Disease Activity Brain parts
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) hyperactivity orbital frontal cortex
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) hyperactivity caudate nucleus/anterior striatum
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) hyperactivity anterior cingulate gyrus

depression

Depression is defined by a collection of symptoms. Researchers don’t know specific cause.

No lab test, no MRI scan; it’s just the symptoms.

In depression, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the brain. It’s simply that the particular tuning of the neural circuits creates the tendency toward a pattern of depression. It has to do with the way the brain deals with stress, planning, habits, decision making, and a dozen other things—the dynamic interaction of all those circuits. And once the pattern starts to form, it causes dozens of tiny changes throughout the brain that create a downward spiral.

Depression is primarily a result of poor communication between the thinking prefrontal cortex and the emotional limbic system. Prefrontal cortex and limbic system are called the fronto-limbic system.

Good news: small changes in complex systems like the brain can sometimes have big effects.

neural circuits

neural circuits: The neurons within each region talk to each other, as well as to other regions across the brain. These networks of communicating neurons are called neural circuits. Your brain works like a series of little computers all connected to each other.

One brain region can be a part of several circuits. Hence circuits interact dynamically.

  • 比喻: 机场和航行线路
  • In the brain increased emotional amygdala activity can change what the anterior cingulate focuses on, as well as the habits controlled by the dorsal striatum

worry circuit, anxiety, and depression
pain circuit
habit circuit
decision-making circuit
circuits for sleep, memory, mood, planning, enjoyment, and more, and they all communicate with each other.

The disease of depression is a pattern of activity that arises from the interactions of all these circuits.

knowledge required to understand and treat depression

1. the circuits that contribute to depression
2. how to modify those circuits

Each circuit has a certain standard pattern of activity and reactivity, and it varies among people.

reactive or excitable when a circuit is activated more easily.

  • For example, depending on the excitability of the worrying circuit, some people worry more, and some worry less.

Similar words: tendency

Example 1

In my case, I have a tendency to feel lonely, particularly when I’ve been writing all day. I don’t know why, but that’s just the tendency of my social circuitry. Other writers might not feel the same, but that doesn’t help me. So if I know that I have a tendency to feel lonely, I should just make a plan ahead of time to hang out with friends after a long day of writing. But there’s the problem. Making plans often stresses me out. I don’t know why, but that’s just the tendency of my planning circuitry. Many people may enjoy making plans, but not me. For me, the tendencies feel lonely, I should just make a plan ahead of time to hang out with friends after a long day of writing. But there’s the problem. Making plans often stresses me out. I don’t know why, but that’s just the tendency of my planning circuitry. Many people may enjoy making plans, but not me. For me, the tendencies of these two brain circuits could get me caught in a downward spiral. The loneliness makes me feel bad and could be solved by making plans, but making plans stresses me out and also makes me feel bad. And the worse I feel, the harder it is to make plans. So these two circuits feed off each other and snowball out of control, like the interaction between the microphone and speaker that creates screeching feedback.

Given that I know my tendencies, I can choose to write at a coffee shop instead of staying at home; or I can meet a friend for lunch afterward, go for a run, or make any one of a dozen tiny life changes that could improve my situation

Example 2

Given that I know my tendencies, I can choose to write at a coffee shop instead of staying at home; or I can meet a friend for lunch afterward, go for a run, or make any one of a dozen tiny life changes that could improve my situation.

Sometimes the best solution is not always the most straightforward one. It turns out that other activities—like hanging out with friends, getting a better night’s sleep, or even expressing more gratitude—could all help Janice’s brain jump out of its rut. Because all of our brain circuits interact to keep us stuck, changing activity in one circuit can have a ripple effect across the whole system.


People have different things they worry about and different triggers that stress them out. For some planning is stressful, but for others planning can be comforting. Some people worry a lot about being alone, and others need lots of alone time. The different tendencies of your various brain circuits mean that everyone has different downward spirals they’re likely to get stuck in and thus different upward spirals that will make them feel better. The trick is finding the right one for you, and hopefully this book will help with that.

It turns out that just a little change can be enough to push you away from depression and up toward a happier state. That’s because in complex systems like the brain, even a little shift can change the resonance of the whole system.

Depression generally involves a problem with how the thinking and feeling circuits in the brain is not working. The circuits that cause depression rely on relatively few.

### 4 parts of the brain in particular are to blame:

1. the prefrontal cortex
2. the limbic system
3. striatum
4. insular


To simplify, the prefrontal cortex is basically the thinking part of the brain, and the limbic system is the feeling part.

In depression, something is off with the way these regions act and communicate with each other. The thinking prefrontal cortex is supposed to help regulate the feeling limbic system, but it’s not doing a good job.

There is no brain scan, MRI, or EEG that can diagnose depression – it’s simply a by-product of the brain circuits we all have.

4 parts are closely connected

  • the anterior cingulate connects to
    • the ventromedial prefrontal cortex
    • dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
    • the insular
    • amygdala
  • the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex connects to

    • the ventral prefrontal cortex
    • dorsal striatum
    • hippocampus
  • parts of the ventral prefrontal cortex connect to

    • the amygdala
    • nucleus accumbens

Depression is a downward spiral.

Example of downward spiral

Maybe one Friday night you’re invited to a party, but you have a brief thought like I don’t think it’ll be that fun, so you don’t go. Instead, you stay up too late on the couch watching television. The next day you sleep in and don’t have much energy. No one calls you, so you feel even more isolated, and now you’re even less likely to be social. Nothing seems particularly interesting, so you just lie around all weekend. Pretty soon you’re unhappy and alone, and you don’t know what you can do about it, because every decision feels wrong. This is the edge of what it means to be depressed.

Downward spirals occur because the events that happen to you and the decisions you make change your brain activity.

  • If your brain activity changes for the worse, it contributes to everything snowballing out of control, which further exacerbates your negative brain changes, and so on.
  • Fortunately, for most people, the activity in various brain circuits allows them to stop and reverse the downward spiral. But others aren’t so lucky.

The big problem with the downward spiral of depression is that it doesn’t just get you down, it keeps you down.

Depression is a very stable state — your brain tends to think and act in ways that keep you depressed.

  • All the life changes that could help your depression just seem too difficult.
    • Exercise would help, but you don’t feel like exercising.
    • Getting a good night’s sleep would help, but you’ve got insomnia.
    • Doing something fun with friends would help, but nothing seems fun, and you don’t feel like bothering people.
  • Your brain is stuck—depression pulls it downward, relentless as gravity.
  • Your mood becomes like a marble sitting at the bottom of a bowl: whichever way you push it, it always rolls back down.

Depression is caused by the tuning of various brain circuits and their interactions with the world and with each other. Think of a simple circuit, like a microphone and a speaker. If they’re oriented in a particular way, the smallest whisper can lead to screeching feedback. Orient them slightly differently and the problem is gone. But it’s not a problem with the microphone. It’s not a problem with the speaker. Both are working exactly as they’re supposed to. It’s a problem with the system and the interaction of the parts.

The downward spiral of depression works in the same way: specific tuning of neural circuits

symptom of depression

  • Feel numb, like an emptiness where emotion should be.
  • Hopeless and helpless.
  • Things that used to be enjoyable aren’t fun anymore: food, friends, hobbies. Energy plummets.
  • Everything feels difficult, and it’s hard to explain why, because it shouldn’t be.
  • Nothing seems worth the effort it requires.
  • It’s hard to fall asleep and to stay asleep.
  • Aches and pains are felt more deeply.
  • It’s hard to concentrate, and you feel anxious, ashamed, and alone.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

upward spiral

It often takes only a few positive emotions to kick-start the process, which then begins to fuel positive changes in other areas of your life—this is the upward spiral, and its incredible efficacy has been proven time and again, in hundreds of scientific studies.

Fredrickson, B. L., & Joiner, T. (2002). Positive emotions trigger upward spirals toward emotional well-being. Psychological Science, 13(2): 172–175.

positive life changes
=> postive neural changes ( electrical activity, neurotransmitter, even produce new neurons; i.e. neuroplasticity)
=> tune brain’s circuitry
=> further positive life changes.

Example 1

exercise
=> change the electrical activity in your brain during sleep,
=> reduces anxiety, improves mood
=> gives you more energy to exercise

Example 2

expressing gratitude

=> activates serotonin production
=> improves your mood and allows you to overcome bad habits
=> giving you more to be grateful for

Habit

To apply the new knowledge will involve breaking the old habits and making a clear plan for holding yourself accountable to embedding the new ways of operating

motivation + discipline
Initial motivation disappears, then the real key to change is ongoing discipline to ensure the repetition required to create the new habit.

Phillippa Laaly from Cancer Research UK Health Behavior Research Centre: average 66 days to form a habit

  1. build synapse. where????
  2. build a new circuit
  3. basal ganglia????
  4. chunck????
  5. mental presentation???
  6. thicker myelin
  1. set a goal and start doing something new: left prefrontal cortex (LPFC)
  2. brain’s self protection mode: activate fear of failure or fear of the unknown: amygdala => fight, flight or freeze mode => make LPFC hard to keep focused on doing towards the goal.
  3. manage amygdala and manage emotions

    difficulty: not be conscious of that fear

    • improve self-talk: CBT table
    • focus on CAN, rather than can’t or won’t
    • focus on the possibilities and the positives and get curious
    • Ask “When I take action what new things will I learn and what new things will I experience, regardless of the outcome?”
    • When challenges arise, ask “What is possible when I break through?”
    • Keep curious rather than berating yourself or giving up
    • match with values
    • experiment with habit loops: a cue, a routine, and a reward
    • meditate the obstacles and solutions
    • Recognize the importance of learning for the longevity of memory

Abbreviations

  • ACC: Anterior cingulate cortex
  • ADHD: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • dlPFC: Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • DN: Default network
  • EEG: Electroencephalogram
  • fMRI: Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • GABA: Gamma aminobutyric acid
  • HPA: axis Hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis
  • NA: Nucleus accumbens
  • OCD: Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • OFC: Orbital frontal cortex:
  • PET: Positron emission tomography
  • PFC: Prefrontal cortex
  • LPFC: Left prefrontal cortex
  • PNS: Parasympathetic nervous system
  • SNS: Sympathetic nervous system
  • SPECT: Single-photon emission computed tomography
  • vmPFC: Ventromedial prefrontal cortex
  • VTA: Ventral tegmental area
  • SPECT: single photon emission computed tomography
  • TBIs: traumatic brain injuries

Brain Orientation

Medial 1) Towards the middle 2) In the middle
Lateral Towards the side
Superior/dorsal Above/at the top
Inferior/ventral Below/at the bottom
Posterior/caudal At the back
Anterior/rostral At the front
Orbital Above the orbits of the eyes

Neuroscience

Neuroscience is the study of the structure and function of the nervous system and brain and their relation to behavior and learning.

