The ancients believed that the ‘I’ in the mind is a reflection of the body. Just as athletes and sports people develop muscle memory, the bodymind retains the imprints of experiences that shape your memories, emotions and desires, which in turn form the basis of your conscious and sub-conscious choices and actions. Who you are is a reality of your own making.
Aside from drugs, sleep deprivation, extreme physical experiences or direct physical interference, nothing or no one can reach into your head and make you do or believe something against your will – all your beliefs and actions are a result of choices you make, knowingly or unknowingly, based on long held beliefs or reasoned, considered thought. The world is not simply and only something ‘out there’, you construct a view of and feelings about something ‘out there’ and make sure it suits the feeling you want or allow yourself to have about it at that moment and in that situation.
Neuroscience is a fast developing field that explores this aspect of who we are.
A very good guide is Neuroscience of Self and Self-Regulation by Todd F. Heatherton
As a social species, humans have a fundamental need to belong that encourages behaviors consistent with being a good group member. Being a good group member requires the capacity for self-regulation, which allows people to alter or inhibit behaviors that would place them at risk for group exclusion. Self-regulation requires four psychological components. First, people need to be aware of their behavior so as to gauge it against societal norms. Second, people need to understand how others are reacting to their behavior so as to predict how others will respond to them. This necessitates a third mechanism, which detects threat, especially in complex social situations. Finally, there needs to be a mechanism for resolving discrepancies between self-knowledge and social expectations or norms, thereby motivating behavior to resolve any conflict that exists. This article reviews recent social neuroscience research on the psychological components that support the human capacity for self-regulation.
- A Highway to Smell: How Scientists Used Light to Incept Smell in Mice
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- Producing a gaseous messenger molecule inside the body, on demandPhoto shows the device the team developed. The tube at top is connected to a supply of the precursor material, sodium nitrite, which then passes through a channel in the fiber at the bottom and into the body, which also contains the electrodes to stimulate the release of nitric oxide. The electrodes are connected through the four-pin connector on the left.
- A focused approach to imaging neural activity in the brainUsing a new calcium indicator that accumulates in the cell bodies of neurons (boxes at right), MIT neuroscientists are able to more accurately image neuron activity. Traditional calcium indicators (boxes at left) can generate crosstalk that blurs the images.
- Like a treasure map, brain region emphasizes reward locationWhen keeping track of location a particular region of the brain, the lateral septum, pays special attention to where the reward is located, compared to another region, the hippocampus, that tracks location without that same bias.
- Scientists Used Dopamine to Seamlessly Merge Artificial and Biological NeuronsScientists Used Dopamine to Seamlessly Merge Artificial and Biological Neurons In just half a decade, neuromorphic devices—or brain-inspired computing—already seem quaint. The current darling? Artificial-biological hybrid computing, uniting both man-made computer chips and biological neurons seamlessly into semi-living circuits. It sounds crazy, but a new study in Nature Materials shows that it’s possible to get … Read MoreRead more
- Study sheds light on a classic visual illusionAn MIT-led research team has discovered evidence that a classic visual illusion called simultaneous brightness contrast, such as the one seen here, relies on brightness estimation that takes place in the retina, not the brain’s visual cortex. In this image, the two small discs appear to have different brightness despite having identical luminance.
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- Study finds path for addressing Alzheimer’s blood-brain barrier impairmentIn Alzheimer’s disease, the blood-brain barrier can become disrupted by the accumulation of amyloid protein, especially in people who carry a genetic variant called APOE4. This 3D rendering of an APOE4-carrying engineered blood vessel shows heavy accumulation of amyloid protein (green).
- Animals That Can Do Math Understand More Language Than We ThinkAnimals That Can Do Math Understand More Language Than We Think It is often thought that humans are different from other animals in some fundamental way that makes us unique, or even more advanced than other species. These claims of human superiority are sometimes used to justify the ways we treat other animals, in the … Read MoreRead more
- Research highlights immune molecule’s complex role in Huntington’s diseaseResearchers are studying the role of the immune system molecule IL-6 in Huntington’s disease, which leads to neurodegeneration in a region of the brain called the striatum. In this figure from a prior study, green staining highlights Stat3 in the striatum. Stat3 is a major transducer of IL-6 signaling.
- How a Crowdsourcing Challenge Turbocharged Brain Research During LockdownHow a Crowdsourcing Challenge Turbocharged Brain Research During Lockdown “I had a dream my paintbrush split while I was picking up brain slices. Nightmare scenario, right? Then I woke up and thought: I really miss the lab,” a neuroscientist friend of mine recently lamented over a virtual happy hour. She’s not alone. As the pandemic … Read MoreRead more
- How Scientists Influenced Monkeys’ Decisions Using Ultrasound in Their BrainsHow Scientists Influenced Monkeys’ Decisions Using Ultrasound in Their Brains A few years ago, in a pitch black room at Stanford University, a monkey sat silently in his custom-made chair, utterly bewildered. It wasn’t because of the head brace, which held his head completely still. It wasn’t the LCD screen blasting bright light in his … Read MoreRead more
- Interview: Maria Shriver on Alzheimer’s and Women's HealthMaria Shriver shares a new myth-busting report backed by science that may explain why women are at greater risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia due to many factors, not just age. Source – Psychology Today Interview: Maria Shriver on Alzheimer’s and Women's Health
- How Does The Body Respond To Dangers?Insights from the science of feeling safe suggest that we naturally long for feelings of trust and comfort in our connections with others and unconsciously react to cues of dangers Source – Psychology Today How Does The Body Respond To Dangers?
- Making tissue stretchable, compressible, and nearly indestructibleA new technology called ELAST transforms tissues, such as this slab of human brain, to make them reversibly stretchable or compressible, as well as much more durable. This allows them to be repeatedly stretched out or squished down thin for much faster infusion of labeling probes, which labs use to highlight cells or molecules under the microscope.
- Study finds that aging neurons accumulate DNA damageIn this figure, neurons in the bottom row, which are missing the HDAC1 gene, show higher levels of DNA damage (green) than normal neurons.
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- COVID-19 Is Not Just a Respiratory IllnessAs COVID-19 spreads across the globe, scientists are learning that it can cause neurological symptoms—something they didn’t expect. Source – Psychology Today COVID-19 Is Not Just a Respiratory Illness
- Study finds “volume dial” for turning neural communication up or downMIT researchers have found that a protein called SYT7 appears to limit activity at neural connections called synapses. Here, synapses glowing light green are engaged in neurotransmitter release.
- Optogenetics with SOULOptogenetics is a technique in which genes for light-sensitive proteins are introduced into specific types of brain cells in order to monitor and control their activity precisely using light signals.
- Biological to Artificial and Back: How a Core AI Algorithm May Work in the BrainBiological to Artificial and Back: How a Core AI Algorithm May Work in the Brain Blame is the main game when it comes to learning. I know that sounds bizarre, but hear me out. Neural circuits of thousands, if not more, neurons control every single one of your thoughts, reasonings, and behaviors. Take sewing a … Read MoreRead more
- Studying the brain and supporting the mind“I feel supported and encouraged by everybody here and there’s not a barrier to me asking for help,” MIT senior Tarun Kamath says.
- How could Covid-19 and the body’s immune response affect the brain?Mounting evidence suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 virus affects the brain, as well as the lungs.
- Muscle signals can pilot a robotLead author Joseph DelPreto controls a "Conduct-A-Bot" drone with his arm muscles.