Friday, June 26, 2009

I think its your low humanity esteem...

Are you plagued by implicit racism? Do you want to change? Take Luke et al.'s (2009) questionnaire and see if you need a little positive humanity esteem boost in your life.

ResearchBlogging.orgLUKE, M.L., & MAIO, G.R. (2009). Oh the humanity! Humanity-esteem and its social importance. Journal of Research in Personality, 43 (4), 586-601 DOI: 10.1016/j.jrp.2009.03.001

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cortical thinning and the illusory "I"

During my meditation group today we had a dialogue about the benefits of mindfulness meditation. The study conducted by Lazar et al. (2005) came up in our talk where they found cortical thickening in experienced insight meditators. I also briefly mentioned Peterson and company's (2009) study in which a correlation between major depression and cortical thinning were found.

Two things come to mind while looking at these studies. One, thinning seems to be associated with attentional functioning and two, perhaps insight meditation can somehow, if only slightly, reverse the genetic predisposition for or effects of major depression.

We typically associate meditation with non ego-self experiencing and depression with ego-self experiencing. Maybe it's finally time to let go of that illusory concept of "I" and thicken that brain of ours.

Lazar, et al. (2005). Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness. NeuroReport 16, 1893-1897.

Peterson, et al. (2009). Cortical thinning in persons at increased familial risk for major depression. PNAS, 106, 6273-6278.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Increased dream recall after a few nights of sleep deprivation

Interestingly I experienced abnormally long dream narratives after a few nights of being sleep deprived. We know that there's REM rebound happening and that REM is associated with dreaming, but is there really a necessary causal relationship? Then again, isn't this question usually a valid one when there is any attempt to link neurophysiological activity with qualia?