U3A Stilbaai

Zoom Meetings and YouTube videos
Below are some of the video topics shown and discussed at recent Zoom meetings. Not all of the topics will be of interest to each member, but you are welcome to enjoy the video's or Zoom recordings in your own time. The latest topics are added to the top.
Zoom Vergaderings en YouTube video's.
Hieronder is sommige van die video onderwerpe wat op onlangse Zoom vergaderings vertoon en bespreek is. Al die video onderwerpe mag nie vir elke lid van belang wees nie, maar julle is welkom om die videos of Zoom opnames in jul eie tyd te geniet. Die mees onlangse onderwerpe is bo.

Zoom Discussion - Friday 28 July 2023 @ 14:00
The recording of the Zoom session is on the link:
» https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Meru-XdmeJUCoCLCvQQ_EHSJZ8O1BQHf/view?usp=drive_link
With a better understanding of sleep, and an opportunity to share our struggles, I hope you will feel more equipped to deal with this life challenge.
Sleep disorders In the Elderly
See the attached summary (click here), or read the publication:
» https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5689397/
The impact of sleep deprivation and alcohol on driving: a comparative study
Compared to alcohol, sleep deprived mean reaction times were slower (2.86 s vs. 2.34 s), and lateral control of the vehicle was reduced (lane tracking adaptive mean deviation: 0.5 vs. 0.3). Coffee did not produce an improvement when sleep deprived, and instead, performance deteriorated. Females were less impaired following sleep deprivation than males. Following prolonged wakefulness, the correlation between subjective impairment and actual performance was significant.
» https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32571274/
Sleep is your Superpower - Matthew Walker
» https://www.ted.com/talks/matt_walker_sleep_is_your_superpower/c?language=en
» https://www.ted.com/talks/jeff_iliff_one_more_reason_to_get_a_good_night_s_sleep?language=en

Zoom Discussion - Friday 30 June 2023 @ 14:00
The recording of the Zoom meeting is on the link below.
This month I want to explore the complexity of Intelligence, and hope to get you thinking about the value of integrating our abilities with our personal responsibility to contribute to society, and humanity.
Interplay between Cognition and Personality.
A short Video summarizes the article...
This study revolutionizes our understanding of human individuality, shedding light on the diverse tapestry of the human mind. Findings reveal a direct link between cognitive prowess and activity levels, and a strong positive correlation between cognitive abilities and open-mindedness. Mental health also impacts on knowledge accummulation.
Biological and Environmental Influences on Intelligence
Network neuroscience theory best predictor of intelligence
The findings reveal that "global information processing" in the brain is fundamental to how well an individual overcomes cognitive challenges. Strong connections involve highly connected hubs of information-processing that are established when we learn about the world and become adept at solving familiar problems. Weak connections have fewer neural linkages, but enable flexibility and adaptive problem-solving. Together, these connections provide the network architecture that is necessary for solving the diverse problems we encounter in life.
Rather than originate from a specific region or network, intelligence appears to emerge from the global architecture of the brain and to reflect the efficiency and flexibility of systemwide network function. (Aron Barbey and Evan Anderson).
Jordan Peterson - How Autism and Intelligence connect
Jordan B Peterson (born June 12, 1962) is a Canadian clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto.
In this clip, he talks about autism, the ability of abstraction and intelligence.

Zoom Discussion & Meeting in Die Waenhuis, Stilbaai:  Friday 26 May 2023 @ 14:00
The recording of the Zoom meeting is on the link below.
(Note: This meeting is an experiment - Zoom plus live audience. So there are a few minor media adjustments near the beginning of the presentation. Please be patient or move ahead to 11.13 minutes into the meeting.)
» https://drive.google.com/file/d/13nxtWvy0VthN0HZrQ9-ok1rebeeLlWxr/view?usp=sharing
We all experience challenges in life - Resilience is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging circumstances. This requires mental, emotional and behavioural flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands.
Here are some YouTube links to get you interested in joining us.
Resilience and Emotional Intelligence
» https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqB5OHVwRY8
How Your Resilience is Trying to Kill You | Jenny Susser | TEDxGainesville
It is not our resilience that forms the foundation for performance, it is our personal energy, more specifically, how we replenish the energy we spend. In this talk, she shares how energy works, making the obvious accessible - because when you replace and restore the energy you spend, all kinds of yummy emotions, behaviors, and performances become available.
» https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUsITcRCm2g

Zoom Discussion - Friday 28 April 2023 at 14:00
The recording of the Zoom discussion is on the following link:
I have watched a fascinating documentary that introduces so many topics we have touched on. I hope most of you will be able to enjoy the full version on Showmax or Youtube, but I add links to shorter discussions, which I also enjoyed.
This IN UTERO documentary introduces many life challenges and concepts that affect how our brain and personality develops...IN UTERO is a cinematic rumination on what will emerge as the most provocative subject of the 21st century – the environmental impact on pregnancy and its lasting imprint on human development, human behavior, and the state of the world. Fetal origins experts, research scientists, psychologists, doctors and midwives – as well as examples from popular culture and mythology – collectively demonstrate how our experiences in utero shape our future.
IN UTERO is a documentary examining the connection between the state of the world and prenatal life. Filmmakers Stephen and Kathleen Gyllenhaal share a trailer for the film and explain epigenetics while discussing the impact of “unconscious” memories. The Gyllenhaals also break down pro life vs pro choice, fetal development and reveal their own struggles with conception on this episode of Antidote hosted by Michael Parker. Through enlightening and oftentimes poignant interviews with experts and pioneers, IN UTERO paints a complex tapestry of the human experience from conception to birth. Tapping into cultural myths, popular movies, and technological trends, the film demonstrates how our experiences in utero preoccupy us throughout our lives.
Enjoy this interview link:

