Award-winning author and thought leader Dawson Church, Ph.D., blends cutting-edge neuroscience with intense firsthand experience to show you how you can rewire your brain for happiness-starting right now.
Neural plasticity-the discovery that the brain is capable of rewiring itself-is now widely understood. But what few people have grasped yet is how quickly this is happening, how extensive brain changes can be, and how much control each of us has over the process.
In Bliss Brain, famed researcher Dawson Church digs deep into leading-edge science, and finds stunning evidence of rapid and radical brain change. In just eight weeks of practice, 12 minutes a day, using the right techniques, we can produce measurable changes in our brains. These make us calmer, happier, and more resilient.
When we cultivate these pleasurable states over time, they become traits. We don't just feel more blissful as a temporary state; the changes are literally hard-wired into our brains, becoming stable and enduring personality traits.
The startling conclusions of Church's research show that neural remodeling goes much farther than scientists have previously understood, with stress circuits shriveling over time. Simultaneously, "The Enlightenment Circuit"-associated with happiness, compassion, productivity, creativity, and resilience-expands.
During deep meditation, Church shows how "the 7 neurochemicals of ecstasy" are released in our brains. These include anandamide, a neurotransmitter that's been named "the bliss molecule" because it mimics the effects of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. It boosts serotonin and dopamine; the first is an analog of psilocybin, the second of cocaine. He shows how cultivating these elevated emotional states literally produces a self-induced high.
Research isn’t all elegant study designs, accurate data collection, and sophisticated equations. Researchers must also communicate their ideas and findings with scholarly audiences, and do so effectively. These audiences are no different from those found at your local theater: They understand each paper you write or talk you deliver insofar as it tells a compelling story. Yet, your storytelling doesn’t stop with a single paper or talk. Scholarly records span years and multiple pieces of work. Successful researchers learn to synthesize their records to tell a larger story: a research program. In this book, Andres De Los Reyes describes how narrative tools commonly used in film help you build a research program. Tailored to the lives of early career researchers, these tools reveal keen insights into working with mentors, navigating peer review, and nailing the job talk that launches your career.
The precognitive dream is a compelling, real-world phenomenon that still stands outside the purview of orthodox science. It is spoken about anecdotally and has been alluded to time and time again by renowned psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, and other clinicians expounding upon the nature of their patients’ narratives. However, it receives no empirical airtime because it is incommensurable with conventional explanations of human consciousness like the embodied mind hypothesis and with unconscious philosophical attitudes espoused by disciples of an ostensibly irrevocable Cartesian-Kantian account of the cosmos. This volume examines precognitive dream experiences, offering a comprehensive source of integrated information pertaining to their history and overarching features, their potential neural underpinnings, and the implications for consciousness and competing philosophical theories of determinism and non-determinism. It will serve as a useful reference for both researchers and clinicians hoping to gain insight into an age-old, sublime phenomenon.