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The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are

While there are many surprising insights in Daniel J. Siegel’s The Developing Mind, I was most intrigued by how information from the brain and body combine as output to the mind. Merging class discussion with the material in this book offers two ways in which the internal processes of the brain combine with stimulus input from the body to give rise to a picture in the mind. The way discussed in class is that input from the body is supplemented by the brain before it reaches the mind, such as the filling in of the blind spots in the eye. A different way that was touched on in the book is the idea that the brain generates output to the mind that is supplemented by input from the body, such as when it looks to

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A meditation on the brain’s duality: the influence of meditation on the brain and the mind

The practice of meditation is concerned with eliminating duality (the separation of body and mind) and instead strives for a state in which the body and mind work together as one system (1). The brain can be viewed as a dualist system: it is a physical component of the body, yet gives rise to an abstract component, the mind. Drawing from discussions in class, I would argue that because the mind arises from the physical workings of the brain, it is often influenced by the various processes in the physical structure even though the mind likes to think of itself as being a component beyond the influence of the neurophysiologic processes of the brain. Thus the noise in the mind, its

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An Overview of Pain Perception

Pain is a commonality among humans as well as among other animal groups. The sensation of pain is very much a subjective experience; when a person experiences pain, only they can feel it. Others, however, can sympathize and even feel pain of their own as a response to our expression of pain, or in response to witnessing the situation that has brought on our pain. We can often recognize when another person is experiencing pain; other times we cannot. Experience has taught us what kinds of situations cause pain. Experience may have also taught us that some people may find a specific situation very painful, such as running a 5K, while

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Emotions

The human brain is a complex organ to study. In studying it, we cannot help but be subjective, as the studying of the brain is simply using the brain to look at itself. Necessarily our interpretation of what we see is colored by the brain’s own abilities and interpretations. Some people have equated this with looking into a mirror (1). Often times when we think of objectively studying something, such as our brain, we think that we must use logic reasoning and leave out those things which we perceive to be more subjective, such as intuition and emotions (2). However, in my exploration of the topic of emotions, I have discovered

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