New research suggests bouts of forgetfulness could be caused by a safety mechanism in the brain designed to make sure we're not overloaded with information. In other words, it's a healthy part of the brain's operation.
According to the two researchers from the University of Toronto in Canada, memory isn't intended to help transmit the most accurate information, but rather the most useful information that can help us make smart decisions in the future. "It's important that the brain forgets irrelevant details and instead focuses on the stuff that's going to help make decisions in the real world," explains one of the researchers, Blake Richards.
The researchers found evidence of the deliberate weakening of the synaptic connections between neurons that help to encode memories, as well as signs that new neurons overwriting existing memories, to make them harder to access. So why is the brain spending time trying to make us forget? Richards and Frankland think there are two reasons.
One, forgetting helps us adjust to new situations by letting go of memories we don't need--so if your favorite coffee shop has moved to the other side of town, forgetting its old location helps you remember the new one. Second, forgetting allows us to generalize past events to help us make decisions about new ones, a concept known in artificial intelligence as regularization. If you just remember the main gist of your previous visits to the coffee shop rather than every little detail, then it's less work for your brain to work out how to behave the next time you go in.
One experiment mentioned in the paper that Frankland was also a part of involved mice looking for a maze. When the location of the maze was moved, mice that were drugged to forget the old location found the new one more quickly.
"We always idealize the person who can smash a trivia game, but the point of memory is not being able to remember who won the Stanley Cup in 1972," says Richards. "The point of memory is to make you an intelligent person who can make decisions given the circumstances, and an important aspect of helping you do that is being able to forget some information."
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: One side-effect of using our Cosmic Eye Meditation Elixir is improved short-term memory. Several people have reported that they no longer forget where their keys are, and that "senior moments" lessened considerably. We believe that the elixir allows more access to more of your brain, so there is less reason for it to use forgetting as a learning mechanism.
Humans Use a "Force Field" for Protection
Neuroscientists have known for decades that our brains contain representations of the area surrounding us, known as "peripersonal space". This allows us to grasp objects within our reach and helps to protect us.
Now, in never before attempted experiment, researchers have tricked humans into actually feeling our peripersonal space. To do so, they turned to the well-known rubber hand illusion. In the standard form of this illusion, the experimenter uses a paintbrush to stroke a volunteer's hand (which is hidden from view) and an adjacent, visible rubber hand. The stroking is done simultaneously at the same speed and place on both the real and rubber hand. Within minutes, most people report feeling the touch of the brushstrokes on the rubber hand as if it belonged to them. Researchers noticed that the illusion didn't work if the rubber hand was too far away from the real hand.
In the new study, which involved 101 adults, the researchers made one important change to the experiment. They never brushed the rubber hand directly. Instead, they moved the brush above the rubber hand, again at the same time as brushstrokes that touched the real hand. This meant the volunteer felt touch on their real hand but watched the brush move in mid-air, say, about 10 centimetres above the rubber hand.
Most volunteers reported feeling a "magnetic force" or "force field" between the paintbrush and the rubber hand below--as if the brush was encountering an invisible barrier. "We can elicit this bizarre sensation of there actually being something in mid-air between the brush and the rubber hand," says Guterstam. The volunteers also felt a sense of ownership of the rubber hand.
The team found that the illusion disappears when the brushstrokes are more than about 30-40 centimetres above the rubber hand. This distance seems to be the limit of the peripersonal space of any given body part.
"This is a wonderful study," says Graziano. "For decades, the neuroscience of the parietal and frontal lobes has filled in our knowledge of the special margin of safety, or buffer zone, around the body. Now we have a clever way to get at the phenomenon through an illusion that is easy to implement in the lab."
The fun part about this experiment is that you can do it at home. Try it out and let us know that you think about it in the comments below.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Oftentimes our personal space can get intruded upon, or we can sense negative energies in this space and it can cause discomfort, confusion, and a host of unwanted emotional responses. Clean up these negative energies by using Clean Sweep. It immediately neutralizes negative energies of all kinds, from EMF to human emotions.
Shift Your Emotions, Change the World
Researchers have examined how the heart and brain communicate with each other and how that affects our consciousness and the way in which we perceive our world. For example, when a person is feeling really positive emotions like gratitude, love, or appreciation, the heart beats out a certain message. Because the heart beats out the largest electromagnetic field produced in the body, it can yield significant data for researchers. According to HeartMath Director of Research Dr. Rolin McCratey:
Emotional information is actually coded and modulated into these fields. By learning to shift our emotions, we are changing the information coded into the magnetic fields that are radiated by the heart, and that can impact those around us. We are fundamentally and deeply connected with each other and the planet itself.This is very important work, as it shows how the heart plays an important role far beyond what is commonly known. For instance, did you know that your heart emits electromagnetic fields that change according to your emotions, or that the human heart has a magnetic field that can be measured up to several feet away from the human body? Did you know that positive emotions create physiological benefits in your body, and that you can boost your immune system by conjuring up positive emotions?
Did you know that negative emotions can create nervous system chaos, and that positive emotions do the complete opposite? Did you know that the heart has a system of neurons that have both short term and long term memory, and that their signals sent to the brain can affect our emotional experiences? Did you know that in fetal development, the heart forms and starts beating before the brain is developed? Did you know that a mother's brainwaves can synchronize to her baby's heartbeats? Did you know that the heart sends more information to the brain than vice versa?
The bottom line is, feelings of love, gratitude, and compassion--any positive feelings whatsoever--have a larger impact than we could have ever imagined. These are all characteristics of consciousness, and as quantum physics is showing us, consciousness plays a definite role in the creation of our reality.
A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a "mental" construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: "The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual." --(R. C. Henry, "The Mental Universe"; Nature 436:29, 2005, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Imbalances in the bio-electric field of the heart and the brain can prevent what the HeartMath Institute calls "coherence"--where the heart and the brain are working in resonance. It's a balancing of energies that build on one another creating a synergy of homeostasis, high functioning and healing. Our Formula E-1 strives to do a similar thing by balancing the subtle energy meridians of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. It's effects are quite remarkable. Find out more, try it for yourself!
Help us make a statement to the world, and raise consciousness, too. Spread the word!
The Return of E-3 Energy Cream
Back by popular demand and with the help of some generous and dedicated clients, we now have E-3 Revitalizing and Repair Cream available once again (cheering in the background). E-3 is our popular pain-relieving topical cream, that is non-analgesic, hypoallergenic and scent-free. We're still carrying the Arnica-MSM Repair Cream, so now you have a choice! E-3 is also available in a convenient 2 oz. travel size, so you can take the cream with you and not have to give it up at the airport TSA station... MORE INFO
"Stone of Happy Dreams and Changes"
Spiritually: Enhances cosmic consciousness and stimulates mystical experiences. It enhances meditation and aligns the etheric, mental and emotional bodies. Stimulates intuition and creativity.
Emotionally: Amplifies and brings things to the surface for transformation. Associated with love and passion it intensifies emotional states and releases inhibitions. Enhances self-worth and helps you to understand your full potential.
Mentally: Brings lightness and spontaneity and encourages an interest in the arts. Strengthens memory.
Physically: Strengthens the will to live. May help Parkinson's disease, and infections; may help purify the blood and kidneys, may regulate insulin, may ease childbirth, and PMS. May be beneficial to the eyes.
Trinity Opal Elixir is on sale for a month for 30% off with discount code OPAL30 (enter the code in the indicated box as you checkout through the website shopping cart-- (offer good until 7/10/17).