NEUROSCIENTISTS FIGURE OUT HOW TO WIPE INDIVIDUAL MEMORIES FROM THE BRAIN . . .

 . .  . of a snail

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center and Montreal’s McGill University researchers have figured out how to selectively wipe some memories belonging to a certain type of marine snail, while leaving others intact.

They believe the research could make it possible to one day develop drugs that can “delete” certain traumatic memories without negatively impacting memories of other past events.

“To carry out their targeted memory erasure, the researchers blocked certain molecules associated with an enzyme called Protein Kinase M (PKM), which is a crucial part of retaining long-term memories.”

“While it’s so far only been demonstrated on snails, they believe the work represents a valuable insight into the way that memories are laid down, and that its findings could be extrapolated to humans as well. That’s in part due to the fact that the PKM-protecting protein KIBRA is expressed in humans, and that mutations of this gene have been shown to result in intellectual disability.”

“What makes the results reported in the paper promising is that the molecules examined are expressed in mouse and man, and have been found to participate in long-term memory and long-term synaptic plasticity,”  . . . Elderly people with Alzheimer’s and old-age forms of dementia, the expression of KIBRA is compromised.”

Read the entire article here: MINDWIPE NEUROSCIENCE

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The life expectancy of snails in the wild is about 3 to 7 years, but in captivity, they can live up to 10-15 years or even more.
  • The biological features of snails are fascinating. For example, most are hermaphrodites, which means that a single snail has male and female reproductive organs at the same time.
  • Their quantity and diversity are vast. There are anything between 85,000 and 150,000 mollusks of which 80-85 percent are gastropods. Therefore, the world is home to more than 60,000 species of them.
  • Land snails range greatly in size. While some of them are only a few inches long and often weigh only a few ounces, there are land snails that reach almost 12 inches, like the Giant African Land Snail, a species endemic to Africa.
  • The largest land snail recorded was 12 inches long and weighed near 2 pounds.
  • Garden snails (helix apersa) a top speed of 50 yards per hour, this is about 1.3 cm.
  • Land Snails aren’t able to hear at all, but they have eyes and olfactory organs. They use their sense of smell to help them find food being their most important sensory organ.

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Pawsitively Tuesday-meaning and purpose

“The purpose of life is to discover your gift.
The work of life is to develop it.
The meaning of life is to give your gift away.”

David Viscott

 

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Healing a broken heart, Part III – PUTTING THE LOSS BEHIND YOU

When you have discovered what there is to learn, it is time to put the loss behind you. Here are some ways to re-focus.

1. CREATE A Goodbye RITUAL
Create a way to say goodbye to your old feelings. I say set aside, not discard, because everything in your life is a resource and you may want to draw upon this resource sometime in the future. My ritual was to gather all objects, letter and notes that reminded me of the relationship, put them in a large box, and store them in the attic. Other people have written things on paper and then burned the paper.

2. TURN TO NATURE

Nature Heals by Peggy

Getting out into nature helps you gain perspective. There is wonder and beauty in nature. Look up to the stars, out to the sea and watch the sun give life to the trees, plants, flowers and you!  It’s simply  there for you to notice.  Take a walk by water and feel the release of the endorphins.  Read Falling Water Boosts Your Mood.

3. REPLACE WHAT YOU HAVE LOST
Your loved one played several roles in your life, and you can replace them.  And the “replacement” need just with just one person.  Volunteer, enlarge your circle of friends, stretch yourself and do things alone, take dancing lessons, learn to play a musical instrument, travel

4. KNOW YOU CAN ALWAYS HAVE LOVE IN YOUR LIFE . . .

Love a Hug by Peggy

. . .  because you know how to GIVE love.

Read

Part I, Healthy Grieving

Part II, Learning

(PA)

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Healing a Broken Heart, Part II – Learning

The second most important thing (the first being to grieve and forgive myself) was to LEARN SOMETHING FROM MY EXPERIENCE

Learning about myself and (even while enduring the pain) what I gained from the relationship was extremely helpful. Some of my lessons were obvious. It was immediately clear that I had moved away from being the kind of person I wanted to be. The disagreements I had with my boyfriend were not worth the frustrations and bad feelings they created.  I realized my priorities had been out of whack and my short-term goals and long-term goals didn’t match. There were other lessons I learned that weren’t as obvious to me and took time to discover. Here are some ways that helped me learn more:

1. MEDITATE


Our conscious minds tend to dwell on the negative.  Our unconscious knows the whole truth.  The quickest and easiest way to access the unconscious is to meditate.  Set aside 20 – 30 minutes every day to sit quietly by yourself (even 10 minutes will help). Pick a time of day when you feel pretty good. Spend a few minutes getting into a relaxed state (there are many books on meditation – I recommend Joy On Demand by Chade-Meng Tan). Just put the question to your mind “What can I learn from this relationship that ended?”. Let thoughts bubble up without trying to figure anything out. Your unconscious mind is very good at finding answers, just give it a little time.

2. READ

Read everything you can on broken hearts. You feel less alone as it becomes clear that many others have been through this experience and you get  ideas and inspiration that can make you feel better.

3. WRITE
Just writing the story of what happened and how you felt will help. In fact, if you write about it for 20 minutes a day for 3 days helps a lot, according to James Pennebaker, who researched writing about emotional experiences. Putting your thoughts down on paper helps you get some distance from them. Most importantly, spend some time playing “devil’s advocate” with any negative thoughts. Ask if they are really true, completely true. Argue with them.

4. DEVELOP GOALS 
Start with qualities, skills and attributes you have,  want to keep or expand, then add qualities you want to develop. This will put you at the center of your life (as opposed to centering your life around someone who is not there).

