Synopsis: It’s a desperate time, but a miracle brings light into the world.
Update: Now we eat well, party, give gifts, gather the family and celebrate with lights on trees that are real, fake or symbolic.
Whatever you celebrate, wherever you are, I hope you are filled with the joy of the season, in the company of loved ones and inspired by a new vision of hope for the fulfillment of your heartfelt dreams.
Light of Hope — Psalm 27
Archive for December, 2008
A study by neuroscientists from Duke University Medical Center reveals differences in how older and younger people use their brains when it comes to storing memories, particularly those associated with negative emotions.
Older adults, average age 70, and younger adults, average age 24, were shown a series of 30 photographs while their brains were imaged in a functional MRI (fMRI) machine. Some of the photos were neutral in nature and others had strong negative content such as attacking snakes, mutilated bodies and violent acts.
While in the fMRI machine, the subjects viewed the photos and ranked them on a pleasantness scale. Following that they completed an unexpected recall task following the fMRI scan to determine whether the brain activity that occurred while looking at the pictures could predict later memory. The results were sorted according to the numbers of negative and neutral pictures that were remembered or missed by each group.
The scientists believe that the study showed that the older adults have less connectivity between an area of the brain that generates emotions and a region involved in memory and learning. But they also found that the older adults have stronger connections with the frontal cortex, the higher thinking area of the brain that controls these lower-order parts of the brain.
“The younger adults were able to recall more of the negative photos,” said Roberto Cabeza, Ph.D., senior author and Duke professor in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. If the older adults are using more thinking than feeling, “that may be one reason why older adults showed a reduction in memory for pictures with a more negative emotional content.”
“It wasn’t surprising that older people showed a reduction in memory for negative pictures, but it was surprising that the older subjects were using a different system to help them to better encode those pictures they could remember,” said lead author Peggy St. Jacques, a graduate student in the Cabeza laboratory.
Young adults employed more of the brain regions usually involved in emotion and recalling memories.
The emotional centers of the older subjects were as active as those of younger subjects — it was the brain connections that differed.
There are various possibilities as to why there are these differences.
Older people have more visual memories of unpleasant images, such as snakes, than younger ones. This is especially true for the current generations thanks to photography, film and video access that other generations lacked.
“If using the frontal regions to perform a memory task was always beneficial, then the young people would use that strategy, too,” Cabeza said. “Each way of doing a task has some trade-offs. Older people have learned to be less affected by negative information in order to maintain their well being and emotional state – they may have sacrificed more accurate memory for a negative stimulus, so that they won’t be so affected by it.”
Another possibility is that an older person looks at something to decide what to do with or about it; the brain may not remember it as well since keeping the information is irrelevant. What is relevant is the response to it.
Why remember what is already largely remembered in previously stored visual memories that pose no possible current danger?
Young people are still visually (and in other ways) learning about the world. Thus their responses would be different from an older person’s.
Healthy normal brains use visual memories to decode the impressions of light received from the eyes. Only ten percent of the process of visual perception occurs in the eyes, which see impressions of light. The bulk of visual work happens in the brain as it decodes the information received from the eyes by using memories of visual experiences that seem to compare to the current impressions of light.
At some point the brain has enough visual memories of a specific person, place or thing so unless there is a change – an update — it eases off on collecting more. Top brands understand this so the slightly change their packaging, which gets them attention, otherwise a product is actually see, but not “noticed” as no update is needed.
My personal experience with consciously creating new visual memories of energy and helping other do so also come from my work as an artist. As the founder of Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art Theory, I work to create works that show the energy, the essences that are the building blocks of the physical universe.
When a person has enough visual memories of my art, they begin actually experiencing seeing more of the energy that is everywhere always. Our eyes see this energy, but until now, our brains have had no way to decode these perceptions. This new way of seeing was discovered as the works changed my visual experience, allowing me to see more energy, everywhere, always and now.
When older people made more stronger connections with the frontal cortex they were deciding what to do about the visual stimuli rather than what to do with it. Older people also have more experience with seeing photographs and images.