Why do we like what we like?
Perception is not a passive recording of the properties of objects. It is the means by which an active cognitive system attempts to make sense of the world. And it does so by continually evaluating the experience, goals and expectations associated with them.
Our view of the world is never naïve. We perceive and evaluate through an individual and situated lens; the lens of our experience, knowledge, interests, needs, goals and expectations. We like what we like because we are who we are, here and now.
Food preferences - how does your DNA play a role?
» https://theconversation.com/picky-eater-research-shows-it-could-be-in-your-dna-189810
We found food can be categorised in three groups: highly palatable foods which include meat, junk food and desserts;
low calorie foods, mostly fruit and salad vegetables, but also oatmeal and honey; and acquired taste foods which are strong tasting foods children generally dislike but learn to enjoy such as coffee, alcohol and spices.
MRI brain scans to look in more detail at which areas of the brain correlated with the three food groups.
We once again found that enjoyment of highly palatable foods was associated with a larger volume of brain areas involved in perceiving pleasure in food (Desire dopamine circuit and Reward endorphins = weakness for highly pleasurable foods).
The other two groups were associated with brain areas involved with sensory perception = novelty seeking introduces acquired taste, identification (categorised by values not pleasure) and decision making = goals (Prefrontal cortex regulation behaviour - Control dopamine circuit).
This short video also supports our discussion https://www.bbc.com/reel/video/p0f0cw07/the-truth-behind-your-favourite-flavours
Anna Lembke On The Neuroscience of Addiction: Our Dopamine Nation
She discusses how high-dopamine stimuli like food, drugs, news, gaming, texting can lead to addiction, and challenges us to find balance in the Age of Indulgence.
» https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp20GdQWo3o

The Neuroscience behind our preferences.
» https://theconversation.com/why-do-we-like-what-we-like-the-neuroscience-behind-the-objects-that-please-us-196330
Why do we like what we like?
Perception is not a passive recording of the properties of objects. It is the means by which an active cognitive system attempts to make sense of the world. And it does so by continually evaluating the experience, goals and expectations associated with them.
Our view of the world is never naïve. We perceive and evaluate through an individual and situated lens; the lens of our experience, knowledge, interests, needs, goals and expectations. We like what we like because we are who we are, here and now.
Food preferences - how does your DNA play a role?
» https://theconversation.com/picky-eater-research-shows-it-could-be-in-your-dna-189810
We found food can be categorised in three groups: highly palatable foods which include meat, junk food and desserts; low calorie foods, mostly fruit and salad vegetables, but also oatmeal and honey; and acquired taste foods which are strong tasting foods children generally dislike but learn to enjoy such as coffee, alcohol and spices.
MRI brain scans to look in more detail at which areas of the brain correlated with the three food groups. We once again found that enjoyment of highly palatable foods was associated with a larger volume of brain areas involved in perceiving pleasure in food (Desire dopamine circuit and Reward endorphins = weakness for highly pleasurable foods).
The other two groups were associated with brain areas involved with sensory perception = novelty seeking introduces acquired taste, identification (categorised by values not pleasure) and decision making = goals (Prefrontal cortex regulation behaviour - Control dopamine circuit).
Reconnect with your meals
» https://theconversation.com/for-a-sustainable-future-we-need-to-reconnect-with-what-were-eating-and-each-other-123490
Research is revealing the negative impacts of eating alone, which has been found to be linked to a variety of mental and physical health conditions, from depression and diabetes to high blood pressure. So it’s encouraging that hundreds of food sharing initiatives have sprung up around the world which aim to improve food security and sustainability while combating loneliness.
So why has eating together declined? There are a variety of reasons. Authors such as the food writer Michael Pollan argue that it is due to the general undervaluing of home-based labour, including cooking. The widening of the workforce, which brought many women out of the kitchen and into the workplace during the 20th century, also contributed.
There’s London’s Casserole Club, for example, whose volunteers share extra portions of home-cooked food with people in their area who aren’t always able to cook for themselves. Or South Africa’s Food Jams, social gatherings in which participants are paired up, preferably with strangers, and given a portion of the meal to prepare.
Anna Lembke On The Neuroscience of Addiction: Our Dopamine Nation
She discusses how high-dopamine stimuli like food, drugs, news, gaming, texting can lead to addiction, and challenges us to find balance in the Age of Indulgence.
» https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp20GdQWo3o

