something that feels perfectly natural. Aviator Wilbur Wright described it as a sensation of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost. (Robinson, Ken, PhD. The Element. p 90-96. NY: Penguin Books, 2009.)

Refer to Nutrition and the Brain for additional information.

Provides a chart of the four temperaments from early Greece to the present:

  • Hippocrates, Galen, and Wundt: Phlegmatic, Melancholic, Sanguine, Choleric
  • Herrmann: Cerebral left and right, Limbic left and right
  • Jung: Thinker, Intuitor, Sensor, Feeler

(Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for The Brain. p 418. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

Refer to Taylor’s Model for additional information.

A specific course of action taken appears to be a matter of choice. In fact, it is the result of a particular emergent mental state being selected by the complex interacting surrounding milieu. Action comes from a match between ever-present multiple mental states and the impinging contextual forces within which it functions. The brain's interpreter then claims the person freely made a choice. (Gazzaniga, Michael S. Who's in Charge? p 140-141. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011)

The anterior singulate in humans (located near the centerline in the front of the brain and measuring only a fraction of an inch across) may be the site of “free will.” (Quartz, Steven, R., PhD and Terrence J. Sejnowski PhD. Liars, Lovers, and Heroes. p 28. NY: HarperCollins, 2002.)

The orbito-frontal cortex seems to be the area of the brain that bestows a quality known as free will. The Orbito-frontal cortex has rich neural connections to the unconscious brain where drives and emotions are generated. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 197. CA: University of California Press, 1998.)

Due to the frontal cortex, human beings have a greater capacity to change conditionings consciously. You can pay attention to one aspect of a stimulus only, focus attention on a body part, and learn to consciously alter blood flow rates to specific portions of the body. (Pert, Candace, PhD. Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind (audiocassettes). CO:Sounds True, 2000.)

Children find it more difficult to resist their impulses (have less free will than adults) because they have yet to learn self-control strategies and because the prefrontal lobes are very slow to mature (e.g., in the twenties). Until then the limbic system is the stronger force. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 197. CA: University of California Press, 1998.)

Left frontal lobe houses both positive and negative emotional expression. The right frontal lobe houses only negative emotional processes. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 361-370. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

Located toward the front of the brain, the frontal lobes contains almost 50% of the volume of each cerebral hemisphere. In addition to importance in personality, emotion, and executive control, the FL plays important roles in language, movement, planning, and consciousness. (Restak, Richard. Mysteries of the Mind. p 20. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2000.)

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.)

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.)

Although the brain influences every organ in the body, it is physically isolated and protected by the skull, the meninges, and the ventricles with their enclosed cerebrospinal fluid. It operates locally and holistically and is one highly complex and integrated functional unit. The great majority of its neuronal connections involve “cross talk” among neurons rather than the transfer of information to and from the body. (Restak, Richard. Mysteries of the Mind. p 25. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2000.)

The brain is composed of different regions, each with its specific and particular functions, although each communicates with other regions. (Fisher, Helen, PhD. Why We Love. p 68-80. NY:Henry Holt and Company, 2004.)

Life requires many brain functions, functions require systems, and systems are made of synapses connecting neurons. All have similar brain systems and numbers of neurons. The way those neurons are connected is distinct, however, and that uniqueness makes each person unique. (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self. p 303-304. NY:Penguin Books, 2002.)

The brain is composed of subsystems that are responsible for the way you think, feel, and act. The problem has been less in trying to pin down discrete neuroanatomical loci than in defining a “function” or “behavior” exactly. (Miller, Lawrence, PhD. Inner Natures. p 31. NY:Ballantine Books, 1990.)

Each part of the human brain has a specific function but each brain is unique and environmentally sensitive. Its modules are interdependent and interactive and their functions are not rigidly fixed. One bit may take over the job of another or fail to work at all. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 10. CA:University of California Press, 1998.)

Specialized functions are assigned to each lobe of each cerebral hemisphere:

Frontal lobes: formulate schedules, frame sound arguments, imagine things that have not yet happened, store short-term memories so can consider a new idea while remembering concepts previously entertained, (L frontal lobe – Broca’s area where thoughts turn into words)

Parietal Lobes: most responsible to sensory stimulation, absorbs clues about taste, temperature, touch, and movement; assist with reading and arithmetical abilities

  • Temporal lobes: processes auditory signals; integrate memories and sensations involving taste, sound, sight, and touch
  • Occipital lobes: process visual images and link them with images already stored in memory
  • (Schramm, Derek D., PhD. The Creative Brain. p 2, 7-8. CA:Institute for Natural Resources, Health Update. 2007.)
  • Each brain region is responsible for selected functions. For example:
  • Brain stem (Medulla oblongata, Pons, Midbrain):Reticular formation, relays motor impulses, vital regulating centers.
  • Cerebellum: Coordinates complex, skilled movement.
  • Diencephalon (Epithalamus, Thalamus, Subthalamus, Hypothalamus): Relays almost all sensory input to cerebral cortex, Regulates emotional and behavioral patterns and circadian rhythms.
  • Cerebrum: Interpret sensory impulses, association areas function in emotional and intellectual processes.

