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In the News: Stories in consciousness reaserch for the advancement of humanity that relate to
the central ideas, content, themes and purposes of the Soul Connection Network website.

In the News on the Frontier of Conscioiusness
DEPARTMENTS: Mirror Neurons | Coherence |
Holographic Awareness | Placebo Effect | Chopra |
More than "Miscellaneous"


Watch movie on mirror neurons  
Mirror Neurons also respond
to language and sound

Mirror neurons continue to light up neuroscientists’ imaginations, as several new studies show that the nerve cells respond to more than just visual stimuli. In multiple reports published in Current Biology, neuroscientists provide evidence that mirror neurons are multimodal — they are activated by not just by watching actions, but also by hearing and reading about them. An effort led by Lisa Aziz-Zadeh, a neuroscientist at the University of Southern California, found that the brain’s premotor cortex shows the same activity when subjects observe an action as when they read words describing it.

Introduction to Mirror NeuronsMirror Neurons:
Why we get lost in a good book

“New brain imaging from UCLA demonstrates that specialized brain cells, known as mirror neurons, activate both when we observe the actions of others and when we simply read sentences describing the same action. When we read a book, these specialized cells respond as if we are actually doing what the book character is doing.”

[NOTE: This new, groundbreaking area of neuroscience is remarkable support for why and how our Stories for Transformation project works.]

Ultimate Empathy:
People who feel when others are touched

The ability to actually feel a touch when watching another person being touched is known as mirror synesthesia. “Watching another person being touched activates a similar neural circuit to actual touch and, for some people with ‘mirror-touch’ synesthesia, can produce a felt tactile sensation on their own body,” researchers Michael Banissy and Jamie Ward reported in their findings, published in the current issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience. Confirmed using brain scans, the researchers also found that people with mirror-touch synesthesia had an unusually strong ability to empathize with others. “The classical idea about empathy is that we understand others pretty much as scientists understand natural phenomena,” said Dr. Marco Iacoboni of the Neuropsychiatric Institute at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “It was thought that we observe and make hypotheses about what will happen, but that was completely wrong, totally wrong.” It turns out that humans learn empathy through simulating the actions of others. “I see you do something, and my brain pretends that I am in your shoes,” Iacoboni said. This way, humans learn to feel what others are feeling by performing the actions others are doing — in their minds, at least.

Why the Giggles Make Us Smile

Laughter and cheers cause a buzz of activity in brain regions that control facial movement. A new study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), published in this week’s Journal of Neuroscience, shows that our brains are wired to react to nonverbal sounds ... especially positive ones.

Mirror Neurons: Proof that visiting people in hospital
really does them good

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The Global Coherence Monitoring System

The Global Coherence Monitoring System

The Institute of HeartMath and internationally renowned astrophysicist and nuclear scientist Elizabeth Rauscher are partnering to build an elaborate monitoring system to measure and explore fluctuations in the magnetic fields generated by the earth and ionosphere. Among the project’s goals are determining whether the earth’s field is influenced by or reflected in human heart rhythm patterns or brain activity and whether this field can indicate earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other planetary events.

The Monitoring System will examine the energetic resonance between the earth’s magnetic field and the rhythms of human heart and brain activity. It will also explore whether the magnetic field is influenced by collective human emotional resonance resulting from major events and whether the emotional energy generated by the collective intuition about major future events in measurable in this field.

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  Plotting the future
Scan shows how brains plot future

Brain scans have given US scientists a clue about how we create a mental image of our future. The ability to create a mental picture of events that have not yet happened, designs future realities for people to experience. “Much of our everyday thought depends on our ability to see ourselves partaking in future events.”

Is this REALLY proof that man can
see into the future?

Do some of us avoid tragedy by foreseeing it? Some scientists now believe that the brain really CAN predict events before they happen. Dutch professor of psychology, Dr. Dick Bierman, is using real-time brain scans to see if people sense things before they happen. Bierman is working with “presentiment,” the physical or emotional feeling that something unusual is about to happen. The results suggest that ordinary people really do have a sixth sense that can help them “see” the future.

Time in the Animal Mind:
Humans are Born Time Travelers

We may not be able to send our bodies into the past or the future, at least not yet, but we can send our minds. We can relive events that happened long ago or envision ourselves in the future. New studies suggest that the two directions of temporal travel are intimately entwined in the human brain. A number of psychologists argue that re-experiencing the past evolved in our ancestors as a way to plan for the future and that the rise of mental time travel was crucial to our species’ success.
Read more about how the leading-edge scientific research on the brain, heart frequencies and consciousness relate to the larger picture offered by this website ...
Click here.

Two brains — one thought

Max Planck Institute for Dynamics & Self-Organization and the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience: When the brain receives sensory input, calculates or remembers, it processes information encoded in a series of neuronal impulses in different nerve cells. Although no two people have the same brain, they can still share the same thought. Thus, only to a certain extent is the dynamics of neuronal activity dependent on the structure of neuronal networks ...

Working in combination,
human senses seem super heroic

There is, it seems, no such thing as a common sense. Researchers are increasingly teasing out evidence that our five basic senses add up to a whole lot more than most of us realize or appreciate. Indeed, by combining and exploiting our basic senses in novel and unexpected ways, humans perceive far more than they can simply see, taste, touch, smell or hear, scientists say. For example: A UC Riverside psychology professor and others have documented the ability of blindfolded volunteers to employ bat-like echolocation to move successfully within unfamiliar spaces and identify shapes simply by the sounds moving around them.