Zoom Discussion - Friday 27 January 2023 at 14h00.
The recording of the Zoom discussion is on the following link:
» https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SoTu0f4X-qKEWgkE2R5beVWXP8W5ahWe/view?usp=share_link
Of boys and men; Why modern men are struggling in education, employment and as fathers.
By Richard Reeves
» The Fall of Men. Male inequality explained by an expert.
Connor Beaton – the Mask of Masculinity, 2016
» https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmkFdAMFGXo&t=14s
Through powerful stories from his own life, Connor illustrates the damaging impact of the ‘man mask’ and how our perception of masculinity is one of the biggest challenges men face today. His solution: a call to men to cast off the broken ideals and discover new ways of living fully and authentically. Connor Beaton - info@mantalks.ca - is the Founder of ManTalks. He supports mens’ health and wellness by giving them tools to be better fathers, husbands and leaders in their communities.
Psychology Has a New Approach to Building Healthier Men
A controversial set of guidelines aims to help men grapple with “traditional masculinity.
» https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/01/traditional-masculinity-american-psychological-association/580006/
Roy Baumeister said "I’m certainly not denying that culture has exploited women, but rather than seeing culture as patriarchy, which is to say a conspiracy by men to exploit women, I think it’s more accurate to understand culture (e.g. a country, a religion) as an abstract system that competes against rival systems — and that system uses both men and women, often in different ways, to advance its cause. In fact my own theory is built around tradeoffs, so that whenever there is something good it is tied to something else that is bad, and they balance out (more men in top privilege and more men down and out or die young). Most cultures have tended to use men for these high-risk, high payoff slots much more than women. Men represent extremes or variation on any continuum - more than women do. Is it due to biology or genetics? In fact, evolution will preserve differences when there is a tradeoff: when one trait is good for one thing, while the opposite is good for some other survival scenario. Important differences between men and women are to be found in motivation rather than ability, and can be compared for intimate versus large group survival. Social systems evolve to benefit from, and pass on information in a given environment.
Thus, the reason for the emergence of gender inequality may have little to do with men pushing women down in some dubious patriarchal conspiracy. Rather, it came from the fact that wealth, knowledge, and power were created in the men’s Social sphere. This is what pushed the men’s sphere ahead. Not oppression, simply the gradual creation of wealth, knowledge, and power in the men’s sphere became the source of gender inequality. Within a Social System based on larger groups, where individuals aren’t necessarily valued, one has to strive for respect. Man's basic social insecurity is not only social, it's existential and biological. Built into the male role is the danger of not being good enough to be accepted and respected (society still requires the man to earn respect by producing wealth and value that can support himself and others) and even the danger of not being able to do well enough to create offspring - have all contributed to humiliation.
» https://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/wp-content/uploads/Is-There-Anything-Good-About-Men.pdf

Zoom Discussion: Friday 25 November 2022 @ 14h00.
The recording of the Zoom discussion is on the following link:
» https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xsS4VyEe58UjfsRFMi9WAJCe2vXwTQP9/view?usp=share_link
Jenni invited Hélène Opperman Lewis BA(Hons) HED MSc(Psych), a Swellendam Psychologist, to present this month. Psycho-history attempts to explain the ‘psychological why’ of the cycle of revenge that tends to follow unremitting humiliation of a nation or a group. This cycle can be compounded if there is unprocessed trauma.
A cycle of revenge that is unconsciously activated as a ‘task’ is passed on to future generations to repair the parent's (the humiliated group’s) fragmented selves. Called trans- or inter- generational trauma. An unconscious psychological process where yesterday's humiliated…tends to become tomorrow’s humiliator.
In the mid 1990s, Hélène felt ashamed and guilt-ridden as an Afrikaner hearing the shocking and devastating TRC revelations on TV. She became determined to understand why Afrikaners, her people, created Apartheid in 1948.
Afterwards, triggered by certain observations amongst young Afrikaners who were furious about their parents and grandparents past decisions, she in 2001 enrolled for a doctoral at the then University of Port Elizabeth. The intended thesis was titled: "The Development of a Social Conscience amongst Afrikaners."
While doing research into Kohlberg and Gilligan͛s theories in the development of moral reasoning, she discovered the field of psycho-history. It was mind-blowing; psycho-history is the study of large groups and nations, looking at the PSYCHOLOGICAL WHY OF HISTORY. Analysing the unconscious motives that universally drive our continuous human struggle for survival, very often with devastating consequences. A year into her PhD research she decided to discontinue her formal studies - realising the depth and complexity of her subject had to be much broader and deeper than her intended thesis. To do justice to her quest she realised she would need many years, and it eventually took 15 years of intense research to complete.
In short - what seems to be the never-ending repetition throughout history, becomes understandable from a psychohistorical perspective. This universal phenomena holds true for every group who once suffered humiliation and trauma – and that is about everyone!
The universal human story. Playing out right now on the world stage...
In 2001 Hélène wrote an article, "Racism as projection: How early childhood can help it take root" which was published in the Rhodes Journalism Review of that year. This became important reading at the International conference on Racism held in Durban. In 2002 she was (again) invited to NY and presented a piece on the Anglo-Boer War as well as the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa), at the annual Psycho-history convention. In 2011 she attended the annual International Dignity & Humiliation conference in New York, and again in Oslo in 2012. In April 2013 she convened the annual International Dignity & Humiliation conference in Stellenbosch. In June 2015 she presented a paper on Humiliation & Trauma in Rwanda.
Her book, "Apartheid - Britain͛’s Bastard Child" - was self published in late 2016.
It should be a fascinating discussion on Friday.