Neuroscience is the study of the brain including the biological basis behind our thoughts, feelings, and actions. 这好是CBT的3要素

Chunking is a habit

Chunking is “the process of grouping behaviors together into a single routine.”

Chances are the various tasks associated with brushing teeth comes naturally. In other words, chunking is a form of automatic thought and a type of habit.

Example

  • brush teeth
  • get dressed
  • driving

Before sleep

NIGHTTIME: Your brain prunes while you’re sleeping. It preserves information you’re actively using and tends to let go— slowly but surely— of the stuff you’re not. If you want to retain something, make sure it doesn’t get pruned at night. Bring it to mind as part of your evening routine. Visualize it as you prepare for sleep. If other thoughts come up, replace them with the things you want to remember. Try using your final moments of wakefulness to remember three things: your main goal for the next day, a longer-term plan you’re working on, and what you appreciated most about your day. These thoughts can override the usual nighttime brain chatter. They bring a sense of peace and purpose. And they may be waiting for you the next morning, priming you to focus on what matters and anticipate what you’ll appreciate most in the day ahead.

Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)

The more blood flow, the more gamma rays are picked up by the camera. Areas with the most blood flow show up as most colorful. Areas with the least blood flow have the least radiation and are darker in the scans.

2 scans

  1. at rest
  2. at work

compare 2 scans

The contrast between the scans at rest and when concentrating shows what areas are working and how intensely.

brain

100 billion neurons

each neuron has between 1,000 and 10,000 synapses

  • heart: 40,000 neurons
  • gut: 100 million neurons
  • over 100 neurotransmitter

The whole brain is billions of neurons sending electrical signals that turn into chemical signals in order to communicate.

forebrain

include

  • cerebrum
  • Hypothalamus
  • hypothalamus

neuron + electrical pulse

Each electrical pulse—and resulting squirt of neurotransmitter—is not an order commanding the next neuron’s actions; it is more like a vote on what the next neuron should do. The whole pattern of activity is like a presidential election. Everyone votes on who the president should be, and depending on those votes, the country veers off in one direction or another. If you can change the number of votes in a few key swing states by only a few percentage points, you can dramatically change the course of the country. The same is true of the brain. By changing the firing rate of neurons in a few key regions, you can influence the pattern of activity in the entire brain.

Good news: small changes in complex systems like the brain can sometimes have big effects.

the asymmetries of the two hemispheres

Two complementary halves of a whole rather than as two individual entities or identities.

two cerebral hemispheres that process information in uniquely different ways

perceive the big picture, how everything is related

If you are a Carl Jung fan, then there’s our sensing mind (left hemisphere) versus our intuitive mind (right hemisphere), and our judging mind (left hemisphere) versus our perceiving mind (right hemisphere).

Taylor, Jill Bolte. My Stroke of Insight (p. 134). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

right hemisphere: no “time”

free to think intuitively outside the box
creatively explores the possibilities that each new moment brings

spontaneous, carefree, and imaginative

From a neurological standpoint, every time a circuit of neurons is stimulated, it takes less external stimulation for that particular circuit to run. As a result of this type of reverberating circuitry, our left hemisphere creates what I call “loops of thought patterns” that it uses to rapidly interpret large volumes of incoming stimulation with minimal attention and calculation.

left hemisphere: linear, time

details
language
communicate
break the big picture perception of the present moment into manageable and comparable bits of data that they can talk about

“brain chatter”: via left hemisphere language centers, our mind speaks to us constantly

One of the jobs of our left hemisphere language centers is to define our self by saying “I am.” Through the use of brain chatter, your brain repeats over and over again the details of your life so you can remember them. It is the home of your ego center, which provides you with an internal awareness of what your name is, what your credentials are, and where you live. Without these cells performing their job, you would forget who you are and lose track of your life and your identity.

think in language
think in patterned responses to incoming stimulation: establish neurological circuits that run relatively automatically to sensory information. These circuits process large volumnes of information without having to spend much time focusing on the individual bits of data.

From a neurological standpoint, every time a circuit of neurons is stimulated, it takes less external stimulation for that particular circuit to run. As a result of this type of reverberating circuitry, our left hemisphere creates what I call “loops of thought patterns” that it uses to rapidly interpret large volumes of incoming stimulation with minimal attention and calculation.

Among other things, our left hemisphere categorizes information into hierarchies including things that attract us (our likes) or repel us (our dislikes). It places the judgment of good on those things we like and bad on those things we dislike. Through the action of critical judgment and analysis, our left brain constantly compares us with everyone else. It keeps us abreast of where we stand on the financial scale, academic scale, honesty scale, generosity-of-spirit scale, and every other scale you can imagine. Our ego mind revels in our individuality, honors our uniqueness, and strives for independence.

With language, for example, our left hemisphere understands the details making up the structure and semantics of the sentence–and the meaning of the words. It is our left mind that understands what letters are and how they fit together to create a sound (word) that has a concept (meaning) attached to it. It then strings words together in a linear fashion to create sentences and paragraphs capable of conveying very complex messages. Our right hemisphere complements the action of our left hemisphere language centers by interpreting non-verbal communication. Our right mind evaluates the more subtle cues of language including tone of voice, facial expression, and body language. Our right hemisphere looks at the big picture of communication and assesses the congruity of the overall expression. Any inconsistencies between how someone holds their body, versus their facial expression, versus their tone of voice, versus the message they are communicating, might indicate either a neurological abnormality in how someone expresses himself or it may prove to be a telltale sign that the person

From a neurological standpoint, every time a circuit of neurons is stimulated, it takes less external stimulation for that particular circuit to run. As a result of this type of reverberating circuitry, our left hemisphere creates what I call “loops of thought patterns” that it uses to rapidly interpret large volumes of incoming stimulation with minimal attention and calculation.

4 lobes

lobes: subcomponents of the brain

  • frontal
    • reasoning
    • expression
    • body movements
  • parietal
    • process sensoring information
      • touch
      • pressure
      • pain
  • temporal
    • interpretation of sounds and language through the pirmary auditory cortex
    • process memories through the hippocampus
  • occipital
    • visual

Myelin

A protein blend, collectively known as myelin, insulates the wiring between the neurons (Morell & Quarles, 1999). Every time you repeat an action or a thought, the neuron fires faster, and the more easily it fires, the thicker and denser the myelin coating becomes. This makes the pathways stronger, and the habit becomes more ingrained.

diffusion tensor imaging: measure and map myelin inside living subjects

Nerve Fiber

Nerve fiber is a thread like extension of a neuron, which is formed by the axon and its covering.

Thus each nerve fiber is an axon with its coverings. Larger axons are covered by a myelin sheath and are termed myelinated or medullated fibers.

Thinner axons, of less than one micron diameter, do not have the myelin sheath and are therfibresefore termed non-myelinated or non-medullated.

Hemispheres are connected by a large bundle of nerve fibers.

Ishibashi T, Dakin KA, Stevens B, Lee PR, Kozlov SV, Stewart CL, Fields RD. (2006) Astrocytes promote myelination in response to electrical impulses. Neuron. 2006 Mar 16;49(6):823-32. PMID: 16543131

  • Supporter cells called obligodendrocytes and astrocytes sense the nerve firing and respond by wrapping more myelin on the fiber that fires. The more the nerve fires, the more myelin wraps around it. The more myelin wraps around it, the faster the signals travel, increaseing velocities up to 100 times over signals sent through an uninsulated fibers.

记忆法

Imagine your brain like a clenched fist with knuckles pointing forward. Looking down, the frontal lobes are the knuckles, the temporal lobes are the fleshy sides of the hand, the parietal lobe is the back of the hand near the knuckles and the occipital lobe is the back of the hand near the wrist.

A single must jump the synapse to continue. The process is like using a telephone. The signal (your friend’s voice) comes down the telephone and jumps the gap to your ear through the air.

Brodmann areas

Brodmann areas are a system to divide the cerebral cortex according to cytoarchitectural organization, and are, despite controversy, still very widely used as a standardized nomenclature which is superimposed on the somewhat variable gyral and sulcal anatomy.

The classification relies on the fact that the human cortex is composed of six cellular layers, the density and architecture of which vary from region to region. These patterns are visible under the light microscope.

The Brodmann classification divides the cortex into approximately 52 areas, numbered sequentially, although some regions have been subsequently subdivided and other are only present in non-human primates.

The list below states how areas relate to functional areas and/or gyral landmarks.

