Soma}News – March/April – Part 2
May 7, 2014 § Leave a comment
Continued round-up of soma-related research and connections to emotion, sound, morality, mind, soul, health and contagions. Plus this edition’s featured lexicon entry: “wu-wei”.
- Why auditory pitch and spatial elevation get high together
Dr. Cesare Parise and colleagues found that “high frequency sounds were systematically perceived as coming from higher positions in space… The shape of the ear could have evolved to mirror the acoustic properties of the natural environment.”
- Watch this very loud but cool pitch pattern video
- ‘Seeing’ bodies with sound (no sight required)
- Deepset emotional themes extracted from 50 years of pop songs.
(Loss, desire, aspiration, breakup, pain, inspiration, nostalgia, rebellion, jaded, desperation, escapism and confusion.)
- Sight is stronger than sound: even when judging music
- How does the political manipulation of our emotions actually work?
- Shame is the basis of morality and is universal but suppressed it leads to anger and aggression
- However, brain scans link a concern for justice with reason, not with emotion
- Using a foreign language “dampens” emotions: relevant to ethical decision making
Mind > Body // Body > Mind?
“The brain is not responsible for any of the sensations…the seat and source of sensation is the region of the heart.”– Aristotle
The ancient question is being revisited: but not so much in one camp. Research by Park et al found a connection between whether we see objects or not and “the brain’s heartbeat evoked activity”. I found this via Joel Winston’s commentary paper. He tweeted that the paper “was about the brain’s response to heartbeats and how that determines visual consciousness“ There’s a lot to be unpacked here – hopefully it will be picked up and teased out further.
- Reframing our concepts of what the body is. Deepak Chopra explores metaphors: body as temple of the soul, as machine, or as process.
- OCD: Does the memory cause your habit or does the habit create the thoughts? “… instead of washing one’s hands because of the belief that they are contaminated, some people may develop concerns about hand contamination as a consequence of a recurring urge to wash their hands.” – Dr. Gillan et al – a neuro spin on Lady Macbeth?
- Outside the body our memories fail us “For us to be able to store new memories from our lives, we need to feel that we are in our own body.
- Gesturing with hands a powerful tool for children’s math learning
- New bodily illusion: Would you believe your hand could turn into marble?
- How do our memories shape the way sensory information is collected?
Seat of the Soul?
- Robots with Soul – feature on Guy Hoffman and his development of robots that have more human-like movements.
- Eyes are windows to the soul — and evolution
- Evidence that improving lighting of our environment changes cognitive performance
- Gamifying mental health: app reduces anxiety
- Religion, spirituality influence health in different but complementary ways
- The lines are blurring: integrating meditation with science
- Another reason to quit Facebook: feelings there are contagious
- Contagious yawning a mystery but may not be linked to empathy after all
Wu-wei literally translates as “no trying” or “no doing,” but it’s not at all about dull inaction. In fact, it refers to the dynamic, effortless, and unselfconscious state of mind of a person who is optimally active and effective. … This state of harmony is both complex and holistic, involving as it does the integration of the body, the emotions, and the mind…. Being in wu-wei is relaxing and enjoyable, but in a deeply rewarding way that distinguishes it from cruder or more mundane pleasures. – Edward Slingerland – Trying-not-to-Try