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Dragos Cirneci PhD Brain Research Institute. Neuromyths = common misconceptions about brain mechanisms, which are taken for granted in todays society.

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Presentation on theme: "Dragos Cirneci PhD Brain Research Institute. Neuromyths = common misconceptions about brain mechanisms, which are taken for granted in todays society."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dragos Cirneci PhD Brain Research Institute

2 Neuromyths = common misconceptions about brain mechanisms, which are taken for granted in todays society 1. we have 5 senses 2. the primitive part of the brain 3. the rational vs the emotional brain 4. the brain as a camcorder 5. new neurons doesnt appear in adult brain 6. genes vs environment effect 7. mental problems as effect of childhood traumatic memories 8. The most important myth is that consciousness dictates our decisions and actions Dragos Cirneci

3 Neuromyths = common misconceptions about brain mechanisms, which are taken for granted in todays society 1. we have 5 senses Actualy we have at least 15 (discovered until now): sight (ophthalmoception), hearing (audioception), taste (gustaoception), smell (olfacoception), touch (tactioception), feromonal sense, blue light sense, temperature (thermoception), kinesthetic sense (proprioception), sensors for lungs dilatation, pain (nociception), balance (equilibrioception), visceral sense (the perception of internal organs), chemical senses for detecting carbon dioxide concentration in the blood and sugar concentration. Dragos Cirneci

4 Neuromyths = common misconceptions about brain mechanisms, which are taken for granted in todays society 2. the primitive part of the brain Human brain is similar in its organization and functions with all the mammals brain. Only some parts are more evolved but these parts exist also in mammals brain. Dragos Cirneci

5 Neuromyths = common misconceptions about brain mechanisms, which are taken for granted in todays society 3. the rational/the emotional brain Emotions appear almost in all parts of the brain. Differences consist only in timing and type of context/action. Dragos Cirneci

6 Neuromyths = common misconceptions about brain mechanisms, which are taken for granted in todays society 4. the brain as a camcorder The memories are not replayed from the tape when they are remembered. The information stored in the brain is actually reconstructed and updated every time when we remember. Every time when we do this that memory could become a new memory incorporating new information related with it. We can learn only things related with what we already know Dragos Cirneci Schacter & Addis, 2007

7 Neuromyths = common misconceptions about brain mechanisms, which are taken for granted in todays society 5. new neurons doesnt appear in adult brain The brain generates new neurons during the entire life. These new neurons are essential for learning and coping with stress. Dragos Cirneci

8 Neuromyths = common misconceptions about brain mechanisms, which are taken for granted in todays society 6. genes vs environment effect The environment acts upon our brain by modifying the brains genes activity (some genes are turned on some are turned off). Learning and stress are actually examples of genetic effects– or more precisely epigenetic effects. Dragos Cirneci Robinson et al. 2008

9 Neuromyths = common misconceptions about brain mechanisms, which are taken for granted in todays society 7. mental problems as effect of childhood traumatic memories Adult mental problems are frequently rooted in childhood traumatic events but in most of the cases not the memory of the event is the cause of the problem. Traumatic events exert epigenetic effects upon the brains genes responsible for the circuits involved in adapting to novelty, fast changing environment, uncertainty and negative feedback. Dragos Cirneci Trauma Brains genes Brain Circuits Behavior & emotions

10 Dragos Cirneci

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12 genes vs environment effect The environment acts upon our brain by modifying the brains genes activity (some genes are turned on some are turned off). Learning and stress are actually examples of genetic effects– or more precisely epigenetic effects. Any enduring activity impacts brains genes and hence its functions Dragos Cirneci

13 29-30 Septembrie 201013 Human species has evolved in the last 10.000 years 100 times more than before and in the last 5000 years 7% of the genes have changed !

14 The digital era & the brain TV, games, computers, mobile phones & internet impact the brain Internet addiction is officially a mental disorder Internet withdrawal on teenagers causes frustration, irritability and headache Dragos Cirneci

15 The internet & the brain There are positive and negative effects upon the brain Dragos Cirneci Negative effects: Internet Browsing Media multitasking e-Mails Positive effects: Action-based games Social media Pornographic sites

16 The positive effects Dragos Cirneci

17 The positive effects Dragos Cirneci Action-based video-games activate brains reward pathway, increasing the secretion of dopamine Effects on: Focused attention Working memory Decision making Problem solving Reaction time

18 The positive effects Dragos Cirneci In USA 51% of Facebook users are above 40 year age The same 49% of YouTube users …and 45% of Twitter users

19 The positive effects Dragos Cirneci Constant using of social media networks (Facebook) increases oxytocin levels in the brain and is associated with thicker gray matter in mirror neurons network

20 The mirror neurons Dragos Cirneci

21 The positive effects Dragos Cirneci Constant using of social media networks (Facebook) increases oxytocin levels in the brain

22 The positive effects Dragos Cirneci In the countries were pornography is encouraged studies have shown a decrease of rapes and sexual related criminal acts

23 The negative effects Dragos Cirneci Internet browsing negatively impacts the brain. The effects are more visible in children and adolescents Causes: Superficial reading Impulsivity Low creativity Low focused attention

24 The negative effects Dragos Cirneci

25 The negative effects Dragos Cirneci

26 The negative effects Dragos Cirneci E-Mails are one of the most disrupting and stressing office tools 12% of the work time is spent reading personal e-mails One employee from a big company receives 400 e- mails/week 70% of them are opened in less than 6 seconds Reading e-mail decreases the performance on IQ test with 10 points

27 The negative effects Dragos Cirneci

28 Brains connections in stress & depression In depression the brain genes involved in plasticity & learning are turned off Chronic stress negatively impact connectivity in the brain Dragos Cirneci Liston, McEwen & Casey, 2009

29 How we can control the negative effects of media Dragos Cirneci

30 References Deng, W. et al. (2009) – Adult-born hippocampal dentate granule cells undergoing maturation modulate learning and memory in the brain. The Journal of Neuroscience, 29 (43), 13532-13542 Liston, C., McEwen, B.S. and Casey, B.J. – Psychosocial stress reversibly disrupts prefrontal processing and attentional control. PNAS, 106 (3), 912- 917 Overby, D. (2007) – Free will: Now you have it, now you dont. The New York Times Science supplement, january 2, 2007 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/02/science/02free.html?_r=1&pagewanted =all http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/02/science/02free.html?_r=1&pagewanted =all Robinson, G.E., Fernald, R.D. and Clayton, D.F. (2008) – Genes and social behavior. Science, 322, 896-900 Schacter, D.L., Addis, D.R. and Buckner, R.L. (2007) – Remembering the past to imagine the future: the prospective brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 8, 657-661

31 Dragos Cirneci Ph.D. E-mail address: dragos.cirneci@brainperform.ro www.synergonconsulting.ro Thank you for your attention!


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