Like drug addiction, revenge addiction appears to be spread from person to person. Historically, revenge addiction may explain some “take-overs” of entire countries by a revenge addict and their followers.
Friday, January 29, 2021
Thursday, January 28, 2021
A brain on grievance resembles a brain on drugs. The perceived wrong or injustice, real or imagined, activates the same neural reward circuitry as narcotics. A key characteristic of addictions is compulsive behavior despite harmful consequences. Retaliation is often first just imagined in one’s brain. Then it may be expressed through an email, text, tweet, speech or even one provocative word. The expectation of an enjoyable retaliation or revenge experience stimulated by the desire for revenge, triggers the Brain Reward System to release dopamine, the feel-better chemical. As anger rises, generated by perceived injustices, so does dopamine. Of course, that “high” is temporary. Therefore, it is necessary to keep thinking and pondering the revenge, imagining the retaliation. Some continue to do this even after long periods of time have passed—years, decades—since the real or imagined injustice has passed. This may help to explain vendettas or blood feuds between rival families in some areas on planet earth that may last for generations.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
I regret you have this to deal with. If you understand the principle behind addiction—a behavior or ingestion of a substance that triggers the Brain Reward System to release the feel better chemical, dopamine—then revenge addiction will likely make more sense to you. James Kimmel, a specialist in psychiatry and lecturer at Yale University School of Medicine, has been reported as explaining that the human brain that perceives personal injustice is just like the brain of a drug addict. Studies have shown that the feeling of injustice, real or imagined, stimulates the same nerve circuits as do drugs. A revenge addict may be a loner and not a team player or may belong to a family group, an organization, or a group/gang that is addicted to revenge.
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
According to Dr. Nissen, University of Freiburg, “Sleep is irreplaceable for the recovery of the brain. It cannot be replaced by periods of rest for improved performance. The state of the brain during sleep is unique.” End quote. Improved performance is linked typical with deep-sleep activity of the brain, which has an important function for the connectivity of nerve cells. Co-study leader Dieter Riemann, PhD, head of the sleep laboratory at the University of Freiburg, pointed out that their study quote, “shows that it is sleep itself that makes the difference.” Sleep cannot be replaced by rest during phases of intensive activity performance demands at work or in everyday life. Therefore, while the old saying that a change is as good as a rest for the brain may provide some benefit to the brain and body—recent studies have shown that a change is not as good as a sleep for the brain. In other words, a rest and a sleep are not interchangeable when it comes to the benefit on brain function.
Monday, January 25, 2021
I do a lot of intense mental work. Periodically, I take a break and do a different activity for a while: listen to part of an audiobook or watch something on TV or play a game. There is an old saying that “a change is as good as a rest.” I know that when I take a break and change my activities, I often return to the first activity with renewed interest and energy. My question is: are rest and sleep interchangeable for the brain? Is a change as good as a sleep for the brain?
Friday, January 22, 2021
Some say, “Yes.” Try including more unexpected and/or spontaneous activities in your routine life. This does not require leaving your home. Listen to a book on tape that is not necessarily a genre that you typically look for. Include more unpredictable experiences. For example, when you go to the zoo or an animal park you never know exactly what a creature will do and how it will behave. Enjoy the unpredictability of such experiences. There are “zoo” TV experiences that show the “back story” for many of the animals in the zoo. Programs about animal rescue, how Vets identify problems in creatures. You can vicariously enjoy that. Rotate the TV programs you watch so you include more genres. Some National Geographic, some travel, some games, some History, some Ancestry. You get the idea. The brain loves variety. Virtual is not quite the same as actual participation but it can beat boredom by a country mile.
Thursday, January 21, 2021
principal investigator at Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute, has pointed out that portions of the brain that involve thought and cognitive function (e.g., planning, and executive control) can keep track and control of time. “Everything we do has to be controlled in time, otherwise we’d be simple creatures that react in the moment.” When it comes to time perception, emotions play a part. “People assign an emotional valence to every experience, including the passage of time. We color our experiences in ways that reflect our enjoyment or repulsion,” Shadlen said. For example, if you enjoy going to a concert or playing in a basketball game, you might wish they had lasted longer. On the flip side, if you dislike these events, you might feel like they took too long, or that time dragged by if not stood still altogether.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
come as no surprise, therefore, that in some surveys extroverted brains tended to experience the most stress during lockdown; introverted brains the least stress, all things being equal; and ambiverts moderate amounts of stress based on what was happening in their environment.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Monday, January 18, 2021
Ruth S Ogden, PhD, and Catharine Montgomery, Liverpool John Moores University: “When we experience fear, we experience a sensation of more time passing than normal. This is because our perception of time is affected by our level of arousal.” Increases in activity in the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which prepares the body for the fight-or-flight response, are associated with a perception of lengthening of time. Imagine a time when you felt fear, perhaps listening to an unknown person banging on your front door or ringing the bell. You held your breath, and it seemed like forever before the banging stopped. Or you are waiting for someone and keep checking your watch because it seems an hour has gone by when it is only 10 minutes. Conversely, increases in the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which calms the body down, are associated with a slowing or shortening of time. That can be a benefit of implementing solid stress-management strategies.