  • Brodmann areas 1, 2 & 3: primary somatosensory cortex (post-central gyrus)
  • Brodmann area 4: primary motor cortex (precentral gyrus)
  • Brodmann area 5: somatosensory association cortex (superior parietal lobule)
  • Brodmann area 6: premotor cortex and supplementary motor cortex
  • Brodmann area 7: visuo-motor coordination (superior parietal lobule)
  • Brodmann area 8: frontal eye fields
  • Brodmann area 9: dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • Brodmann area 10: anterior prefrontal cortex
  • Brodmann area 11 & 12: orbitofrontal area (orbital gyri, gyrus rectus, rostral gyrus and part of superior frontal gyrus)
  • Brodmann area 13 & 16: insular cortex
  • Brodmann area 17: primary visual cortex (V1)
  • Brodmann area 18: secondary visual cortex (V2)
  • Brodmann area 19: associative visual cortex (V3, V4 & V5)
  • Brodmann area 20: inferior temporal gyrus
  • Brodmann area 21: middle temporal gyrus
  • Brodmann area 22: superior temporal gyrus (including Wernicke area)
  • Brodmann area 23, 24, 28 to 33: cingulate cortex
  • Brodmann area 25: subgenual area
  • Brodmann area 26: ectosplenial portion of the retrosplenial region of the cerebral cortex
  • Brodmann area 27: piriform cortex
  • Brodmann area 34: dorsal entorhinal cortex
  • Brodmann area 35 & 36: perirhinal cortex & ectorhinal area
  • Brodmann area 37: fusiform gyrus
  • Brodmann area 38: temporal pole
  • Brodmann area 39: angular gyrus
  • Brodmann area 40: supramarginal gyrus
  • Brodmann area 41 & 42: primary auditory cortex (Heschl gyrus)
  • Brodmann area 43: primary gustatory cortex
  • Brodmann area 44: part of Broca area (pars opercularis, part of the inferior frontal gyrus)
  • Brodmann area 45: part of Broca area (pars triangularis, part of the inferior frontal gyrus)
  • Brodmann area 46: dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • Brodmann area 47: pars orbitalis, part of the inferior frontal gyrus
  • Brodmann area 48: retrosubicular area
  • Brodmann area 52: parainsular area



gyri: bumps

sulci: grooves

corpus callosum








frontal cortex

prefrontal cortex(PFC)

Animation Front view Lateral view Medial perspective
  • location: behind forehead
  • alias: CEO of the brain
  • circuit: the center of planning and decision-making circuits
  • function:

    • self motivation
    • control impulses
      • the master of inhibition. inhibit impulses, distractions and irrelevant thoughts is crucial to focused thinking.
        When the PFC dos not inhibit well, the result will be attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
    • appropriateness of behavior
      cognitive control
      planning
      executive functions
      goal setting
      descioin-making
      action planning
      planning
      executive decisions
      rational thought
      generate thoughts and inhibits distracting Thoughts
    • control physical movement

      • walking
      • running
      • reaching
      • pushing
emotion (e.g., fear, anxious) overrides plan, intelligent action

The processing of the interaction between the PFC and the limbic system happens **unconsciously**. So we are not aware of how our memories and emotions rule how we make decisions and problem-solve.
  • depression

    • responsible for
      • worrying
      • guilt
      • shame
      • problems with thinking clearly
      • indecisiveness
  • change in prefrontal cortex

    • change bad habits
    • improve willpower

Vertical and horizontal axes divide it into 4 quadrants.

  • top-middle
  • top-side
  • bottom-middle
  • bottom side
  • medial parts: more self-focused
  • lateral: more focused on the outside world
  • ventral parts: more emotional
  • dorsal parts: focus more on thinking

Hence, the primary distinction in the prefrontal cortex is between dorsolateral and ventromedial, i.e., the top-side v.s. the bottom-middle

  • ventromedial prefrontal cortex: emotional & self-focus

    • motivation
    • controlling impulses
    为什么motivation和impulses在一起
  • dorsolateral prefrontal cortex thinks more about the outside world => more responsible for planning and problem solving.

    The difference in emotional between prefrontal cortex and limbic system

  • The ventromedial prefrontal cortex thinks about emotions.

  • The limbic system feels emotions.

Brodmann areas

depression in prefrontal cortex(PFC)

The whole prefrontal cortex is affected by depression.

  • not feeling any motivation: reduced serotonin in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex
  • difficult to make plans or think clearly: disrupted activity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • difficult in following through with plans: result from the communication between several brain regions and neurotransmitter systems.

dorsal (upper) part of the PFC (dPFC)

‘cold’ recognition

  • planning
  • execution
  • rule-governed actions monitor actions for social appropriateness
  • less prone to emotional influences on the plans

ventral (lower) part of the PFC (VmPFC)

‘warm’ thinking, emotional memory and socially acceptable behaviors

active

  • when we are emotionally involved with others.
  • when we take a moral or ethical perspective
  • good control over impulses
  • good control over social behaviors.

orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)

location: a prefrontal cortex region in the frontal lobes of the brain which is involved in the cognitive process of decision-making.

function:

  • analyze the consequence
  • analyze risks
  • rewards associated with conscious (or goal-oriented) decisions and actions
  • integrate emotion in decision-making and bringing together the hot and cold streams of thinking, so we apply moral rules and appropriate behavior in a rational way.

Goal-directed action is active decision-making and action-taking meaning consciously making the decision to do something.

One-off conscious decisions is from the prefrontal cortex. However, as practice a behavior more, the cannabinoid-based neural mechanism minimizes the amount of information flowing to the orbitofrontal context (OFC). When the flow of information to the OFC quiets down, habits take root.

endocannabioids: reduce the flow of information to the OFC area of the brain

Optogenetics: a biological technique that involves the use of light to control cells in living tissue, typically neurons, tincrasehat have been genetically modified to express light-sensitive ion channels.

Optogenetics can turn on neuronal output in the OFC area of the brain, it was possible to increase goal-directed actions and by turning it off using the same approach, decrease activity in this area of the brain.

limbic system = reptilian brain = emotional part of the brain

Sensory information streams in through our sensory systems and is immediately processed through our limbic system. By the time a message reaches our cerebral cortex for higher thinking, we have already placed a “feeling” upon how we view that stimulation–is this pain or is this pleasure? Although many of us may think of ourselves as thinking creatures that feel, biologically we are feeling creatures that think.

composed of 4 regions

  1. hypothalamus
  2. amygdala
  3. hippocampus
  4. cingulate cortex

emotions in the limbic system

  • excitement
  • fear
  • anxiety
  • memory
  • desire

difference between desire and motivation

  • motivation is reason: the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way: escape can be a strong motivation for travel.
    • the general desire or willingness of someone to do something: keep staff up to date and maintain interest and motivation.
  • desire is emotion: a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen: [with infinitive] : a desire to work in the dirt with your bare hands.

A 2008 study by the University of Michigan indicated that, while humans experience desire and fear as psychological opposites, they share the same brain circuit. A 2008 study entitled “The Neural Correlates of Desire” showed that the human brain categorizes stimuli according to its desirability by activating three different brain areas: the superior orbitofrontal cortex, the mid-cingulate cortex, and the anterior cingulate cortex.

Changing stress levels can make brain flip from ‘desire’ to ‘dread’”

difference between stress and anxiety

  • Stress is caused by an existing stress-causing factor or stressor.
  • Anxiety is stress that continues after that stressor is gone.
function brain part
stress hypothalamus
anxiety, fear, other negative emotions amygdala
create long-term memories, memory bias towards sad events hippocampus
control focus & attention cingulate cortex
notice mistakes
a gateway between limbic and prefrontal regions
pain circuit
serotonin + anterior cingulate cortex
motivation serotonin + Ventromedial prefrontal cortex
fatigue In depression, reduced dopamine activity in the dorsal striatum is primarily responsible for feelings of fatigue.
nothing seems enjoyable In depression, reduced dopamine activity in the nucleus accumbens explains why nothing seems enjoyable
pain
bodily awareness
insula
motivation, impulsion, appreciation是prefrontal system

3 types of feeling

  1. feelings of sadness, joy, anger, frustration, or excitement are generated by the cells of limbic system.
  2. to feel something in your hands refers to the tactile or kinesthetic experience of feeling through the action of palpation. This type of feeling occurs via the sensory system of touch and involves the postcentral gyrus of the cerebral cortex.
  3. when someone contrasts what he or she feels intuitively about something (often expressed as a “gut feeling”) to what they think about it, this insightful awareness is a higher cognition that is grounded in the right hemisphere of the cerebral cortex.

1. hypothalamus: control stress









Elevated stress is both a cause and a symptom of depression

  • function:

    • regulate numerous hormones

      • stress hormones:

        • cortisol:

          process:

          1. hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone
          2. pituitary releases the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) into the vascular system
          3. ACTH stimulates the synthesis of cortisol and other glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, and dehydroepiandrosterone.

          Cortisol is produced in the human body by the adrenal gland in the zona fasciculate, the second of three layers comprising the adrenal cortex. The cortex forms the outer “bark” of each adrenal gland, situated atop the kidneys.

          The release of cortisol is controlled by the hypothalamus, a part of the brain.

          The secretion of corticotropin-releasing hormone by the hypothalamus triggers cells in the neighboring anterior pituitary to secrete another hormone, the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), into the vascular system, through which blood carries it to the adrenal cortex. ACTH stimulates the synthesis of cortisol and other glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, and dehydroepiandrosterone.

        • adrenaline => fight-or-flight mode
          process:

          1. hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone
          2. pituitary releases the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) into the vascular system
          3. ACTH stimulates the synthesis of cortisol and other glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, and dehydroepiandrosterone. + adrenaline
    • control the body’s stress response

2. amygdala: anxiety, fear, other negative emotion

People with depression often have higher amygdala reactivity, so reducing that can help lower anxiety and relieve depression.

location: almond-shaped structure deep in the brain
function: manage fear
process emotion and emotional memories, especially fear
scan all incoming stimulation in this immediate moment and determine the level of safety

  • when incoming stimulation is perceived as familiar, the amygdala is calm and the adjacently positioned hippocampus is capable of learning and memorizing new information.
  • when unfamiliar or perhaps threatening stimulation, amygdala raises the brain’s level of anxiety and focuses the mind’s attention on the immediate situation. Attention is shifted away from the hippocampus and focused toward self-preserving behavior about the present moment.





