MY RETURN.....again.
I keep coming and going it seems. Well, right now it's summer and I just graduated!!! XD sooo i am hoping to have more time to write. 

Meditation: The Basics

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! :)

The Brain Study guide prt1

Origins of Neuroscience
  1. Descartes is thought to be the originator of the mind/body arguement. What was Descartes major idea? Describe his famous experiment with the ox eye.
  • Ventricular localization explained bestial behavior but not humans also had a seperate "mind."
  • Basically, he exposed the sclera of an ox eye, placed paper behind it, and noticed an inverted image.
       2. How did early studies with electricity benefit the future of understanding how the brain works?
  • The frog legs experiment had electricity passing through them and they moved, which showed that the brain and body are electrical in nature.
       3. What do we mean by "localization of function" in the brain? Discuss the work of one scientist who we mentioned in class that contributed to the idea that certain behaviors are localized in the brain.
  •  "Localization of function" in the brain means that certain parts of the brain have specific functions that involved how we think, feel, and perceive sensory data.
  • Paul Broca found the region of the human cerebrum for speech.
      4. What was the major question identified by Ramon y Cajal? What is the neuron doctrine?
  • Is the nervous system a continuous network or is it made of individual cells?
  • The neuron doctrine is the statement that the nervous system consists of numerous nerve units (neurons), anatomically and genetically independent
      5. How did William James pave the way for techniques like PET and MRI scanning?
  • William James paved the way for scanning techniques by discussing work of Dr. Mosso, which was of blood supply increases in active brain regions.
  1. Be able to label the framework flow chart as we discussed in class and discuss the different parts.
  • Draw flow chart later
    1. What is the input?
    • The sensory information, such as vision, hearing, and/or touch, which is received.
    1. What happens in the intermediate steps?
      1. The sensory information briefly enters the sensory buffers, which follows in a voluntary top-down component if there was flash, bang, or anything startling.
      2. The sensory information enters the Central Executive, involving planning and controlling behavior, and then working storage.
      3. The working memory can crystallize sensory input into permanent memories.
      4. Below the working memory box, the verbal rehearsal and visuospatial sketchpad interact constantly with the stored memories, knowledge, and skills through learning and retrieval.
      5. The last step before the output is the action planning.
    2. What is the output?
    • The control of voluntary activity

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
Not very long and not very much

4. Discuss the parts of classical working memory. What is the central executive? What is working storage?

  • Interacts with sensory input, executive function, long-term memories, and action systems
  • Central executive- prefontal cortex; planning and execution/control over behavior
  • Working storage- prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex; activation of cell assemblies that leads to crystalization of information

5. Discuss the inner senses. What is the visuospatial sketch pad? What is verbal rehearsal?

  Inner senses-interact constantly with the long-term stores
  Verbal rehearsal-inner speech; running tab of "current concerns"
  Visuospatial sketch pad- temporary store of visual and spatial info; abstract cross modal recognition (combo of sense modalities, such as sight and smell)

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. As he listens to his wife’s story of the niece’s wedding this briefly enters the sensory buffer.
  2. The information should then enter the working storage to crystallize, but due to the damage he suffered the information wasn’t able to turn into a permanent memory.
  3. Also, he would have difficulties in retrieving older information from the long-term stores, such as declarative and autobiographical knowledge, or even being able to learn new information.
  4. So he is unable to have a response output, such as replying that he knew why his wife saw his niece since he was unable to retrieve this knowledge from his working memory.


1. Define what is mean by the term “integrate and fire neuron”?

  • "Neurons work by adding graded voltage inputs until the total membrane voltage on the target neuron goes past a threshold value." If this happens, "an all-or-nothing spike fires down the output brance, the axon (Baars and Gage, p. 68)."

2. What is meant by chemical to electrical to chemical signaling?

  • The chemical neurotransmitter activates a receptor, which starts an electrical current all over the dendrites. Eventually, neurotransmitters are released.

3. Draw and label a neuron.

4. List the steps involved with neuron activation (referring back to the diagram).

  1. Chemical messenger (Neurotransmitter) binds to receptors on the dendrites of a neuron
  2. The recepter is activated and a channel opens allowing charged particles to flow into the cell creating an electrical current.
  3. Electrical currents from all over the dendrites will flow toward the cell body and summate at the axon hillock (Integration).
  4. If the intergration/summation is big enough to reach the threshold, an action potential is triggered. The action potential will travel down the axon to the axon terminal (terminal buttons).
  5. When the action potential reaches the axon terminal, neurotransmitter is released into the synapse where it can act on the recepters in the dendrites of the postsynaptic neuron and continue the cycle.

5. Discuss briefly Hebbian learning.

  •  When we learn something new, a network aids us to learn.
  • "cells that wire together, fire togther."

6. Be able to differentiate between excitatory and inhibitory signals.

  •  Excitatory increases liklihood of firing while inhibitory decreases the liklihood of firing.

The Brain

1. Be able to identify different positions and directions in the brain, including identifying on which plain a brain slice is.

