Archive for July, 2012

Some people are altruistic, others not, and brain differences may explain this:

Science News

… from universities, journals, and other research organizations

Individual Differences in Altruism Explained by Brain Region Involved in Empathy

ScienceDaily (July 11, 2012) — What can explain extreme differences in altruism among individuals, from Ebenezer Scrooge to Mother Teresa? It may all come down to variation in the size and activity of a brain region involved in appreciating others’ perspectives, according to a study published in the July 12th issue of the journal Neuron. The findings also provide a neural explanation for why altruistic tendencies remain stable over time.

“This is the first study to link both brain anatomy and brain activation to human altruism,” says senior study author Ernst Fehr of the University of Zurich. “The findings suggest that the development of altruism through appropriate training or social practices might occur through changes in the brain structure and the neural activations that we identified in our study.”
Individuals who excel at understanding others’ intents and beliefs are more altruistic than those who struggle at this task. The ability to understand others’ perspectives has previously been associated with activity in a brain region known as the temporoparietal junction (TPJ). Based on these past findings, Fehr and his team reasoned that the size and activation of the TPJ would relate to individual differences in altruism.
In the new study, subjects underwent a brain imaging scan and played a game in which they had to decide how to split money between themselves and anonymous partners. Subjects who made more generous decisions had a larger TPJ in the right hemisphere of the brain compared with subjects who made stingy decisions.
Moreover, activity in the TPJ reflected each subject’s specific cutoff value for the maximal cost the subject was willing to endure to increase the partner’s payoff. Activity in the TPJ was higher during hard decisions — when the personal cost of an altruistic act was just below the cutoff value — than during easy decisions associated with a very low or very high cost.
“The structure of the TPJ strongly predicts an individual’s setpoint for altruistic behavior, while activity in this brain region predicts an individual’s acceptable cost for altruistic actions,” says study author Yosuke Morishima of the University of Zurich. “We have elucidated the relationship between the hardware and software of human altruistic behavior.”

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these 3 articles are from Huffington Post

Porn-Brain Study: Erotic Movies Make Brain Regions ‘Shut Down’

Posted: 04/19/2012 8:03 am Updated: 04/19/2012 2:43 pm

Human Brain

By: Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Published: 04/18/2012 02:25 PM EDT on LiveScience

Watching pornography would seem to be a vision-intensive task. But new research finds that looking at erotic movies can actually quiet the part of the brain that processes visual stimuli.
Most of the time, watching movies or conducting any other visual task sends extra blood flow to this brain region. Not so when the movies are explicit, the researchers found. Instead, the brain seems to shunt blood — and therefore energy — elsewhere, perhaps to regions of the brain responsible for sexual arousal.
Turns out, the brain may not need to take in all the visual details of a sex scene, said study researcher Gert Holstege, a uroneurologist at the University of Groningen Medical Center in the Netherlands.
“If you look, for example, at your computer and you have to write something or whatever, then you have to look specifically and carefully at what you’re doing because if you don’t, it means you make mistakes,” Holstege told LiveScience. “But the moment you are watching explicit sexual movies, that’s not necessary, because you know exactly what’s going on. It’s not important that the door is green or yellow.”
Anxiety vs. arousal
The brain can either be anxious or aroused (or neither), Holstege said, but not both. During orgasm, he has found, activity in brain regions associated with anxiety plummets. This phenomenon may explain why women with low levels of sexual desire often have high levels of anxiety, Holstege said. It makes sense; if you’re looking around, focusing on visual details, scanning for danger, it may not be so easy to focus on arousal, he said. [The Sex Quiz: Myths, Taboos and Bizarre Facts]
“If you yourself are in a very dangerous situation, whatever the reason, you don’t have sexual feelings, because you have to survive for yourself, not survive for the species,” Holstege said.
Brain-scan research had previously turned up hints that explicit sexual images might quiet a brain area called Brodmann’s area 17, also called the primary visual cortex, a region that does the first processing of incoming visual information in the brain. The data was spotty, however, and no one had looked into the question in women’s brains.
As part of a broader series of brain-scanning studies, Holstege examined the primary visual cortexes of 12 healthy heterosexual premenopausal women. All of the women were on hormonal birth control, smoothing out any menstrual-cycle related changes in sexual desire or arousal.