Friday, January 15, 2021
Stressful moments can change the way you perceive the passage of time, as can emotions. Physical or social distancing during the pandemic also impacts one’s perception of time. According to Dr. Oden, “When I looked at what made time pass slowly, I found that being older (above 65) and having low levels of satisfaction with current levels of social interaction and high levels of stress were likely to make someone feel like lockdown was passing slowly. Conversely, being young, busy, and socially satisfied made lockdown pass more quickly… People with depression will often report that during periods of depression, the days drag by. This is reflected in lockdown experiences and sheltering in place. Being socially unfulfilled (which is associated with depression) is associated with a perceived slowing of time.
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Studies by Ruth S Ogden, PhD, and Catharine Montgomery, Liverpool John Moores University found that time rarely feels like it is passing at a constant rate; instead, it expands and contracts from one activity to the next. This is especially true when one is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and alcohol appear to make time speed up, whereas haloperidol and marijuana appear to slow time down. Drugs alter perceived time by affecting the speed of our internal clock and the amount of attention that we pay to time. Whilst such time-altering effects are generally perceived as pleasant and harmless, there is some evidence to suggest that the effects may be long-lasting. A study of the perception of the passage of time during the Covid-19 during lockdown in the United Kingdom, revealed that perception of time passing was unaltered for about 20 percent of those studied. It was distorted for the other 80 percent. About 40 percent thought time went quickly; the other 40 percent felt like time dragged.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
according to a report published in the Journal of Attention Disorders, time perception refers to an individual’s subjective experience of event durations and the passage of time. Researchers found that perception among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD or ADD) is less accurate and less precise compared to children without ADHD. Perhaps contributors involve the fact that these conditions are marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or impulsivity and hyperactivity that can involve development as well as functioning. Because of the ongoing search for change, time can seem to drag if the switch to something else does not occur “in a timely enough manner” for a given brain. Conversely, when a child is doing a favorite activity he or she may think, “But I just started doing this!” when it is time to change to something else.
Monday, January 11, 2021
Time seems to go by faster and faster as I age. Is there any brain-related expectation for this? My dad thought that this occurred because any time period as one ages is a smaller fraction of the whole lifetime, but that does that cover everything?
I do not know if your dad’s theory covers everything. I doubt it. Some suggest that a person’s bias alters the perception of time. Bias, in case you have not read my previous blogs on the topic of bias, can be defined as prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another; a disproportionate weight in favor of or against an idea or thing, often in a way that is somewhat closed-minded. If you had a bias against the competence of one of your teachers, a lecture period might have seemed to on for half a day. Conversely, you absolutely love a master class you are taking and believe the presenter to be not only smart but humorous in his or her presentation—and are surprised when the class period is over. A study on Routine and the Perception of Time, reported in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, reported that the duration of a task or activity tends to be remembered as being shorter when it occurred in routine conditions as compared with nonroutine ones. More tomorrow.
Friday, January 8, 2021
This question reminds me of a quote attributed to Helen Keller. It goes like this: I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. The question then becomes, “What can I do about biases?”
Here are comments to consider.
“I can strive for open-mindedness—without allowing my brain to fall out of my skull
“I can take time to find out what the data say and not rely on just what another person claims the data say or show
“I can become more knowledgeable about how a person’s behavioral characteristics over time can reveal what that brain is really like (pay attention to history!)
“I can pay attention to those exhibited and identified characteristics and what that means to me and my country
“I can role-model a balanced bias and use my vote (my voice) to help elect those with a similar balanced outlook.”
Thursday, January 7, 2021
Thank you for a thoughtful question. It is always a bit dicey when talking about all versus none. However, current wisdom seems to be that every human brain is biased—toward a personal safety orientation. The problem arises when that bias is extended due to philosophical reasons rather than to issues of personal safely. This allows people to brush over, ignore, or accept key mental health abnormalities such as malignant narcissism, over-the-top paranoia, and even behaviors that align with antisocial personality disorders. That is how a nation can slowly and even stealthily move from a true democracy to one of a dictatorship style of governance. History is full of such examples.
