We Literally Make It Up As We Go Along
A Dartmouth study finds that the conscious perception of visual location occurs in the frontal lobes of the brain, rather than in the visual system in the back of the brain. The findings are published in Current Biology. The results are significant given the ongoing debate among neuroscientists on what consciousness is and where it happens in the brain.
"Our study provides clear evidence that the visual system is not representing what we see but is representing the physical world,” said lead author, Sirui Liu, a graduate student of psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth.
To examine how the perception of position occurs in the brain, participants were presented with visual stimuli and asked to complete a series of behavioral tasks while in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. For one of the tasks, participants were asked to stare at a fixed black dot on the left side of the computer screen inside the scanner while a dot that flickered between black and white, known as a Gabor patch, moved in the periphery. Participants were asked to identify the direction the patch was moving. The patch appears to move across the screen at a 45 degree angle, when in fact it is moving up and down in a vertical motion. Here, the perceived path is strikingly different from the actual physical path that lands on the retina. This creates a "double-drift” illusion. The direction of the drift was randomized across the trials, where it drifted either towards the left, right or remained static.
Using fMRI data and multivariate pattern analysis, a method for studying neural activation patterns, the team investigated where the perceived path, tilted left or right from vertical, appears in the brain. On average, participants reported that the perceived motion path was different from the actual path by 45 degrees or more. The researchers found that while the visual system collects the data, the switch between coding the physical path and coding the perceived path (illusory path) takes place outside of the visual cortex all the way in the frontal areas, which are higher-order brain regions.
"Our data firmly support that frontal areas are critical to the emergence of conscious perception," explained study co-author and co-principal investigator, Patrick Cavanagh. "While previous research has long established the frontal lobes are responsible for functions such as decision-making and thinking, our findings suggest that this area of the brain is also the end step for perceiving where objects are. So, that's kind of radical," he added.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Use our Vital Force Crystal for Chakra Cleansing and Protection, to allow your experience to be safer and more conducive to information, thus increasing your well-being. (30% off now--see below).
Complaining Changes Your Brain
When we get caught up in the habit of continually complaining, in the form of thoughts in our heads or out loud to anyone and everyone we come into contact with, it will directly alter our thought processes. Altered thoughts lead to altered beliefs, which will inevitably lead to a change in behavior.
In fact, our brain possesses something that is called the negativity bias, meaning that the brain has a tendency to focus more on what's wrong via our perception, not what's going right or the positive events in our life. These negative thoughts can actually drown out the lighter experiences over time so that you aren't able to even see the good events that are taking place in your life.
Neuroscientist, Dr. Rick Hanson sums up the negativity bias quite nicely, "Negative Stimuli produce more neural activity than do equally intensive positive ones. They are also perceived more easily and quickly." So, by continually allowing ourselves to complain we are strengthening this behavior, as mentioned above, the first step towards changing this is to become aware of the problem. That alone, will make see the issue and likely ponder on your negative thoughts.
This isn't to say that we always need to "think positive" a common new-age misconception, but we should take the necessary action steps to move beyond the effects of thinking negatively all the time.
A simple and effective technique is to wear a "complaining bracelet". You simply wear a bracelet, any kind that can easily come off, and every time you catch yourself complaining about something, in your head or out loud to someone else, you switch wrists so you can be aware of what is happening. To hold yourself accountable, let your family, friends, and co-workers know of your challenge so in case you don't realize that you're complaining, they can call you out too. The goal is to see how long you can go without having to switch the bracelet, but this technique is also powerful for showing you how much you are actually complaining in the first place.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Cultivating mindfulness by giving attention to the context of what we say helps reveal habitual behaviors. Use our Zen Meditation Elixir to enhance this property.
Silence is Healthy
Studies have shown that excessive environmental noise not only decreases one's quality of life and cognitive function, but also reduces lifespan. The good news is that spending time in silence can reverse these effects.
A study from 2011 in Psychological Science examined the effects Munich's airport had on children's health and cognition. Professor Gary W. Evans of Cornell University noted that the children who were exposed to noise developed a stress response that caused them to ignore the noise. These children not only ignored harmful noises, but also regular stimuli that are important to pay attention to like speech. Wonder why people have trouble paying attention these days? Perhaps we are exposed to too much noise and too many sounds.
Noise has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, tinnitus, and loss of sleep. Living in consistently noisy environments will cause you to experience much higher levels of these harmful hormones.
An interesting study observed the effects of noise, music, and silence on the brain. The study was published in the journal Heart and found that the two minute pauses randomly placed between the "relaxing music" in the study were far more relaxing for the brain than the relaxing music. The longer the silence, the more benefits experienced by the participants. Study author L. Bernardi found that his "irrelevant" blank pauses were the most important aspects of the study. Silence is heightened by contrast.
So, what can you do if you experience a lot of noise and are looking to avoid loud noises or simply take a break? Firstly, the good news is that the brain recovers from too much noise over time. According to the attention restoration theory, the brain's finite cognitive resources can begin restoring when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input. In silence, the brain essentially lets down its sensory guard and restores some of what has been ‘lost' through excess noise.
