Change your Brain Maps

Gerald Edelman is an American Biologist Nobel Prize winner and has done much work around consciousness.

 

Edelman theorises that the mind and consciousness are biological processes that arise from complex cellular processes within the brain.

 

Edelman suggest that every memory, every piece of data, idea, habit, thought—is made up of a set of connections among neurons, like a map of connecting roadways in our brain. Each of these maps can involve up to 50,000 neurons.

 

We create maps for everything. This includes maps for sight, sound, language, face, ideas and memories that we remember, whether consciously or not. We sometimes form temporary maps. For example when driving a car, we do not hold in our mind ever building we drive past on our way to work. But after taking that journey even once, we will have formed a basic map of the route.

 

After driving this route many times, we will easily remember it; with enough repetitions, we will follow it even when we are not consciously attending to it. The map of the buildings becomes lost, while the map of the route becomes what we often refer to as “hardwired.” There are maps of maps and the map of maps, and so forth. This application of maps is why revision is so key to learning processes. The more familiar you are with something, the easier you will be able to recall it.

 

So maps are our internal representations of the way the external world works for us. These enable us to understand and interact with that world. The maps that convey information that is used the most get further hardwired into our brain and become more likely to be activated in the future.

 

Just take a moment to think of a young child.  How many very young children have phobias? Phobias and fears are developed over time. The more you get exposed to the stimulus the more hard-wired the problem becomes. We also are at risk of learning maps off other people. So a child can easily learn to map there parents problem maps. In fact they are walking map copying machines, so its important to be aware of how you can affect children in your environment.

 

You may wonder why this is so important and the relevance with hypnotherapy. In practical terms this theory supports so much of the work that is done in therapy with my clients.

 

My clients come to see me with a variety of problems that are their very own constructed maps. There are individual smoking maps, fear or phobia maps, maps of anxiety, maps of compulsive behaviours, maps of eating disorders, maps of binge drinking and so on.The longer the client has had the problem the more hard-wired the problem is in the brain. 

 
During the first minutes of meeting my clients, I map out my clients maps. A key process of therapy is to get my clients to de-construct their own maps, and write a new map in its place.

If you want to find out more and need help changing something in your life, such as quitting smoking, or tackling a fear or phobia, then please contact me using the contact form on the right.
 

Top Tips for a Better Nights Sleep

Top Tips for A Good Nights Sleep

  • Take some regular exercise every day, not too late, mornings or late afternoons are best.
  • If you need an afternoon nap, limit yourself to no longer than 45 minutes.
  • Your bedroom is your sanctuary, so keep your bedroom as dark as possible,block out any light through the windows, and don’t sleep with any lights on. Sleeping with lights on may interfere with melatonin which helps promote deeper sleep, better mood as well as boosting and repairing our immune system.
  • Make sure you bed is comfortable, if not buy a new one as a top priority.
  • Stop smoking, nicotine is a stimulant and smokers can take more time to fall asleep.
  • Alcohol inhibits sleep as well, making it more likely for your sleep to be disturbed. Give it up or cut it down.
  • Cut down on caffeine, definitely not in the evening, say no to those after dinner espressos or decaf them.
  • Practice some meditation or simple breathing exercises just before bed time.
  • Make sure you have a proper wind down routine in preparation for bed, no texting, emailing in bed or watching TV. Remember bed is for sleeping, cuddling & making love, nothing else.
  • Buy one of my hypnosis downloads <coming soon>

Would you deliver a 440v electrical shot?

As someone who has lived in London for over twenty years, this last year 2011 saw some serious rioting across London.  Naturally, I’m on the side of the victims of these crimes.

I fully understand the necessity of consequences for the perpetrators but I find myself being reminded of the Milgram experiment. If someone of authority ordered you to riot, you wouldn’t think you would follow their orders, would you?

So if someone of authority ordered you to deliver a 400-volt electrical shock to another person, would you follow orders? Most people would say no. But Stanley Milgram in the 1960′s at Yale University carried out some interesting social psychological experiments that proved otherwise.

What this experiment showed, was that people could be easily coerced by authority figures, into doing things that were against their own social conscience and moral code.

Paid male volunteers were recruited to the role of teacher by an ad in a newspaper and actors were hired for the role of students. 

Milgram developed a shock generator which started at 30 volts all the way up to 450 volts ( more than enough to kill an elephant, let alone a human being). Each of the settings of the shock generator was labelled with terms from “slight shock” up to “ominous shock”.

The teachers (volunteers) were told to administer shocks to their students (actors) every time a wrong answer was given to a series of questions.  The teachers genuinely believed that they were administering shocks for wrong answers (although the students as actors were actually only pretending). The teachers and students were in separate rooms and could only be heard.

As the experiment progressed the teachers heard their students pleading with them to stop, or even complain about their heart condition, as they worked their way up through the different voltage settings on the generator.

Most of the teachers sort the guidance of the experimenter, asking them whether they should continue or not, as it didn’t seem right.  In response to this question they would be commanded to continue by the experimenter until the maximum voltage setting was triggered.

In Milgram’s first set of experiments, a whopping 65% of participants administered the experiment’s final massive 450- volt shock ( which theoretically could have killed their students) even though many were uncomfortable doing so and questioned the authority figure.

As a society we are taught to be obedient from an early age, obedience is part of the essential infrastructure of society. If you aren’t obedient, and don’t follow rules, then there will be concequences for you. So it’s possible to imagine that an authority person, can actually be anyone, who at the moment at time, chooses to put themselves in a position of authority.  So a persuasive friend, a neighbour, a gang leader, a slightly older person can all be seen as people in authority.

So it’s then maybe possible to understand how people might be coerced into doing things that are actually against their moral code, especially if they are put under pressure to do so. So being invited to riot by social media ( an accepted invisible higher authority)  might also be possible.

As a cognitive hypnotherapist, I am familiar with how easy it us for us to make the wrong decisions and do things to ourselves that cause us harm. The reason why we start smoking is usually in response to something that happens during adolescence, such as the desire to fit in socially with our peers.

I am fully aware of how teenagers brains do not fully develop until the early to middle twenties. This is because of the frontal lobes which do not fully connect during teenage years. The frontal lobes are the part of the brain that once fully developed, enable us to rationalise whether something is a good idea or not, or the consequences.

I don’t have the answers, I just have an understanding of how people’s behaviours can change in response to their environment, and how some people can make the wrong decisions depending on circumstances.