(Tortora, Gerard J. and Sandra Reynolds Grabowski. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, 10th Edition. p 471-472. NY:John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003.)

fMRI takes pictures of the brain and records blood flow. Active brain cells required higher blood flow to obtain sufficient oxygen. (Fisher, Helen, PhD. Why We Love. p 56-57. NY:Henry Holt and Company, 2004.)

fMRI studies by Dutch scientists: the most efficiently wired brains tend to belong to the most intelligent people. Their brains don't have more connections, but they have more efficiently placed connections. It’s like taking a direct airplane flight versus one with two or more stop-overs. (Callaway, Ewen. Speeding up brain networks might boost IQ. New Scientist Life, 2009.)

fMRI scans revealed significant increased activity in the anterior cingulated cortex of the brain when participants were lying. Four areas of brain activation included the prefrontal and frontal, parietal, temporal, and subcortical regions. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Have a Clue and Women Always Need More Shoes. p 272-273. NY: Broadway Books, 2004.)

fMRI studies at USC Brain and Creativity Institute with a task that measures risk tolerance have identified distinct brain regions in the prefrontal with competing responses. Activity in one region identified risk-averse volunteers, while activity in a different region was greater in those with an appetite for risk. (Brain Mysteries. Risk and reward compete in brain. 2008.)

Think of each individual as a garden. In the very beginning, as when an infant is born, the garden is capable of growing great many different kinds of plants although some plants may be grown more successfully than others (e.g., genetics). But soon the “life experience” of the garden (such as the weather it endures and the amount of care it receives) begins to select which plants take root, which are cultivated, and which are ignored. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD. The Roots of the Self. p 9. NY: HarperCollins Publishing, 1995.)

All over the world on all continents and in all cultures, brain differences exist between female brains and male brains. (Gurian, Michael, PhD, with Barbara Annis. Leadership and the Sexes. p xx. CA: Jossey-Bass, 2008.)

Gender becomes hard-wired in the brain and body in a three-stage process of genetics (markers on the X and Y chromosomes), hormones (surges in mother’s body during gestation and in body of fetus and again at puberty), and societal impacts. Some individuals are hard-wired toward the middle of the gender/brain spectrum and have higher-than-average-amounts of the other gender’s brain characteristics. (Gurian, Michael, PhD., and Barbra Annis. Leadership and the Sexes. p 6-10. NY: Jossey-Bass, 2007.)

The brain is not as plastic when it comes to gender as it is about other aspects of brain development. In large part we are hard-wired to be who we are. (Gurian, Michael, PhD., and Barbra Annis. Leadership and the Sexes. p 12-13,23. NY: Jossey-Bass, 2007.)

Refer to Gender Differences and the Brain for additional information.

General intelligence is closely linked to the amount of gray matter in the frontal lobes, and has more to do with the number of brain cells in the frontal lobes than with the density of fibers connecting them. To some degree, intelligence is plastic and modifiable. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 30-34. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Human brain can create new neural tissue as well as new neural connections and pathways throughout adulthood. (Goleman, Daniel, PhD, with Richard Boyatzis, and Annie Mckee. Primal Leadership. p 102-104. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2002.)

Genes do not determine destiny. Other environmental factors such as education, diet, and lifestyle are powerful determinants of mental functioning…. Genes may be the building blocks but environment is the architect. (Carper, Jean. Your Miracle Brain. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 2000.)

In a few cases, one gene has complete control over whether you will develop a particular train (e.g. gene for colorblindness or Huntington’s disease. In a few cases such as heart disease, genes predispose you to possible trouble, but your lifestyle can be the more important determining factor. Type II Diabetes is highly genetic, but if the susceptible person can avoid becoming overweight in midlife there is a good change the genes for the disease will not be activated. Otherwise, it’s rare that a single gene controls anything. Most of our traits are caused by the interaction of many genes as influenced by the environment. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. p 32-33. NY:Vintage Books, 2002.)

Somewhere between 50% and 70% of all genes in the human body are believed to be in the brain. (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self, How Our Brains Become Who We Are. p 70. NY:Penguin Books, 2002.)

A gene is a segment of DNA that encodes a specific characteristic. The gene, which is the basic component of heredity in all living things, is made of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). DNA is contained in the nucleus of every living cell. The DNA molecule looks like a twisted ladder. The rungs hold four chemical “bases”--adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD. The Roots of the Self. p 26. NY:HarperCollins Publishing, 1995.)

While identical twins, living together or apart, are more similar than fraternal twins or nontwin siblings, they are by no means indistinguishable. In fact, the correlation between pairs on any particular measure was at most only about 0.50 for identical twins living together, and was a bit less for those living apart, suggesting that genes account for at most half of a given trait. (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self, How Our Brains Become Who We Are. p 91. NY:Penguin Books, 2002.)

