Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The hypothesis behind 'The Science of Consciousness,' the book




I often get requests to give a nutshell summary of my hypothesis. The outline evolves over time toward a more straightforward, elegant language. Here it is today.

Consciousness, which is part of the physical universe, is our only source to experience reality and recognize nature's laws. "The Science of consciousness" recognizes the cosmos' cohesive nature and the structural unity between elementary particles, the mind, and the universe. It also uncovers that the same laws governing intelligent behavior and social movement. The formation of the cosmos did not end with the birth of the electron and other elementary particles; it is an ongoing evolution toward complexity, the mind, and intellect. 

The increasing complexity of the universe benefits humanity. It aids human ingenuity and technological advancement. Technology's dependence has changed from the coal and steam engine to oil, computer technology, and artificial intelligence. We are moving toward the Age of Intellect. 

Increasingly, progress depends on human talent. In the Age of Intellect, limitless cosmic energy and other resources become accessible for technological use. A fast progressing society is highly dependent on mental ingenuity. This recognition should inspire us to respect people's uniqueness and individuality, independent of their religion and culture.  

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Can deep brain stimulation be used for the treatment of drug addiction?







Deep brain stimulation (DBS) modulates brain activity by implanted electrodes, used in Parkinson's disease, depression, tremor, or dystonia. In drug addictions, damages to the prefrontal cortex's functioning might diminish impulse control, which gives a possibility to use the technique. In the past 15 years, animal DBS studies investigated its potential for addiction to various abused drugs, most of them have found decreased drug-seeking behavior. The same treatment in people has more challenging to implement. Especially in Europe and the U.S., the high cost of devices ($100,000) and the difficulties in recruiting patients have delayed clinical experimentation. For this reason, most of the trials have been registered in China.

In early studies, DBS resulted in a significant decrease in the severity of cocaine dependence in objective and subjective measurements. It also reduced the craving for alcohol. 
In opioid addiction treatment, five of eight patients in China have stayed off heroin for at least two years, and a patient who received a device six months ago has been off drugs for the duration. DBS  improved patients’ depressive and anxious symptoms and increased the subjectively perceived quality of life. In life changes, significant improvement of memory and IQ and experience in depression and anxiety were found.




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Friday, May 17, 2019

Increase your productivity by taking a break






Biological, physiological needs, circadian rhythms, and even environmental circumstances influence performance. The superior energy distribution and turnover in the brain ensure the fluid regulation of the mind. Being tired and hungry causes glitches in energy supply, which damages cognitive flexibility, causing a decline in performance. The hectic pace of our day harms the quality of our life. Nervousness and anxiety lead to impatience, sloppiness, and superficiality. Stress erodes determination, which causes negative attitudes to become preferred behavior. A feeling of pressure should be the signal for the need to slow down.

Taking a break is easy to understand, because rest refreshes the mind, increases resilience and fuels determination. As discussed earlier, optimal sleep improves intelligence, bodily function, and spiritual stability. Creating a distance from the grind of every day by spending time within a supporting circle of friends or family can spur a fresh perspective and a new momentum in our thinking. Taking time to help friends, family members, or strangers is a change of mental scenery, which improves goodwill.

A concert, gallery viewing, or walking in nature or a park, elevates the soul; reading meaningful thoughts from a book can turn into a mental vacation. Even domestic activities, such as cooking, cleaning, or organizing, can create an uplifting change of scenery. Humor is an instant confidence booster. Rest allows you to take stock by evaluating whether you are on the right track.

For example, when Microsoft tested out a four-day workweek in its Japan offices, it found that employees were not only happier – but significantly more productive. The shortened weeks led to more efficient meetings and higher productivity (by a staggering 40%). In addition to the increased productivity, employees took 25% less time off during the trial, and electricity use was down 23% in the office with the additional day off per week. In other experiments, people could accomplish their tasks by working only for six hours. 


Picture credit: Three Boys at Lake Tanganyika by Martin Munkacsi




My straightforward handbook, The Power of Joy, gives you the tools and advice you need to become the best version of yourself.