The recording of the Zoom session on Friday 28 October 2022 is on the following link:
» https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pz93vUoElzsSCpTpc5KTkc-v5YLEjwAZ/view?usp=share_link
Our topic covers the interaction between our beliefs, perceptions and assumptions and mental recreation or interpretation of reality.
Before You Know It: The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do - John Bargh
The unconscious mind works in ways we are completely unaware of, guiding our behavior, goals, and motivations in areas like race relations, parenting, business, consumer behavior, and addiction. In his talk, Yale psychology professor John Bargh shares insights from his recently published book Before You Know It. He discusses his revolutionary research into the unconscious mind, exploring the forces that affect everyday behavior while transforming our understanding of ourselves in profound ways.
» https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qpb4y3isDzs
Do we see Reality as it is - Donald Hoffman
Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman is trying to answer a big question: Do we experience the world as it really is ... or as we need it to be? In this ever so slightly mind-blowing talk, he ponders how our minds construct reality for us. He studies how our visual perception, guided by millions of years of natural selection, authors every aspect of our everyday reality.
» https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/video/do-we-see-reality-as-it-is-donald-hoffman
Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality - Anil Seth
Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience -- and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we're all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it "reality." Join Seth for a delightfully disorienting talk that may leave you questioning the very nature of your existence.
» https://www.ted.com/talks/anil_seth_your_brain_hallucinates_your_conscious_reality?language=en

The recording of the Zoom session on 30 September 2022 is on the following link:

The recording of the Zoom session on 26 August 2022 is on the following link:
By more clearly identifying our feelings or by recategorizing them, we can reduce suffering (yes!) and increase well-being, says neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Your Brain creates your Emotions.

Neuroscience has found that gestures are not merely important as tools of expression but as guides of cognition and perception.
The Science (and Pseudoscience) of Non-Verbal Communication
For decades now, researchers from a variety of disciplines study nonverbal cues and behaviours such as facial expressions, gaze patterns, postures, and body movements. However, while scientific knowledge is substantial (more than 30 000 peer-reviewed publications), a variety of unfounded, discredited, and pseudoscientific claims are disseminated on traditional and social medias. This presentation will present an overview of the scientific research on nonverbal communication, and its relevance for practitioners. Watch from 8:20 min to 18:30 min
Popular unfounded, discredited, and pseudoscientific claims, and the implication of their use, will also be addressed.
Vincent Denault is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology of McGill University, and a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law of University of Sherbrooke.
Ed Young Interviewed: AN IMMENSE WORLD is the delightful new book from The Atlantic staff writer Ed Yong, and he joins us on the show to talk about meeting animals on their own terms, with Poured Over’s host, Miwa Messer. Ed realised that having knowledge of animal sensory abilities, actually increased his empathy for the animal's experiences!
For anyone needing the recording of Friday's Neuro Psych discussion with Jenni Sharkey, the link is here:

Jenni Sharkey
Zoom Meeting  24 June 2022 @ 14h00 
My hope is that by talking about Loneliness we will all come to realise that a depressed state is a rather natural and appropriate reaction to circumstances, but that we are not required to simply endure it!
Loneliness, depression and sociability in old age.
Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Vivek Murthy has seen the physical and emotional toll of social disconnection rising throughout society over the past few decades.
TOGETHER: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World
Evolutionary Biology explores what the function of a trait is, and describes its physical mechanism.
What is the history of the trait over many generations? How does the trait develop during the history of the particular organism? David Sloan Wilson makes interesting reading!
Strategies to improve mental health Older adults reported engaging in a variety of strategies to improve their mental health from March 2020 to January 2021. During this period, one in eight (13%) discussed a new mental health concern with their primary care provider, 6% adjusted or started a new prescription medication for their mental health, and 5% started seeing a mental health professional. Three in ten older adults (29%) reported making a lifestyle change to improve their well-being such as exercise, diet, or meditation. Making lifestyle changes during the pandemic was more common among adults 50–64 than those age 65–80 (31% vs. 25%), women compared to men (33% vs. 24%), and Blacks and Hispanics compared to Whites (38% vs. 34% vs. 27%).
Geriatric Depression: Impact On Families and Caregivers
While making sure to be there for your aging loved one is important for both their physical and emotional health, it is significant to note that this may take a certain toll on a person. No one wants to see their loved one’s health decline, and having to be their main support system can cause one’s own health to suffer. This can be due to caregiver burnout, or the problem in which a caregiver does not practice self-care and instead dedicates most or all of their time to supporting others. While some may view this to be a selfless or necessary act, it can be very detrimental. This is because a study found that the rates of elderly patients with depression are correlated with poor caregiver mental health. This means that caregivers themselves can experience poor mental health when caring for their family members, meaning caregivers should take preventative measures to ensure their mental health doesn’t decline. This can be done by practicing mindfulness, eating healthy, leaving time for hobbies and activities, and socializing. There are also support groups that can be available either in person or online for people who are caregivers for their ailing or elderly family members. Also, if possible, families should divide up caregiver responsibilities between family members or formal caregivers to prevent caregiver burnout from occurring. Melissa Jean
Best wishes
The discussion that took place on Zoom can be viewed at:

Zoom Meeting 27 May 2022
Jenni invited Esme Goldblatt to share her wisdom and experience on "Journaling as Therapy – Writing for Mindfulness and Wellbeing."
This topic reminds her of the March 2021 Zoom Discussion on Language, wnich you can access at:
as well as research on identifying emotions with precision, see the article "Try these two smart techniques to help you master you emotions" by Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett.
The discussion that took place on Zoom can be viewed at:

The meaning of happiness and integrated brain hemispheres.
Nancy Etcoff (Cognitive researcher) looks at Happiness -- the ways we try to achieve and increase it, the way it's untethered to our real circumstances, and its surprising effect on our bodies.
» Click here for TED talk.
 Learn how to harness the powerful benefits of laughter and humour.
» Click her for video.

 How much choice (Agency or Free Will) do we have as individuals, as well as within society?
These scientists (and evolutionary biology) are inspiring, and illustrate how much power we have, and how complex our lives are!
You ROC! With Asset-Based Thinking
» Kathy Cramer at TEDxYouth@Indianapolis
We can all approach life with Resilience, Optimism and Confidence! First, let's define deficit-framing. It means defining people by their problems. By comparison, asset-framing is defining people by their aspirations and contributions before exploring their deficits.
Our future is still in our hands
Katherine Hayhoe is one of the most esteemed atmospheric scientists in the world. She’s made her mark by connecting dots between climate systems and weather patterns and the lived experience of human beings in their neighborhoods and communities
» Read the transcript or listen on Spotify and Apple podcasts.
The Power of Human Collaboration and Innovation During and After a Crisis
Nicholas Christakis
During times of plague people search for meaning, and what's important in their own lives and society. “The spread of germs is the price we pay for the spread of ideas,” says renowned physician, epidemiologist, public health expert, and Yale social scientist Dr. Nicholas Christakis, author of the bestselling book “Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society” (2019).

The Brain
Iain McGilchrist - The Divided Brain and the search for meaning
Renowned psychiatrist and writer explains how the divided brain has profoundly altered human behaviour, culture and society. No neuroscientist would dispute that there are significant differences between left and right hemispheres; but until now, no-one has understood why.
» Click here for YouTube video.
» Click here for video on U3A drive.
Whole Brain Living
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, author of "Whole Brain Living" shares the 90 second rule for right brain/left brain living in this 5min interview.
Another way of translating Taylor’s rule is when you react to a situation, you make a choice to do so—an unconscious choice perhaps, or a neurological choice—but a choice nonetheless.
» Click here for YouTube video.
The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't
In her TedTalk, Julia Galef looks at how two very different mindsets, or our motivated reasoning, impact the way in which we use information and make a decision. Do you yearn to defend your own beliefs or do you yearn to see the world as clearly as you possibly can, by regularly updating your beliefs with newly acquired evidence?
» Click here for TED talk video.

Physiology of Sleep
» Dr Dale Rae:- What is sleep; How is it regulated; Why we sleep; and Healthy sleep.
REM sleep and dreaming
» Dr Mark Solms :- Providing evidence for where and when the brain is activated, during dreams.

The Brain that changes itself
This is an exploration of some of the neuroscientific research that has changed people's lives, when neuroplasticity changes their brain pathways.
» Watch the documentary via YouTube.
In his second book The Brain’s Way of Healing Doidge describes natural, noninvasive avenues into the brain provided by the forms of energy around us—light, sound, vibration, movement—that can pass through our senses and our bodies to awaken the plastic brain’s own transformative capacities without surgery or medication and their unpleasant side effects or risks. Neuroplastic healing is truly one of the life-changing breakthroughs of modern science.
The Power of Thought
» Watch this interview, Feb 2015
The Drake Institute has been utilizing qEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalogram) Brain Mapping for 23 years as an important diagnostic test in evaluating patients with ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Learning Disorders, Anxiety, Depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
» An article about some of these neurofeedback techniques

Dopamine, obsession and boredom; plus happiness and wandering minds.
Join Jenni for a Zoom discussion on Friday 1 October at 14h00.
Dopamine: Driving Your Brain into the Future
Daniel Lieberman. TEDx Wilmington Women
Why are we obsessed with the things we want – and bored when we get them? Why do highly driven people so rarely enjoy the success they’ve earned? The answer is dopamine, a chemical in the brain that has been called “the pleasure molecule.” But is it? Find out why it holds the key to desire, motivation, and sometimes the most disastrous of consequences.
» Click here to view TED talk.
You can also read The Molecule of More by Daniel Z Lieberman - Click here.
A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind
Researcher Matt Killingsworth designs studies that gather data on happiness
Topics such as "The relationship between happiness and the content of everyday experiences; the percentage of everyday experiences that are intrinsically valuable; and the degree of congruence between the causes of momentary happiness and of one’s overall satisfaction with life") .
So when are humans most happy? Matt built an app, Track Your Happiness, that asks people to report their feelings in real time. Among the surprising results: We're often happiest when we're absorbed in the moment. And the flip side: The more our mind wanders, the less happy we become.
» Click here to view TED talk.