Younger people are still discovering reality and who they are. This is why younger people flock to Horror and Action pictures that can take a hefty amount of suspended belief (or the ability to pretend), while older people enjoy other fare with more emotional and perceptual nuances.
“Perhaps at different stages of life, there are different brain strategies,” Cabeza speculated. “Younger adults might need to keep an accurate memory for both positive and negative information in the world. Older people dwell in a world with a lot of negatives, so perhaps they have learned to reduce the impact of negative information and remember in a different way.” According to Cabeza, the results of the study are consistent with a theory about emotional processes in older adults proposed by Dr. Laura Carstensen at Stanford University , an expert in cognitive processing in old age.
“One thing we might do in the future is to ask subjects to try to actively regulate their emotions as they look at the pictures,” St. Jacques said. “Would there be a shift in the neural networks for processing the negative pictures when we asked younger people to regulate their emotional responses? How would that affect their later recall of the negative pictures?”
The study appears in the January issue of Psychological Science.
Some of the material in this article is adapted from a news release issued by the Duke University Medical Center .
New scientific proof that the brain holds actual images in memory affirms the work of counselors and artists. This new discovery further supports the understanding that one can change one’s brain and vision to experience greater emotional freedom from unwanted or negative thoughts by simply adding unique visual memories of energy.
Researchers from Japan ‘s ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories announced that they developed new brain analysis technology, which can reconstruct the images inside a person’s mind and display them on a computer monitor.
At present, the system is only able to reproduce simple black-and-white images. Dr. Kang Cheng, a researcher from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, believes that improving the measurement accuracy will make it possible to reproduce images in color.
“These results are a breakthrough in terms of understanding brain activity,” says Dr. Cheng. “In as little as 10 years, advances in this field of research may make it possible to read a person’s thoughts with some degree of accuracy.”
ATR chief researcher Yukiyasu Kamitani says, “This technology can also be applied to senses other than vision. In the future, it may also become possible to read feelings and complicated emotional states.”
This further points to the understanding that the brain functioning that applies to vision also applies to emotion. Emotion is energy. When the brain learns to actually see more energy, it begins to decode emotions and feelings as energy, rather than replaying the experiences and feelings. Changing one’s perceptions, especially vision can be the key that the average person can use to unlock more emotional freedom and success.
In the human brain, emotions and perceptions are linked. Lower emotions, such as fear, anger, hurt, anxiety, etc. are part of the flight or fight response that is linked to perception.
Sixty percent of a normal person’s brain is dedicated to the perception of vision. Ninety percent of vision occurs in the brain as it decodes impressions of light received from the eyes. Through this same system memories of emotions, especially unresolved (unwanted) ones that are consciously or unconsciously associated with the people, places or things perceived can be restimulated. So, as a person goes through the day, an ongoing unconscious barrage of negative or unwanted emotions can be experienced without the cause being consciously recognized. A new unique practice of creating visual memories through art can bring relief.
The scientists analyzed changes in cerebral blood flow; they were able to reconstruct various images viewed by a person. Then using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, the researchers first mapped the blood flow changes that occurred in the cerebral visual cortex as subjects viewed various images held in front of their eyes.
People were shown 400 random 10 x 10 pixel black-and-white images for a period of 12 seconds each. While the fMRI machine monitored the changes in brain activity, a computer crunched the data and learned to associate the various changes in brain activity with the different image designs.
Then, when the test subjects were shown a completely new set of images, including one of the letters N-E-U-R-O-N, the system was able to reconstruct and display what the people were viewing based solely on their brain activity.
This scientifically also validates previous understandings of psychotherapists and hypnotists who uncover visual images and emotions as their clients describe what they see and feel throughout an incident their memory.
Through a series of simple Visual Exercises /Experiences and also by looking at a works of Post Conceptual UnGraven Image art, which depicts the energies, the essences that surround us, always and now, anyone can easily create and accumulate the new transformative memories. For further information see The Art of Seeing The Divine.
The research results appear in the December 11 issue of US science journal Neuron.
New advances in neuroscience and medicine have discovered and shown that the perception of vision is based in the brain, not they eyes.
