Dr. M Storoni MD PhD, Uplift Waking Times There are two functional parts of the brain that play a key role in stress. These serve the functions of emotion and cognitive function. So I am calling them the ’emotional’ brain (amygdala and its connections and medial forebrain structures including the medial prefrontal cortex) and the ‘logical’ brain (the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, other parts of the prefrontal cortex, parts of the cingulate cortex and parts of the hippocampus). The emotional brain is able to initiate a ‘stress response’ via the sympathetic nervous system which culminates in adrenaline and cortisol racing through our circulation.The logical brain is … Continue reading THE SCIENCE BEHIND YOGA AND STRESS

Why Your Brain Can’t Process Climate Change

In this view from an airplane icebergs float in Disko Bay on August 4, 2019 near Ilulissat, Greenland Sean Gallup—Getty Images BY BRYAN WALSH  Bryan Walsh is a contributor to TIME. Previously, he was TIME’s International Editor, its energy and environmental correspondent and was the Tokyo bureau chief in 2006 and 2007. He lives in New York. Last week saw the latest in a series of increasingly dire reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This past July was the hottest month on record, punctuated by intense heat waves throughout Europe and the Arctic, leading to a record-breaking 12.5 billion tons of ice melting … Continue reading Why Your Brain Can’t Process Climate Change

Multidisciplinary Team Explores Link Between Asthma and Depression

by Heidi Anne Duerr, MPH In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Montefiore Health System, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine are working together to examine the link between depression and asthma in older adults.1 Funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the study will consist of 400 patients over the age of 60 who have persistent asthma and are receiving an asthma-control medication; half of the patients also will have comorbid major depression. Participants will represent socio-demographics of most US urban communities and will include English and Spanish-speaking adults. The 4-year study, which is scheduled … Continue reading Multidisciplinary Team Explores Link Between Asthma and Depression

Awakened by Beauty

Photographs by Michael Kenna / Trunk Archive A Zen priest and scholar considers the role of aesthetics in a renunciant tradition. By Kurt Spellmeyer, Photographs by Michael Kenna Beauty has always been for Buddhism an intractable koan, a conundrum it has never quite resolved. To most of us, a life without beauty would seem scarcely worth living at all, and yet the dharma has kept it at arm’s length for the last twenty-five centuries. With any other subject that matters now—ethics, politics, gender, neuroscience, and the environment—Buddhism has engaged fearlessly, the resulting dialogues producing an array of concepts and paradigms that … Continue reading Awakened by Beauty

5 Things Suicide Loss Survivors Should Know — from Someone Who’s Attempted

Illustration by Brittany England Written by Sam Dylan Finch How we see the world shapes who we choose to be — and sharing compelling experiences can frame the way we treat each other, for the better. This is a powerful perspective. It was a late January afternoon in 2018, just two days after I had major surgery. Drifting in and out of a painkiller haze, I leaned over to check my phone. There on the screen, I saw a text message from my best friend’s mom: “Call 911.” That marked the beginning of my endless free fall through grief. That … Continue reading 5 Things Suicide Loss Survivors Should Know — from Someone Who’s Attempted

Did we evolve to see reality as it exists? No, says cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman.

Cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman hypothesizes we evolved to experience a collective delusion — not objective reality. by KEVIN DICKINSON 09 August, 2019 Donald Hoffman theorizes experiencing reality is disadvantageous to evolutionary fitness. His hypothesis calls for ditching the objectivity of matter and space-time and replacing them with a mathematical theory of consciousness. If correct, it could help us progress such intractable questions as the mind-body problem and the conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics. What is reality and how do we know? For many the answer is simple: What you see — hear, feel, touch, and taste — is … Continue reading Did we evolve to see reality as it exists? No, says cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman.

In defence of antidepressants

Light amongst the murk. Photo by Gabriele Diwald/Unsplash The backlash against antidepressants results from a suspicion of medicine, and misunderstands the very nature of depression by Vasco M Barreto works in molecular immunology at CEDOC (Nova Medical School) in Lisbon, Portugal. He is finishing a book for a lay audience on the social implications of our genetic inheritance. Edited by Pam Weintraub I was first prescribed antidepressants in 2000. Ever since, I have been on and off these drugs, mostly because the idea of taking them made me uncomfortable. It was a mixture of guilt, probably not unlike the guilt some athletes … Continue reading In defence of antidepressants