Vision Recovery: Eyes on Diversity
A Brain and Vision Natural Wellness Essay.
“Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.” Einstein (1938)
What is the value of diversity, of many different things instead of everything or everyone being the same?
This is what recent scientific journal articles had to say about the value of diversity, of choices, of being able to choose what you perceive as beautiful, wholesome and good.
Psychologist, Lisa Feldman Barrett notes, “Psychological states such as thoughts and feelings are real. Brain states are real. The problem is that the two are not real in the same way, creating the mind-brain correspondence problem.”
— Barrett, L. F. (2009). “The Future of Psychology: Connecting Mind to Brain.” Perspect Psychol Sci 4(4): 326–339.
Just the fact that you are conscious creates a kind of diversity. There is no one-to-one correspondence between a thought and a particular neuron in your brain. An individual neuron in the brain can support many different thoughts and perceptions. A healthy brain is designed to recognize the patterns but also be able to move from one thought to another, from one brain state to another. Your brain is designed to be able to enjoy change and diversity and be bored by sameness.
Going towards something new creates movement. As Garth Brooks sings a song You Move Me. “You move me, I can’t go with you and stay where I am, so you move me.”
In a study of that used a resting electroencephalogram (EEG) to revealing the brain components or neural constitutes of consciousness researchers noted, “Results demonstrated that (a) decreased number of EEG microstate types [lack of variation or movement between one state of consciousness and another] was associated with altered [not good] states of consciousness, and (b) unawareness [or lack of focus] was associated with the lack of diversity in EEG alpha-rhythmic microstates.”
— Fingelkurts, A. A., S. Bagnato, et al. (2012). “EEG oscillatory states as neuro-phenomenology of consciousness as revealed from patients in vegetative and minimally conscious states.” Conscious Cogn 21(1): 149–169.
In 2011, Fingelkurts explained results in a study that looked at people in comas, post injury: “Results demonstrated that (a) the diversity and the variability of EEG for Non-Survivors were significantly lower than for Survivors.
— Fingelkurts, A. A., S. Bagnato, et al. (2011). “Life or death: prognostic value of a resting EEG with regards to survival in patients in vegetative and minimally conscious States.” PLoS ONE 6(10): e25967.
Diversity keeps you alive and thriving. When it comes to the brain, diversity is good. In a way changing your mind or at least the state of your consciousness can contribute to healing after an injury and allow you to focus creatively on problems that arise or give you the awareness to safely navigate your life.
So, how do you increase diversity in your brain?
The same things that help you avoid Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss can increase your level of conscious awareness. There is a saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” But do you know the second half? “The fastest way to become an old dog? …. Stop learning new tricks!”
How can you incorporate more novelty, more new tricks into your daily life?
A puzzle is a form of information medicine or the therapeutic use of information. If you just read the words of the crossword puzzle, making no attempt to solve the puzzle then there is no healing effect. It is the attempt to find the solution that is healing. Finding the connections or relationships between the different parts of the puzzle is what creates shiny new pathways in your brain.
Here are 10 ways to increase your level of conscious awareness, focus, creativity while decreasing your mindlessness and anxiety.
10. Breathe and get oxygen to your brain.
9. Vision or eyesight exercises.
8. Drive a new route to work or the store or the park.
7. Keep yourself well hydrated with clean water, improving blood flow to your brain.
6. Read a book and tell someone about what you learned or thought interesting.
5. Learn a new word, either a foreign language, a field of study that is unfamiliar or a new vocabulary word. Share what you learn.
4. Sing a new song or learn to play a new tune on a musical instrument.
3. Solve puzzles: cross word puzzles, a dilemma, a difficult relationships.
2. Create something: a garden, a painting, a business plan, a relationship with someone new.
1. Do something new today.
Albert Camus, author of one of my favorite books, The Stranger wrote, “Life is a sum of all your choices.” Dr Wayne Dyer, put it in a more conscious way, “Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made.”
More than nine million Americans over the age of 40 have macular degeneration. They are losing their vision, their ability to drive safely, watch transformational movies, and to read inspirational works like my chapter, The Eyes Observing Your World in Christine Kloser’s Pebbles in the Pond, Transforming the World One Person at a Time. Their world is getting smaller. I understand.
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on August 4, 2014.