  • Front=Anterior (Fronal lobe), back=posterior, top=superior, bottom=inferior,
  • Parietal-superior nearer to the posterior, Temporal-inferior, Occipital posterior, and the cerebellum is posterior inferior
  • Laterial view is a side view, sagittal view is a middle view that shows the spinal cord, coronal view is middle top-bottom view, and Horizontal view anterior-posterior middle view.

2. What are Broadmann’s areas?

  • Microscopic differences in cell structure

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.

  • Lower regions both evolutionarily and developmentally develop first since they involve vital functions needed for survival while the new/higher regions develop last. (check book for diagram)

4. What do we mean by brain lateralization?

  • Two hemispheres, which divided by longitudinal fissure that runs between.

5. What is the job of the corpus callosum?

  • Connects the two hemispheres

6. Discuss what “split-brain” is.

  • When the corpus callosum in patients has been cut usually, which results in two seperate hemispheres working alone.

7. What does it mean to say that the motor and somatosensory cortices are spatial maps? (i.e., explain how they are organized)

  • The brain map follows body map with the brain area proportionate to amount of motor control or to sensitivity of body area to sensory info.

8. Why is the prefrontal cortex referred to as the “organ of civilization”?

  • 1/3 of human cortex: initiating activities, planning, active stores of critical info, changing mind/mental set, monitoring effectiveness of ones actions, and inhibiting ineffective or self-defeating actions.

9. Why is the thalamus so important?

  • Gateway to the cortex with tis dense connections

Brain imaging

1. Discuss temporal vs. spatial resolution (in general terms).

  • Temporal-Time a brain activity occurs
  • Spatial resolution-Where a brain activity occurs

2. Discuss direct vs. indirect measures of brain activity (in general terms).

  • Direct-Measures electromagnetic brain signals
  • Indirect-measures brain metabolism and blood flow

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

  • BOLD-Blood Oxygen level dependent activity

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?

  • Not so much, but the ERP(event-related potentials) help to differentiate activity.

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.

I have returned?!!
LOL. so, yeah. I decided to use my livejournal site again. :)

Welcome to the Family
 Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy or supernatural
Dean couldn't fucking believe this...there was a baby in his arms that needed him. Damn it, but this little girl of his was beautiful. Blonde with green eyes like her daddy. Hopefully, shorter than him because let's be honest here...any kid of his that becomes taller than him will be able to literally look down at him...knowing his stupid brother, he'll laugh his ass right off!
Dean quickly glanced at his giant of a brother. Figures the dude would go on researching marathon after Lizzy came into their lives. How hard could it be to raise a baby, anyways?

Happily Ever After?
Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy or supernatural 
Once upon a time, a hunter and his brother went searching for their father, John Winchester. On the first hunt, they came upon a woman in white and their father's journal about evil monsters, demons, and ghosts...but they did not find their father. Months later, the Hunter and his brother discovered that Dean's old flame had given birth to a beautiful baby. This beautiful child immediately became her father's pride and joy. Sadly, though, their newfound happiness came to a temporary halt when the child had been stolen away from the Winchester brothers. Lucky for them that a time-traveling ball of energy came in the knick of time and stop little baby Winchester in becoming little Summers. Yes, we are talking about Buffy Summers the Vampire Slayer and Dawn Summers. Makes you wonder what will happen now that the future has been changed?

About my Buffy/Supernatural crossover
 I really wanted to work on it, but the truth is I have had alot of stress and been so busy that i haven't had a real chance of getting it what will happen is the oneshots(when I work on them) will be the closest to the story that I'll get until Summer.  I feel sad that I won't be able to work on it like I wanted to, but I have to be realistic.  Sorry.

Blonde Moment about TTH site...opps
yea, i never said what the new title was did i? It's called Snapshots....SORRY!! LOL...

My Whacked Out Life
 Yes, I'm being dramatic...I know this, but that's just who I am. So I've been studying like crazy since last night...on and off, of course...and my quiz is at 2:00. Yepp, I'm screwed. I have an excuse, though!!! Busy with lots of Hw, worry over my practicum, FAFSA, family obligations, my Nascar race, and actually RELAXING!! Gasp. Horror. I relaxed. Gee, I wonder why with all of the stress that WON'T leave me the hell alone! So yes, I have been trying to survive this semester that still has two months left of it...about. So my priorities are focused mostly on normal important stuff and not on my writing....i should be grateful, though. I was able to complete a oneshot on Sunday! YEA! I'm planning on going through my notebook of roughdrafts and half-finished ideas and turn them into oneshots/short stories so if anyone has interest in my stories be aware that the long story I keep talking about won't be finished and up for viewing for a loooooooooooong time. I will start working on it sometime soon, but I need to be sure of the hows, whos, and whats first.  I need a plan and an outline before I walk across the scary ice. Wouldn't won't to drown, right?

Thoughts on my story 2
 What the hell?!! What am i doing?! Soooooooooooooooooooooooo hard. LOL. I'm still working on it, though. Going to take me a long time and lots of failures. So sad.


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