Blind people can use their hearing more effectively

And here’s how to reproduce the effects in the seeing.

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Your shadow self

Apparently, if you stimulate part of the brain (left temporoparietal junction), you induce the feeling of _autoscopy_ or _heautoscopy_, where you experience a double of yourself.

Mind Hack discusses some of the “recent research”:http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2006/09/inducing_the_shadow.html behind these phenomena.

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Lots of talk about flow

It seems like people are getting into the flow of flow:

* “lifehack.org”:http://feeds.feedburner.com/LifeHack?m=763
* “43Folders”:http://www.43folders.com/2006/02/09/flow/
* “c2”:http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?MentalStateCalledFlow
* “wikipedia”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_%28psychology%29

I’ve read both “Finding Flow”:http://www.randomjohn.info/wordpress/2005/02/07/finding-flow-by-mihaly-csikszentmihalyi/ and “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience”:http://www.randomjohn.info/wordpress/2004/11/27/flow-the-psychology-of-optimal-experience/. I also describe a “negative experience with flow”:http://www.randomjohn.info/wordpress/2005/01/19/getting-high-legally-high-tech-meditation-etc/ that I had some time back. But all in all, I love being able to get into that state where things just fall into place because, well, I can just make them.

The Dalai Lama and mind research

I knew the Dalai Lama was supportive in research on consciousness, but I didn’t know he was “this involved”:http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=00000000007,00000001381,0,0,1,0.

Meditation and training

More stuff comes out about meditation every day. Results of a new one detail how “meditation influences the regulation of visual perception”:http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/node/8118.

Neurology, motivation, and the news

Whenever I file an entry under both “mind and consciousness” and “current events,” I am often nervous. This entry is no different.

First up is the story about how tobacco advertisers are “targeting women”:http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/node/8052, especially in developing countries. It seems they have their advertising techniques down to a science, including the perception of addressing health issues with cigarette. (Preview to the article: one of the techniques they use is putting appetite suppressants into the cigarette and touting weight-loss.)

Bitch, Ph.D. guest blogger PorJ talks about an NYTimes article discussing “neural circuitry and relationships”:http://bitchphd.blogspot.com/2005/05/neuroscience-sells-out.html. Science Blog has its “own coverage”:http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/node/8048 of the findings. The findings in themselves are fascinating — not only is love connected to emotion and sexual arousal, but also to attachment and long-term planning. This science, as all science to some degree does, have a downside. It enables advertisers to be even more efficient, and, in light of the tobacco advertiser article linked above, you bet I smell danger.

Put this on your long list of developments to watch. And it’s high time we develop a defense against the onslaught of scientifically-refined advertising.

More hi-tech meditation

There is a new course that combines “meditation and virtual reality”:http://www.stnews.org/articles.php?article_id=578&category=news to teach people how to cope with stressful situations not only during a sitting practice, but also out in the world where stressful situations occur. One technique teaches meditation while using VR to simulate a stressful environment. They are testing these ideas especially on people suffering post-traumatic stress disorder.

I wonder if they have a spot for me. I have during-toddler stress disorder.