Category Archives: Behavioural Psychology

Behavioral psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on the study and alteration of people’s behaviors, including their actions, emotions and thoughts. This branch, also known as behaviorism, relies on the theory that mental and emotional disorders can be improved through behavior-modifying techniques.

Dreams from Endangered Cultures | Wade Davis

“And in the end, then, it really comes down to a choice: do we want to live in a monochromatic world of monotony or do we want to embrace a polychromatic world of diversity?”

Snthropologist Wade Davis is perhaps the most articulate and influential western advocate for the world’s indigenous cultures. His stunning photographs and evocative stories capture the viewer’s imagination. As a speaker, he parlays that sense of wonder into passionate concern over the rate at which cultures and languages are disappearing — 50 percent of the world’s 6,000 languages, he says, are no longer taught to children. He argues, in the most beautiful terms, that language isn’t just a collection of vocabulary and grammatical rules. In fact, “Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind.” Continue reading Dreams from Endangered Cultures | Wade Davis

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Understanding the Psychological Desire to Learn

There was a time in my life when I was possessed by an inner urge to study. An urge that demanded full attention and isolated me from most of what other people my age were doing. It all began in a daydream…

Shere was a time in my life when I was possessed by an inner urge to study. An urge that demanded full attention and isolated me from most of what other people my age were doing. It all began in a daydream… Continue reading Understanding the Psychological Desire to Learn

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Lucid Dreamers have a Larger Capacity to Self-Reflect

In an effort to understand more about the content of dreams, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin have been working for the past 5 years with persons who have the rare ability to consistently lucid dream.

Sn an effort to understand more about the content of dreams, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin have been working for the past 5 years with persons who have the rare ability to consistently lucid dream.

Lucid dreaming was first proven scientifically on April 12, 1975 at the University of Hull, when subject (Alan Worsley) was asked to carry out distinctive patterns of voluntary eye movements at the onset of lucidity while dreaming. Polygraph records during REM showed the pre-arranged eye movement signals, proving that the subject had indeed been lucid during uninterrupted REM sleep.

Left-Right eye movements are given by the subjec to acknowledge they are in the aware state of REM.
Left-Right eye movements are given by the subject to acknowledge they are in the aware state of REM.

In a series of ongoing experiments, the researchers have succeeded, for the first time, in analysing the activity of the brain during dreaming.

In the report, Metacognitive Mechanisms Underlying Lucid Dreaming, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, it has been discussed that the brain area which enables self-reflection is larger in lucid dreamers and with this information, the conclusion has been given that lucid dreamers are possibly also more self-reflecting when being awake.

Participants were split into two groups according to their lucidity score, separating those who frequently experience lucid dream states, with those who do not. Researchers observed a larger grey matter volume of activity in those with a higher lucidity score in the frontal cortex, an area that has been associated with improved ability to visualize.

Brain regions activated more strongly during lucid dreaming than in a normal dream.
Brain regions activated more strongly during lucid dreaming than in a normal dream.

The results reveal shared neural systems between lucid dreaming and metacognitive function, in particular in the domain of thought monitoring. This finding contributes to our understanding of the mechanisms enabling higher-order consciousness in dreams. No previous study has tested a link between lucidity and metacognitive ability at the neural level.

Together, these results support the main hypothesis and show, for the first time, a neural link between dream lucidity and metacognitive function.

By definition, lucid dreaming denotes the successful reflection on the current state of mind, i.e., an act of metacognition and the data indicate that lucid dreaming may be a specific form of metacognition, relying on neural mechanisms akin to thought monitoring. Although this result has been previously suggested based on dream reports and theoretical arguments, these results provide the first confirmation of this link from a neuroscientific perspective.

Notes
The Journal of Neuroscience, 21 January 2015, 35(3): 1082-1088; doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3342-14.2015

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All it takes is 10 mindful minutes | Andy Puddicombe

We can’t change every little thing that
happens to us in life, but we can change
the way that we experience it.

Sndy Puddicombe very patiently describes an inner beauty we all possess. An ability to pause our perpetual personal schedule and become mindful of ourselves. If we can find just 10 minutes, this may be all we need to better prepare us for the unpredictable path that leads ahead. Continue reading All it takes is 10 mindful minutes | Andy Puddicombe

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Vipassana For Thought – Part One

Shat follows is a diary of subjective narrative leading up to, and following a 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat. The idea here is to set the stage for the intention of the immersion, present a summary of Vipassana, its codes of discipline and the content of the retreat, and to provide the expectations and experiences of attendance.  I would also like to open a discussion of people’s thoughts or experiences of the same or similar events. As this blog-site focuses on the step by step development of the personal psyche through introspection, I would also like to highlight any significant realisations taken from the adjustment of environment created for effectiveness of the retreat. Continue reading Vipassana For Thought – Part One

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Taking centre stage: Presenting yourself online

When signing up to Social Media sites, the thought of putting on a mask or entering the stage to perform to an audience was probably far from the realms of possibility in your mind.

Shen signing up to Social Media sites, the thought of putting on a mask or entering the stage to perform to an audience was probably far from the realms of possibility in your mind. Following Goffman’s theory of self presentation however, a stage, costumes and stars come to life. Goffman likens social interations to a theatre and people are the actors playing various roles. An audience exists to observe and react to the performance, as well as back stage, where actors can shed their roles and become who they are when not on show. Continue reading Taking centre stage: Presenting yourself online

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