One of the implications of this discovery is that a person’s vision and even life can be changed and even transformed by adding new visual information to the brain.
The eyes transmit impressions of light to the brain. That accounts for ten percent (10%) of the vision process. The brain then decodes these received impressions by comparing them to may previously stored visual memories. This occurs so quickly that it seems to be instantaneous.
A person whose life experience has included being visually exposed to many different people, places and things has a larger visual reference, and thus functional visual intelligence. We actually better see, and notice more… and then more when we have prior visual references for a person place or thing.
In the Twentieth Century advertisers learned that a product needed rand recognition to become successful. Many campaigns for new products were and are based on creating this recognition rather than acquiring sales, as sales follow recognition.
Although it was understood that sales follow recognition of a product the fuller recognition of the fact that people are almost blind to new products was not understood. The brain needs visual memories of a people place or thing to decode and actually see more of it. The more memories, the better a person can see a product.
This understanding can also be used to understand social relationships and how they are fostered and maintained. The more a person sees and relates to someone, the closer one feels, even if that person is not actually appreciated or liked! The more an actor or politician is seen the better the chances their films and shows will be watched or that they will be elected.
The brain can also be trained to see more by purposefully looking at new people, places or things. This can be done in person or through images in printed or online media. While viewing the latest toothpaste may not be the most brain enhancing, studies have shown that viewing people from different cultures, who one is not usually exposed to helps one learn to see and actually distinguish their faces more readily. This is looking for the sake of looking, just as one does when one visits and art museum or galleries.
Although art lovers, and certainly patrons and collectors tend to be on a higher economic basis, and are thus thought to be more intelligent, which came first the chicken or egg conundrum begins to apply. Clearly people who regularly visit art museums, galleries and look at people. Places or things are busy increasing their visual intelligence and ability.
Art can also be purposefully used to expand or enhance one’s ability to see more, thus increasing visual and actual intelligence. Actual intelligence is improved as memories, including visual ones are actual things. The more different memories one has the more one actually physically expands one’s brain. The more different kinds of visual memories one has the greater the chance that the brain can decode a new impression of a person, place or thing, making one more functionally intelligent.
The more different kinds of visual memories one has the greater the chance that the brain can decode a new impression of a person, place or thing, making one more functionally intelligent.
Post Conceptual UnGraven Image are is unique as it reveals the energy that the eyes see but the brain has few, if any visual memories of to use. Seeing this art one begins to build visual memories that are eventually used by the brain, creating an enhanced vision.
There is even a book about this, The Art of Seeing The Divine , which includes a series of Exercise/Experiences created to help the reader easily and quickly create more energy seeing visual memories.
Sag Harbor Bridge Sunset
Genesis Sunset Sunrise series
Apparently when one has enough visual memories of energy the brain begins to decode prior memories of emotion, including unwanted or negative emotion that pop up, usually unconsciously, during the ongoing visual decoding process as simply more energy. The viewer experiences fewer feelings of unwanted anger, fear, hurt, etc., which were previously triggered during the visual decoding process, but are now decoded as just more visual energy. This does not mean the feelings are resolved, it means that during the day they are not constantly restimulated.
This new scientific understanding about the brain’s dominant role in vision also explains why people who read more are better readers, and can be applied readily to other aspects of education. A person can apply it when attempting to learn anything new, because knowing that at first one needs to keep looking, building visual memories, means greater tolerance and achievement through the natural learning process. Visual repetition can be a key to success.
Purposefully increasing one’s ability to visually perceive has the added benefit of increasing one’s functional intelligence. Visual perception is easily increased by exposure to new and interesting sights and visual l experiences. These can be gained from brain games, seeing art, travel and by basically exposure to new visual stimuli that one consciously focuses upon in order to experience and visually comprehend.
Recent discoveries in neuroscience and medicine reveal that ninety percent of the perception of vision occurs as the brain decodes the impressions of light received from the eyes. All that the eyes can see is impressions of light. The brain decodes these impressions by comparing them to memories of previous impressions.