Genes have been found to account for only about 50% of a particular personality trait. What this statement means is that genes account at most for half of a given trait, not that half of all of personality is accounted for by genes. For some traits, genetic influence is far less and is often not measurable.... The second caveat to the genetic account of personality stability comes from research showing that people are not always true to their so-called personality traits (e.g., behavioral and mental states may be situationally determined). (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self, How Our Brains Become Who We Are. p 29-30. NY:Penguin Books, 2002.)

A mere 15% of brain cells are neurons. The remainder, glial cells, were overlooked as little more than housekeeping cells. Sciensts were shocked to learn that these odd brain cells communicate among themselves, and not only sense electrical activity flowing through neural circuits but also control it. (Fields, R. Douglas, PhD. The Other Brain. p vii - vii. NY:Simon & Schuster, 2009.)

Glial cells are 10-50 times more numerous as compared to neurons. In the brain and spinal cord, neurons exist only in close proximity to glial cells, which comprise bout half of the brain’s volume. The attrition rate of mature glial cells (that do divide—unlike neurons) is negligible because of their ability to rapidly proliferate. (Schramm, Derek D., PhD. The Creative Brain. p 4-6. CA:Institute for Natural Resources, Health Update. 2007.)

In the fetus, glial cells form the scaffolding that regulates the survival and differentiation of neurons. Glial cells allow the rest of the nervous system to develop. (Jessen, Kristjan R. Cells in Focus: Glial Cells. Int J Biochem Cell Biology. 36:1861-1867, 2004.)

Glial cells communicate with one another using calcium waves and an intracellular diffusion of chemical messengers (unlike the serial flow of information along neuronal chains. They are also able to release neurotransmitters and other signal molecules that allows them to coordinate activities across neuronal networks. (Fields, R. Douglas, PhD and Beth Stevens-Graham. New Insights into Neuron-Glia Communication. Science. 2002; 298(5593); 556-562. Accessed 2007.)

Refer to Glial Cells—the Other Brain for additional information.

The brain contains a navigation system much like satellite navigation? According to neuroscientist Dr Hugo Spiers in a presentation to the BA Festival of Science at the University of Liverpool, the brain has a navigation system (maps, compass, grids) in the hippocampi. This was demonstrated in the famous London taxi drivers research by Professor Eleanor Maguire at UCL (University College London). (The 'satellite navigation' in our brains.)

The harder you use your brain, the more important it is to have adequate blood and brain glucose. If blood glucose reserves are not available, memory and learning decline. (Carper, Jean. Your Miracle Brain. p 111-112. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000.)

The brain does not have much room to store nutrients, space is extremely limited by the skull. Only a 2-minute supply of glucose is available to the brain cells (and this is in the form of glycogen) the storage form of sugar. Thus, for peak performance, the frontal lobes require blood with a steady and adequate glucose level. (Nedley, Neil, M.D. Proof Positive. p 273-275. OK:Nedley, 1998, 1999.)

If your brain is short on fuel it can’t function as efficiently. When neural activity is stimulated, your brain gobbles up glucose from your blood. Eating breakfast is an excellent way to jump-start your brain (especially for schoolchildren and adolescents). ( Carper, Jean. Your Miracle Brain. 113. NY:HarperCollins Publishers, 2000.)

See Nutrition and the Brain, Care of the Brain, and Sugar and the Brain for additional information.

Glutamate is a neurotransmitter in the brain (e.g., the main transmitter in projection neurons, helps to detoxify ammonia—a natural by-product of certain chemical reactions), and also plays a major part in basic life-sustaining metabolic processes that go on continuously throughout the body (e.g., a building block in the construction of peptides and proteins). (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self, How Our Brains Become Who We Are. p 53-56. NY: Penguin Books, 2002.)

Males and females differe in the amount of gray matter versus white matter in the relative brains. (Gurian, Michael, PhD., and Barbra Annis. Leadership and the Sexes. p 32-33. NY:Jossey-Bass, 2007.)

There is a difference between gray matter and white matter in the human brain. Dr. Amen, using a computer analogy, put it this way: “White matter is the tissue through which messages pass between different areas of gray matter within the brain. The gray matter can be thought of as the actual computers themselves, whereas the white matter represents the network cables connecting the computers together.” Obviously, both are important to brain function. Using a highway metaphor, think of the brain’s white matter as a pathway that has been paved with myelin, the brain’s asphalt. Paving a road in the literal world makes it easier to navigate safely and typically allows for faster travel. A similar situation occurs in the brain. Estimates are that messages travel across brain pathways at speeds of 200 miles per hour, which breaks down to about 400 feet per second. (Source)

Gray matter, located in a quarter-inch layer at the surface of the brain, is basically responsible for intelligence. Blood flows faster through gray matter than through any other brain tissue. Women and left-handers (male or female) have more gray matter than men who are right-handed. Gray matter processes information locally in the brain. (Stump, Jane Barr, PhD. What’s the Difference? How Men and Women Compare. p 86-87. NY:William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1985.)

Refer to Male-Female Differences for additional information.

