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17

Yes! Recent work using fMRI has shown that subjects can indeed control localized brain regions through practice [1]. Some regions that have been tested include the rostal ACC [2] responsible for pain perception, PPA responsible for representing locations, and FFA responsible for representing faces. Repeated experiments seem to suggest the phenomenon is ...


7

A minor addition to Jeff: There are ongoing researchs on controlling brain's response (e.g amygdala) to negative situations and using this techniques for psychiatric interventions (e.g. for anxiety disorders, depression). [1] There are different possibilities for learning adaptive coping strategies with simple, stuctured biofeedback training setups. But ...


6

Not only can brain activation be controlled though consciousness (which is expected under most reductionist accounts of the mind-brain problem) and measured in the lab (as @Jeff's answer showed) but it can actually be used as an interface! Erik Ramsey is locked-in syndrome patient and is incapable of movement apart from his eyes. However, he has control of ...


5

Here's why people need to sleep: The brain does its "cleaning up" during sleep. As cells in the nervous system are active, waste products are produced. In the rest of the body, waste removal is carried out by the lymphatic system, but this system does not extend to the brain. Instead, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) must be pumped through the brain tissue in ...


5

"How accurate are people in estimating their mortality risk?" "How well can people estimate smoking's impact on their mortality?" (I grouped these.) Not accurate at all. One problem with your question is that the accuracy of predicting/estimating risk is difficult to do without the actual outcome: if a smoker predicts he will get cancer, and does develop ...


5

I did a little search and found an article by Moen (1996) which seems relevant. Moen summarised the existing evidence as follows: Poor physical health is frequently a reason for retiring (Anderson & Burkhauser, 1985; Bound, 1991; Chirikos & Nestel, 1989; Palmore, Burchett, Filenbaum, George, & Wallman, 1985), leading to a view of a ...


5

Elder et al (1999) provides a review of behavioural change theories in the context of health behavior change in primary care. They mention several, for example: Models and theories such as the Health Belief Model, Cognitive/Information Processing, the Theory of Reasoned Action, Social Cognitive (Learning) Theory,Social Support Theories, Behavior ...


5

Diener et al's (1999) review in Psychological Bulletin provides an excellent entry point into the well-being literature. It reviews the literature with regards to the many causes and correlates of well-being. Individual Differences First, individual differences explain a lot of variance in well-being. This is often seen in terms of personality traits such ...


4

As far as I know, it has not been shown that a positive attitude has any effect on the immune system (ignoring the less significant placebo effect). What has been shown is that long-term stress has a negative effect on the immune system. Short-term stress actually has a positive effect on the immune system, but long-term stress has been correlated with ...


3

I'm not sure what study Seligman is referring to, but I can suggest that you look into Shelley Taylor's work on positive illusions. Her original 1983 work looked into the coping mechanisms of a group of cancer patients undergoing treatment, and followed them into their lives after recovering from their illness. She found that individuals who felt that they ...


2

Firstly, you wouldn't be directly controlling neurotransmitter. From the human perspective, you'd be controlling higher-level events (and they aren't necessarily describable on more than a phenomenological level). Of course, this would also lead to some changes in neurotransmitter release, but in a complex way: that's all handled at a lower level by the ...


2

EYE RELAXATION Sit comfortably, close your eyes and cover them with your palms. Be sure that both palms are cupped and do not press on the eyes. Imagine the blackness getting darker and darker. Rest in this manner for five minutes at a time, at least thrice a day. Stand upright in front of an open window, preferably overlooking greenery. Keep your feet a ...


1

As you mentioned, data visualization and visual stimulation in general, trigger a primitive brain response, which results in an easier comprehension and engagement/rejection process - a process more trivial than sensing and comprehending symbols. Thus, numerical information such as percentages, distributions, and relativistic data in general, immediately get ...



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