(PA)

Read

Part I, Healthy Grieving

Part III, Putting the Loss Behind You

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Pawsitively Tuesday – Think about it.

Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” 

Mahatma Gandhi

Paws, 2 thoughts

Thinking Thoughts by Peggy

 

 

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Healing a broken heart, Part I – Healthy Grieving

When my heart was broken by a failed romance I had the advantages of  49 years of life experience and training as a psychotherapist.  I knew something about how emotions work, had survived difficult times before and knew I would live.

Still, I was devastated. Feelings are feelings and I was in pain. By using my resources and searching for new ones, I did survive.  Here is what helped me recover more quickly:

1. CRY and don’t ANALYZE
Crying literally causes a chemical change that gives you relief. Crying rids your body of stress hormones that keep you sad. Let yourself cry and get these chemicals back in balance. This is usually not the time to figure out what went wrong. There is a good reason to wait before you analyze. Because of the way the brain works, when you are feeling sad you tend to think negative thoughts.  Often trying to figure out what went wrong when you are sad, you end up with finding lots of negatives that make you feel worse. Just cry and in about 10 to 20 minutes your mood will improve.

2. TAKE ASPRIN OR TYLENOL
The same pain pathways that create physical pain also are involved in emotional pain, so it actually helps emotional pain to take painkillers. A study done at Ohio State University suggests that acetaminophen-containing drugs like Tylenol may reduce the intensity of emotions. It may blunt positive emotions as well, so use with care.

3. GIVE YOURSELF SOME PHYSICAL SOOTHING


Research shows that touch releases positive neurochemistry. Get and give all the hugs you can. Hug your friends, your cat, your stuffed animals, yourself. People need tactile stimulation.

2. EXERCISE
Exercise may be the last thing you want to do. You may not feel like moving at all. In long-term relationships, just being around your partner stimulates your body to make endorphins, one of the bodies “feel good” chemicals. When your loved one isn’t there anymore, you don’t create as many.  It is one reason you feel so lousy when a relationship ends. Exercise is a good way to generate endorphins and replenish the neurochemicals you’ve lost.

3. EAT CHOCOLATE
Chocolate contains neurochemicals that our bodies create when we fall in love!  Consider chocolate to be  “replacement therapy”.

LOVE YOURSELF “WRITE”
There is strong temptation is to tell yourself you are unloveable and something is wrong with you. The truth is that you were lovable enough to get the love in the first place. You didn’t intentionally lose it. Focus on your lovable qualities and attributes. Write them down. Make a running list. Also make a list of positive things you still have in your life:  health, family, friends, pets, skills, favorite activities, even TV shows, music or books.

Lastly, I reminded myself that when my children hurt  I gave them comfort, sympathy, and a chance to tell me what happened.  As an adult, we often blame ourselves thinking we should know better and end up feeling worse.

I came to believe strongly that the pain of my broken heart was enough punishment for any wrong choice or mistake made!

(PA)

Read 

Part II, LEARN 

Part III, Putting the Loss Behind You

 

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The Everyday Habits that Reveal our Personality

The results are surprising. Example: If you’re a prolific curser, you can now defend your habit as a sign of your open-mindedness . . .

1. Greater conscientiousness was distinguished by:

  • avoidance of various activities, including such innocuous pastimes as reading  (speculated that it may be seen by the highly conscientious as a leisure-time luxury),
  • swearing 
  • chewing on a pencil.

Agreeably Ironing Things Out by Peggy

2. People scoring high on agreeability said they spent more time:

  • ironing,
  • playing with children 
  • washing the dishes – presumably because their strong motivation to keep other people happy means they’d rather do the chores than have domestic acrimony.
  • more likely to sing in the shower or the car.

3. Strongly open-minded people were more likely to read poetry, eat spicy breakfasts, and lounge around in the nude!

4. Neurotic people engaged more often in:

  • activities associated with helping reduce mental distress, such as taking more tranquilisers and anti-depressants. But they also admitted to more
  • anti-social behaviours, such as losing their temper more often,
  • or making fun of others – perhaps because they struggle to keep their own emotions in check.

    5. Extraverts are more likely to ink themselves with tattoos

    • wallow more in hot tubs
    • spent more time planning parties
    • drinking in bars
    • discussing ways to make money
    • talking on the phone while driving

    6. Open-mindedness went together with some obvious behaviors like:

    Open-minded by Peggy

  • reading poetry
  • going to the opera
  • smoking marijuana
  • producing art
  • swearing around others,
  • eating spicy food at breakfast
  • lounging around the house with no clothes on. (To be precise, the highest scorers said they were about twice as likely to have sat around in the nude for more than 15 times in the past year, compared to the lowest scorers.)
  • less likely to follow a sports team.

     Previous studies had shown that the highly conscientious are more likely to wear a watch, comb their hair and polish their shoes!

The serious side to this field of research is learning more about the harmful and unhealthy everyday behaviours linked to the different personality traits which then could contribute to better, more targeted health campaigns and interventions. 

*”The researchers, Benjamin Chapman at the University of Rochester and Lewis Goldberg at the Oregon Research Institute, profiled nearly 800 people in Oregon, USA, most of whom were white, and their average age was 51. The personality test asked participants to rate how accurately 100 different trait adjectives described their personalities, including words such as bashful, kind, neat, relaxed, moody, bright and artistic. The researchers then compared these personality test scores with the same participants’ answers, recorded four years later, to how often they had performed 400 different activities over the last year, from reading a book to singing in the shower.”

Here’s the entire article: Everyday Habits that Reveal our Personalities 

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