How we form memories, and some issues around aging brains.
Flex your cortex - 7 secrets to turbocharge your brain.
Sandra Bond Chapman. TEDX 2014
earn from Dr Sandra Bond Chapman, a cognitive neuroscientist at The University of Texas at Dallas, the seven scientifically-validated secrets, which anyone can implement to improve brain performance.
Dr. Chapman collaborates with scientists across the country and around the world to solve some of the most important issues concerning the brain and its health. On the frontier of brain research, her scientific study melds interdisciplinary expertise to better understand how to evaluate and achieve optimal brain performance through preserving frontal lobe function, the area of the brain responsible for reasoning, planning and decision-making.
» Click here to view YouTube video
Nuns Offer Clues to Alzheimer's and Aging
Pam Belluck. New York Times, May 7, 2001
» Click here to read article
Memory fit - How I learnt to exercise my memory
Anastasia Woolmer. TEDxDocklands
Anastasia Woolmer guides us on her journey from a physical to a mental athlete. After a career as a professional Ballet and Contemporary dancer, she completed a university degree with very little high school behind her. Like many of us, she studied without the benefit of memory techniques, just a lot of preparation and late nights. Anastasia discusses what a dramatic difference memory training has made to her life, since then. We can all benefit from directed memory skills, and a little practice pays big dividends. This talk reveals that combining the two types of fitness training – mental and physical – helps us to achieve the most out of life. Anastasia is a two times Australian Memory Champion, is the first female to hold this title and has set several Australian memory records along the way. She is both a physical and mental athlete, with an international career as a professional Ballet and Contemporary dancer. Her love of learning attracted her to memory sports as a path to absorb new information quickly and she now helps others to learn memory techniques. Anastasia is also uniquely able to demonstrate the mental imagery she uses during memorisation. Anastasia believes combining both physical and mental fitness gives us the best chance for a happy and full healthy life. She knows that anyone can train themselves to perform remarkable memory feats and bypass slower conventional learning methods.
» Click here to view YouTube video
Top 10 Tips to Keep Your Brain Young
Elizabeth Amini. TEDxSoCal Aug 16, 2011
Elizabeth Amini is a social entrepreneur with a background in science. She learned data analysis while working as a scientist at JPL/NASA. Elizabeth has a degree in Cognitive Science (the study of the brain) from Occidental College and an M.B.A. from University of Southern California. Her Anti-AgingGames.com business plan won the USC Business Plan contest as well as the YPO (Young Presidents' Organization) award for promising new companies. Anti-AgingGames.com features fun and easy brain stimulation games . The training system includes memory, concentration, focus, and relaxation games. Anti-AgingGames.com includes tips distilled from over 17,000 medical studies that teach how to potentially reduce the risk of early memory loss through lifestyle changes.
» Click here to view YouTube video

Illusions, Assumptions and Free Will
A beautiful mind -- deepening our understanding of perception, creativity...
Beau Lotto. April 2014
Beau Lotto is a globally renowned neuro-scientist who specialises in perception research, and has for years wowed the world of science with work that blurs the boundaries between neuro-science and the arts. As well as transforming the science of perception, he wants to transform the way people think - not just about themselves, but also about the world around them.
Adaptation is the life-blood of any individual, and it has two parts. The application of an adaptation - focusing on process and efficiency results in being able to adapt well, and is essential to survivaI in a static or predictable world.
Beau will focus principally on perception because it underpins everything we know, think, feel and believe, from our best inventions to our most basic psychoses. Understanding how the brain resolves uncertainty, offers direct insight to the 'destructive creation' that is the process of learning itself. But what about an uncertain world? In such an environment, the other side of adaptation (creativity) becomes essential. And our world, of course, is uncertain, and increasingly so. Given that, why is it that we so often rely on learned efficiency, at the expense of creativity?
Here, using perceptual neuroscience, Beau Lotto will address three key points about creativity: - What actually is Creativity? - Why fear and stress are the principle barriers to achieving creativity - How can one facilitate creativity?
» Click here to view YouTube video
IQ Tests Can’t Measure It, but ‘Cognitive Flexibility’ Is Key to Learning and Creativity
The Conversation. June 2021
Cognitive flexibility can also help protect against a number of biases, such as confirmation bias. That’s because people who are cognitively flexible are better at recognising potential faults in themselves, and using strategies to overcome these faults.
» Click here to view article.
How brains learn to see
Pawan Sinha. TEDIndia 2009.
Pawan Sinha details his groundbreaking MIT research into how the brain's visual system develops. His team provides free vision-restoring treatment to children born blind, and then study how their brains learn to interpret visual data. This work offers insights into neuroscience, engineering and even autism.
» Click here to view TED Talk.