Study: PET Scans showed same brain area activation when participants actually handled a grid or simply envisioned it from memory. (Benson, Herbert, MD, with Marg Stark. Timeless Healing: The Power and Biology of Belief. p 78-80. NY:Scribner, 1996.)

We all "train our own brain" at some level every time we develop a habit. Now Psychologist Anna Rose Childress, Jeremy Magland, and their colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania have used a combination of brain-scanning and feedback techniques to train subjects to move a cursor up and down with their thoughts. The subjects could perform this task after just five minutes of training. Earlier studies have shown that people can learn to consciously control their brain activity if they're shown their brain activity data in real time—a technique called real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Using this technology people have learned to control chronic pain and depression. Similar feedback methods may be able to help drug users kick their addictions. And just imagine what people could do in terms of creating positive habits if they decided to get on board? (Source)

Anything that changes the pattern or sequence of events a person goes through internally—in responding to either internal or external stimuli—will make the response (that they are stuck in) no longer possible. (Bandler, Richard, and John Grinder. Frogs into Princes. p 67. UT:Real People Press, 1979.)

Rehearsing a new alternative with emotional intensity creates a new highway in the brain. (Robbins, Anthony. Awaken the Giant Within. p 136-140. NY:Fireside, 1991.)

We have to work harder and longer to change a habit than when we learned it in the first place. (Goleman, Daniel, PhD, with Richard Boyatzis, and Annie Mckee. Primal Leadership. p 104-105. Boston:Harvard Business School Press, 2002.)

Theoretically, at least, the brain can be hacked. This according to Ivan Martinovic, a computer scientist at the University of Oxford. Martinovic and colleagues studied twenty-eight (28) participants who were shown pictures of numbers, names, logos, and people. Using a program that interfaces with an electroencephalograph (EEG) device, identical to ones marketed for entertainment and games, the participant's brain-wave activity was identified and analyzed. Researchers were looking for what's called a P300 response, a very distinct brain-wave pattern that occurs when you recognize something familiar (e.g., a picture of your mother, your phone number written out). The results? Researchers were able to figure out data 15%-40% more accurately than would have occurred through random guessing. As equipment becomes more sophisticated, the percentages stand to increase. (Martinovic, Ivan, et al. On the Feasibility of Side-Channel Attacks with Brain-Computer Interfaces. University of Oxford, England.)

Studies in the U.K., U.S. and Australia have revealed that left-handed people differ from right-handers by only one IQ point. Left-handers’ brains are structured differently from right-handers’ in ways that can allow them to process language, spatial relations, and emotions in more diverse and potentially creative ways. Also, a slightly larger number of left-handers than right-handers are especially gifted in music and math. A study of musicians in professional orchestras found a significantly greater proportion of talented left-handers, even among those who played instruments that seem designed for right-handers, such as violins. Similarly, studies of adolescents who took tests to assess mathematical giftedness found many more left-handers in the population. (McManus, Chris. April 14, 2012. ‘Is It True That Left-Handed People Are Smarter Than Right-Handed People? Scientific American.)

Americans: 90% are right-handed, 8% are left-handed (a greater incidence of dyslexia and weaker immune system), 2% are ambidextrous. This is likely not inherited. (Jensen, Eric. Brain-Based Learning (Revised). p 21. CA:The Brain Store, 2005.)

Head injuries, even minor ones, can impact the brain and unleash aggressive tendencies. This can be especially true if they occur in the left frontal-temporal regions of the brain. (Amen, Daniel G., MD. Change Your Brain Change Your Life. p 254. NY:Times Books, 1998.)

A vital body without a vital brain is meaningless. We must start paying as much or more attention to the brain as we do to the heart. The brain is becoming the new focus of cutting-edge research worldwide called “nutritional neuroscience.” (Carper, Jean. Your Miracle Brain. p xvii-xix. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000.)

There is a brain in the heart, sometimes referred to the second brain. The heart contains a minimum of 40,000 neurons (as many as are found in various subcortical sections of the brain). There is a 2-way nervous system relay between the brain and the heart. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution. p 10. CA:Harper SF, 1999.)

The heart-brain can process information and make decisions about its control independent of the central nervous system. (Source)

After conception and before the brain has yet formed, the heart begins to beat without any central nervous system in place. (Source)

The hemispheres remain in balance when encountering images of positive or emotionally neutral scenes. The balance of activity shifts toward the right hemisphere when the image is one of horror, carnage, suffering, death, or injury—and it can become overwhelmed and dysfunctional. Watching images of disaster has a more powerful effect on one’s mental stability than reading about the disaster. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 71-74. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Refer to Cerebral Hemispheres (under Brain Function) for additional information

Have you ever wondered how the brain figures out when to create new brain cells? According to Hongjun Song, PhD, professor of neurology and director of the Institute for Cell Engineering’s Stem Cell Program at Johns Hopkins Medicine, the hippocampus eavesdrops. That’s right. Cells in the hippocampus (your brain's search engine) listen in on the chemical communication among nearby neurons to find out what is stressing the system and when they need to act. Apparently they pick up communication sent by the neurotransmitter GABA. The communication appears to transmit information about what brain cells experience of the outside world. The Hippocampus then either keeps brain stem cells in reserve, so if you don’t need them, you don’t use them up, or triggers the process of creating new brain cells. (Source)

The hippocampus is especially involved in associating odors, sounds, and sights to construct mental maps. (Katz, Lawrence C., PhD and Manning Rubin. Keep Your Brain Alive. p 60. NY:Workman Publishing Company, Inc., 1999.)