3. hippocampus, one in each hemisphere: turn short-term memory into long-term memories, sensitive to stress (depression)






People with depression often have trouble remembering happier times but have no problem recalling sad events. This memory bias is because of the hippocampus.

location: adjacent to the amygdala
function:

  • turn short-term memory into long-term memories

    • particularly save emotional memories
    • problematic in depression, because the new memories hippocampus forms will skew to the negative
  • central to context-dependent memory: the fact that it’s easier to remember things that relate closely to your current situation

    example: It’s eaiser to recall memories from undergraduate days if you are visiting your old college campus, because the context is the same

    Downside for depression: All those happy memories that are easy to recall when you are in a good mood suddenly evaporate. Meanwhile, all the tragedies in your life become too easy to remember.

strong connections to the hypothalamus => sensitive to stress (depression)

In depression, the hippocampus

  • shows abnormal activity
  • tends to be smaller in size.

    stress => kill neurons => smaller hippocampus

    The small hippocampus is likely the result of chronic stress, which can damage and kill neurons.

Depression is stressful and thus disrupts the proper functioning of the hippocampus.

Fortunately, it’s possible to grow new neurons in the hippocampus.

4. cingulate cortex: control focus & attention




huge importance in depression: what you focus on, whether by automatic habit or willful choice, makes a huge difference to the mood.

  • Difficult concentrating is another symptom of depression, as is a greater focus on the negative, both of which are mediated by the cingulate cortex.
  • anterior cingulate: the biggest impact on depression

    • covered by the prefrontal cortex, and closely connected with prefrontal.
    • function as a gateway between limbic and prefrontal regions
    • The neurotransmitter serotonin is highly concentrated in the anterior cingulate

    function:

    • notice mistakes
    • play a central role in the pain circuit
    • In depression, anterior cingulate activity helps explains why you so often focus on the negative.

    boost serotine in the anterior cingulate: think of happy memories before sleep or write in a journal or reflect on it

    treatment of depression

    • serotonin is the neurotransmitter system most commonly targeted by antidepressant medications.
    • directly stimulating the anterior cingulate with electrodes can vastly improve depressive symptoms




insula: pain & bodily awareness







  • location: part of the cortex that folds inward a couple inches from ears, close to the amygdala and hippocampus.
  • function:
    • pain circuit
    • bodily awareness
      Increased insula activity makes you hyperaware of any problems in the body, even if they’re small.

Some people have brains that are more reactive to pain, and this puts them at risk for a downward spiral.

People with depression are more likely to suffer from chronic pain and tend to worry more about getting sick.

Because of an increased awareness of bodily sensations, which is mediated by the insula

basal ganglia: a collection of nuclei on both sides of the thalamus

location: at the bottom of the brain, outside and above the limbic system
function: seek pleasure and reward and controlling movement
hold old habit
control of voluntary motor movements
procedural learning
habit learning
eye movements



components

  • dorsolateral striatum:

    • control movement
    • connected to sensorimotor functioning (seeing, hearing, moving, etc.)

    When we move a part of body in a new way and it feels good, this area is active

    When we feel a sense of accomplishment for having tried something new, the association is recognized here.

    Repetition of actions and behaviors impacts on the striatum to create new habits. Hence a habit is when you’ve done something so many times that your body knows how to do it better than your mind.

striatum


depression accompanied by bad habits caused by disrupted activity in the striatum

  • impulsiveness
  • poor coping skills
  • addiction
  • procrastination
  • feeling fatigued
  • unmotivated

3 components

  1. putamen
  2. caudate
  3. nucleus accumbens

2 main parts of striatum that are particularly important in depression + dopamine

  1. dorsal striatum: the upper part
  2. nucleus accumbens: the lower part (ventral striatum)

dorsal striatum: habit circuit

In depression, reduced dopamine activity in the dorsal striatum is primarily responsible for feelings of fatigue.

nucleus accumbens (ventral striatum)






  • closely connected to the limbic systems
  • responsible for impulsive behavior

    Example

    • eating too many sweets
    • drug addiction
  • Dopamine is released in the nucleus accumbens when we doing anything fun and exciting

    In depression, reduced dopamine activity in the nucleus accumbens explains why nothing seems enjoyable

    caudate




parietal lobe

location: behind frontal lobe
function: integration of all sensation from external world and from inside the body

occipital region

function: region

temporal lobe

location: underneath the parietal and frontal lobes
function:

  • hearing
  • learning
  • memory

    occipital lobe

location: back
function: vision

cerebellum

alias: little brain
function

coordinates movement
posture
balance

Broca’s area:

location: left hemisphere of the frontal cortex
function
process and understand language

Wernicke’s area

location: left side of temporal lobe
function: understand written or spoken language

thalamus, one in each hemisphere

relay station
coordinating Signals

brainstem






midbrain

lack: lose the ability to feel fear and disgust

neurotransmitter

Different regions often rely on different neurotransmitter

  • gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
  • endorphins: help us power through resistance or even pain.
  • cortisol

    • normal levels help regulate bodies
    • long-term stress and mental health
    • Cortisol levels rise over time when we’re chronically exposed to negative or threatening situations.
    • healthy diet, exercise, rest, mindfulness practice
  • adrenaline/epinephrine

brain part neurotransmitter
prefrontal cortex serotonin & norepinephrine
striatum dopamine

organization of a neurotransmitter system

organization of a neurotransmitter system: all the neurons that release or react to a particular neurotransmitter.

For example

  • the serotonin system: all the neurons that release or react to serotonin.

Your brain relies on numerous neurotransmitter systems for different types of processing, and they contribute to depression in different ways.

比喻

  • the Delta “system” would be all the cities Delta connects to

many neurotransmitter systems influence – and are influenced by – depression. Each neurotransmitter contributes to a different depressive symptom. To make things more complicate, they all interact.

Small life changes can change the activity of these neurotransmitter systems.

  • dopamine: reward, happiness, enjoyment, necessary for changing bad habits
    • production
      • sunlight
    • a dysfunctional dopamine system
      • lead to bad habits
      • lack of enjoyment
    • boost dopamine
      • more enjoyment
  • serotonin: self-esteem, appreciate, willpower, motivation, and mood
    • low level: lethargy, binge eating, mood swings, depression
    • a dysfunctional serotonin system
      • lack of willpower
      • lack of motivation
    • boost serotonin
      • a better mood
      • a greater ability to set goals
      • avoid bad habits
  • norepinephrine
    • thinking
    • focused
    • dealing with stress
    • a dysfunctional norepinephrine system
      • the difficulty in concentration
      • the difficulty in thinking
    • boost norepinephrine
      • better concentration
      • lower stress
  • oxytocin: interpersonal bonding
    • feeling
      • trust
      • love
      • connection
      • reduce anxiety
  • GABA: increase feelings of relaxation and reduces anxiety
  • melatonin: enhances the quality of sleep
    • production
      • sunlight
  • endocannabioids: reduce the flow of information to the OFC area of the brain

    • improve appetite
    • increase feelings of peacefulness and well-being

另外一种写法

sunlight

  • boost the production of serotonin
  • improve the release of melatonin: a better night’s sleep

possible meaning of “increasing serotonin activity”

Change any of these factors can increase serotonin activity.

  1. Brain makes more serotonin
  2. Brain increases receptors for it
  3. Receptors become stickier to serotonin
  4. The serotonin that is made isn’t broken down as quickly
  5. The serotonin squirted into the synapse just hangs out for a while - giving it a longer opportunity to bind to the next neuron - instead of being quickly sucked back into the neuron

Most antidepressant medications work by serotonin transporters: blocking serotonin-sucking proteins

neuroplasticity

the process by which the brain changes itself in response to new thoughts, experiences and actions

Elizabeth Gould and Fernado Notebohm demonstrated that animals made new brain cells throughout life.

Eriksson in 1998 showed that new neurons are produced in the hippocampus of the adult human brain.

Eriksson, P. S., Perfilieva, E., Björk-Eriksson, T., Alborn, A. M., Nordborg, C., Peterson, D. A., & Gage, F. H. (1998). Neurogenesis in the adult human hippocampus. Nature Medicine, 4 (11), 1313–1317.

Neuroplasticity comes in 3 forms

  1. the formation of new neurons
  2. the formation of new synapses
  3. the strengthening of existing synapses

Neuroplasticity is the basis of habits, learning and change.

Doing more than is necessary, an then pruning it back in the light of what you need is a good way to learn in many fields.

1. synaptic plasticity: changes in synapses: making connections

synaptic plasticity is how we build habits and gain skills

A synapse is strengthened when the neurons on both sides are active at the same time, making the signal more likely to be transmitted across the gap.

long-term potentiation: The neuron before the synapse (the presynaptic neuron) must reliably fire before the neuron after the synapse (the postsynaptic neuron), so the signal keeps flowing.

Hebb’s law: what fires together, wires together.

synapses

  • create
  • destroy
  • strengthen
  • weaken

Competitive neuroplasticity

If some neurons are not being used, they can be taken over and used for another purpose.

Thoughts changes brain.

reorganize neurons and synapses

Example

(Pascual-Leone 1995) took people who had never played the piano and divided them into two groups. The first group mentally practiced a musical sequence for two hours a day for five days. The second group physically played the passage for the same amount of time. Both groups had their brains mapped during the experiment. Both groups could play the sequence, and both had similar brain maps. Both groups played well by the third day. The mental practice had formed the same maps in the motor cortex as the physical practice.

Münte, T. F., Altenmüller, E., & Jäncke, L. (2002). The musician’s brain as a model of neuroplasticity. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3 (6), 473–478.

