Neuroscience and Psychology: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Mind

brain mind illustrations

Discovering the relationship between the brain and the mind is one of greatest challenges that scientists face in the 21st century. The implications of such a discovery will radically change our conception of what it means to be a conscious being, and will have radical effects on neuroscience, metaphysics, judicial law — and psychology. Even the concept that humans act with free will, an idea that is central to our conception of who we are, may turn out be false.

The relationship between mind and brain is currently the subject of great debate. The conventional view dates back to 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes and his major work, Discourse on the Method, and is known as Cartesian Dualism in his honor. Descartes separated the mind from the body with his famous statement “I think, therefore I am,” a phrase known as “the cogito” after the Latin translation “Cogito, ergo sum.” Descartes laid the foundation for the way that we usually think of ourselves, today — that our mind is separate from the matter of our bodies, and it’s the source of our feelings, decision making capabilities, and all of the aspects that make us who we are. Our mind, a kind of indefinable “ghost in the machine,” gives the orders, and the subservient brain simply makes our bodies carry them out. Continue reading Neuroscience and Psychology: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Mind

Why Do Some People Enjoy Being Scared?

women couch horror movie scared

There are two kinds of fear: the kind no sane person would pay for and the kind millions of people line up for.

The former comes from actual threats. Imagine someone attacked you on the street or a car almost ran you over. You would experience a rush of adrenaline from the fight or flight response, a sort of high. This feeling is pleasurable for some people, but no one can savor it when they believe their life is in danger. Continue reading Why Do Some People Enjoy Being Scared?

Have You Heard of Neurocounseling?

neurocounseling infographic screenshot

The Counseling Program at Bradley University produced this infographic to spread awareness about neurocounseling.

With the help of brain imaging technology, researchers are developing a better understanding of how mental illnesses have a basis in our brains. This knowledge is reshaping how we define and diagnose many conditions. One field of counseling is using this knowledge to shape treatment plans.

This emerging field is called neurocounseling. Psychologists are effectively using it to treat people with depression, seizures, ADHD, sleep disorders and a broad range of other mental health problems.

Because our brains are developing and creating new neural pathways well into adulthood — a concept called neuroplasticity — clinicians are learning how therapy can treat clients’ brains, not only their behaviors.

The infographic below illustrates what neurocounseling is and how it can help individuals with a variety of mental conditions and disorders.  Continue reading Have You Heard of Neurocounseling?

Identity and Expression: What Does Gender Got to Do With It?

What Does Gender Got to Do With It?

“There is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender… identity is performatively constituted by the very ‘expressions’ that are said to be its results.” – Judith Butler

– by Liz Campese / Journalist and Talkspace Staff Writer

As you’ve probably already heard, Caitlyn Jenner unveiled her true self to the world this week. And although it’s hard to know for sure if societal pressure to adhere to gender expectations was the main reason she kept her identity a secret for as long as she did, I know it doesn’t have to be this way. Continue reading Identity and Expression: What Does Gender Got to Do With It?