Birth and differentiation of neurons continues through old age in a few specific regions in the brain, such as the hippocampus. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. p 44. NY:Vintage Books, 2002.)

Personal memories are encoded in the hippocampus. In the right hemisphere the hippocampus is responsible for spatial memory. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Exploring Consciousness. p 29, 115. CA:University of California Press, 1998.)

The hippocampus and parahippocampal (rhinal) areas constitute the medial temporal lobe memory system and are involved in explicit or declarative memory. Not part of the neocortical temporal lobe, they are not involved in its sensory-processing functions. Needed for memory storage initially (e.g., direct the storage process) the role decreases as time goes by. (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self, How Our Brains Become Who We Are. p 100-107. NY:Penguin Books, 2002.)

The hippocampus (memory storage, retrieval, and language) is filled with estrogen receptors and grows more quickly in girls than in boys. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Have a clue and Women Always Need More Shoes. p 262. NY:Broadway Books, 2004.)

Hitchcock’s surprising and usually humorous endings rely heavily on leading the viewer through the logical, left-brain facts of the situation and then suddenly revealing the paradoxical, right-brain side of the story. (Wonder, Jacquelyn, and Prescilla Donovan. Whole Brain Thinking. p 106. NY: Ballentine Books, 1984.)

Studies: Homosexuality is rooted in biology. The nucleus in the hypothalamus that triggers male-typical sexual behavior was much smaller in the brains of gay men (than straight males). The corpus callosum was larger in gays. A specific gene, carried on the maternal line, influenced sexual orientation in men. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 73. CA:University of California Press, 1998.)

Refer to Sexuality and the Brain for additional information.

Hormones have a dual effect on the brain. While the brain is developing in the womb, the hormones control the way the neural networks are laid out. Later on, at puberty, those hormones will revisit the brain to switch on the network they earlier created. (Moir, Anne, and David Jessel. Brain Sex, the Real Difference Between Men & Women. p 38. NY:Carol Publishing Group, 1989, 1991.)

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.)

Estimates are that 10,000 hours of practice is required to achieve world-class level of mastery, in music as well as any field of endeavor. (Sternberg, Barbara, PhD. Music & the Brain. p 20-21. CA: Institute for natural Resources, Home-Study #2320, 2009).

Both hemispheres are needed to produce a fully rounded sense of humor. The left brain creates the feeling of amusement and so is quite happy to laugh at more or less anything when prompted to do so. The right hemisphere “gets” the joke by registering the dislocation in logic that is a hallmark of most formal humor. Meaning emerges from the pulling together of all the threads of the joke, including context, assumptions, and knowledge of personal prejudices. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 17. CA: University of California Press, 1998.)

The two hemispheres understand humor in two different ways. It takes a whole brain to appreciate a joke fully. The left is literal in its interpretations of the joke and is especially drawn to wordplay (e.g., the bigger the summer vacation, the harder the fall). The right is more alert to subtleties and nuances. (Wonder, Jacquelyn, and Priscilla Donovan. Whole Brain Thinking. p 105. NY: Ballantine Books, 1984.)

The mechanism by which simple, physical hunger is generated and satisfied centers on functions in the hypothalamus. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 65. CA:University of California Press, 1998.)

Refer to Extraversion-Ambiversion-Introversion for additional information.

By design, hypnosis bypasses the frontal lobe as it helps the subject enter into a trance-like state. The hypnotized person loses beta waves from the brain and an alpha brain pattern is operative. (Nedley, Neil, MD. Proof Positive. p 278-280. Quality Books, Inc. 1998, 1999.)

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.)

The brain may be able to be hypnotized, but not the heart. It is more difficult to “fool” the heart than the brain. (Pearsall, Paul, PhD. The Heart’s Code. p 94. NY:Random House, Inc., 1998.)

The fight-or-flight response to stressors is controlled by the hypothalamus. Explains how this response can be mediated by initiating the Relaxation Response (e.g., through prayer, meditation, other methods). (NY: Avon Books, 1975.)

The hypothalamus, part of the limbic system, regulates the four Fs: feeding, fighting, fleeing, and sexual activity. (Durden-Smith, Jo, and Diane deSimone. Sex and the Brain. p 39-41. NY: Arbor House Publishing, 1983.)

The mechanism by which simple, physical hunger is generated and satisfied centers on functions in the hypothalamus. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 65. CA: University of California Press, 1998.)

“Seeing" involves two distinguishable (and dissociable) stages:

  • The detection and analysis of visual input (perhaps with an associated response)
  • The “experience” of seeing.