What we repeatedly thinking about gets easier to think. This is how we build thinking habits.

exercise changes brain

exercise

=> produce dopamine
=> make life more enjoyable

  • Just 15 minutes of biking is sufficient to increase activity in circuits responsible for emotional control and to raise levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

    Fumoto, M., Oshima, T., et al. (2010). Ventral prefrontal cortex and serotonergic system activation during pedaling exercise induces neg- ative mood improvement and increased alpha band in EEG. Behavioral Brain Research, 213(1): 1–9.

Sunshine

sunshine

=> boost serotonin + regulate electrical activity in the brain during sleep

  • The patients moved to sunny rooms suddenly have a higher tolerance for pain and need less medication.

    Walch, J. M., Rabin, B. S., et al. (2005). The effect of sunlight on post- operative analgesic medication use: A prospective study of patients undergoing spinal surgery. Psychosomatic Medicine, 67(1): 156–163.

interaction with people

talking to friends every day

=> change how the emotional circuits in the brain interacted with the planning circuits.

Bad of machine learning

Modern technology and social media work in this way. Search engines and social media analyze your searches and deliver based on what you liked in the past. The algorithms work by assuming you are the same as when you last used them. They can, if we let them, filter what we see in terms of where we have been, not where we want to go. The connections you make and the digital paths you travel are strengthened and served up to you again and again. The result is a digital filter bubble that you do not notice because you never see it from the outside. We tend to assume that a search engine will search for what we want, but they search for what they think we want based on what we have searched for in the past. The brain creates its own filter bubble unless we are careful, always doing and thinking what is familiar already.

voluntary attention

regions involved

  • frontal lobes
  • insula
  • parietal lobes
  • thalamus

When we pay attention, dopamine is released, and this neurotransmitter is associated with alertness and a positive attitude. Dopamine also helps to consolidate memories more quickly. Research consistently shows that neuroplastic changes are greatest when we pay voluntary attention.11

Sawaguchi, T., & Goldman-Rakic, P. S. (1991). D1 dopamine receptors in prefrontal cortex: Involvement in working memory. Science, 251 (4996), 947–951.

Antal, A., Terney, D., Poreisz, C., & Paulus, W. (2007). Towards unravelling task‐related modulations of neuroplastic changes induced in the human motor cortex. European Journal of Neuroscience, 26 (9), 2687–2691.

Multitasking does not build any neuroplastic connections because there is no willed, sustained attention.

repetitinueropalsticon including visualization in the brain

Repetition consolidates neural pathways and memory

  1. repeat
  2. focused attention

to get neuroplastic changes

One-off conscious decisions is from the prefrontal cortex. However, as ou practice a behavior more, the cannabinoid-based neural mechanism minimizes the amount of information flowing to the orbitofrontal context (OFC). When the flow of information to the OFC quiets down, habits take root.

No hard or fast rule about how many times you need to repeat or how long it will take.

It depends on

  • What the skill is
  • How complex it is
  • the balance of memory
  • physical action involved
  • what level of expertise you are aiming for

Short periods of concentrated practice undoubtedly strengthen neural pathways. They lead to quick gains, but equally, to quick forgetting.

Mental rehearsal

Mental rehearsal does help (it activates the same motor networks as the real action) but is not enough. The reason for this is interesting. We learn from feedback only if we cannot predict it in advance. If you know what will happen, the brain does not learn. There is no feedback from the outside world in mental rehearsal; everything is created inside your head, so it has limited value. It is useful for reinforcing physical sporting skills giving a more fluid basic movement (e.g., a tennis backhand), but even then, with no outside feedback the perfectly executed backhand can still miss the real ball the opponent fires towards you. Do not rely on mental rehearsal.

substance that isn’t neurotransmitter: BDNF: brain-derived neurotrophic factor

the growth of new neurons
overall brain health`

goal: current experience without emotion: mindfulness
goal: meditation/open focus: move Beta-> Alpha-> Theta-> Delta
use limited attention/focus/will => focus on conscious. side effect: not focus on unconscious
prune synaptic connections and nurture new ones.

awareness: notice a thought or feeling and move on. not use beta waves (analytical)

basal ganglia: hold old habit
dorsolateral striatum
interneurons in the striatum: prevent the principal neurons from initiating another routine until that current one was finished. keep on with the same task

When the activity is new, use cerebral cortex = intense concentration that is needed to learn a new task. The neurons in striata emitted a continuous string of signals. When form a habit, the neurons that fired these distinctive signals occurred just at the beginning and then again at the end of the task.

The more we do, the less activity that arrived in the cerebral cortex, a decrease in how much brain activity occurred in the areas that governed memory, the brain will move the activity over to the basal ganglia, the dorsolateral striatum becomes stronger and take over the work that the dosomedial striatum.

cognitive thinking & dorsolateral striatum: trade-off relationship = competing

Two loop were actually show up at the same time during the process

  • Endocannabinoid Modulation of Orbitostriatal Circuits Gates Habit Formation

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27238866

    The circuits in the brain for goal-directed action and habitual action are ??going to compete for control. This competition is going to happen in the decision-making parts of the brain???? prefrontal cortex???

    Endocannabioids ends the completion with habits taking over and stop the goal-directed circuit. When the circuit is turned off, it becomes easier to form a habit?????

orbitofrontal cortex (OFC): goal-directed
When increase the output of neurons inside the OCF, using a technique that is known as optogenetics (this is a process where they were able to turn on and off neurons with the help of flashes of light), they were able to increase the actions that were goal-directed.

reduce actions in OFC, more rely on habits instead of goal.

Habit loop by MIT researchers

a trigger/cue
a routine: the behavior to be changed
a reward

  1. identify routine
  2. experiment with the rewards that you receive
  3. isolate the cue

    • location
    • time of day
    • an emotional state

      more aware of current emotional state

    • the action done right before craving: preceding events
    • other people
  4. come up with a plan of action
  5. repetition for the same tasks

why develop bad habits

  1. because nothing else to take up time
  2. relieve stress

I want you to forget about past events validating the emotions you’ve memorized that have become part of your personality. Your problems will never be resolved by analyzing them while you are still caught up in the emotions of the past. Looking at the experience or reliving the event that created the problem in the first place will only bring up the old emotions and a reason to feel the same way. When you try to figure out your life within the same consciousness that created it, you will analyze your life I want you to forget about past events validating the emotions you’ve memorized that have become part of your personality. Your problems will never be resolved by analyzing them while you are still caught up in the emotions of the past. Looking at the experience or reliving the event that created the problem in the first place will only bring up the old emotions and a reason to feel the same way.

electroencephalograph (EEG)

Brain waves

  • Delta waves: adults in deep sleep

    • lowest brain-wave levels
    • 0.5-4 cycles per second
    • between birth and 2 years old
      • explain why a newborn usually can’t remain awake for more than a few minutes at a time
      • function primarily from subconscious
  • Theta waves: a twilight state between deep sleep and wakefulness; half-awake and half-asleep

    • age 2-5/6

      • connect internal world
      • imagination
      • few critical and rational thinking
      • accept what adults tell them => go to subconscious mind
    • 4-8 cycles per seconds

    • the realm of the subconscious. the conscious mind is awake, while the body is somewhat asleep
    • able to immediately change negative associations to more postive ones
  • Alpha waves: creative, imaginative state
    • age 5-8
      • The analytical mind begins to form
      • start to interpret and draw conclusions about the laws of external life
      • the inner world of imagination tends to be as real as the outer world of reality
    • 8-13 cycles per seconds
    • close eyes => less information from environment is entering nervous system. => Alpha state => relax, meditative state
  • Beta waves: higher frequencies seen during conscious thought and analytical thinking

    • age 8-12 and onward
    • 12+ cycles per seconds
    • For the most part, when adults are conscious, their analytical minds are always working, and thus they are functioning in some realm of Beta waves.

    • 3 types of Beta waves

      1. low-range Beta waves: 13-15 cycles per seconds
        • relaxed, interested attention
        • pay a certain degree of attention without any vigilance
        • example
          • enjoy reading a book and are familiar with the material
      2. mid-range Beta waves: 16-22 cycles per seconds

        • focused attention on sustained external stimuli
        • example
          • learning
      3. high-range Beta waves: 22-50 cycles per seconds

        • stressful situations where survival chemicals are produced in the body
        • not type of focused attention we use to learn, create, dream, problem solve, or heal.
        • too much focused concentration
        • a short-term survival mechanism, a long-term source of stress and imbalance
          • increased electrical activity in the brain
          • maintaining high-range Beta waves requires an immense amount of energy
          • most reactive, unstable, and volatile of all brain patterns
          • Everything becomes emergency.
          • Thought alone can turn on the stress response. loop
          • Parts of the brain may stop coordinating effectively with other areas. The thinking part of brain become segregated.
        • hard to focus on inner self
          • The outer world appears to be more real than the inner world.
          • Attention and conscious awareness primarily focus on everything that makes up the external environment.
          • We obsess about problems rather than thinking about solutions.
        • hard to learn

          • make survival the priority, not learning

          Thinking in this mode causes your brain to overreact; you reason poorly and think without clarity.

          大脑Narrow-focus. 那么其他大部分内容就不能Consciously, focus, 只能subconscious用habit(past&familiar, known)来处理这些大部分内容.

        • High Beta’s Incoherent Signals Produce Scattered Thoughts
          Dispenza, Joe. Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself (p. 195). Hay House. Kindle Edition.
  • Gamma waves: the highest frequencies recorded. elevated states of consciousness

    • 40-100 hertz
    • elevated states of mind such as, happiness, compassion, and increased awareness
    • peak experience

meditation

  • from Beta into Alpha and Theta brain-wave states
  • close eyes => less information from environment is entering nervous system. => analytical mind begins to become subdued, and electrical activity in the neocortex quiets down. => Alpha state => relax, meditative state

  • the best times to meditate: Morning and Evening, when the door to the subconscious opens

  • Your awareness shifts from narrow-minded, over-focused, obsessive, compartmentalized, survival thinking to thoughts that are more open, relaxed, holistic, present, orderly, creative, and simple.

serotonin: primarily a daytime neurotransmitter that makes you alert
melatonin: the nighttime neurotransmitter that begins to relax you for sleep

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself BY Joe Dispenza

Suggested Four-Week Program Week One (Chapter 10): Every day, do STEP 1: Induction. Week Two (Chapter 11): Start every daily session by once again practicing the first step; then add STEP 2: Recognizing, STEP 3: Admitting and Declaring, and STEP 4: Surrendering. Week Three (Chapter 12): Start every daily session by practicing STEPS 1 through 4, then add STEP 5: Observing and Reminding and STEP 6: Redirecting.