Each woman watched three videos while having her brain imaged by positron emission tomography, better known as a PET scan. These scans detect minute changes in radioactivity in the brain that correspond to the amount of blood flowing to any given region. Regions with more blood flowing to them are considered more active.
One of the videos used in the study was a simple nature documentary about marine life in the Caribbean. The other two were selections from “women-friendly” pornographic movies, one depicting only foreplay and manual stimulation and the other depicting oral sex and vaginal intercourse. Earlier studies had shown that the higher-intensity video showing intercourse produced stronger physical arousal in women than the foreplay-focused movie clip. [6 Great Things Sex Can Do For You]
Safe sex
The scan results revealed that the high-intensity erotic video — and only the high-intensity erotic video — resulted in far less blood being sent to the primary visual cortex. The region is still active, just much less so. Usually, that effect is only seen when people are asked to conduct a nonvisual task, like remembering words, while also watching some sort of visual stimuli.
To Holstege, those results suggest that the brain is focusing on sexual arousal as more important than visual processing during these erotic films.
“You have to realize that the brain wants to spare as much energy as possible, so if some part of the brain is not necessary at a high level of functioning, it immediately goes down,” Holstege said.
The findings have implications for sexual dysfunction, Holstege said, as they paint a picture of the brain in which safety is paramount and anxiety is a libido-killer.
“If you want to have sex, as a man, you need to produce a safe situation for the woman,” Holstege said. “That is what you want, that is the most important thing.”
Holstege reported his results online April 10 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

38  no, now 42 things:

originally posted December 29, please click here for the fuller article of December 30, 2012

http://www.boisebipolarcenter.com/2012/12/50-possible-impacts-to-isolated.html

older version

Things you should know about assault video games. A two minute slide show:

add comments below

These 38 concepts are not moral values, but based on clinical information extrapolated from

  • Child psychology
  • developmental psychology
  • information on brain wave states, hypnosis impact
  • information on the development stages of the brain in years 0 to 18
  • recent research corroborating research of the last 20 years that violent TV and movies increase aggression
  • impact of specific events, such as violent tv or video game use as seen in brain scans
  • recent research on changes in brain function and body chemistry from outside events
  • information on narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders, including the development of narcissism and its treatment
  • information on social alienation, social adjustment, and agoraphobia
  • the psychology of male aggression and hostility
  • information on assault and rape
  • information from the massacre murders of the last 20 years, including the psychology of the mass murderers at Columbine
  • information about desensitization to violence, guns, etc. What is desensitization and how does it impact one’s life
  • information on social interaction of teens, especially boys
  • information on the processing of anger, some information coming from the life of Adam Lanza
  • the psychology of learning

and so on. Now, direct research on the impact of violent massacre video games is actually non-existent due to

1. parent naiveness or ambivalence to the game
2. a lack of general awareness of the rise of the massacre shooting in video games
3. lack of interest in general research on the matters due to the popularity of the games
4. lack of research due to populace acceptance of guns (but, you could accept Amendment 2, have a gun, but still study and understand what is happening with mass shooting video games)
5. some general population respect or lack of knowledge of the video game companies, how the mass assault and massacre game has developed, how the CGI of the shooting and exploding of bodies had developed lately
6. a lack of awareness of how entrenched these mass massacre games have become in our society
7. a lack of awareness of the intent of video game companies, which have moved from mere development practices to master marketing practices

Now, these are extrapolations of this information. In addition to this, I’ve added:

1.  studies and understanding of hypnotic events, including
a. understanding the normal experience of hypnotic events day to day life (ordinary brain states, changing brain wave states via hypnosis or meditation, brain wave states during repetitive behaviors)
2. understanding of brain scans and current use
3. understanding of impact to body of external events, including endocrine and brain chemistry
4. understandings of persons involved in cult like practices (written two books on this)

And, years in clinical work with persons:

1. using violent video games, including those attaining high levels in games
2. having addictions
3. socially isolated
4. infatuated or obsessed with weaponry
5. with some addiction level to video games: in denial or have no awareness (anosognosia) of the impact or level of involvement they have in the violent video game
6. work with patients using meditation, hypnosis, light sound therapy machines and more (I produce subliminal hypnosis audios for several disorders that limit the trance state to an acceptable level)
7. work with bipolar patients and in-office research on good outcomes of treatment: those teens patients with bipolar disorder: who has a good outcome from treatment and why. We do know those persons with

  • a multiple of skills and knowledge of the world
  • have various activities
  • have social skills and can maintain a good relationship with the therapist
  • have various interests in the world
  • are not isolated
  • can express their feelings and experiences verbally with another person rather than just act it out or live it vicariously

Do better in treatment. Their psychological outcome, recovery, reduction of dysfunctional symptoms are more significant.