When a person’s brain is injured in an area that is used to store a specific kind of visual memory the person is rendered blind in relation to that type of visual perception. For example, one brain injured man cannot see and recognize faces, although he can see bodies, things and landscapes. He recognizes his family members based on his other perceptions.
Science has also revealed that sixty percent of the average person’s brain is dedicated to the perception of vision. This leaves the senses of hearing, touch, taste and scent, plus other mental functions to the rest of the brain. Vision is our most dominant sense.
The ability to decode information and most especially visual information is related to intelligence. While prescriptions for corrective lenses allow the eyes to clearly perceive, they do not increase perception or ability beyond the intake of raw data. What is most important is how your brain decodes and uses that impressions of light received from the eyes.
The brain can continue to grow, and people can actually become more selectively intelligent throughout life. Selective intelligence means perceptual and cognitive understandings and mastery in a specific area or subject. Thus, Einstein was a genius when relation to physics and mathematics, but he was far less brilliant in other areas.
|The brain can continue to grow, and people can actually become more selectively intelligent throughout life. Selective intelligence means perceptual and cognitive understandings and mastery in a specific area or subject. Thus, Einstein was a genius when relation to physics and mathematics, but he was far less brilliant in other areas.
While challenging our minds through new ideas, puzzles and brain games, reading, hobbies, etc. can help us maintain and even grow our brain’s functions (and selective intelligence) there is only one way to growing one’s visual intelligence is only possible through new visual stimulus or experiences.
Ironically new visual understandings and knowledge are based on prior visual memories.We only experience seeing what our prior visual memories enable the brain to decode into meaningful data. Apparently there is a tipping point of visual memories that allows something to be easily seen and recognized. Thus a person who is first exposed to something or someone truly needs multiple visual exposures in order to better see the person, place or thing.
What Do You See?
Discover the book that can help you transform your life by helping you build visual memories to change the way you see the world. See More
We only experience seeing what our prior visual memories enable the brain to decode into meaningful data.
We all know that when we see people often they are easier to recognize. When we have a new model of a gadget, such as a cell phone, it takes a period of time before we are comfortable with the new model. During that period we are creating and storing memories that our brains can the use. When we have enough memories for ease of perceptual decoding we feel comfortable.
A person with many kinds of visual memories can actually see more because have more visual references in their memory. The more we move out of our comfort zones to experience people, places and things that are new, the more we expand our comfort zones.
In industrialized society we are bombarded with images at a rate that is unprecedented in the history of humankind. In one day an average middle class middle aged urban dweller sees more new and vastly different images on screens (such as PCs, TVs and Cell phones), on billboards and signs, in printed media, and in store windows and on populated streets than a village dweller in an undeveloped country might see in a year.
Both the urbanite and village dweller in an undeveloped country may have their eyes open for roughly the same amount of time, yet the urbanite’s brain has adapted and has developed differently than the brain of the village dweller. The urbanite has greater visual intelligence and is able to decode more, and visually comprehend new information faster as it is more experienced.
Studies have proven that visual exposure to a subject produces more recognition. However, the best kind of exposure involves active looking, the kind of looking you are doing now in order to decipher this text. Contrast this with the kind of looking one might do as one hurries along a street, focuses only on one’s forward path and purposefully ignoring much else—there is not much conscious deciphering or inquisitive involvement..
A hobby such as bird watching benefits the brain as it involved focused visual learning and attentiveness. People attend games to watch fast paced sports on a regular basis see nuances and understand movements that casual fans miss. However, when one watches on a TV, especially a large screen TV the focused factor is lost as the camera actually shows one where to look, and viewing is visually more passive.
We can purposefully visually train out brains at any age. In fact, visual brain stimulation, including games helps to slow and even reverse the brain’s aging process. Museums where one is visually stimulated through new sights are wonderful exercise studios for the brain and if a person actively focuses on and investigates the art or items displayed.
For the average healthy person fitness needs to include brain fitness. The fastest and most effective way to improve the brain is through focused visual stimulation. This means active looking, which is focused and inquisitive. The more we learn, especially visually, the more knowledge that we can apply, the more our brains actually grow by creating memories and links and so we become functionally smarter.