Can Your Brain Fall in Love?

By Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP & Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School Director, Genetics and Aging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

The human brain is an exquisitely sensitive instrument. It registers the slightest nuance of any experience you have ever had. This is no more evident than in love. Imagine someone whispering, “I love you.” In romantic terms these are desirable words – probably the most desirable any of us will ever hear. The brain responds to ‘I love you” with an orchestration of positive reactions. People who are in love feel less stressed; their blood pressure goes down. When a couple who enjoys a long-term loving marriage hold hands, even their response to physical pain is strengthened. (more…)

How to Inspire Your Brain (Part 2)

By Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), co-authors of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being. (Harmony)

Evidence is gathering by the day that the brain isn’t really an object but a continuous and active process. Thoughts and experiences create new pathways in the brain. They even affect the output of genes. What this means for the individual is extremely important. The control center for the brain’s constant shaping and reshaping is you, the person who is using the brain. Although there are many brain processes that run on automatic, they too are highly influenced by experiences – that’s why, for instance, the automatic rise and fall of blood pressure during the day is highly responsive to all the things that happened to you during the day. (more…)

Good News: You Are Not Your Brain

By Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP & Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School Director, Genetics and Aging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Like a personal computer, science needs a Recycle Bin for ides that didn’t work out as planned. In this bin would go commuter trains riding on frictionless rails using superconductivity, along with interferon, the last AIDS vaccine, and most genetic therapies. These failed promises have two things in common: they looked like the wave of the future but then reality proved too complex to fit the simple model that was being offered. (more…)

A Riddle for the Brain: “I Love You”

Current brain research is hot on the trail of mysteries that need solving. Current imaging techniques can show, with remarkable precision, what happens in specific parts of the brain when we feel an emotion, for example. Eventually neuroscientists may be able to pinpoint the exact process that leads to the emotion of love; indeed they already feel that they are close, since there’s a map for tracing the hormones that make falling in love feel ecstatic, along with the areas of the brain responsible for emotions.

But close does you no good if your model has a serious flaw. In this case, the flaw is to assume that the physical mechanisms associated with love are the same as love itself. What if love takes place in the mind rather than the brain? (more…)

A New Era for the Brain – Guiding Your Own Evolution

One of the great abilities of the human brain is to boost itself into a higher function.  No one can explain how this happens. By the time early humans discovered fire and simple tools like the wheel and lever, our brains were already the most complex structure in the universe. We then proceeded to use this structure in unprecedented ways. Somewhere in our DNA was the potential for higher mathematics, for example, even though Homo sapiens existed for 200,000 years without tapping that capacity.

The reason that we are able to accomplish huge, never-ending leaps needs to be solved. If it can, then a new era will open up for the brain. The key is not materialistic, to my mind. One needs to begin, in fact, by turning away from the brain, whose intricate workings have mesmerized researchers for three decades, ever since the development of feasible brain scans.  Such advances are fascinating, but we run the risk of sitting around a radio as it plays Mozart, staring at how the transistors work while imagining that we are uncovering the secrets of music. (more…)