Your awareness shifts from narrow-minded, over-focused, obsessive, compartmentalized, survival thinking to thoughts that are more open, relaxed, holistic, present, orderly, creative, and simple.

BODY-PART INDUCTION (Week One)

Now, can you become aware of the space that your lips occupy in space, and can you sense the volume of space that your lips are in … in space….

And now can you sense the space that your jaw occupies in space … can you notice the volume of space that your entire jaw is in … in space….

And now can you feel the space that your cheeks occupy in space … and the density of space that your cheeks take up … in space….

And now notice the space that your nose occupies in space. Can you sense the volume of space that your entire nose is in … in space….

And now, can you sense the space that your eyes occupy in space, and can you feel the volume of space that your eyes are in … in space….

And now can you pay attention to the space that your entire forehead occupies in space, all the way to your temples…. Can you sense the volume of space that your entire forehead is in … in space….

And now can you notice the space that your entire face occupies in space. Can you sense the density of space that your entire face is in … in space….

And now can you notice the space that your ears occupy in space. Can you sense the volume of space that your ears are in … in space….

And now can you feel the space that your entire head occupies in space. Can you sense the volume of space that your entire head is in … in space….

And now can you notice the volume of space that the column of your neck occupies in space. And can you sense the density of space that your entire neck is in … in space….

And now can you notice the space that your entire upper torso occupies in space; the density of space taken up by your chest, your ribs, your heart and lungs, all the way to your back and shoulder blades to your shoulders…. Can you sense the volume of space that your entire upper torso is in … in space….

And now can you become conscious of the space that your entire upper limbs occupy in space, and the weight of space that your upper extremities are in … in space … your shoulders, your arms, to your elbows and forearms; the density of your wrists and hands. Can you notice the weight of space that your entire limbs are in … in space….

And now can you sense the volume of space that your entire lower torso occupies in space … your abdomen, your flanks, to your ribs, all the way to your lower spine and back…. Can you sense the volume of space that your entire lower torso is in … in space….

And now can you feel the density of space that your entire lower extremities occupy in space … to your buttocks, to your groin, to your thighs, the density of space of your knees, the weight of your shins and your calves. Can you notice the volume of space that your ankles and feet down to your toes—your entire lower limbs—occupy … in space….

And now can you notice the space that your entire body occupies in space…. Can you sense the density of space that your entire body is in … in space….

And now can you sense the space around your body in space, and can you notice the volume of space that the space around your body takes up in space, and can you sense the space that that space is in … in space….

And now can you sense the space that this entire room occupies in space. And can you sense the volume of space that this room takes up, in all of space….

And now can you sense the space that all of space takes up in space, and the volume of space that that space is in … in space….

WATER-RISING INDUCTION (Week One)

Your job in this induction is to completely surrender into your body, let the warm water relax your tissues, and allow yourself to feel consumed by this liquid. I recommend that you sit up in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, hands resting on your knees.

Imagine warm water beginning to rise in the room … first, as it covers your feet and ankles, feel the warmth of your feet as they’re immersed in the water….

And allow the water to move higher now, up past your calves and shins, to right below your knees; and feel the weight of your legs from your feet to your calves, underwater….

Let yourself relax as the water reaches your knees and rises over your thighs…. As it surrounds your thighs, feel your hands immersed in this warm water … feel the warmth consume your wrists and forearms….

Now become aware of the soothing water as it encircles your buttocks, your groin, and your inner thighs….

And as the water rises all the way up to your waist, feel it submerge your forearms and elbows….

As the warm water continues to climb to your solar plexus, notice it as it moves halfway up your arms….

Now, sense the weight of your body, immersed up to your rib cage under the warm liquid, and feel it consuming your arms….

And now allow the water to encircle your chest and move across your shoulder blades….

As the water rises all the way up to your neck, allow it to cover your shoulders … and from your neck down, feel the weight and density of your body, immersed under this warm liquid….

Now, as the water moves up past your neck, feel the column of your neck, up to your chin, immersed underwater….

And allow the soothing water to move up over your lips and around the circumference of the back of your head … as it rises over your upper lip and over your nose, relax and let it consume you, so that the warmth of the water is now right below your eyes….

Allow the water to rise above your eyes, and feel everything from your eyes down immersed in this warm liquid. Feel it move up around your forehead, above the crown of your head; and as the circumference gets smaller and smaller, allow it to move above your head….

And now surrender into this warm, relaxing water and allow yourself to feel your body in its weightlessness, embraced by this water. Allow your body to feel the density of itself, immersed in this liquid….

Feel the volume of the water around your body and the space that your body is in, underwater. Let your awareness take in the entire room, submerged underwater. Sense the space that is filled by the room, consumed by warm water … and for a few moments, just feel your body floating in that space….

GUIDED MEDITATION: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER (Weeks Two Through Four)

You may wish to lead off this meditation with the Body-Part Induction in Appendix A, the Water-Rising Induction in Appendix B, or any other method you have used in the past or devised on your own.

Close your eyes and take a few deep, slow breaths to relax your mind and body. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Make your breaths long, slow, and steady. Rhythmically inhale and exhale until you move into the present. When you are in the moment, you are entering a world of possibility….

Now, there is a powerful intelligence within you that is giving you life, which loves you so much. When your will matches its will, when your mind matches its mind, when your love for life matches its love for you, it always responds. It will move in you and all around you, and you will see evidence in your life as a result of your efforts. To be greater than your environment, to be greater than the conditions in your life, to be greater than the feelings that are memorized in the body, to think greater than the body, to be greater than time … means that you are tugging on the garment of the divine. Your destiny, then, is a reflection of, a co-creation with, a greater mind. Love yourself enough to do this….

Week Two

Recognizing. Now, you cannot create a new future while holding on to the emotions of the past. What was the emotion that you wanted to unmemorized? Remember what that emotion feels like in your body…. And recognize the familiar state of mind that is driven by that emotion….

Admitting. It’s time to turn to the power within you, introduce yourself to it, and tell it what you want to change about yourself. Begin to admit to it who you have been, and what you have been hiding. In your mind, talk to it. Remember that it is real. It already knows you. It doesn’t judge you. It only loves…. Say to it, “Universal consciousness within me and all around me, I have been ____, and I truly want to change from this limited state of being….”

Declaring. It’s time to free the body from the mind, to close the gap between how you appear and who you are, to liberate your energy. Release your body from the familiar emotional bonds, which keep you connected to every thing, every place, and everyone in your past and present reality. It is the moment to free up your energy. I want you to say the emotion you want to change, out loud, and liberate it from your body as well as your environment. Say it now….

Surrendering. And now it’s time to surrender this state of being to a greater mind and to ask it to resolve this in a way that is right for you. Can you relinquish control to a greater authority that already has the answers? Surrender to this infinite mind and understand that this intelligence is absolutely real. It only waits in admiration and in willingness. It only responds when you ask for help. Surrender your limitation to an all-knowing intelligence. Simply open the door, give it up, and let go completely. Let it take your limitation from you. “Infinite mind, I give you my ____. Take it from me and resolve this emotion into a greater sense of wisdom. Free me from the chains of my past.” Now, just feel how you would feel if you knew this mind was taking this memorized emotion from you….

Week Three

Observing and Reminding. Now let’s make sure that no thought, no behavior, no habit that causes you to return back to the old self goes unnoticed by you. To make sure, let’s become conscious of those unconscious states of mind and body—how did you used to think when you felt that way? What did you say to yourself? What voice did you believe that you no longer want to accept as your reality? Observe those thoughts….

Begin to separate yourself from the program. How did you once behave? How did you speak? Become conscious of those unconscious states to such an extent that they would never go unnoticed by you again….

To begin to objectify the subjective mind, to begin to observe the program, means you are no longer the program. Awareness is your goal. Remind yourself who you no longer want to be, how you no longer want to think, how you no longer want to behave, and how you no longer want to feel. Become familiar with all aspects of the old personality, and just observe. With firm intention, make a choice to no longer be that person, and let the energy of your decision become a memorable experience….

Redirecting. Now it’s time to play the “Change Game.” I want you to imagine three scenarios in your life where you could start to feel like the old self again, and when you do, I want you to say “Change!” out loud. First, imagine that it is morning and you are in the shower, and as you are getting ready for your day, all of a sudden you notice that familiar feeling just starting to come up. And the moment you notice it, you say “Change!”—that’s right, you change it. Because living by that emotion is not loving to you. And it is no use signaling the same genes in the same way. And nerve cells that no longer fire together, no longer wire together. You control that….

Next, I want you to see yourself in the middle of the day. You are driving down the road, and suddenly, that familiar feeling that drives those familiar thoughts starts to come up, and what do you do? You say, “Change!” That’s right, you change. Because the rewards of being healthy and happy are so much more important than returning back to the old self. And by the way, living by that emotion has never been loving to you. And every time you change your state, you know that nerve cells that no longer fire together, no longer wire together, and you no longer turn on the same genes in the same ways….

Now I want you to play the Change Game one more time. I want you to see yourself getting ready for bed, and you are pulling the covers back, and as you start to get into bed, you notice that familiar feeling coming up, which is tempting you to behave as the old personality, and what do you do? You say, “Change!” That’s right. Because nerve cells that no longer fire together, no longer wire together. Signaling that gene in that way is not loving to you, and nobody and nothing is worth it. You control that….

