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November 25, 2021

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The purpose of this educational website is to explain the fundamental characteristics of your brain's physical structures as well as your mind's mental functions, including your unique willpower and your awesome ability to imagine, reason, and remember.

The new "brain vocabulary" can help you decode the technical language which describes the recent brilliant discoveries made by brain scientists. In fact, the new brain vocabulary is being invented continuously by neuro-scientists, evolutionary biologists, cognitive psychologists, and neuro-philosophers as they discover and name new ways to think about your brain and mind as distinct entities.

This crucial new distinction between your brain's structures and your mind's functions is an important new fact that you can easily understand and remember. Even children can be taught the fundamental categorical differences between their brains and their minds!

This website is designed to add coherence and authenticity to the fundamental new brain knowledge which has been created by scientists. It is known as cognitive neuroscience or "brain science." This new way of thinking is fully aligned with altruistic optimistic humanistic liberal ethical values.

This new neuroscience knowledge is essential for you to understand in its full scientific and philosophical linguistic context. The new brain vocabulary describes how you can optimize your mind's mental functions in order to reason more logically and act more wisely to achieve your cherished goals.

Modern historians and professional linguists all agree that the human communication process, which is made possible by our alphabet and the diverse multi-cultural characteristics of our American English language, are among humanity's greatest achievements. In this regard, our amazing American English alphabet is the most significant single identifiable cause of our exceptional human intelligence and American national cultural consciousness. However, it is usually not obvious because our American education system largely ignores the radical implications of the idea.

Today it is known that the causes of a human mind's mental functions are an understandable sequence of biological and psychosocial processes — which you can learn to control by and for yourself!

For example, you have the opportunity to discover how you can control your own bodily movements by learning new habits of behaving. These new habits can be directly controlled by your own ethical willpower, with no need for an unknown deity or spiritual super power outside of your natural rational cognitive ability to think and feel and remember.

This powerful way of learning and knowing is used daily by all kinds of professionals and amateurs alike. For example, athletes, teachers, doctors, lawyers, parents, and especially children create and perfect their developmental physical and mental skill-sets every single day! In exactly the same way that all learners use the mental functions of their minds, you can decide to learn the new brain knowledge.

By using the linguistic context provided by this Alphabetical Brain™ Vocabulary website, you can easily learn how the parts of your brain and your mind are connected and function dynamically and interactively. This gives you the ability to make plans and achieve your goals.

Therefore, this website shows you how you can daily increase your brain knowledge --- beyond any doubt! It can quickly give you a specific accurate brain vocabulary of words and definitions for controlling your own unique thoughts and feelings and bodily movements.

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In this regard, many brain scientists have endorsed the idea of the existence of willpower or free will as the essential ingredient in your self-identity. Such a personal humanistic sense-of-self (secular self or self) can be reinforced in your long-term memory by using the following mantra or meme:

"Use your adaptable mind
or lose its adaptability!"

The following linked essay provides the best modern analysis and explanation of the different levels of causation involved in understanding the cultural context and human source of your natural willpower or free will.

From SLATE online magazine,
September 2013

by Roy F. Baumeister

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      For more information about the idea
      of free will or willpower by
      Roy Baumeister and John Tierney,
      activate the book link below:
Rediscovering the
Greatest Human Strength

by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney,
The Penguin Press in 2011 (291 pages).

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A brief paraphrased summary of highlights by the webmaster from the above link follows. It summarizes the best argument for a rational proof defending the reality of your natural willpower or free will:
    "Willpower or free will --- which humans have evolved --- is for following the rules of culture. Any animal can do whatever it wants, but the purpose of human free will is a more advanced way of behaving. People must inhibit impulses and desires and find ways of satisfying their needs within the complicated rules of society. Also they must consciously imagine various future scenarios and guide their present actions based upon their trained disciplined imagination." (Slightly paraphrased by webmaster from above linked essay)

    "To understand human life, you must understand how this vital inner decision-making process works. Few psychological phenomena are absolute dichotomies and most psychological phenomena are on a continuum. The freer actions include conscious thought and decision-making, self-control, logical reasoning, and the pursuit of enlightened self-interest." (Slightly paraphrased by webmaster from above linked essay)

    "Self-control qualifies to be defined as a kind of freedom since it begins with not acting on every impulse!" (Quote by Roy F. Baumeister, author of the classic Slate essay from 2013 linked above.)

