Today I will be going on and on about Dr.Daniel G.Amen Change Your Brain Change Your Life and PSYCHOLOGY TODAY Living In The Now.
Let's start with the centre of our universe which is the 3 pound glob of jello holding your ears apart, the Brain.
The average Human Brain makes up 2% of your body weight, receives 15% of the cardiac output, 20% of total body oxygen consumption, and 25% of total body glucose utilization.
"From a philosophical point of view, it might be said that the most important function of the Brain is to serve as the physical structure underlying the mind. From a biological point of view, though, the most important function is to generate behaviors that promote the welfare of an animal."
Neuroscience seeks to understand the nervous system, including the brain, from a biological perspective.
Psychology seeks to understand behavior and the brain.
Neurology refers to the medical applications of neuroscience.
Psychiatry the branch of medicine that works to study, prevent, and treat mental disorders.
Cognitive Science seeks to unify neuroscience and psychology with other fields that concern themselves with the brain, such as artificial intelligence and the mind body quandry is one of the central issues of Philosophy.
The correlation between the physical brain and the Human mind is the ultimate wonderment. Personally I think that we are our Brain but how are the Mind and Brain connected? There are three ways to look at it:
Dualism holds that the mind exists independently of the brain, hmmm.
Materialism holds that mental phenomena are identical to neuronal phenomena, HELLO!and Idealism holds that only mental substances and phenomena exist..
doo doo doo, doo doo doo.
In any event let's agree on two things;
one, that clinically, death is defined as an absence of brain activity and two, a lot of people who lose their mind say that they have never felt more alive!
Ok enough background..the other night I was watching Dr. Daniel_G._Amen, the author of 22 books, promoting his Change Your Brain, Change Your Life infomercial on PBS. A quick Googlkipedia check and I discovered that he received his MD degree from the now-closed medical program at Oral Roberts University. Amen from ORU? Up goes my God-dar.
Amen calls the Brain The Hardware To The Soul and his homespun approach combined with imoprtant sounding-scientificky lingo had me going for about 12 minutes...Humans have huge frontal lobes, which are involved in self-control, planning, reasoning, and abstract thought..then he started talking about his Pets, he has a Cat and a Dog. Amen goes on to say that Dogs have teeny frontal lobes but Cats not-so-much, so that's why Cats don't worry about the past and don't think about the future.
When was the last time a Cat looked and acted guilty for doing something naughty while you were away and you found them hiding behind the Sofa?
Amen said Cats live in the NOW.
Which is cool..and ironically that is what most Psychologists want modern Humans to do. The cover on my new issue of Psychology Today is HOW TO LIVE IN THE NOW..the link to the article is up at the top..it's quite interesting.
In the main article a Buddhist scholar states that "We're living in a world that contributes in a major way to mental fragmentation, disintegration, decoherence." The article goes on to say that when we are at work we fantasize about vacation and on vacation we worry about work piling up. The paradox of living in the moment is that when we think about a future reward, our brain kicks into future mindset and then mindfulness is thwarted..we hoist our own petards.
Author Jay Dixit writes that MINDFULNESS or Living in the moment, is when you realise that you are an observer of your thoughts from moment to moment without judging them..to stop doing and focus on just being.
So basically we just need to be more like Cats?
Anyway, Dr Amen went on with his infomercial saying that many adults have ADHD and actually when he rattles off the list of traits and almost everyone in the studio audience nodded their heads in acknowledgement.
If you get overwhelmed by mental ANTs, Automatic Negative Thoughts, you need to learn how to question their validity...don't just accept your defeatism. Since all of us have the symptoms at one time or another...I agree that we do need to fix our 'stinkin' thinkin' and please note that I do not mean to make light of genuine psycho-physical challenges that many of us inherited.
Amen suggests using esreveR psychology on dealing with drama queens because hey, it works on 2 year olds! Attentionally challenged Adults need to feel like everything is their idea because their brains are stuck. Amen suggests that they have a sticky thought shifter thingamabob part of the brain and so we need to ingest Fish Oil to lubricate it, ooh omega fatty whatchamacallits.
Guess what the most effective remedy aside from reading his book or a visit to his clinic is? STOP THE PRESSES! exercise.
Personally I found it hard to concentrate on his infomercial (HELLO!) and I could not get past the idea that Cats are stuck in the NOW because of their tiny selfish brains.
Now I know why Humans love Dogs, because Dog brains are hardwired for robo-slave pack mentality which forces them to seek our approval at all costs. The domestication of the Wolf had a huge influence on our road to Civilization. They helped us hunt, protected us, ate our garbage, pulled heavy crap.
Cats? Well, they were different alright but we must have liked them for other reasons..they prolly killed mice so we let hang around the cave.
Some Cat lovers will be furiously defending their pussies in the comment section and claim that their Cat is super smart and even occasionally affectionate. OK they might be smart I have seen Cats learn to flush a toilet on Youtube.
What about Lions? Don't they exhibit planning, self control, and reasoning when they are hunting Gnus or out killing competitors like Hyenas, Humans, and Cheetahs? Oh sure Lions sleep about 22 hours a day but maybe that's because they are so efficient at killing things in the NOW?
Anyway Dr. Amen got written up on QUACKWATCH.ORG*, a nonprofit that investigates health-related frauds, myths, fads and fallacies by Dr. Harriet Hall, a retired family physician, who wrote "Amen's recommendations defy science, common sense and logic. He's selling vitamin supplements and he's selling his own line of products. He's turned into big business."
According to its Web site, Amen Clinics charges $3,250 for a "comprehensive evaluation, which includes the patient's history, two SPECT scans, a physician consultation, and a 30-minute treatment follow-up appointment. Follow-up scans after treatment are $795 each".
But wait a second, isn't it the American Way to oversimplify complex obstacles, repackage and brand them with your catchphrase and sell it to the great unwashed? Millions will beat a path to the doorstep of your franchise if you can offer a simple solution to changing your Brain but I don't BUY IT.
We can change our behavior and live healthier lifestyles that promote greater bloodflow to the Brain...but would it not be simpler to live in the NOW and just be more like Cats.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
btw: To be fair, Amen's attorneys replied, unsuccessfuly I might add, to the criticisms here .