Week Four

Creating. Now, what is the greatest expression of yourself that you can be? How would a great person think and act? How would such an individual live? How would he or she love? What does greatness feel like? …

I want you to move into a state of being. It is time to change your energy and broadcast a whole new electromagnetic signature. When you change your energy, you change your life. Let the thought become the experience, and let that experience produce an elevated emotion so that your body begins to emotionally believe that the future you is already living now…. Allow yourself to turn on new genes in new ways; signal the body emotionally ahead of the actual event; allow yourself to fall in love with the new ideal; open your heart and begin to recondition your body to a new mind….

Let the inward experience become a mood, then a temperament, and finally a new personality…. Move into a new state of being… How would you feel if you were this person? You can’t get up as the same person who sat down. You have to feel so much gratitude that your body begins to change ahead of the actual event, and accept that the new ideal already is you….

Become it…. To be empowered—to be free, to be unlimited, to be creative, to be genius, to be divine—that is who you are….

Once you feel this way, memorize this feeling; remember this feeling. This is who you really are….

Now let go and release it into the field for a moment; just let go….

Rehearsing. Now, like those piano players who changed their brains and the finger exercisers who changed their bodies, let’s do it again. Can you create your new self out of nothing one more time? …

Let’s fire and wire a new mind and recondition the body to a new emotion. Become familiar with a new state of mind and body. What is the greatest expression of your self? Allow yourself to begin to think like this ideal again….

What would you say to yourself, how would you walk, how would you breathe, how would you move, how would you live, what would you feel? Allow yourself to emotionally feel like this new self, so much so that you begin to move into a new state of being….

It is time to change your energy again and remember what it feels like to be this person. Expand your heart….

Who do you want to be when you open your eyes? You are signaling new genes in new ways. Feel empowered once again. Move into a new state of being; a new state of being is a new personality; a new personality creates a new personal reality….

This is where you create a new destiny. From this elevated state of mind and body, it is time to command matter as a quantum observer of your new reality. Feel invincible, powerful, inspired, and overjoyed….

From this new state of being, form a picture of some event you want to experience and let the image become the blueprint of your future. Observe that reality and allow the particles, as waves of probability, to collapse into an event called an experience in your life. See it, command it, hold it, and then move to the next picture….

Let your energy now become entangled to that destiny. That future event has to find you because you created it with your own energy. Let yourself go and create the future you want in certainty, trust, and knowingness….

the outcome. It is your task to create, and leave the details to a greater mind. As you see your future as the observer, simply bless your life with your own energy….

From a state of gratitude, be one with your destiny from a new state of mind and body. Give thanks for a new life….

Feel how you will feel when these things manifest in your life, because living in a state of gratitude is living in a state of receivership. Feel like your prayers are already answered….

Finally, it is time to turn to that power within you and ask it for a sign in your life: if today you emulated this greater mind as a creator who is observing all of life into form, and you made contact with it, and it has been observing your efforts and intentions, then it should show cause in your life. Know that it is real, that it exists, and that you now have a two-way communication with it. Ask that this sign from the quantum field come in a way that you would least expect, that surprises you and leaves no doubt that this new experience has come from universal mind, so that you are inspired to do it again. I want you now to ask for a sign….

And now move your awareness back to a new body in a new environment and in a whole new line of time. And when you are ready, bring your awareness back up to Beta. Then you can open your eyes.

Opportunity to Write answers to the following questions. Then review them, reflect on them, analyze them, and think about all the possibilities your answers raise.

Guided Mental-Rehearsal Meditation: Creating the New You

Now close your eyes, eliminate the environment, and let yourself go by “creating” how you want to live your life.

Your job is to move into a new state of being. It’s time to change your mind and think in new ways. When you do, you will emotionally recondition your body to a new mind by signaling new genes in new ways. Let the thought become the experience, and live that future reality now. Open your heart and give thanks ahead of the actual experience so much so that you convince your body to believe that future event is unfolding now.

Pick a potential in the quantum field, and live it completely. It is time to change your energy from living in the emotions of the past to living in the emotions of a new future. You cannot get up as the same person you were when you sat down. Remind yourself who you will be when you open your eyes. Plan your actions with regard to how you will be in your new reality. Imagine the new you and how you will speak and what you will say to yourself. Think about what it will feel like to be this ideal. Conceive of yourself as a new person—doing certain things; thinking certain ways; and feeling the emotions of joy, inspiration, love, empowerment, gratitude, and power.

Become so attentive to your intention that your thoughts of a new ideal become the experience internally, and as you feel the emotion from that experience, you go from thinking to being. Remember who and what you really are in your new future.

Rehearsing the New You

Now, relax for a few seconds. Then “re-view,” re-create, and rehearse what you just did; do it over again. Let go and see if you can do it repeatedly and consistently.

Can you initiate being that new ideal with greater ease than the last time? Can you bring it out of nothing one more time? You should naturally be able to recall who you are becoming so that you know how to call it up at will. Your repeated efforts will mean doing it so many times that you’ll just “know how” to. When you move into this new state of being, “memorize the feeling.” This is a great place to be.

Creating Your New Destiny

Now, it’s time to command matter. From this elevated state of mind and body, what do you want in your future life?

As you unfold the new self, remember to move into that state of mind and body that feels invincible, powerful, absolute, inspired, and overjoyed. Let the pictures come; see them with certainty, with a knowingness that unifies you to those events or things. Bond with your future as if it is yours, without any concern other than expectancy and celebration. Let yourself go and begin to free-associate without concern. Become empowered by your new sense of self. With clarity, hold the image of each manifestation in your mind for a few seconds, and then let it go into the quantum to be executed by a greater mind … then go to the next one … keep going … this is your new destiny. Allow yourself to experience that future reality in the present moment until you convince your body to emotionally believe that the event is coming to pass now. Open your heart and experience the joy of your new life before it actually manifests….

Know that where you place your attention is where you place your energy. The energy that you released from the body earlier has become the raw materials for you to use to create a new future. In a state of How would this new person (my ideal) think? What thoughts do I want to put my energy behind? What is my new attitude? What do I want to believe about me? How do I want to be perceived? What would I say to myself if I was this person? How Do I Want to Act? How would this person act? What would he or she do? How do I see myself behaving? How would I speak as this new expression of self? How Do I Want to Feel?

Examples of limiting automatic thoughts (your daily, unconscious mental rehearsal):

  • I’ll never get a new job.
  • No one ever listens to me.
  • He always makes me feel angry.
  • Everyone uses me.
  • I want to call it quits.

Examples of limiting actions/behaviors (your daily, unconscious physical rehearsal):

  • Sulking
  • Feeling sorry for yourself by sitting alone
  • Eating away depression
  • Calling someone to complain about how you feel
  • Playing obsessively on the computer
  • Picking a fight with someone you love
  • Procrastinating

Questions to turn on your frontal lobe:

  • What is the greatest ideal of myself?
  • What would it be like to be ____?
  • Who in history do I admire, and how did they act?
  • Who in my life do I know who is/feels ____?
  • What would it take to think like ____?
  • Whom do I want to model?
  • How would I be if I were ____?
  • What would I say to myself if I were this person?
  • How would I talk to others if I were changed?
  • How or whom do I want to remind myself to be?

How Do I want to think?

  • How would this new person (my ideal) think?
  • What thoughts do I want to put my energy behind?
  • What is my new attitude? What do I want to believe about me?
  • How do I want to be perceived?
  • What would I say to myself if I was this person?

How Do I Want to Act?

  • How would this person act?
  • What would he or she do?
  • How do I see myself behaving?
  • How would I speak as this new expression of self?

How Do I Want to Feel?

  • How would this new self be?
  • What would I feel?
  • What would my energy be like as this new ideal?

Written exercise

  • Write any thought / belief / story you have in your head that is not supportive of you in this specific area of your life.
  • → To the right of the first list, write a list of any evidence you can possibly think of that proves those initial thoughts to be incorrect.
  • → To the right of the second list, write yourself a list of more supportive thoughts you could choose to have about yourself.
  • → To the right of the third list, write a list of questions you could ask yourself anytime you find yourself thinking the unsupportive thoughts. The questions ideally are focused on the positive rather than the negative. The questions will engage your LPFC and take the focus away from your amygdala.

  • 背第3,4列

Mental Contrasting

  1. list out all obstacles in the way of completing your goal
  2. identify the largest obstacles
  3. clearly visualize those obstacles. What do those obstacles look, sound and feel like?
  4. What will you do to overcome those obstacles?

meditation

value

I recommend writing a list of your top 10 values in no particular order. Then reorganize the list in order of importance to you, from most important to least important. Identify your top 3 from this ordered list of 10, and ask yourself: “Are these values bringing me where I want to be in my life?”. Then, ask “If I lived in an alternative universe, and I could only take these top 3 with me, would they definitely be the ones I would take (realise knowing I have to leave the other 7 behind)?”. If you are happy that they are the top 3 values that are most important to you, ask yourself: “Am I truly living to these top 3 values, in how I spend my time, and the decisions I make in life and work?” and then “Do I need to reorder these values and make decisions, prioritizing certain values over others?”. This exercise might help you realize that you wish to reorder your values. It will then help you start prioritizing what / who with / where you spend your time, and start making some decisions differently as to how you want to live and what

Sleep

Sleep hygiene

  1. Establish a regular and consistent bedtime routine. Set a consistent wake-up time.
  2. Get adequate exposure to natural light during daytime and reduce exposure to light from all sources including electronic devices before bedtime.
  3. Limit the consumption of stimulants like caffeine, soda, alcohol and nicotine which may impair sleep quality.
  4. Exercise. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise during the daytime can improve sleep.
  5. Limit daytime napping.
  6. Practice some form of mental and physical relaxation routine before bedtime in order to quiet socially related anxieties and ruminations at bedtime.

What is sleep?