    "Primitive uneducated human brains and simpler animal brains act whenever something triggers a response: a hungry animal sees food and eats it. However, the most recently evolved parts of human brains have a complex mechanism for overriding sensory impulses. For example, willpower or self-control enables us to reject food when we are hungry for a variety of reasons... It gives us the possibility of acting from rational principles rather than from acting on impulses." (Slightly paraphrased by webmaster from above linked essay)
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Willpower or free will is totally real, but only if you train your brain to optimize your mind's functions or mental forces! A good motivation booster is the mantra or meme:

"Use your mind's willpower,
or lose it and diminish your self-esteem!"

To effectively optimize your brain, you must learn to use the definitions of a few new specific contextualized brain vocabulary words, which are contained in the scientific language of factual brain research. You can learn from this scientific perspective why these new brain facts are important to sustain your motivation to create your personal vision of the future!

In brief, you may need to investigate some of the traditional "stories" that you were taught many years ago when you were a totally dependent child. And you may need to forget some of the old myths and traditional ideas that have no believable logic anymore since they are simply not true.

You do not need to believe in a god or goddess or some mysterious spiritual deity of one kind or another to create a fulfilling long life. No matter whatever cultural or ethnic group or social class or caste system you were born into, you can transcend the status of your birth family and birth community by taking advantage of modern educational opportunities.

You can acquire knowledge to transcend your birth status. Today you do not need to fortify your personal consciousness and conscientiousness by choosing to believe in imaginary magical supernatural spiritual beings anymore. In Darwin's time, they were called "animal spirits."

In summary, you can learn to give more significance to the new brain vocabulary, which can provide you with a huge advantage when you discuss consequential personal and social issues and make decisions with your family, friends, or business associates. You can use the new vocabulary to describe who you are (your authentic secular self) and who you want to become (your potential future ideal self).

Another helpful motivation booster is the following amazing mantra or meme:

"The best way to predict
the future is to create it!"

You can become a life-long learner. And you can learn how much fun it can be to "construct" new emotions and harmonize them with the new brain facts. And you can apply them to your personal ethical and moral beliefs. Specifically, you will be learning the basis of your natural willpower and creative imagination. By using these teo major mental functions efficiently, you will be able to conquer your doubts and confidently maintain your sanity as you apply your curiosity to exploring the meaning of life!

Therefore, it is vitally important for you to know at the beginning of your study of your brain and its phenomenal mind, why the emphasis of this website is on the connection between the function of your working memory and the function of your long-term memory.

These two essential memory functions are shown on the following Circle of Consciousness Symbol© as Brain-Idea #1 and Brain-Idea #15 :

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You may notice that Brain-Idea #1 and Brain-Idea #15 are next to each other on the circle. This can remind you that they are inseparably connected inside your brain. Since your "working memory" is located in your prefrontal cortex and your "long-term memory" is located in your hippocampus, they must be permanently connected by a lifeline of healthy neuronal pathways.

Otherwise, you would not be able to talk coherently or be self-aware!

This fundamental fact explains what generates your "sense of self" or "secular self" or "self. In short, this website explains what causes your adaptable self-identity. It is the scientific words themselves that have allowed us to discover the most relevant scientific meanings for what our brain structures are and what our mental functions do.

They make it possible for you to flourish now and in the future!

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The 15 brain-flash-cards, which introduce the 15 brain-ideas, have quick links to files that are named DETAILS and SOURCES.

The short declarative statements on both the fronts and backs of the 15 brain-flash-cards provide an easy way to learn the basic brain vocabulary needed to understand what causes your adaptable self-identity. The question and answer format can help you rapidly memorize the brain ideas and their relationships. The Q/A format provides a scientific perspective concerning the true causes of your sense-of-self (secular self or self).

The brief declarative statements on both sides of the 15 brain-flash-cards can coalesce in your long-term memory function to strengthen your unique willpower so you can use your creative imagination to construct your own adaptable self-identity.

