|Picture of a brain, via Wikipedia Commons|
Lately, I have been doing a fair bit of learning about the brain. And when I say "the brain," I don't mean the smart kid in the class. I mean the way our brains work, and function, and how that affects our lives. And it truly is a fascinating topic.
Here's some of what I have been learning.
First of all, our thoughts are real things. What does this mean? It means that our thoughts are not just abstract concepts only existing to each one of us, personally. Instead, thoughts are actual living things that can be seen, and documented with the latest in brain imaging.
To see what I mean, check out this video of the brain as thoughts are being formed:
Neuroscientists are now working on methods of being able to "almost" read someone's thoughts, based on which part of the brain is active when varying stimuli are shown:
The scientists cannot read exact thoughts, but they can pick up clues of what is being thought of. Wow, this research makes a lot of the science fiction from the '70's much less fictional!
You may wonder, how is this this information relevant for our everyday lives? Sure, it is fascinating to be able to show off my knowledge in the obscure field of neuroscience, but what else is it good for?
Well, according to Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist and a Christian teacher, it is immensely relevant. And encouraging. I have downloaded Dr. Leaf's book called Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking and Health.
This book explains how we can affect our own brains, and control our thinking, so that we are not depressed and negative. This is so encouraging! To know that we are not doomed to negative thinking, because we have been diagnosed with a certain condition, or because we have been through some very bad experiences.
The latest science in brain research coincides so perfectly with the Scriptures. The Bible is full of teaching that says we are what we think. One example is Proverbs 23:7a: As a man thinketh, so is he.
I love learning about the brain, and how new thoughts form. This new knowledge gives us hope that anyone can change. And that anyone can learn. Even those with learning disabilities. Those in mental hospitals. Those that seem hopelessly addicted. Even me. Even you.
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