The Neuroscience behind Personality
Dopamine genes are linked to Extraversion and Neuroticism personality traits, but only in demanding climates.
Ronald Fischer, Anna Lee & Machteld N. Verzijden. January 2018
Firstly I introduce the relationship of environment to personality, because it is a 60:40 nature:nurture interaction ...
» Click here to view article
» Click here to read about Big Five Factor personality model.
Understanding The Fisher Temperament Inventory & Its 4 Types
Helen Fischer, a biological anthropologist PhD and chief science advisor of Match.com
June 2020 
» Click here to read article.
To study the validity of the Fisher Temperament Inventory test, Fisher had people take the questionnaire and then took MRI scans of their brains. Sure enough, people who showed estrogen dominance in the questionnaire, for example, consistently had more activity in brain regions linked with empathy and social skills. People who scored high on the serotonin scale showed activity in the part of the brain linked with social norm conformity.
Dr. Helen Fisher on How Brain Chemistry Determines Personality and Politics
(YouTube 40min video). April 2018
» Click here to view video.
Sex beyond the genitalia: The human brain mosaic
Finally we look at gender chromosomes ... Professor Daphna Joel (Psychology and Neuroscience) explores the mistaken concept that brains can be either male or female, thus providing an explanation for why men and women are different. She disputes the theory, displays the neurological data, and proves that our brains are really a unique mosaic of both male and female characteristics, forming an 'intersex brain.'
 » Click here to read article - December 2015 
Even when considering highly stereotypical gender behaviors, there are very few individuals who are consistently at the “female-end” or at the “male-end”, but there are mainly individuals who have both “female-end” and “male-end” characteristics. Furthermore, although one’s sex is enough to predict whether this person would have more “female-end” or more “male-end” characteristics, it is not enough to predict this person’s specific combination of “female-end” and “male-end” characteristics. Our findings are in line with more recent thinking, that masculinization and feminization are two independent processes and that sexual differentiation progresses independently in different brain tissues, “enabling genetically and environmentally induced variation in sexual differentiation of different tissues within a single brain”.

Brain fatigue and experiencing "Languish vs Flourish" states
Beat the Burnout - How to fight pandemic fatigue with science
Amy Fleming, 2 February 2021.
»  Click to view article.
How the lonely elderly can teach you lessons for life
Edward Molkenboer·TEDxHaarlem
Edward Molkenboer calls himself ‘a professional bon vivant’. But that’s only since he started pouring coffee for the lonely elderly. Before that time he owned two companies, but at some point felt a personal bankruptcy. From the urge of doing good for others he set up the foundation Goed doen voor een Ander (= Doing good for someone Else).
» Click to view video
Brain fog: how trauma, uncertainty and isolation have affected our minds and memory
Moya Sarner, 14 April 2021
After a year of lockdown, many of us are finding it hard to think clearly, or remember what happened when. Neuroscientists and behavioural experts explain why.
» Click to view article

From Anger to Meditation
Richard Davidson, founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explains the four constituents of well-being. These constituents are rooted in specific brain circuits that exhibit neuroplasticity, which gives us the opportunity to enhance our well-being, with practice.
» Click to view video.
Humiliation: Why this little-understood emotion exists
BBC Ideas. 2019
Why does humiliation exist? And can we turn it to our advantage? Psychotherapist Philippa Perry explores this little-understood emotion. Made by BBC Scotland.
»  Click here to view video.
How to make peace? Get angry
Kailash Satyarth, 2019
How did a young man born into a high caste in India come to free 83,000 children from slavery? Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi offers a surprising piece of advice to anyone who wants to change the world for the better: Get angry at injustice. In this powerful talk, he shows how a lifetime of peace-making sprang from a lifetime of outrage.
»  Click here to view video.
Loving Kindness Meditations
Research continues to reveal that compassion is much more than just a concern for the suffering of others. It is a valuable skill that can be cultivated over time through such practices as Loving-Kindness and Compassion Meditation.
Instead of berating yourself (anger) and getting lost in your suffering (pain), Compassion Meditation offers a way to use your own suffering as a tool for true insight and understanding, into what people all over the world are going through.
»  Click here to view video.

Language of positive or negative Feelings
The language of positive feelings: Tim Lomas says “The feelings we have learned to recognise and label are the ones we notice – but there’s a lot more that we may not be aware of. And so I think if we are given some new words, they can help us articulate whole areas of experience we’ve only dimly noticed.”
» Read... "The ‘untranslatable’ emotions you never knew you had" by David Robson.
Expanding our experiential horizons through untranslatable words
Tim Lomas | TEDxZurich 2019
Untranslatable words – terms without an exact equivalent in our own language – can expand our horizons and transform our lives. They have the potential to help us better understand and articulate our experiences, and can even reveal new phenomena which had previously been veiled to us.
Collectively these words provide an illuminating and detailed map of wellbeing, one with the potential to open people up to new ways of seeing and being in the world. Dr. Tim Lomas has been a lecturer in positive psychology at the University of East London since 2013. His current main area of research involves creating a lexicography of untranslatable words relating to wellbeing.
... and take a look at the website: https://www.drtimlomas.com/lexicography/cm4mi
» Click to view TED Talk.
Your words may predict your future mental health
Mariano Sigman 2016
In this fascinating talk, neuroscientist Mariano Sigman reflects on ancient Greece and the origins of introspection to investigate how our words hint at our inner lives and details a word-mapping algorithm that could predict the development of schizophrenia. "We may in the future be seeing a very different form of mental health," Sigman says, "based on objective, quantitative and automated analysis of the words we write, of the words we say."
Can the way you speak and write today predict your future mental state, even the onset of psychosis?
Neurocience has also confirmed that the Wernicke's area in the Temporal Cortex is essential for using words in a meaningful way (Semantics). We also lose neurological pathways for accessing seldom used words (dementia).
Lastly, learning a foreign language by utilising brain science, now concentrates on the most frequently used words (or phrases).
» Click here to view TED Talk.

