What did the angry brain say to the nociceptor? Because it has dorsal and ventral horns. What did the hippocampus say during its retirement speech?
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A no-brainer. What did parietal say to frontal? You get a binding relationship. What do you call a group of brains who form a singing group? A glia club. What does a neuroscientist order at a bar? A spiked drink. Brain imaging now reveals that each of the emotions fires different parts of the brain. Again, we see that our basic counseling concepts are verified. The amygdala is the major seat of the negative emotions of sad, mad and fear, but it is also an energizer for learning and absorbing new input and memories. Many areas of the brain are activated by positive emotions.
The prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus are obviously important, but the nucleus accumbens sends out signals to the dorsal cingulate cortex and prefrontal cortex, making it possible to focus on the positive. Thinking and feeling positively are heavily influenced by executive cognition functions. The result? Negative thinking, accompanied by negative feeling, which is characteristic of depression.
Pessimism feeds on itself. Research is clear, however, that an effective executive frontal cortex focusing on positives and strengths can overcome the negative. Appropriate medication for example, Lexapro and Wellbutrin can enhance positive thinking by increasing the supply of serotonin.
Keep in mind that wellness activities such as exercise, positive reframing of old stories, interpersonal relationships, meditation and leisure all facilitate our ability to control the demons of negative thinking and feeling. Empathy is not just an abstract idea; it is identifiable and measurable in the physical brain. Fascinating research on brain activity validates what the helping field has been saying for years.
Mirror neurons are neurons that fire when we behave, think or feel, and they also fire when we see others behave, think or feel. Mirror neurons enable you to sense and understand what the client is saying and feeling.
These neurons even impact your internal bodily responses when you are empathically experiencing the world of the client. This is a natural talent you can encourage and develop by increasing your awareness of the client and noting what happens inside your own body. At the same time, you are awakening the mirror neurons in the client and facilitating his or her development of new connections in thoughts, feelings and action.
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This awakening shows in the verbal behavior of clients and the action they take as a result of the interview. And as clients restory their issues, new neural connections are born. Your empathic behavior and the relationship are central to change, further emphasizing the importance of a positive approach to change.
If we listen and selectively attend only to problems as counselors, this will reinforce negative patterns in the brain and make the change process slow and clumsy. Many studies over the years back up this central point. Perhaps you have seen two young children playing together.
One falls and starts crying. Even though the second child has not been hurt, he or she also cries. This ability to observe the feelings of others could be considered the developmental roots of empathic understanding. Decety points out that the antisocial, criminal personality has a reduced ability to appreciate the emotions of others.
There is less firing of mirror neurons in the prefrontal cortex, and this deficit also appears to be a dysfunction of the energizing amygdala and hippocampus long-term memory. It is particularly responsive to marijuana, alcohol and related chemicals and thus is key in addiction. When we seek to help an addicted client, we are working against some very powerful parts of the brain. One of our great challenges is helping these clients examine and rewrite their stories and find new actions through healthy alternative highs to replace the strengths of addiction.
Counseling and neuroscience: The cutting edge of the coming decade
When you find these clients developing new life satisfactions and interests wellness , you are influencing them toward behavior that can result in new positive responses in the nucleus accumbens and other parts of their brain. William Glasser, the founder of reality therapy, long ago stated the importance of building positive addictions to combat drugs, antisocial behavior and alcohol. The book should also serve more advanced students who are pursing doctoral degrees in neuroscience. And of course, it should be extremely helpful for anyone in Medical Neuroscience who seeks the support of a textbook with a clear narrative style and detailed illustrations on their desks or in their laps.
Publikationen / publications
There are a variety of revisions and enhancements throughout the book, including new Clinical Applications boxes and new boxes highlighting recent advances in the field. This box discusses exciting new work on the basal ganglia, including work recently published by several of my colleagues at Duke University. Other new features are designed to enhance the anatomical accuracy of many of the pathway figures. For example, the axons of the corticobulbar tract shown in Figure In previous versions of this figure, the axons seemed to send collaterals from somewhere near the middle of the brainstem, which was not sufficiently accurate.
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There are also new images in the Atlas at the end of the book Plate 5 showing structure in the white matter of the human brain revealed by diffusion tensor imaging DTI tractography. I was delighted to collaborate with the designers at Sinauer Associates and Oxford University Press on the cover of this edition. The cover incorporates DTI tractography while preserving a partial surface view of the human brain see image below. After all, the brain is the most complex organ in the human body! I should also mention that each new book includes a one-year subscription to the companion software, Sylvius 4 Online.
There are no changes to the software at this time.