The deadly deadly Fear!

Hey guys!! How are you guys?I hope you are doing good ❤ Let’s dissect fear through the lens of Neuroscience!

Everyone gets scared. Fear is an inevitable part of human existence.

Some people try hard to suppress it while others try hard to get it like by watching scary movies or doing things that scare them.

Why do we get scared??

From an evolutionary point of view fear is essential for our survival.Any creature which doesn’t run and hide will be killed by the bigger or stronger animals

What happens in our body?

Fight and flight response happens.

Heartbeat start fluttering

Peripheral blood vessels constrict and your hand or feet might get cold

Central blood vessels will dilate to supply nutrients to the vital organs

Tiny muscles attached to the hair shaft also contracts causing Goosebumps

Levels of glucose,calcium and white blood cells also increases!!

Trigger of fear!

Amygdala an almond shaped bunch of neurons is responsible for triggering fear.

Our Adrenal Gland

Amygdala triggers-Hypothalamus which ultimately triggers pituitary gland which secretes ACTH

Sympathetic nervous system becomes activated which nudges Adrenal gland to secrete Epinephrine

The body also releases cortisol which brings about a rise in blood pressure, glucose and calcium

Epinephrine and Norepinephrine causes the muscle for violent action.

Butterflies in the stomach

It can reduce the activity in the stomach

It also inhibits salivation and lacrimation which causes dry eyes and dry mouth

Hippocampus and Prefrontal cortex assess threats and fears

They help us understand whether our fear response is real and justified, or whether we might have overreacted somewhat.

Why do we freeze when we are afraid?

This is modulated by preaqueductal gray and cerebellum.Cerebellum deals with motor activity so in fear preaqueductal region inhibits the activity of cerebellum.

A 2014 study

The researchers found a bundle of fibers that connect one region of the cerebellum, called the pyramis, directly to the PAG. Messages that run along these paths cause an animal to freeze with fright.

Phobias

Irrational fear that is out of proportion which can definitely do no harm

Both genes and environment plays a part in phobia formation.
One study also discovered that there was a disconnect between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex, which normally helps an individual override or minimize the fear response.

Precuneus

In another study it is seen that precuneus,lateral Prefrontal cortex and visual activity was lower in phobic people as compared to non-phobic people

These are the brain regions involved in regulating fearful emotions.

Fear response is primal so we should respect it.It can be unpleasant and can interfere with people.It is a multifaceted and fascinating human emotion.

Bye Bye!I hope you have a happy and healthy day ❤

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Choose to forget??

Hey guys!! I am back again with another neuroluscious blog ❤ By the way, i didn’t plan on writing today but when i get across this topic i thought why not write it as its short, simple and interesting so Here we go!! Let’s get started!!

I hope you guys are happy, fulfilled and successful ❤

So can we deliberately choose to forget our memories? Yes we can! Perhaps the easiest way to forget something is not to think about it or suppress the memory.

When we think about memories we think we can actively strengthen them.

Jeremy Manning at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, has found that just telling people to

‘Push thoughts out of their heads,We Don’t know how but people seem to know how to do it’

Suppression of memories is linked to decreased activity in the hippocampus

In PTSD,this won’t work for ptsd patients,they are less able to suppress their memories especially related to traumatic incidents.

Some computer games seem to do the trick for example playing the game Tetris.

Thanks for reading!!Have a beautiful day ❤

Soda-A brain Toxin?!

Hey guys!! I have not been writing for a while because i am trying to enjoy my vacations by watching the rerun of my fav show and reading :p because i just have some few days left :p But still i decided to write again because i was missing it so much 😀

How are you guys doing?? I hope you are doing good ❤ so Let’s dive right into it!

A can of Soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar!! Can you imagine that?? So why not diet soda??

Today, i will be telling you how both(soda and diet soda can be harmful for our brain.