Focused Attention.
The science of Focused Attention, requires high Beta brainwave activity (Flow), and it is important that we find things we enjoy being interested in. But it also made me realise we need to be open to new ideas and the freedom to explore and discover creatively. Stimulating the brain (to avoid dementia) requires more than entertaining distractions, we really must put effort into learning and applying new knowledge and skills.
Flow, the secret to Happiness TED 2004
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asks, "What makes a life worth living?" Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of "flow." Especially pay attention to the video at 14 - 17 minutes.
» Click to view TED Talk
Connecting the Dots: Your Brain and Creativity
Dita Cavdarbasha and Jake Kurczek explore the scientific research of creativity. This summary is particularly informative: Good illustrations of what is happening in the brain and in our thoughts in order for us to pursue creative activities. They explore intelligence and some myths surrounding the brain and creativity, also the benefits that being creative has in your life.
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What can different cultures teach about boredom?
In Niger, young men counter the “weight of boredom” by drinking tea together. For them, it’s better to live in the here and now, and enjoy what is coming in the immediate future.
» Click to view video

Discussion of Denialism (Covid, Climate change) and Conspiracy Theories (Vaccinations, Trumpism).
Following on some points raised in the Robert Sapolsky and Renee Lertzman videos, I decided to open with creating understanding about why people can be denialists, or readily believe in various conspiracy theories.
I have attached a Google Drive download of a 4 minute video from a free online Future Learn course: Disinformation, misinformation... by Michigan University; and some interesting articles with a useful video explaining how to structure scientific information.
» Reasons people reject science.mp4
A practical guide to countering science denial.
by John Cook, The Conversation
Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial in Denial101x, a massive open online course (MOOC) from UQx and edX. Denial101x isn’t just a MOOC about climate change; it’s a MOOC about how people think about climate change.
» Click to view YouTube
Neuroscience explains how “fake news” works, and what publishers can learn from it.
by Rachel Anne Barr (Neuroscience PhD student), The Conversation
» Click to view video
How Identity—Not Ignorance—Leads to Science Denial.
Changing the minds of Covid-19 deniers may require a lot more than sound reasoning - Markham Heid, The Nuance 2020
» Click to view video

How to turn climate anxiety into action.
Renee Lertzman
It's normal to feel anxious or overwhelmed by climate change, says psychologist Renée Lertzman. Can we turn those feelings into something productive? In an affirming talk, Lertzman discusses the emotional effects of climate change and offers insights on how psychology can help us discover both the creativity and resilience needed to act on environmental issues.This talk was presented at an official TED conference.
» Click here to open TED talk.

How to motivate yourself to change your behavior.
Tali Sharot
What makes us change our actions? Tali Sharot reveals three ingredients to doing what's good for yourself. Dr. Tali Sharot is a neuroscientist at University College London and the director of the Affective Brain Lab. She is a faculty member of the department of Experimental Psychology, a Wellcome Trust Fellow, and currently a visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on how emotion, motivation, and social factors influence our expectations, decisions, and memories.
» Click here to open YouTube video.

The Biology of Humans at our Best and Worst.
Robert Zapolsky
Dr. Robert Sapolsky spoke at Stanford on October 24, 2017. He is the author of several works of nonfiction, including A Primate's Memoir, The Trouble with Testosterone, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, and his most recent book Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst.
» Click here to open video.

The Three Secrets of Resilient People.
Lucy Hone
Dr Lucy Hone is a resilience expert who thought she found her calling supporting people to recover following the Christchurch earthquake. She had no idea that her personal journey was about to take her to a far darker place. In this powerful and courageous talk, she shares the three strategies that got her through an unimaginable tragedy ⁠— and offers a profound insight on human suffering. Dr Lucy Hone is a director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience, a research associate at AUT University, a published academic researcher, best-selling author and contributor to Psychology Today, the Sunday Star Times and Next magazine. She trained at the University of Pennsylvania and got her PhD in public health at AUT University in Auckland. She has helped a range of organisations — from primary schools to leading law firms — to design and implement wellbeing initiatives creating sustained and meaningful change. Five years ago, the sudden death of Lucy’s 12-year-old daughter Abi forced Lucy to apply her academic training and professional practice to foster her own resilience in very personal circumstances. The blog she wrote in the aftermath of Abi’s death attracted international attention and resulted in the best-selling non-fiction title, What Abi Taught Us, Strategies for Resilient Grieving (Allen & Unwin, 2016), now available as Resilient Grieving in the US, UK and NZ.
» Click here to open TED Talk

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