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Exercise & Altered States of Consciousness Michael Galindo - Hannah Kang Scott Garcia COGS175 - 5/30/2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Exercise & Altered States of Consciousness Michael Galindo - Hannah Kang Scott Garcia COGS175 - 5/30/2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Exercise & Altered States of Consciousness Michael Galindo - Hannah Kang Scott Garcia COGS /30/2007

2 Presentation Outline Effects of exercise Altered states; The Runner’s High Conclusion: Comparisons to other ASC’s

3 Exercise and Health “A sound mind in a sound body is a short, but full description of a happy state in this world.” John Locke Improves physical and psychological health

4 Exercise and ASC Endorphins –Morphine-like effect “Runner’s High” –Other effects on consciousness –Regulation of several processes

5 Exercise and ASC Long Term  baseline change –Mood –Motivation –Anxiety –Sleep –Stress –self-esteem

6 Exercise and ASC Equivalent results to Drugs Psychotherapy Changes in protein production Neurogenesis

7 Significance Direction for research Synthesis of treatments Altering the normal, waking state

8 What is Runner’s High? Runner’s High Pure happiness Elation Feeling of unity Peacefulness Timelessness Trance States Distorted perception Atypical thought pattern Diminished awareness Understanding of one’s sense of identity

9 Dietrich’s Hypothesis Exercise induces a state of transient hypofrontality Exercise demands activation in many neural structures Comes at expense of the higher cognitive areas such as the prefrontal cortex.

10 Effects of Transient Hypofrontality on Exercise Psychological level Allows for “time-out” from life’s stress Neural level Allows for insight into alteration of consciousness. Runner’s High

11 Effects of Transient hypofrontality on different sports Disengagement of prefrontal cortex is dependent upon demands of the physical activity Basketball Running

12 Effects of Basal Ganglia on Runners High Experience of exercise is dependent upon skill level and nature of movement Basal Ganglia controls automatic motor behavior The more natural the movement, the more quickly it is transferred to the basal ganglia. Therefore runner’s high is produced more readily than another activity such as swimming, basketball, football etc.

13 Exercise And The Brain Improves mood, decreases anxiety, improves resilience during stressful times, and raises self esteem Neurotrophic growth factors: induce growth, branching, and new connection Antidepressant

14 First hand experiences “I would equate it to two Red Bulls and vodka, three ibuprofen, plus a $50 winning Lotto ticket in your pocket.” “At first it feels like that mild head rush I associate with going anaerobic, but instead of fading, it builds over the next 5-10 minutes.” “Everything had a natural rhythm to it - my footsteps, the sound of the wind running past my ears...even the trees and hills around me seemed to flow together. It was a wonderful meditative state. Before I knew it, I was longing to run 8-10 miles every day to ‘break on through to the other side’ to find that familiar state. Hello, addiction!” - Scott Dunlap, runtrails.blogspot.com “It's the mystical feeling that you can run forever, without borders -- psychological or physical.” - Anonymous, runtrails.blogspot.com “... the moment when I stop and catch my breath is like an orgasm.” - Anonymous, runtrails.blogspot.com

15 Comparison to drugs Decreased activation in the “higher cognitive centers of the prefrontal cortex”. Endurance exercise impairs cognition that depends on the frontal lobe No worries; literally –Neutralizing the hyper-vigilance and hyper-awareness circuitry in the prefrontal cortex

16 Comparison to Drugs Motivation for exercising “Exercise addicts” Behavioral response to stress –Similar to tobacco and alcohol –Mediates activity of allostatic systems

17 The Endocannabinoid System Anandamine = something similar to natural THC (marijuana). –CB 1 receptor Experiences –Relaxation –Regulated Mood –Increased appetite All exercise is not created equal –Strategy sports vs. actions that are “automatic”

18 Comparisons to Meditation Timelessness Peacefulness Floating Unity with self and/or nature Suppress pain & induce sedation Changing of brain waves (measured before vs. after)

19 References McEwen, B.S. Protective And Damaging Effects Of Stress Mediators. New England Journal of Medicine, 338, , Dietrich, A. Functional Neuroanatomy Of Altered States Of Consciousness: The Transient Hypofrontality Hypothesis. Consciousness and Cognition, 12, , Sparling, P.B. Exercise activates the endocannabinoid system, Cognitive Neuroscience And Neuropsychology, Vol 14, No 17, Schwartz, G.E. Pattern of Cognitive and Somatic Processes in the Self-Regulation of Anxiety: Effects of Meditation versus Exercise, Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol 40, No 4, Dunlap, S. Understanding the Runner’s High, A Trail Runner’s Blog, Saturday, Janurary 08, 2005, Dietrich, A, and W F McDaniel. "Endocannabinoids and exercise." bjsportmed (Apr.2002). 29 May Miller, M.D., Michael Craig. "Exercise is a state of mind." Newsweek 20 Mar May Tiggemann, M. and Williamson, S. “The Effect of Exercise on Body Satisfaction and Self-Esteem as a Function of Gender and Age.” Sex Roles July Vol. 43. Springer Netherlands. Wallace, B. and Fisher, L.E. Consciousness and Behavior, Waveland Press, IL, 2003.


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