Sleep is a restorative process that is brain state–regulated, reversible, homeostatic, embedded in both a circadian and social–physiologic organization and involving a species-specific quiescent posture, some amount of perceptual disengagement, and elevated arousal thresholds.

  • Restorative process indicates that one feels refreshed after high quality sleep. ​​
  • Reversible means that once we fall asleep we can easily return to wake if aroused sufficiently via noise, shaking, etc., There is no quick reversibility in other quiescent states like coma. ​​
  • Homeostatic means that if we go without sleep we need to at least partially make up for that lost sleep. ​​
  • Brain state–regulated indicates that the brain is what triggers and maintains sleep and that different forms of sleep are associated with distinctive patterns of brain activation and deactivation; we will see in later chapters that the “social brain” is particularly important for sleep and vice versa. ​​
  • Circadian and social-physiologic organization refers to the fact that sleep occurs every 24 hours and is entrained to social cues in the environment such that interactions with conspecifics are optimized. ​​
  • Quiescent posture indicates that for most animals sleep is associated with a relatively motionless posture – most often recumbency (lying down).
  • Perceptual disengagement indicates that the sleeper exhibits reduced responsiveness to normal environmental stimuli. ​​
  • Elevated threshold means that it takes a sufficiently loud noise or hard shake to wake us up.

Lack of sleep

When you are tired, cells have trouble absorbing glucose form the bloodstream. This leaves them underfuled, and you exhausted.

The prefrontal cortex uses most energy and hence is affected most. Then striatum (routines and impulses) takes over to act.

Religion

The brain research performed by Drs. Andrew Newberg and the late Eugene D’Aquili15 earlier this decade have helped me understand exactly what was going on in my brain. Using SPECT technology (single photon emission computed tomography), these scientists identified the neuroanatomy underlying our ability to have a religious or spiritual (mystical) experience. They wanted to understand which regions of the brain were involved in our capacity to

undergo a shift in consciousness-away from being an individual to feeling that we are at one with the universe (God, Nirvana, euphoria). Tibetan meditators and Franciscan nuns were invited to meditate or pray inside the SPECT machine. They were instructed to tug on a cotton twine when they reached either their meditative climax or felt united with God. These experiments identified shifts in neurological activity in very specific regions in the brain. First, there was a decrease in the activity of the left hemisphere language centers resulting in a silencing of their brain chatter. Second, there was a decrease in activity in the orientation association area, located in the posterior parietal gyrus of the left hemisphere. This region of our left brain helps us identify our personal physical boundaries. When this area is inhibited or displays decreased input from our sensory systems, we lose sight of where we begin and where we end relative to the space around us.

What is “Brain 1-2-4”?

  • 1 core organizing principle: safety 1st.

    Once you feel safe you are better able to achieve reward.

    Rapid nonconscious judgements drive slower more detailed conscious processing.

    Automatic reactions to any threat cues always come first because you need to manage danger and feel safe before you can then seek the comfort of reward in a flexible and exploratory manner.

The safety 1st principle continually organizes all your brain’s networks and functions, and determines what is most significant to you from moment to moment. It primarily keeps you out of immediate and long-term danger, and then helps you position yourself to achieve a range of rewards.

**Finding core values is to build a safety environment.**
  • 2 modes of processing: fast unconscious judgments and decisions about the potential threats and rewards, and slower conscious detailed rational, verbal processes that occasionally override and correct your initial intuitive decisions

    Alignment of your nonconscious-conscious processing leads to enhanced functional effectiveness, in all aspects of life.

    Unconscious processing comes before conscious processing.

    Developing conscious-nonconscious alignment in decision-making requires awareness of both.

    For example, many people think that it is most effective to be rational, even when the cues/emotions/intuition are contradicting your decision. When you experience such dissonance, it may be worth pausing and retuning to your nonconscious cues, and implementing conscious statistical processing solutions before making a final decision.

    5 primary conscious thinking traps

    • Catastrophizing: anticipating potential disaster when there is a minor threat.
    • Black and white: perceiving something as entirely right or entirely wrong, without room for ambiguity.
    • Should have: something should have happened or someone could have done something but did not.
    • Jumping to conclusions: anticipating a disastrous outcome. Overgeneralizing: something ‘always’ happens.
  • 4 key underlying processes

    1. emotions (fast nonconscious automatic responses to threat or rewards cues)
    2. feelings (slower conscious physiological changes in heart rate, breathing and sweat production)
    3. thinking (conscious focusing, remembering, and planning)
    4. ongoing conscious self-regulation of all these functions.

strategies to train yourself to switch off automatic fight-flight stress responses

  1. Align your nonconscious emotion biases and conscious rational limitations to maximize your effectiveness.

  2. Train peak performance by being nonconsciously in the moment. How do you achieve this confident brain-performance effectiveness? You can train yourself to switch off conscious thinking and intrusive negative distractions, and let your nonconscious brain take the lead, especially under pressure, so that you are immersed in the moment.

Paper

Münte, T. F., Altenmüller, E., & Jäncke, L. (2002). The musician’s brain as a model of neuroplasticity. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3 (6), 473–478.

Dux, P. E., Tombu, M. N., Harrison, S., Rogers, B. P., Tong, F., & Marois, R. (2009). Training improves multitasking performance by increasing the speed of information processing in human prefrontal cortex. Neuron, 63 (1), 127–138.

Buonomano, D.V. and Merzenich, M.M. (1998). ‘Cortical Plasticity: From Synapses to Maps’, Annual Review of Neuroscience, 21(1), pp. 149-186.

Trojan, S. and Pokorny, J. (1999). ‘Theoretical Aspects of Neuroplasticity’, Physiological Research, 48(2), pp. 87-97.

Kolb. B. and Gibb, R. (2011). ‘Brain Plasticity and Behaviour in the Developing Brain’, Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 20(4): 265–276.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222570/

Terminology

  • Central Nervous System (CNS): Brain and spiral cord
  • Nucleus: A group of neurons within the CNS with similar function, connectivity and neurotransmitters biology里nueclues指细胞核, 含义不一样
    • Nucleus: inside
    • Ganglia: outside
  • Tract: A bundle of axons traveling together within the CNS
  • Synapse: A point of connection/communication between neurons
  • Afferent: arriving information
  • Efferent: existing information
  • Peripheral Nervous System (PNS): Cranial and peripheral nerves
  • Nerve: a bundle of axons (plus associated connective tissue and blood vessels) located outside the brain and spinal cord
  • Ganglia: a group of neurons outside the CNS with similar function, connectivity and neurotransmitters
    • Nucleus: inside
    • Ganglia: outside
  • Somatic Nervous System: Afferent and efferent systems that regulate motor innervation of skeletal muscle and sensory information from the external environment
  • Autonomic Nervous System: Afferent and efferent systems that regulate motor innervation of smooth muscle and glands and sensory information from the internal environment
  • Chunking: the process of grouping behaviors together into a single routine

Test

  • What is the relationship among frontal cortex, prefrontal cortex, and orbitofrontal cortex?

    The orbitofrontal cortex is a prefrontal cortex region in the frontal lobes of the brain which is involved in the cognitive process of decision-making.

    • What is “Brain 1-2-4”?

      • 1 core organizing principle: safety 1st.

        Once you feel safe you are better able to achieve reward.

        Rapid nonconscious judgements drive slower more detailed conscious processing.

      • 2 modes of processing: fast unconscious judgments and decisions about the potential threats and rewards, and slower conscious detailed rational, verbal processes that occasionally override and correct your initial intuitive decisions

      • 4 key underlying processes

        1. emotions (fast nonconscious automatic reponses to threat or rewards cues)
        2. feelings (slower conscious physiological changes in heart rate, breathing and sweat production)
        3. thinking (conscious focusing, remembering, and planning)
        4. ongoing conscious self-regulation of all these functions.

sleep

  • What is sleep?

    Sleep is a restorative process that is brain state–regulated, reversible, homeostatic, embedded in both a circadian and social–physiologic organization and involving a species-specific quiescent posture, some amount of perceptual disengagement, and elevated arousal thresholds.

  • Identify the homeostatic nature of sleep.
  • Evaluate the key elements in the scientific definition of sleep
  • Evaluate the evidence for the social nature of sleep
  • Distinguish biologic characteristics of reptilian, avian, mammalian, nonhuman primate sleep, and human sleep
    • What are the 2 basic forms of sleep?
  • REM and NREM
    • Why are there 2 basic forms of sleep?
    • Why is the amygdala activated and the dorsal-prefrontal cortex down-regulated during REM?
    • What is the evidence for immune system repair during slow wave sleep?
    • What is sleep debt and how is it related to brain function?
    • What are the psychological consequences of chronic sleep debt?
    • What do the major parasomnias teach us about conscious states?

dream

  • Why do some people recall very few dreams while others are flooded with dream memories on a daily basis?
  • Why are social interactions so ubiquitous in dreams?
  • Can certain dream experiences signal illness or even death?
  • Why are some dreams extraordinarily moving and others quite banal and forgetful?
  • Why do some people find it easy to realize they are dreaming when they are in fact dreaming (“lucid dreams”) while others never achieve “lucidity”?
  • Do we need to dream in order to remember things?
  • Do we need dreams in order to be creative?
  • How is the new rage for using smartphones and apps to track sleep patterns and dreams altering our understanding of sleep and dreams?
  • What about nightmares?
  • Why do they occurs and is there anything we can do about them?
  1. Gross Anatomy
  2. Spinal Cord
  3. Autonomic Nervous System
  4. Motor Systems
  5. Sensory Systems
  6. Brain Stem
  7. Cranial Nerves
  8. Cortex
  • Learn the gross anatomy of the central and peripheral nervous systems.
  • Understand how sensory information enters the brain.
  • Understand how the brain and spinal cord control the muscles.
  • Understand how the autonomic nervous system activates the fight or flight response.
  • Learn the names and functions of the cranial nerves.
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