Some shape-your-brain entertainment.

May 10th, 2013

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“We can actually be happier people…if we take responsibility for our own mind.” – Dr. Richard J. Davidson

I admit it. I’m a neuroscience junkie. The plasticity of the brain – its ability to be shaped by thought – is pure mind-bending excitement for me. So I eagerly await the mind/brain topics that highlight for me this weekend and next.

Tonight at The Rubin Museum of Art is a screening of Free the Mind (2012) a film in which leading neuroscientist Richard J. Davidson sets out to discover if and how the brain might be physically altered using only the power of thought.  The test cases include a 5-year-old suffering from ADHD and veterans coping with PTSD. Promo materials tell me he poses two fundamental questions: What really is consciousness, and how does it manifest in the brain and body? And is it possible to physically change the brain solely through mental practices? (Spoiler Alert: By studying Buddhist monks, Davidson has found it is possible to rewire your brain through meditation.)

Next Saturday night rockers The Amygdaloids – scientists by day who shed their scientific garb by night – take the stage for the Second Annual Heavy MeNtal Variety Show, presented by the Helix Center for Interdisciplinary Investigation. The band will play original songs on the mind-body problem, memory, emotion and unconscious processes.  Each suite will be preceded by a short, three-minute talk on the scientific or philosophical foundations of the topic by lead singer/neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux. (Here’s a video in which NYU’s LeDoux interviews colleague Ned Block on the nature of consciousness, from Scientific American online. At 11:30, the interview segues into The Amygdaloids’ music video of My Mind’s Eye.)

May you be equally powered by thought and transformed by fun!

Related Posts:

The bounce-back quality pops up again. (4/29/11)

Do you already have the brain of a leader? (9/24/10)

Image courtesy of The Amygdaloids





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