The Evolution of Love

How did we evolve the most loving brain on the planet?Humans are the most sociable species on earth – for better and for worse.On the one hand, we have the greatest capacities for empathy, communication, friendship, romance, complex social structures, and altruism. On the other, we have the greatest capacities for shaming, emotional cruelty, sadism, envy, jealousy, discrimination and other forms of dehumanization, and wholesale slaughter of our fellow humans.In other words, to paraphrase a … [Read more...]

5000 Synapses in the Width of a Hair

How much change in the brain makes a difference in the mind?That's the issue raised by a very interesting comment regarding my previous blog, "The Brain in a Bucket."So I've taken the liberty of posting the comment here (hoping that's OK in blog etiquette; still learning as I go), and then responding. Here it is:I was pondering your statement that long term meditators show a thickening in certain areas of the brain. As I understand it, the volume of the skull is fixed in adults. This would … [Read more...]

The Brain in a Bucket

Have you ever seen a real brain?I remember the first time I saw one, in a neuropsych class: the instructor put on rubber gloves to protect against the formaldehyde preservative, popped the lid off of a lab bucket, and then pulled out a brain.It didn’t look like much, a nondescript waxy yellowish-white blob rather like a sculpted head of cauliflower. But the whole class went silent. We were looking at the real deal, ground zero for consciousness, headquarters for “me.” The person it came from … [Read more...]

About Your Wise Brain

Your Wise Brain is my blog, posted at Psychology Today, Huffington Post and other major websites.It's about how to take charge of the caveman brain in the 21st century by using practical methods from the intersection of psychology, neurology, and contemplative practice.With a new post every week or so, I’ll showcase cutting edge research on the brain, present new and powerful methods for healing and transforming the mind and heart, and share fascinating insights from the world's great paths o … [Read more...]


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