Stage 1 processes are unconscious, quite sophisticated and include unpredictable and creative characteristics. They are invisible to the processes involved in the experience of seeing. The latter conscious activities depend on the former but are the separate domain of the “I-function”, a distinctive set of processes constituting internal experience. (Grobstein, Paul. The Brain's Images: Co-Constructing Reality and Self. 2002.)

Associates these with brain layers: the reptilian id, the mammalian ego, and the neocortical superego. Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. p 30-32. VT:Park Street Press, 2002.)

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. p 65-70. NY: Penguin Books, 2009.)

Imagination is the ability to consciously create a picture in your mind, repeat it, and have things turn out as imagined. It can for you or against you (e.g., being imaginative about fears can lead to paranoia). (Siebert, Al, PhD. The Survivor Personality. p 68-70. NY: Perigee Book, 1996.)

Imagination is rather simple. It is another word for planning. Each cortical area creates predictions, that are sent back down the hierarchy. To imagine something you turn your predictions around so they become inputs. If you close your eyes and imagine a hippopotamus, your visual cortex will become active, just as it would if you were actually looking t a hippo. Athletes may improve their performance by imagining and rehearing the racecourse over and over in their head. (Hawkins, Jeff, with Sandra Blakeslee. On Intelligence. p 200-201. NY: Owl Books, 2004.)

Brain imaging can reveal:

  • Blood flow to areas of the brain
  • Movement of neurotransmitters as they congregate to elicit mood changes and lay down long-term memories
  • Energy the brain uses
  • How the brain burns glucose to perform its tasks
  • The voice of demons lurking in the brains of schizophrenics

(Carper, Jean. Your Miracle Brain. NY:HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 2000.)

There is a variety of brain imaging equipment available: CAT Scans, PET Scans, MRI, fMRI, EEG, SPECT, MEG, NIRS. (Wolfe, Patricia, PhD. Brain Matters. p 4-12. Virginia:ASCD, 2001.)

Diffusion-Tensor Imaging or DTI, a variation of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), is able to measure the diffusion of water molecules through tissue. In studies of 92 pairs of fraternal and identical twins, researchers found a strong correlation between the integrity of the white matter (e.g., myelin that coats neuronal axons) and performance on a standard IQ test. A high quality of myelin (that seems to be inheritable) appears to correlate with higher IQ scores. (Singer, Emily. Brain Images Reveal the Secret to Higher IQ. Technology, 2009.)

Includes explanations of functional neuron-imaging techniques (including PET, SPECT, fMRI) and their measurement abilities and challenges. (Springer, Sally p., and Georg Deutsch. Left Brain, Right Brain. p 61-95. NY:W.H. Freeman and Co., 1997.)

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.)

PET scans, MRI, fMRI create images of the brain, and pinpoint areas where the neurons are functioning based on the specific type of mental activity that is occurring. (Brynie, Faith Hickman. 101 Questions Your Brain Has Asked About Itself But Couldn’t Answer, Until Now. p 44-45, 52. CT:Millbrook Press, 1998.)

PET Scans (Positron Emission Tomography): patients receive a radioactive form of glucose, which is taken up by active brain cells and sensed by the scanner. Brain cells that are more active use more glucose and hence, active areas show up on the image as bright areas. (Giuffre, Kenneth, MD, with Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. The Care and Feeding of Your Brain. p 28. NJ:Career Press, 1999.)

PET Scans: Different areas of the brain respond to an individual’s activities in the world: the frontal cortex lights up in planning; the left or the right hemisphere lights up while reading or painting; the reticular activations system (RAS) of the brain stem lights up when one receives sensory input, such as a sound or taste, and it sends these signals to the cortex. Individual brains vary in terms of what areas these activities arouse. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD. The Roots of the Self. p 7. NY:HarperCollins Publishing, 1995.)

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI): takes pictures of the brain and records blood flow. Active brain cells required higher blood flow to obtain sufficient oxygen. (Fisher, Helen, PhD. Why We Love. p 56-57. NY:Henry Holt and Company, 2004.)

fMRI scans revealed significant increased activity in the anterior cingulated cortex of the brain when participants were lying. Four areas of brain activation included the prefrontal and frontal, parietal, temporal, and subcortical regions. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Have a clue and Women Always Need More Shoes. p 272-273. NY:Broadway Books, 2004.)

fMRI studies at USC Brain and Creativity Institute with a task that measures risk tolerance have identified distinct brain regions in the prefrontal with competing responses. Activity in one region identified risk-averse volunteers, while activity in a different region was greater in those with an appetite for risk. (Brain Mysteries. Risk and reward compete in brain. 2008.)

Think of the immune system as an extension of the brain, and the skin as an immune system organ (which is one reason touch is so important). (Perricone, Nicholas, MD. The Perricone Promise. p 6-7. NY:Warner Books, 2004.)

The trillion glia (ten times as many as there are neurons) in the brain, busy multitaskers, come in serval forms:

  • Radial glia: serve as ladders or scaffolding in the embryonic brain
  • Microglia: serve as the brain's immune system
  • Schwann cells and Oligodendroctes: form insulating sleeves around neurons to keep their electric signals from diffusing.