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Great expectations:
Scientists Unlock Secrets of the Placebo Effect

“Receptors for both endorphins and dopamine are clustered heavily in the nucleus accumbens. So, taken together, our studies delve directly into the mechanisms that underlie the placebo effect,” says senior author, neuroscientist, psychiatrist and brain-imaging specialist Jon-Kar Zubieta, M.D., Ph.D. “This is a phenomenon that has great importance for how new therapies are studied, because many patients respond just as well to placebo as they do to an active treatment. Our results also suggest that placebo response may be part of a larger brain-resiliency mechanism.”

Researchers Demonstrate How Placebo Effect
Works in the Brain

Scientists have shown how the neurochemistry of the placebo effect can relieve pain in humans by causing the brains of test volunteers to release a natural painkiller. The research team was led by Tor Wager, Columbia professor of psychology. “Placebo effects are often observed in clinical practice, but there have been relatively few scientific studies that document the kinds of diseases that can be influenced by placebo treatments,” Wager said. “Yet, placebo groups are included in virtually every major clinical trial, which is a testament to their importance. These results extend our knowledge of how beliefs and expectations affect the brain’s neurochemistry and show that one’s mental response to a challenge can affect the brain and body in ways that are relevant to health. Understanding these interactions can pave the way for new treatments that are informed by knowledge of mind-body interactions.”

Placebo’s power goes beyond the mind

New insights into how placebos work may help scientists figure out how to harness the effect and teach people to train their own brains to help with healing.

It’s the thought that counts

Belief in placebos can release natural painkillers in patients’s brains. “The question we asked was, ’Is there a release of morphine that corresponds to this placebo effect?’ The remarkable finding was that there is.”

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The Mind Outside the Body (Part 1)

There is a major discovery waiting around the corner. Science is about to realize that intelligence is a field effect and that this "mind field" surrounds us on all sides, like the earth’s magnetic field. It is thanks to the mind field that our brains are able to think and also to connect with other minds, not by physical means but invisibly, the way one magnet is connected to every other on earth.

The Mind Outside the Body (Part 2)

If it is true that intelligence arises in a “mind field” that surrounds us on all sides, we must all be participating in it. Almost a century ago Carl Jung proposed that our participation takes place in a “collective unconscious,” from which the human race derives its myths and archetypes. The fact that cultures widely separated in time and place produce the same kind of stories about questing heroes, transformation, and hidden worlds suggests that Jung is right.

The Mind Outside the Body (Part 3)

The concept of a field sounds technical, but it has everyday implications. Many pet owners will attest, for example, to the ability of a dog or cat to know what the owner is thinking. A few minutes before going on a walk, their dog gets excited and restless; on the day when a cat is going to be taken to the vet, it disappears and is nowhere to be found. These casual observations led the ingenious British researcher Rupert Sheeldrake, a trained biologist, to conduct a studies. The results suggests that the bond between a pet and its owner could be the result of a subtle connections at the level of thought. Intriguing animal studies about a phenomenon called “mirror neurons” is beginning to make this notion far more plausible.

The Mind Outside the Body (Part 4)

The brain is a receiver for the mind field. The field itself is invisible, but as mirrored in our brains, it comes to life as images, sensations, and an infinite array of experiences. A mirror neuron does exactly what I’ve described: it observes activity in the outside world and imitates it without any material connection to another brain. The very fact that an action can be so precisely matched between two unrelated brains has strong implications for a theory of mind.

The Mind Outside the Body (Part 5)

With the discovery of mirror neurons, another piece of the puzzle was added, the puzzle being how we learn and understand others. There are enough open-minded investigators that all kinds of data are accumulating that will fit into a theory of mind outside the brain. But the prevailing paradigm is far from accommodating them. Words like psychic, paranormal, and mystical are basically dismissive. They compartmentalize “real” science from suspect experience. But life is experience, and if a genuine paradigm shift is underway, as we so often hear, Nature is infinitely richer than our explanations of Nature. The acceptance of the mind field as a fundamental level of Nature may be closer than we think, and it will inaugurate an enormous advance in human comprehension of consciousness and therefore of the deeper reality from which we spring.

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The Neurology of Self-Awareness

What is the self? How does the activity of neurons give rise to the sense of being a conscious human being? This fascinating article is by neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran, the director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego, and appears on The Edge, The Third Culture website.

New brain scan has ability to read people’s intentions

For the first time, a team of world-renowned neuroscientists has developed a powerful technique that allows them to look deep inside a person’s brain and read their intentions before the person has generated conscious awareness, thoughts and actions stemming from the intentions. The research breaks new ground in scientists’ ability to probe people’s minds and eavesdrop on their thoughts. It also raises ethical issues over how mind-reading technology may be used in the future. The team used high-resolution brain scans to identify patterns of activity before they are translated into meaningful thoughts, revealing what a person is planning to do in the near future.

Charity is uppermost in the brain

Neuroscientists have found the brain’s charity spot: an area at the top and back of the brain that is busier in more altruistic people. The research suggest that altruistic behavior comes from the way people view the world.

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