The practical end of this would look like making an extra effort to be or spend time in silence. This means no music, movies, friends, conversations, phone chimes, etc, even if it's only for 30 minutes or an hour each day.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Use the Vital Force Chakra Protection and Cleansing Crystal that has been shown to increase empathy and compassion in the wearer.
Health & Healing Hack of the Week
This is an ancient technique of using the imagination to manifest or actualize a desired state or circumstance. The bridge, if you will, from the imagination to the temporal world is our ability to FEEL. What we feel is what manifests as our experience--not the other way around. We are not feeling as a result of our experience. We are experiencing as a result of what we feel. It's this confusion that blocks and confuses all of us incarnees down here on Planet Rock. By understanding this basic concept, it's then a simple matter of consciously FEELING what you want to experience. And in short order, it WILL come to pass. This is because we've already started the motion of sub-atomic particle-waves and force fields necessary to bring whatever it is to physical manifestation by our feeling. There is time in there, the amount depending on the depth and consistency of feeling. And that is where the skill comes in. Feeling prayer is a skill, requiring mindfulness, imagination and desire. All of those things most of us have been mis-informed as to how to use, even though they are our most powerful standard equipment. (Gregg Braden on Feeling Prayer 8:53 mp3). From 25 No Cost Health & Healing Hacks by Boyd Martin)
Quantum Healer of the Week
Catherine Rosenbaum is a gifted teacher, guide, and visionary. A true empath who, through love, compassion, humor, and joy, lives out her Human Design as a REFLECTOR. They are rare! (like unicorns!) Only 1% of the human population are Reflectors…they are pure lunar essences, who can reflect back to us the deep, and often hidden, intimate (jeweled) facets of ourselves. To sit with a Reflector is a unique experience that can be a revelation. Catherine's clarity, insight, and support through a session can open up profound pathways of self-understanding. She gets to the heart of what matters, and when revealed, that once-held energy is free to be available for new opportunities that arise for our highest personal growth and for the upliftment of all. WEBSITE
Company & Product News
VALENTINE'S DAY SALE! 30% OFF VITAL FORCE CRYSTALS!
What a great gift for that special Valentine! These specially supercharged Swarovski Crystals are infused with subtle energies that are palpable. Developed by physicists using a breakthrough process, specific energies are infused into these crystals, creating a wonderful field around the wearer. Choose from several energies, such as Inner Peace, Healing Love, Success and Achievement, Chakra Cleansing, EMF Protection, and more. Bring the wellness and well-being of your loved one to a new level with these crystals. Use discount code VAL30 for 30% off the Vital Force Crystals.
AMAZING PRODUCT ALERT: Subtle Energy Sciences - Vagus Nerve
This vagus nerve app is sourced directly from the quantum field and designed to tone and stabilize the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is one of the longest nerves in the body and plays a principle role in conveying information about the body to the brain. Electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve encourages the brain to reorganize itself around damaged areas and has proven to be an effective treatment for numerous health conditions. The Vagus Nerve Balance quantum energy app bypasses the need for expensive electrical stimulation and instead uses quantum energy pulses to tone and balance the vagus nerve. Use the Vagus Nerve Balance quantum energy app for: general health; stress reduction; activating the parasympathetic nervous system; supporting digestion; and reducing inflammation MORE INFO
AMAZING PRODUCT ALERT: VibesUp Ageless Mask
EXTREME and FAST -- Do the test: Feel the skin around your eyes BEFORE using this mask and then feel again after just one night. You will notice a baby silky feeling, imagine after a month! BONUS: In addition to smoother eye skin, enjoy a deeper sleep and a more youthful refreshed look. Includes adjustable Comfort Band. The Double Stuff Formula contains double the stones, Flower Essences, essential oils, and Liquid Crystal! Puffy Crystals amplify the conductivity and strength of the special Earth Mat material in the mask. Super Shrunk aids in compressing the tiny quartz spheres to amplify the piezo electricity! Earth Energy Eye Mask: Delightful! Imagine improved sleep, meditation, eye health, headaches, and younger healthier eye appearance. MORE INFO
Refer Your Friends for Commissions
Pure Energy Rx now has an affiliate program built in to the store. Refer your friends and family, and when they purchase, you get a commission! We pay between 25% and 10%, depending on the product or formula. Commissions are paid per sale daily. Signup is simple and quick, and we provide links and banners to use in your communications--website, social media, emails. When your friends click on your custom link and purchase products, you automatically receive a commission. You can use your own link to get paid back for purchases you make. Such a deal! Yet another fun thing to do at Pure Energy Rx! SPECIAL NOTE: You can earn reward points by doing tasks, such as referring friends, purchasing product, subscribing, etc. Just click on the "Rewards" tab on the left-hand margin on the website.
Gem Elixir for the Month
"Stone for Spiritual Growth"
Spiritually: Fusion of extraterrestrial energies with earth energies. Clears blockages, aligns the chakras. Resonates with the crown chakra, opening it to receive the highest spiritual guidance.
Emotionally: Supports qualities such as empathy and compassion.
Mentally: Helps access spiritual information through the intellect.
Physically: Makes one aware of the cause and source of disease. Supports the releasing and healing process. MORE INFO
(Website usage note: You can search for keywords at Pure Energy Rx, and it will return relevant results, e.g. "courage", "confidence", "fear", "intelligence", etc.)