(Zimmer, Carl. The Dark Matter of the Human Brain. Discover Presents the Brain. p 62-63. NY:Fall 2010.)

Refer to the Immune System and the Brain for additional information

For some children with existing health problems (e.g., digestive problems, recurring infections, asthma, allergies, other signs of immune weakness) early and multiple immunizations given at the same time (perhaps due to the adjuvant added to vaccine), may contribute to brain inflammation. (Richards, Byron J. CNN Helps Autism Debacle Blow Up in Government's Face; Vaccine-Autism Link No Longer in Question. April, 2008.)

Nothing is more central to a successful and fulfilling life than an optimally functioning brain…The brain is a growing changing organ. It’s capabilities and vitality depend in large degree to how you nourish and treat it…You can dramatically influence your brain functioning and your own destiny. (Carper, Jean. Your Miracle Brain. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 2000.)

This region is associated with memory, imagery, and attention. Damage to this area, especially on the dominant (usually left) side of the brain, can result in the loss of an ability to recognize words and letters, spell, or calculate. (Fields, R. Douglas, PhD. The Other Brain. p 4-5. NY:Simon & Schuster, 2009.)

See Trauma and the Brain for additional information.

Sooner or later every kid proclaims what it is he is wired for as well as what he is miswired for. Nobody may be watching or listening. Care providers need to respond positively to these declarations of identity. (Levine, Mel, MD. A Mind at a Time. p 296. NY:Simon & Schuster, 2002.)

Every individual is born with a set of preferred talents and activities. Although at birth, human beings have many innate predispositions, yet they are born unfinished, open to development. Individuals need the world to give them their individuality, yet the world can only develop what has been inherited. (Beck, Martha, PhD. The Joy Diet. p 46-47. NY:Crown Publishers, 2003.)

The world can profoundly effect our development, and this fact allows us to remake ourselves through conscious choice, even in adulthood. Yet we can never abandon our inherent natures, our roots. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD. The Roots of the Self. p 12. NY:HarperCollins Publishing, 1995.)

Research suggests we have inherent tendencies (e.g., getting to the point, knowing bottom line, need context, impatient with details, craving details, making own judgment). There is little evidence that we can actually change such inherent tendencies but we can recognize them in our relationships with others and become more flexible. (Cooper, Robert K., PhD., and Ayman Sawaf. Executive EQ. p 98-99. NY:Grosset/Putnam, 1997.)

Insight requires reflection and introspection. Often it can be gained purely by reflection (without additional information) because the brain already has much more information than you realize. This connects with the 80:20 Principle. (Koch, Richard. The 80:20 Principle. p 136. NY:Currency Doubleday, 1999.)

To process a negative instruction (e.g., don’t fall down), the child must access some representation of “falling down.” That internal representation, especially if it is kinesthetic, will usually result in the behavior you are trying to prevent. A positive instruction (e.g., be careful, move slowly) will access a representation that will help the child cope with the situation. (Bandler, Richard, and and John Grinder. Frogs into Princes. p 64-65. UT: Real People Press. 1979.)

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

The pancreas secretes insulin in attempts to control high surges of blood sugar. Over time pancreas can become exhausted putting out insulin that is too weak and insufficient to control blood sugar. The cells can then become insensitive or “resistant” to insulin. This can lead to Type 2 diabetes or other vascular problems affecting the brain. (Carper, Jean. Your Miracle Brain. p 116-117. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000.)

To obtain one total experience, the brain integrates the different operations carried out by the right and left cerebral hemispheres. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot. p 71-73. NY:Harmony Books, 2001.)

Colin DeYoung and colleagues at the University of Minnesota completed brain-imaging studies on 116 volunteers. They found that the medial orbitofrontal cortex (a part of the brain involved with considering rewards that is just above and behind the eyes)( was significantly larger in study subjects who exhibited a lot of extraversion. The study also was able to correlate larger brain regions for a number of other traits: conscientiousness, which is associated with planning; neuroticism, a tendency to experience negative emotions that is associated with sensitivity to threat and punishment; and agreeableness, which relates to parts of the brain that allow us to understand each other's emotions, intentions, and mental states. Only openness/intellect didn't associate clearly with any of the predicted brain structures. (Source)

Norwegian study: first-borns have slighter higher IQs than their younger siblings do. Second-born children whose older sibling died at a young age are also slightly smarter (only children do not show this IQ advantage). This may be the result of environmental differences in a child's environment after birth rather than biological effects. Speculation is that eldest kids communicate with and coach their younger siblings, which requires them to consolidate knowledge at a yhoung age and potentially gives them a slight intellectual edge. (All in the Family. Scientific American Mind, October/November 2007. www.sciammind.com)

IQ compares a person’s mental age to his/her chronological age. Formula: Mental Age divided by Chronological Age times 100 (e,g., MA of 30 divided by CA of 20 = IQ of 150). The average IQ of the majority of people is 100 (e.g., their MA equals their CA). (Singh, Dalip. Emotional Intelligence at Work. p 51-52. India:Sage Publications Pvt. Ltd. 2006.)

