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Hacking the Brain

January 16, 2009

I love this article from the Boston Globe.

It is about the kind of experiments that most of us have seen or done at some point in our primary education or in psychology departments at university; experiments where you can observe your brain misperceive reality.  To see why I find it relevant to psychotherapy I quote the Boston Globe:

The first thing to know is that the mind isn’t a mirror, or even a passive observer of reality. Much of what we think of as being out there actually comes from in here, and is a byproduct of how the brain processes sensation. In recent years scientists have come up with a number of simple tricks that expose the artifice of our senses, so that we end up perceiving what we know isn’t real – tweaking the cortex to produce something uncannily like hallucinations.

Some of the mechanisms that depth psychology hypothesised – projection, repression, etc. – are potentially testable and verifiable through these kinds of experiments. At the same time the experiments could also be seen as not to far from some CBT techniques. Interesting! 

from an article in the Boston Globe. graphics by Javier Zarracina

from an article in the Boston Globe. graphics by Javier Zarracina
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