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Saturday, May 11, 2019

Can a static universe satisfy Mach’s principle?




Mach's principle, that every mass in the universe influences every other is a crucial consideration in physics that inspired Einstein to formulate General relativity. Although his final theory failed to follow it, Mach's ideas still inspire thinking. Nevertheless, Einstein's equations can be written in a form that has no time dependence. The resulting static universe is in apparent contradiction with the observed reality. Page and Wootters recognized that changes in entangled systems can leave the global state of the cosmos unchanged. 

Page and Wootters’ mechanism (PaW) predicts that quantum entanglement leaves the state of the universe static. We satisfy the principle by dividing the cosmos into compact and non-compact dimensions by insulating the wave function from space and gravity. In this scenario, entangled sister particles satisfy conservation principles independently of distance but modify the local volume. Either pressure or vacuum generates an orthogonal transformation (interaction) to restore symmetry. Over time, space contracts in some regions and expands in others to develop curvature.

In extreme cases, the universe degenerates into poles. Loss of dimensionality produces two-dimensional black holes, whereas dimensionality increase forms four-dimensional white holes. The poles remain connected by a smooth topology and turn gravity into a bipolar force. The verifiable hypothesis supersedes general relativity by satisfying Mach’s principle. Dimensional anisotropy points toward a possible path for unification with quantum mechanics.

Image: Time progression of the universe evolution (NASA)

Read a new vision of reality, access the whole article 



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Friday, May 10, 2019

The potential of using light therapy in the treatment of Alzheimer disease and dementia






Bright light therapy is used as a treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Bright light therapy administration in the morning that treats sleep disorders in patients with dementia might entrain the circadian rhythm to restore a healthy sleep-wake cycle. It has also been used to treat other conditions such as bipolar depression, chronic depressive disorder, circadian phase sleep disorders, postpartum depression, and insomnia. Because sleep disturbances are common in patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease, the treatment may be useful for these conditions too.

Boosting the power of gamma waves in the brain by merely staring at a screen illuminated by a strobe light flickering at specific frequencies. The flashing lights whip up gamma waves because the rhythmic sensory input sets neural circuits "rocking" at this frequency, like when people rock a stuck car out of a rut by pushing together in rhythm. The light also clears out amyloid plaques by activating immune cells that destroyed these plaques. It produces some intercellular events (such as gene expression) that improve synaptic connections. Because light flashes at 40 hertz resulted in fewer plaques in the visual cortex, sound stimulation at 40 hertz reduced amyloid protein in the auditory cortex. 

Light therapy is a non-invasive treatment, which works without inducing aggressive chemical changes in the brain. The immense emotional and economic cost of Alzheimer's disease and related dementia gives it enormous potential. However, it might have side effects, which need to be evaluated before it becomes an accepted medical procedure.




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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Emotional intelligence predicts endurance, individual success and social cooperation






Because genuine people learn and create meaning from every interaction, they can handle criticism and challenges. Just as energy flows from warmer to colder matter, more stable (less irritable), people tend to gather wisdom and understanding from every experience. It leads to the ability to engage, relate to others and situations via trust, and find integrated solutions. Thus, the lack of impulsivity, emotional intelligence goes a long way toward individual success and social cooperation. Having no regrets is an open mind that dares to attract help and the humbleness to accept it. These flexible people adapt to opportunities with ease, even in the boardroom or on the trading floor (traders with a positive attitude and trust tend to make more money). Emotional intelligence can predict the finish time of long-distance runners.

In endurance tests, people who can regulate their emotions keep pushing when the going is difficult. For example, long-distance runners can press on toward a good race. recent paper by Enrico Rubaltelli of the University of Padova explored the links between emotional intelligence and half-marathon performance. Aside from technique and preparation, people with higher marks on this quality ran faster.

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My straightforward handbook, The Power of Joy, gives you the tools and advice you need to become the best you can be.

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