Studies have shown that with continued and consistent stimulation over a two-year period, I.Q. can be boosted by 15-20 points, when I.Q. measures are taken at four to five years of age. (Ludington-Hoe, Susan, PhD, with Susan K. Golant, MA. How to Have a Smarter Baby. NY: Bantam Books, 1985.)

Studies: A high IQ is a plus for a male who wants to marry (35% rise for each 16-point increase in IQ). A high IQ reduces marriage changes for a female (e.g., 40% drop for each 16-point rise in IQ). (Dowd, Maureen. Are Men Necessary? p 47. NY:G. p. Putnam’s Sons, 2005.)

Diffusion-Tensor Imaging or DTI, a variation of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), is able to measure the diffusion of water molecules through tissue. In studies of 92 pairs of fraternal and identical twins, researchers found a strong correlation between the integrity of the white matter (e.g., myelin that coats neuronal axons) and performance on a standard IQ test. A high quality of myelin (that seems to be inheritable) appears to correlate with higher IQ scores. (Singer, Emily. Brain Images Reveal the Secret to Higher IQ. Technology, 2009.)

Most IQ tests attempt to measure two types of intelligence--crystallized (e.g., draws on existing skills and knowledge) and fluid intelligence (e.g., draws on ability to understand relationships between various concepts independent of previous knowledge or skills). Studies at the University of Michigan suggest that at least one aspect of a person's IQ can be improved by training a certain type of memory; training on certain memory tasks transfer to fluid intelligence. (Award-winning software for Competitive Intelligence.) (Source)

Study of 11,875 pregnant women: After adjustment, maternal seafood (Omega-3s) intake during pregnancy of less than 340 grams per week was associated with increased risk of their children being in the lowest quartile for verbal intelligence quotient (IQ). (Hibbeln, Joseph R., MD, et al. Maternal seafood consumption in pregnancy and neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood (ALSPAC study): an observational cohort study.)

fMRI studies by Dutch scientists: the most efficiently wired brains tend to belong to the most intelligent people. Their brains don't have more connections, but they have more efficiently placed connections. It’s like taking a direct airplane flight versus one with two or more stop-overs. (Callaway, Ewen. Speeding up brain networks might boost IQ. New Scientist Life, 2009.)

According to some, human intelligence has three distinct main features:

  • It is amazingly diverse. Human intelligences come in a myriad of different styles and can be expressed in an endless number of ways.
  • It is tremendously dynamic. Amazing breakthroughs occur as human beings discovering new connections between things and ideas in the intensely interactive human brain.
  • It is entirely distinctive. Each person’s intelligence is as unique as a fingerprint. Each brain uses and expresses the differing forms of intelligence in a unique way.

Knowing that human intelligence is diverse, dynamic, and distinctive may help you identify and view your own intelligence in a new way. (Robinson, Ken, PhD. The Element. p 45-51. NY:Penguin Books, 2009.)

Intelligence is the ability to undertake activities characterized by difficulty, complexity, abstractness, economy, social value, etc., and to maintain such activities under conditions that demand a concentration of energy and a resistance to emotional forces. (Montague, Ashley. The Natural Superiority of Women. p 144-145. NY:Collier Books, 1952, 1974.)

Intelligence is linked to the number of gray cells in the frontal lobes. (Fisher, Helen, PhD. Why We Love. p 148-150. NY:Henry Holt and Company, 2004.)

There is no relation whatever between brain size and intelligence. One of the smallest was that of the gifted French writer Anatole France (1,100 grams); the largest on record was that of an idiot (2,850 grams). (Montague, Ashley. The Natural Superiority of Women. p 62-63. NY:Collier Books, a division of Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1952, 1974.)

Per Howard Gardner there are many types of independent intelligences (e.g., spatial, musical kinesthetic, logical-mathematical, intra and inter personal). Emotional intelligence has its source in the heart; intelligence and intuition are heightened by input from the neurons in the heart. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution.10-12. CA:Harper SF, 1999.)

According to Daniel Goleman, emotional and social intelligences are essential to human beings getting along with themselves, others, and the world around them. And Robert Cooper, author of The Other 90% says that the enteric nervous system inside the intestines can actually be thought of as a second brain that functions independently from but interconnectedly with the cerebrum. It provides us information through "gut reactions." (Robinson, Ken, PhD. The Element. p 45-51. NY:Penguin Books, 2009.)

Intelligence can only unfold in a human brain (e.g., innate or genetically encoded) when the brain is given an actual model for that intelligence. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. p 2-4. VT:Park Street Press, 2002.)

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 Video Games - Internet for additional information.

Music is a neural interpretation of sound. Color is a neural interpretation of light—and to the brain color is primarily a subjective experience. There is no neural receptor that distinguishes any gradation of gray. It, like many other colors the human brain imagines, is a belief construction within the brain—a form of understanding. A thought. (Davidoff, J., et al. "Language and perceptual categorization." Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 5:383-387. 2001).

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