Creativity: Associated Personality Traits and Potential Link to Psychopathology

Image by Alexandr Ivanov from Pixabay Written by Brett Weiss June, 2019             Creativity facilitates innovation; and innovation breeds original and useful ideas, musical compositions, works of art, medicines, procedures, publications, and products.  In order to consider something creative, the piece of work must have novelty and utility (Kaufman and Paul, 2014).  Bronowski (1972) defined …

Lucid Dreaming: Neural Correlates and Potential Therapeutic Value

Written by Brett Weiss May, 2019             Dreams, like hallucinatory experiences, induce profound effects of perception, visual imagery, emotional activation, along with fear extinction.  One might view lucid dreams as ‘special’ types of dreams in that waking awareness occurs during the dreaming state.  Thus, a dreamer who experiences lucid dreams has the ability to explore …

The Role of Sleep in Memory Consolidation and Emotional Processing

Written by Brett Weiss May, 2019             Sleep, a state of unconsciousness that renders an organism helpless during its course, has perplexed biologists and neuroscientists for decades.  How could sleep evolve in so many organisms, and what evolutionary value does this process have?  Scientists studying sleep have come up with a few hypotheses to try …

Short Review: Autism Spectrum Disorder

Written by Brett Weiss March 2019             Leo Kanner first defined the contemporary understanding of autism in 1943 as the inability to form normal and biologically determined emotional connections with others (Chaste & Leboyer, 2012).  Prior to that, a Swiss psychiatrist named Paul Eugen Bleuler used the term in 1912 to define symptoms of schizophrenia.  …

Bibliotherapy: Reading for Healing

Written by Brett Weiss March 2019 Samuel McChord Crothers, an American essayist and minister, came up with the term “bibliotherapy” in a 1916 essay entitled “A Literary Clinic.”  The essay makes light of matching books to patients and ailments, treating ills ranging from depression to unemployment.  Moreover, many “insane asylums” across the United States have …

Free will or “free won’t?”

Written by Brett Weiss February 2019 Perceptions in conscious awareness (qualia as they are often called) are very real to each person. At the same time, they are in fact "creations of the mind." Illusions demonstrate time and again that the mind can be easily fooled. Furthermore, neurologists see that 'false perceptions' regularly occur as …

Synchronization of Brain Waves While Speaking and Listening

Written by Brett Weiss February 2019 Perez et al. (2016) report synchronization of brain waves during speaking and listening i.e. a situation similar to speaking on the phone.  The researchers measured brain waves with electroencephalography, a method which uses electrodes on the scalp to monitor brain wave activity.  The process of brain wave synchronization between …

Beyond Coordination and Motor Control: Newly Discovered Roles of the Cerebellum

Written by Brett Weiss February 2019 Until recently, neuroscientists have always talked about motor function and coordination of the body when describing the roles of the cerebellum in human physiology. New studies, though, have revealed potential roles of the cerebellum in learning, socialization, speech fluency, timing, and theory of mind. Moreover, research on therapies for diseases such …

Attention Schema Theory: A Neuroscientific Attempt to Explain Consciousness

Written by Brett Weiss February 2019 A common definition of consciousness is awareness of self and the world /environment. Differing explanations of what ‘awareness’ and ‘self’ mean abound in literature on this topic. Not only that, but many scholars call the scientific attempt to explain consciousness impossible. The most notable philosophical obstacle presented to scientists attempting to …