Lynne

The heart: the first brain

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Dean Radin the celebrated scientist from the Institute of Noetic Sciences, once made an important discovery: that we often receive a physical foreboding of an event. He set up a computer that would randomly select photos designed to calm, to arouse, or to upset a participant.

His volunteers were wired to physiological monitors that recorded changes in skin conduction, heart rate and blood pressure, and they sat in front of a computer that would randomly display color photos of tranquil scenes (landscapes), or scenes designed to shock (autopsies) or to arouse (erotic materials).

Radin was fascinated to discover that his subjects were registering physiological responses before they saw the photo. As if trying to brace themselves, their responses were highest before they saw an image that was erotic or disturbing.

 

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It’s only stuff

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Amid all the fear-mongering the press has indulged in of late after the terrorist attacks in Paris and Los Angeles and London, it’s easy to overlook the good news in any calamity: the simple power and goodness of the human spirit.

Take the recent floods in the north of England where I live. Two weeks ago, around Cumbria and the breathtaking Lake District, the heavens suddenly opened and poured down the heaviest rain ever recorded in British history.

Some 13.5 inches of rain fell between 6 pm on Friday December 4 and the same time the following evening, easily breaching the special defences built by the British government after the 2005 floods had created a similar disaster.

More than 5000 Cumbrian homes were flooded and more than a hundred people drowned. The press was full of images of deluge and disaster, homes and farms under water, people scrambling out of top story windows.

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