Video one below here indicates the impact on the brain by video games. There is little information out there. The speaker points out: the answer is not resolved as to the full impact to the game or are dysfunctional persons drawn to the games. Is the is person with drawn to the violent game or does the violent game cause the violence. Over time, research on these sorts of questions often ends up with the common conclusion: both actually do happen, and can be distinct problems:

1. If troubled persons are drawn to the games, how can there be better interventions up front?
2. If the video games, that DO cause desensitization to violence/guns/massacre and DO cause aggression, and DO cause brain changes, then what must be done to reduce the violence in the video games?

One might use the argument of “we don’t fully know because it’s a “which came first, the chicken or the egg dilemma”. But, the other side of this is: in both scenarios, stopping the mass massacre video game in totality benefits group 1 AND group 2. Both groups win from greater research on the matter as well as immediately limiting or stopping the mass assault video game NOW.

In my practice, I work with people that are have bipolar disorder and are deeply wounded from events in childhood. We can see how these resentments, that become entrenched in a person’s life, tend not to resolve but increase in intensity over time. This person, greatly resentful, who learns about assault and assault weapons, could act out at some point. They often do, killing another or killing themselves. Doctors and licensed therapists are required to intervene in these situations and even warn others that they may be in harm’s way (the informing of a person that might be harmed by a patient is called “duty to warn”).

  1. Is there a shooting video game that is not human assault that is acceptable? post your idea in the comments below
  2. What are ordinary practices, such as hunter safety and practice, that could be healthy for some (and not the mentally ill)
  3. What is behind the weapons buying binge now in the US? add comments below
  4. What is the difference between a sport hunter or sport shooter (for instance, a skeet shooter), and the assault video game?
  5. Why is there little known about the mentally ill and these games and contact with assault weapons? Add comments below
  6. If you are a hunter (my father is an “upland birds hunter” and brother is a big game hunter), is there a difference in mentality than the assault video game player?  comment below
  7. If you are buying a gun for protection, why did you not pursue first: purchase of bear pepper spray, a taser, or get training in self defense such as Bully Proof Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?  
  8. If you are buying a gun for protection, what training course did you complete in safety?
  9. Where did the concept of to “fight guns, you just get more guns” come from?
  10. How can we help mentally ill children be assessed and find help?
  11. What is necessary for teen boys to end isolation, improve self esteem, and become socially adjusted?
  12. comment below
  13. What is the place of anger and aggression in our society?
  14. Why are “non violent” solutions to conflict seen in US culture as the “pansy way out”?
  15. What can be learned from the major massacre events in the US of the last 20 years, as well as the dozens of minor shootings that occur ever weekend (the Huffington Post listed after the Sandy Hook incident 100 similar shootings from that weekend, but with 1 to 3 killings per assault)
  16. Is there a correlation between workplace, marriage, school and other bullies and assault video games? 

We have lots to ask ourselves about the mass shooting assault and massacre video games, but also about the “meta” issues of it all. The video games are symbolic of our country’s view of violence, assault, human worth, bullying, and more. In examining and resolving issues with the video game, we are also examine the larger issues of our society:

  • what is our view of violence and what alternatives are there?
  • why are we desensitized to violence and the mass death?
  • why is research and appropriate interventions not at hand?

and,
39. encourages bullying
40. validates bullying
41. influences the development and maturation of the “personality” in children and teens
42. desensitizes persons to weaponry: weapons are a part of daily life or the “norm”
42. may influence the tendency of males to be narcissistic: blame others, punish others, feel blameless themselves, feel bothered by others
43. may influence players to become workplace bullies, which are the narcissists listed in 42
44. encourages isolation
45. reinforces isolation
46. nullifies non-violent resolution to conflict
47.promotes ethnocentrism
48. promotes nationalism
49. promotes bias against others
50. denegrates cultural tolerance, inclusion, and acceptance.

Turn the music off above right to view.

Changes in the brain from violent video games via brain imaging

..
 Adam Lanza
 

Do video games promote and encourage being a bully in life? I think so. Dr. B