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Perception Institute: Explicit bias refers to the attitudes and beliefs one has about a person or group on a conscious level. Much of the time, these biases and their expression arise as the direct result of a perceived threat. When people feel threatened, they are more likely to draw boundaries to distinguish themselves from others.
Dictionary.com: Explicit bias refers to the attitudes and beliefs you have about a person or group on a conscious level. They can be stated through language, be positive or negative, and may be exhibited through actions and behaviors.
Kirwan Institute Ohio State University: Explicit bias refers to a bias that a person knows about but that he or she may choose to conceal for purposes of social and/or political correctness. They can be identified through introspection.
My brain’s opinion is that explicit biases may be identified through what a person thinks, feels, and says at a conscious level and the behaviors or actions he or she knowingly chooses to exhibit.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Cornell University law school: Implicit Bias is subconscious and unintentional involving attitudes and stereotypes that can influence how human beings related to their environment. The person does not have direct control or conscious understanding of their perceptions and motivations.
Dictionary.com: Implicit bias is the tendency to process information based on unconscious associations and feelings, even when these are contrary to one’s conscious feelings or declared beliefs.
Kirwan Institute at Ohio State University: Implicit bias involves unconsciously absorbed attitudes or stereotypes that affect a person’s understanding, actions, and decisions. They are activated involuntarily, without an individual’s awareness or intentional control. Therefore, they are not accessible through introspection.
My brain’s opinion is that implicit biases may be identified through analysis of the actions and behaviors that the person exhibits spontaneously.
Monday, January 4, 2021
Conformance is a mixed blessing. Conforming to traffic laws has saved many lives. Nonconforming (e.g., drink alcohol and then drive) have taken many lives. It is amazing to read some of the studies and realize just what people will sometimes do in the name of conformity. Sometimes it is better to think for oneself rather than relying on what others do. Have you ever looked at your tendency to conform or not conform? Have you ever wondered if your life would be improved in a specific area if you conformed or better if you did not conform, if you avoided the herd mentality? Some find it extremely uncomfortable to choose to do their own thing instead of doing what everyone else is doing. For others, it is just the opposite. They are quite comfortable choosing to do their own thing. Psychologist Solomon Asch did an interesting experiment about conformity. Fascinating, really. He found that people evaluating which line in one figure matched one of three in a second figure, sometimes voted with the group when they knew that the answer was incorrect. You might want to check this out and ask yourself what you might have chosen to do in a similar situation. https://bpspsychub.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjop.12491
Conforming to traffic laws has saved many lives. Nonconforming (e.g., drink alcohol and then drive) have taken many lives. It is amazing to read some of the studies and realize just what people will sometimes do in the name of conformity. Sometimes it is better to think for oneself rather than relying on what others do. Have you ever looked at your tendency to conform or not conform? Have you ever wondered if your life would be improved in a specific area if you conformed or better if you did not conform, if you avoided the herd mentality? Some find it extremely uncomfortable to choose to do their own thing instead of doing what everyone else is doing. For others, it is just the opposite. They are quite comfortable choosing to do their own thing. Psychologist Solomon Asch did an interesting experiment about conformity. Fascinating, really. He found that people evaluating which line in one figure matched one of three in a second figure, sometimes voted with the group when they knew that the answer was incorrect. You might want to check this out and ask yourself what you might have chosen to do in a similar situation. https://bpspsychub.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjop.12491
Thank you for your question. Bias certainly is a current topic. The California Board of Nursing recently reminded providers of continuing education that Assembly Bill 241, signed into law in October 2, 2019, added section 2736.5 to the Business and Professions Code (BPC). Beginning January 1, 2022, the CA BRN requires all continuing education courses for Registered Nurse (RN) licensees to contain curriculum that includes the understanding of “implicit bias.” It appears that all human brains have a built-in bias—often related to issues of safety. A bias is simply a strong feeling for or against something that tends to influence one’s actions. It can be positive or negative. I will begin my weekday blogs this year with a more in-depth exploration of this topic, including your question about implicit bias and cognitive shortcuts (or Heuristics, as they are known in the field of psychology).
Friday, January 1, 2021
Arranging words in prose and poem.
PS - One of my dear friends just reminded me that at 12:01 am on January 1st —and for the first time ever—hindsight is actually 2020.