Soon you will be able to comprehend the 15 brain-ideas just as easily as you understand the meanings of familiar household words such as "table" and "chair" and "kitchen" and "bedroom."

In addition, there is a special link on the Index of the homepage called Quotations about Human Consciousness. It contains a variety of definitions of consciousness taken from recent books about neuroscience, evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, and neuro-philosophy. They are all based upon the secular ethical humanistic perspective of the meaning of human life.

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The foundation and scaffolding of the core brain knowledge can be learned in a few days or a few weeks depending upon how much time you decide to devote to the project. Then the rest of the details about your amazing brain and your incredible mind can be integrated into your evolving new brain vocabulary and your general vocabulary about the Enlightenment perspective of history, nature, the earth, and the universe.

Once you are clear about the true source of your self-image or identity and your natural willpower or free will, you will be able to appreciate how important our Western Enlightenment Culture has been for making possible our human ability to create and even transcend our self images or identities to create our democratic political future. Instead of being manipulated by the tyranny of social caste-based fascist, socialist, or communist dictatorships, we have in the United States the intrinsic power to strengthen our democratic country and local communities!

The Case for Reason, Science,
Humanism, and Progress

by Steven Pinker.
Viking, 2018 (556 pages)

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Louis K. Dupré.
Yale University Press, 2004
(i-xiv, 397 pages)

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You can feel less anxious and be more self-confident after you have learned the new brain vocabulary in the context of the history of the Enlightenment and modern facts about evolutionary biology, DNA, the human genome, and deep history. In addition, it is important to realize that evolutionary biologists and paleo-archaeologists have been accumulating evidence to explain the concept of evolution for more than two centuries.

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Evolution is not a theory anymore. It has become established factual knowledge among people with accurate scientific knowledge about evolution and psychology and neuroscience, in the context of our American Enlightenment Culture with its fabulous high-tech industrialization.

Scientific knowledge impacts what you know about all kinds of plants and animals. This includes humans! It is the kind of information that you learn to trust as a child from your parents and teachers about nature and your own self-awareness of the community and neighborhoods you grew up in.

The blockbuster book that propelled evolution into scientific acceptance in the Western world in just a few decades was Darwin's book, On the Origin of Species in 1859. The following information box reveals the amazing stories of the creation of the ideas of biological evolution by descent:

by Jerry A. Coyne.
Viking, 2009 (282 pages)

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Why Science and Religion
are Incompatible

by Jerry A. Coyne.
Penguin Group USA, 2015
(i-xxii, 311 pages)

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However, if your working memory function (located in your prefrontal cortex) and your long-term memory function (located in your hippocampus) were not connected by a lifeline of healthy neuronal pathways, you would not be fully self-aware and you would not be able to talk coherently. You could only confabulate, which means to make up unintelligible sentences during a conversation!

It is predicted that Alzheimer's disease will increase exponentially in the next two decades and produce a medical catastrophe much greater than the covid 19 pandemic which has killed millions of people around the world. That is because there is no Alzheimer's vaccine yet! Many victims of Alzheimer's disease do not have symptoms until vital parts of their brain have already been destroyed!

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Alzheimer's disease is the most common and most fatal form of dementia. The shockingly dreadful dilemma caused by Alzheimer's disease is that the conscious self-awareness functions of victims cannot connect with their unconscious long-term memory functions.

Medical research statisticians predict that U.S. citizens can reasonably expect catastrophic annual death rates in the coming decades in the millions, which will make the current serious covid pandemic seem more like a nosebleed than the worst pandemic of the past century!

The neuronal pathways between your prefrontal cortex and your hippocampus are known as your anterior cingulate cortex (plural: anterior cingulate cortices). These two neuronal pathways are located in the temporal lobes on the inside of your left hemisphere and the inside of your right hemisphere.

Neuronal pathways can be obstructed or disconnected in many ways. Several kinds of medical dysfunctions and diseases can obstruct the neuronal signaling of both sensory and/or motor signals that normally flow back and forth along your anterior and posterior cingulate cortex pathways from your prefrontal cortex to your hippocampus.

When these neuronal pathways are disrupted, dementia victims become progressively less aware of their past memories. The "triggers" of many of their memories are located in the hippocampus part of their limbic systems. Then their perception of reality and their self-awareness of their own sense-of-self or "self" is diminished: often to the point of no return!

