What is meditation? And how do I do it?
Basically, meditation is a way to focus and center your mind, along with it being a process of self-improvement. When starting out, it can be very hard to do since your body just wants to get up and move, your mind is going through your to-do list, and your back hurts. Meditation is very beneficial, but people give up or struggle just to keep it up due to these reasons, among some others. If you are new at meditation, the best thing to do is ask yourself why are you hunched over, why did you drink that coffee before meditating, and what may be possibly causing your discomfort. For instance, I have a friend who can't meditate sitting while I can. Why is that? Well, she told me it was due to your bad back. So when meditating BE COMFORTABLE. Now, on the subject of the racing thoughts and obsessions that can control us. For instance, I am a clock checker so it wasn't until recently I could meditate a full 20 mins before checking the time. Whenever my thoughts would turn to time, I would just let that thought drift away. And now some of you may be rolling your eyes at me. Drift away? Drift away?!! How can you do that? Well, it takes TIME and PATIENCE, which I struggle with, as well. In the beginning, I would have to actually mentally envision it flying away, dissolving away, or send pretty pink light to it so that it would be too distracted to DISTRACT ME!!!! As said before, learning to let go of thoughts takes time, which is very evident with myself since I have been at this whole meditation thing for six to 12 months (techinically six, since the previous six was me flirting with the idea). Now I'm wonder how long it will take me to meditate 40 minutes without checking a clock?
Now, to the really good stuff about meditation: the ability to breathe, which i am still working on by the way. What I typically do is breathe through my nose and out through my mouth. What is so great about breathing?!!! Weeelll, not only is it relaxing, but it is a great way to meditate at the most basic level. Also, there is thing called oxygen, which I hear keeps the blood flow circulating and prevents reaaally bad dieseases and stuff.
Okay, so you have had it with the basics. What about actually doing meditation?! Well, here's the thing: there are so many types and techniques for meditation, along with the different belief systems that inevitably become attached to them (sometimes...) and different people meditate differently. Remeamber my friend? She doesn't meditate while sitting due to a difference in our bodies, plus I am quite sure she has different needs and responds to different things. I prefer meditation without music while she enjoys it. Not that I don't enjoy the music, but I get a lot more out of being alone with myself without any distractions. To start out, I would suggest learning a breathing technique that suits you and explore various meditations. Don't stick to one thing, but experiment as much as you can!! Especially since on some days one type of meditation may work for you while another will work on another, you grow and develop as a meditator, and to prevent yourself from getting bored.
And that is my quick basic run-down of meditation!! Get out there and have fun!!! The fun part may rise a few eyebrows, but if you read "Meditation for the love of it" by Sally Kempton you won't be in disbelief for very long! :)
2. What functions are predominately controlled by the anterior part of the brain? The posterior part?Anterior-motor and executive
3. What is the sensory buffer? Relatively, how long is information stored in a sensory buffer? How complete is the information in that buffer (think of the iconic memory experiment we ran in class with the letter arrays and the different pitched tones).Sensory Buffer: very short term store of info related to senses
4. Discuss the parts of classical working memory. What is the central executive? What is working storage?
5. Discuss the inner senses. What is the visuospatial sketch pad? What is verbal rehearsal?Inner senses-interact constantly with the long-term stores
6. What is the n-back test and what does it measure?*remembering previous stimuli in a continuous string, which measures brain activity involved with working memory.
7. Discuss Clive Wearing or HM and what the effects of their brain damage were (explain in context of the framework)
*Clive suffered a bout of viral encephalitis that left him with severely damaged brain tissue. Perhaps his most profound deficit is his inability to remember new facts or pieces of information. For example, his wife told him that she had been to his niece’s wedding reception. He responded with enthusiasm and the she asked him, “Do you know why I saw your niece?” His response was “No, I haven’t any idea.”
1. Define what is mean by the term “integrate and fire neuron”?
2. What is meant by chemical to electrical to chemical signaling?
3. Draw and label a neuron.
4. List the steps involved with neuron activation (referring back to the diagram).
5. Discuss briefly Hebbian learning.
6. Be able to differentiate between excitatory and inhibitory signals.
1. Be able to identify different positions and directions in the brain, including identifying on which plain a brain slice is.
2. What are Broadmann’s areas?
3. Be able to label the diagram of brain development and discuss the relationship between the lower (older regions) and higher (newer regions) in development and evolution.
4. What do we mean by brain lateralization?
5. What is the job of the corpus callosum?
6. Discuss what “split-brain” is.
7. What does it mean to say that the motor and somatosensory cortices are spatial maps? (i.e., explain how they are organized)
8. Why is the prefrontal cortex referred to as the “organ of civilization”?
9. Why is the thalamus so important?
1. Discuss temporal vs. spatial resolution (in general terms).
2. Discuss direct vs. indirect measures of brain activity (in general terms).
3. Be able to describe the briefly (or identify) how the following brain scanning techniques work:
a. EEG: Electrodes placed on the scalp or cortical surface, which records electric field of surface neuron's activities
b. MEG: Measures magnetic field produced by electrical activity of neurons
c. MRI: Structural imaging that is based on magnetic properties of water
d. fMRI (what is BOLD): Measures the hemodynamic (blood based) activity in the brain
e. PET:Functional imaging method that detects metabolic activity using radioactive tracers
4. Does raw EEG provide much information about cognition? How does ERP address that?
5. Explain what is meant by the subtraction method?The subtraction method is basically taking away irrelevant brain activities to see one specific brain activity through the use of a control activity and stimulation activity( S-C=difference activity). Then you average all of the participants' difference activities and you get a general difference, which is basically the average.