Neuropsychological research on the neural basis of behaviour generally posits that brain mechanisms will ultimately sufﬁce to explain all psychologically described phenomena. This assumption stems from the idea that the brain is made up entirely of material particles and ﬁelds, and that all causal mechanisms relevant to neuroscience can therefore be formulated solely in terms of properties of these elements. Thus, terms having intrinsic mentalistic and/or experiential content (e.g. ‘feeling’, ‘knowing’ and ‘effort’) are not included as primary causal factors. This (...) theoretical restriction is motivated primarily by ideas about the natural world that have been known to be fundamentally incorrect for more than three-quarters of a century. Contemporary basic physical theory differs profoundly from classic physics on the important matter of how the consciousness of human agents enters into the structure of empirical phenomena. The new principles contradict the older idea that local mechanical processes alone can account for the structure of all observed empirical data. Contemporary physical theory brings directly and irreducibly into the overall causal structure certain psychologically described choices made by human agents about how they will act. This key development in basic physical theory is applicable to neuroscience, and it provides neuroscientists and psychologists with an alternative conceptual framework for describing neural processes. Indeed, owing to certain structural features of ion channels critical to synaptic function, contemporary physical theory must in principle be used when analysing human brain dynamics. The new framework, unlike its classic-physics-based predecessor, is erected directly upon, and is compatible with, the prevailing principles of physics. It is able to represent more adequately than classic concepts the neuroplastic mechanisms relevant to the growing number of empirical studies of the capacity of directed attention and mental effort to systematically alter brain function.. (shrink)
During the last decade, the study of emotional self-regulation has blossomed in a variety of sub-disciplines belonging to either psychology (developmental, clinical) or the neurosciences (cognitive and affective). Consciousness, Emotional Self-Regulation and the Brain gives an overview of the current state of this relatively new scientific field. Several areas are examined by some of the leading theorists and researchers in this emerging domain. Most chapters seek to either present theoretical and developmental perspectives about emotional self-regulation (and dysregulation), provide cutting edge (...) information with regard to the neural basis of conscious emotional experience and emotional self-regulation, or expound theoretical models susceptible of explaining how healthy individuals are capable of consciously and voluntarily changing the neural activity underlying emotional processes and states. In addition, a few chapters consider the capacity of human consciousness to volitionally influence the brain's electrical activity or modulate the impact of emotions on the psychoneuroendocrine-immune network. This book will undoubtedly be useful to scholars and graduate students interested in the relationships between self-consciousness, emotion, the brain, and the body. (Series B). (shrink)
Reality is much more than the physical world before us. In Expanding Reality, Mario Beauregard examines a variety of phenomena investigated by the most open-minded and visionary scientists. These phenomena provide the evidence that mind, consciousness, and spirit cannot be simply reduced to electrical and chemical activity in the brain.