Now, research suggests how regular soda-especially the fructose in the sugary drinks can damage our brain.
A study published April 2017 by researchers at Boston University that included 2,888 men and women linked sugary beverages—like sodas and fruit Juices

!—to memory loss and reduced brainvolume, especially in the area of the brain that involves memory and learning. In a follow-up study, the same researchers found that people who drink at least one diet(artificially sweetened) soda a day appear to have three times higher risk of having a stroke or developing dementia than those who don’t drink diet sodas


Researchers using data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) found that people who drink sugary beverages frequently are more likely to have poorer memory, smaller overall brain volume, and a significantly smaller hippocampus—an area in the brain important for learning and memory.

A study published in the journal stroke talks about the correlation between drinking diet soda and both stroke and dementia.

But how does diet soda does what it does?

Firstly,it tricks our brain into thinking that we have an extra dose of glucose but eventually the brain adapts by overcompensating in other ways

Secondly,it also imbalances our gut microbiome and I mentioned the gut and brain bromance in one of my blogs so their interaction is also disturbed

Your brain will also get use to it and your dopamine will also develop tolerance.and what does that mean?ut simply means you will be requiring more stimuli or more sugar to produce the same amount of dopamine.I have mentioned this in my Caffeine blog that when you consume caffeine you develop what we call tolerance that you keep on wanting more and more for the same effect you got on the first time.So you have to keep on increasing the dose.

One can if any carbonated Drink or soda contains 40 grams of sugar!Drink two cans of coke and your daily recommended carb intake is used up! If you really want a lesson in how bad this coke or soda is for you then go and measure 40 grams of granulated sugar. Now imagine eating that with a spoon!

What happens after one hour of consuming soda

First ten minutes.

Phosphoric acid attacks the enamel and the aspartame acts on the taste bud receptors to trick your body into thinking it has consumed processed sugar

After 20 minutes

Trigger the release of insulin which switches on our fat storage mode.Whatever sugar we will consume will eventually turn into fat for storage

40 minutes

By releasing excitotoxins(dopamine) it has a somewhat similar mechanism of action to that of cocaine

60 minutes and beyond

It will never quench your thirst as it dehydrates rather than hydrates.

A lack of vital water can lead to brain fog,poor concentration ,fatigue and feeling irritable.

So I would highly recommend you to abstain from it as much is possible for you.Once in a while drinking it is not bad although it is still but drinking it every day is definitely something you should never do.You can drink coconut water too.You can drink carrot juice mixed with beetroot.

Bye Bye!!See you soon ❤ Love you guys xoxo

Chronic Stress

Hey guys!! I hope you are doing good 😀 Today, we will be talking about how chronic stress can affect our brain in light of a new research.

Physical and mental health is definitely affected by stress but what happens in our brain under stress?

One new harvard study seeks to find the implications of chronic stress on oir brain which was published in the journal Neurology

Stress over a long period of time can make us feel more tired and irritable.It can disturb our sleep patterns, appetite and can decrease libido(sexual drive).
In their study, the researchers worked with participants with an average age of 49 and no diagnosis of dementia.

There blood cortisol levels were checked before and after eight years.They were also checked for their memory and thinking abilities.

The researchers found that people with high levels of blood cortisol had much poorer memory when compared with peers with normal cortisol levels. Importantly, impaired memory was present in these individuals even before obvious symptoms of memory loss set in.

MRI studies

MRI scans were also conducted to measure their brain volumes.

Those in the high cortisol level group have low brain volumes as compared to low level cortisol group.

Dr Echouffo-Tcheugui

“Our research detected memory loss and brain shrinkage in middle-aged people before symptoms started to show,”

So we should all strive to reduce stress in our lives as much as possible!

But how?

