Use Visualization to Power Through Tough Workouts

Mentally rehearsing tough spots in workouts or competitions can be a useful tool to beat those obstacles when you meet them in real life. Here’s a formula to help you build an effective script for visualizing success.

Source: Use Visualization to Power Through Tough Workouts

I’ve used visualization differently to get myself through a workout.  I used it to distract myself, think about something else entirely.  There’s some times I can’t remember how I’d progressed to that point (IE on a run), but I felt fine.

This Rat Experiment Will Haunt You, But Not For The Reason You Think

This experiment, done on lab rats, isn’t terribly cruel. It will still probably keep you up at night when you’re thinking about hiring an exterminator.

Source: This Rat Experiment Will Haunt You, But Not For The Reason You Think

Pet rats are wonderful. They’re smart, playful, affectionate, and often hilarious. I think it’s important to distinguish between the kind you willingly keep your home, and the wild kind (especially the huge city-dwellers).

New Injectable Brain Implants Take Us One Step Closer To A Cyborg Future

A simple injection is now all it takes to wire up a brain. A diverse team of physicists, neuroscientists and chemists has implanted mouse brains with a rolled-up, silky mesh studded with tiny electronic devices, and shown that it unfurls to spy on and stimulate individual neurons.

The implant has the potential to unravel the workings of the mammalian brain in unprecedented detail. “I think it’s great, a very creative new approach to the problem of recording from large number of neurons in the brain,” says Rafael Yuste, director of the Neuro­technology Center at Columbia University in New York, who was not involved in the work.

Source: Injectable brain implant spies on individual neurons

<Simpsons>Don’t be readin’ me thoughts between 4 and 5. That’s Willy’s time!</Simpsons>

“Gourmand Syndrome” Is The Most Delicious Kind Of Brain Injury

A person you know has just had a stroke. This, naturally, is terrible news. Apart from the initial damage, the effects can linger for years. But sometimes, the effects that linger are weird but fantastic.

Gourmand syndrome is both a brain injury and an eating disorder, which sounds bad until you realize that even the people describing it as such consider it “benign.” The disorder is caused by lesions in a certain part of the brain. The lesions are always in the right hemisphere of the brain and cluster around the limbic system and the basal ganglia – the gooey center of the brain which deals with emotion and motivation. The lesions could be brought on by a stroke, as they were for a journalist, or by an injury to the head, as they were for a snowboarder. Either way, after the lesions appear, something strange starts to happen.

Source: “Gourmand Syndrome” Is The Most Delicious Kind Of Brain Injury

The sample size is smaller than I’d expected.  I’d have thought they’d found more, given that some are on blood thinners because of a stroke.  Have you suffered a stroke and subsequently taken an interest in food?

What Is It Like To Follow your Heart, When You Have Two Of Them?

…when neuroscientist Agustin Ibanez met Carlos, he suspected even odder effects were to come. By changing the man’s heart, Ibanez thought, the doctors might have also changed their patient’s mind: Carlos would now think, feel and act differently as a result of the implant.

How come? We often talk about “following the heart”, but it is only recently that scientists have begun to show that there is literal truth in the cliche; the heaving lump of muscle contributes to our emotions and the mysterious feelings of “intuition” in a very real way. Everything from your empathy for another person’s pain to the hunch that your spouse is having an affair may originate from subtle signals in your heart and the rest of your body.

…So the folklore may be right: people who are in touch with their heart are more likely to be swayed by their instincts – for good or bad.

Source: The mind-bending effects of feeling two hearts

This is dis-heart-ening news.  It’s an extremely interesting read, but I can’t help but feel a little more self-conscious about reaching for the heart rate monitor… 😉

I’m surprised at the mindfulness based therapy, but no mention of yoga?  Granted, there’s a huge spectrum of yoga classes, even within a particular style dependent on the instructor.