Get enough sleep

Moderate exercise

A good diet-

Some foods that may help to keep cortisol levels stable include:

  • dark chocolate
  • bananas and pears
  • black or green tea
  • probiotics in food such as yogurt
  • probiotics in foods containing soluble fiber
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Breathing exercises
  • Get a pet!!
  • One study measured levels of cortisol in children undergoing a standard medical procedure. Those who had a dog present during the procedure had lower cortisol levels than those who did not.
  • Bye bye Love yourself
  • Xoxo

The Neuroscience of Happiness

Hey guys!! How are you guys doing? I hope you are doing good ❤ Today, i will be talking about this positive, beautiful emotion called happiness and how we can get more of it through scientifically tested methods 😀

Let’s dive right into it!!

Heart is used to be considered the seat of all emotions. When we suffer a loss it is said that we are heartbroken. If we are overly emotional it is said that we wear our heart on our sleeves. Now things are changing as neuroscience talks about how brain is the home to all our feelings!

Our brain can be divided into different areas. Two basic divisions are the lower brain(the reptilian brain) and the upper brain(the mammalian brain)Another name for this mammalian brain is NeoCortex. This NeoCortex is itself divided into sections called lobes. There are four large lobes.

Frontal lobe=In higher level thinking

Parietal= movement

Occipital=Vision

Temporal=hearing and speech

The reptilian brain consists of Limbic System which deals with our emotions and now research states that our emotional brain not just consists of limbic system and Prefrontal cortex. Our limbic system have connections with our PreFrontal cortex.

Through functional MRI, it is seen that the left side of the PreFrontal cortex is active when the person is happy and the right side is more active but we are sad. So through finding ways to stimulate our Left Prefrontal cortex can make us more happy!

Now those activities that can stimulate our Left Prefrontal cortex are

Exercise

It can stimulate both the reptilian and the mammalian brain. It releases endorphins the feel good hormones.

Mindfulness Meditation

It can both strengthen the activity of the left Prefrontal cortex and decrease the activity of the right Prefrontal cortex.

Fun and Social interaction

It can both lead to activation of our brain’s pleasure centres.


Enjoying pleasurable activities, doing something that seems to make time stand still, spending time with loved ones, pursuing meaning in its many forms, and celebrating accomplishments stimulate the activity in your left prefrontal cortex.

Bye Bye!!Take care ❤ Love Yourself.

Body memories

Hey guys!! I hope you are doing good ❤ How was ypur day? So, welcome back to another neuroluscious blog 🙂

So let’s get started. Whatever trauma or sexual abuse we have gone through in life even if we don’t remember it our body our somatic memory will remember it for years to follow.

Contemporary research

Pavlov and other psychologists brought about this concept of defensive action which is a series of bodily reflex reactions to harmless stimuli.For example

A rape victim may respond to conditioned
stimuli, such as the approach by an unknown man, as if she were about to be raped again, and
experience panic. Pavlov also pointed out that individual differences in temperament accounted
for the diversity of long term adaptations to trauma.

Abraham Kardiner,who was the first person to systemically describe post traumatic stress noted that individuals who had a traumatic experience had a special vigilance to possible environmental threats.

Recent Research
Dr. van der Kolk is a Boston-based psychiatrist who specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder and has worked with a broad range of clients, from veterans to sexual assault survivors. He says that in order to have an effective therapy we need to keep this in mind,the physiological changes that is stored in our memory.

Trauma rewires our brain system, increases our stress hormone and the amygdala which initiates the fight and flight response which can remain triggered for a long time even after it has subsided.Many trauma victims relive their trauma through fragmented voices,images and emotions which doesn’t seem to be belonging to the past.

Some trauma victims experience dissociation which is literal desensitization in their body or the inability to describe physical sensations.

When you don’t feel safe in your body and shuts down everytime during incidents both innocuous and intimate like massage or sex

The body keeps the score

An amazing book which talks about neuroscientific research about trauma and stress.

So here are some insights from this book

  • Trauma doesnot only affect those who directly experience it but the persons near to him/her can also experience it too.The wives of PTSD patients are more likely to be depressed and the children of the depressed mothers are more likely to be anxious and insecure.Having been exposed to family violence as a kid often makes it difficult to form stable,trusting relationships in adulthood.
  • Years later, traumatized people find it extremely difficult to articulate their traumatic experience in words.
  • Every psychology textbook talks about talking about cognitive therapy which is talking about their life experiences as a way to heal which has really not proved to be so beneficial as there are relapses.
  • Neuroscientific research shows that the trauma or the psychological issue is not a defect of understanding so using insight and understanding to help us understand our trauma doesnot work.

Flashbacks are very common in trauma victims and they can occur at any time.

  • Traumatized people have a lot of sensory overload so they numb their senses or to shut themselves off and they use drugs and alcohol to shut themselves down.
  • 81% of those having borderline personality disorder report childhood abuse and neglect
  • Obesity is often considered a problem.For many individuals eating serves to numb them of their body sensations and anxiety.

Nobody can treat a war,rape, molestation,what has happened cannot be undone but we can deal with the imprint of trauma in our brain, soul and our body., The crushing sensations on our chest associated with anxiety, the nightmares, the fog that keeps you from engaging fully in what you are doing.

  • Traumatized people keep their body shut and their mind closed to keep away from uncomfortable sensations and feelings. Its not surprising that so mny traumatized people are compulsive drinkers and eaters.
  • Drugs cannot cure trauma. They can just dampen the physiology. In a study published, comparing prozac with EMDR, emdr proved to be more beneficial.
  • Cognitive therapy aimed at readjusting their thoughts as the thoughs are irrational as these thoughts are cognitive flashbacks they cannot be readjusted
  • If you don’t know what your brain needs you can’t take care of it. If you don’t feel hunger you can’t nourish yourself. Traumatized people need to learn that they need to tolerate their sensations,befriend their new experiences and cultivate new action patterns. The practice of Yoga helps focus attention on breathing and sensations. Simply noticing what you feel fosters emotional regulation.
  • People can learn to control and change behavior, but only if they feel safe enough to experiment with new solutions, the body keeps the score. Our first priority is to move away from fight and flight response, reorganize their perception of danger and manage relationship.
  • Bye Bye!! Love you all! Take care. Love yourself.

Apples and Brain

Hey guys!! How are you guys doing? I hope you are doing good ❤ Today, We will be talking about how apples are extremely beneficial for our brain health.

Quercetin -An antioxidant


A 2006 study published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine found that quercetin (one of the antioxidants found abundantly in apples) was one of two compounds that helped to reduce cellular death that is caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons.
In the body, Quercetin acts like natural Claritin and Ibuprofen all at once. In other words, it’s a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory.

Increases acetylcholine production

In the Journalof Alzheimer’s disease,apple is found to increase ACETYLCHOLINE production resulting in improved memory in mice having Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.

Prevents Dementia


A study published in the Journal of Food Science in 2008 suggested that eating apples may have benefit for your neurological health.

The study concluded that including apples in your diet significantly decreases oxidative stress which damages your brain cells and so by fighting with this oxidative stress apples can help prevent cognitive decline.It can decrease the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.

Reducing the Risk of stroke

A research involving 9,080 men concluded that the intake of apples is related to a decreased risk of thrombotic stroke.Thrombosis is clot in medical terms.Strokes are of two types

Ischemic(Oxygen deprivation) No bleeding oxygen mostly seen in MI patients(heart attack or angina patients)

While Thrombotic one is related to bleeding mostly seen in High blood pressure patients.

Riboflavin,Vit B6 and Thiamine

These vitamins are key in maintaining the nervous system in good health.

Vit B6 and Vit B 12 deficiency can lead to cramps.Especially seen in patients taking PPIs (sante,nexum,omeprazole or esomeprazole)

The Apple peel


Most of the fiber and antioxidants are in the peel, says Dianne Hyson, Ph.D., R.D., a research dietitian at UC Davis in the Department of Internal Medicine.

Malic Acid

Green apples are sore due to malic acid which can reduce muscle pain

Good Bye .Stay healthy and happy ❤