Tragically, when the victims of Alzheimer's disease lose contact with their memories of the past, they forget the faces of their friends and family members and also frequently forget where they are and often they forget how to speak appropriately during conversations. If the connections are severely damaged, then the self-identity of victims becomes permanently altered. That is because essential self-defining memories cannot be recalled at will by their prefrontal cortex (executive function) part of their brain.

When victims are compelled to confabulate, they simply make up nonsensical explanations to fill the cognitive void of their fumbled conversations!

Therefore, Alzheimer's victims provide solid evidence for the mantra or meme:

"You Are Your Adaptable Memory!"

Since there is no guaranteed way of preventing Alzheimer's disease, it is important for you to maintain a healthy brain by sleeping adequately, eating well, doing regular physical exercise such as walking, and challenging yourself daily to increase your cognitive reserve. Such a proactive growth mindset of healthy activities can either reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer's or delay the pace of deterioration of your brain structures and, therefore, your mental functions far into old age.

This disturbing phenomenon, which adversely impacts increasing numbers of senior citizens each year, provides an objective causative link between the brain and the mind that needs to be understood by everyone. From this perspective, the best additional mantra or meme to repeat every day is:

"I move, therefore, I am!"

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Cognitive neuroscience has confirmed the existence of human willpower or free will. Since willpower or free will is one of your mind's dominant mental functions ("mental forces)," it gives you the ability to imagine goals and make plans for achieving them by making rational logical decisions, if you are adequately informed.

The idea that your mental functions are definable and manageable "mental forces" was first clearly described by UCLA cognitive neuroscientist, Jeffrey M. Schwartz and his co-author Sharon Begley in their book, The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force, published in 2002. And the book, Your Mind is What Your Brain Does for a Living, by Steven Jay Fogel and Mark Bruce Rosin, contains a rational explanation of personal success based upon the latest facts from brain science. The following information box has links to the two books for more detailed information:

Neuroplasticity and
the Power of Mental Force

by Jeffrey Schwartz and Sharon Begley.
ReganBooks/Harper Collins, 2002, 2003
(i-xii, 420 pages)

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Learn How to Make It Work For You
by Steven Jay Fogel
with Mark Bruce Rosin.
Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2014
(282 pages)

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The book, Your Mind is What Your Brain Does for a Living, contains a rational optimistic explanation of personal success based upon the most recently verified facts from brain science:
    Success "is awakening to your full potential as a human being, realizing that you are what you can be --- not by the criteria of money, power, fame which all comes and goes but just by your own intrinsic sense that you can feel the depths of your compassion --- now! You can feel the depths of the emptiness in your being --- now! You can feel the depth of the joy and fun and play now!

    You can feel your fears and desires now! It is as if you are awakening in the present moment just as fast as you can." (Paraphrased slightly by webmaster, 252).

    "I believe this is the definition of success for all of us: 'awakening to our full potential as human beings...' My five shorthand messages to guide your journey of self-awareness" are the following: (252)

      1. Be mindfully self-aware.

      2. Remember that the voice in your head is not you.

      3. Remember that feelings are not facts.

      4. Quiet the voice in your head.

      5. Remember that the process of self-transformation is "Gain it, Lose it, Gain it Again!"
The authors, Fogel and Rosinbook, claim that:
    "All of the insights, and all of the unexpected discoveries, come to us when we are mindfully aware. The key to 'awakening' is remembering that sometimes you will be mindful and sometimes you will go back on automatic pilot. There is no way to prevent an overload of the system that temporarily sends us back to our default position. This is the fate (slate) of being human. The goal is to spend more and more time being mindful and less and less time being run by your 'habitual machinery' (habits of thinking and feeling]. Now it is up to you!"

    You can "Write a description of your personal and professional goals."

    "Keep in mind the information you have just learned about your habitual programing and about how to change your brain to change your life."

    "Describe in writing the special areas in which being mindful is particularly challenging for you and the steps you are going to take (or are already taking) in order to be mindfully self-aware and to accomplish your cherished goals."

    "Write down the mindful step you are going to take right now to support you in accomplishing one or more of your goals."
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This new scientific perspective is known as cognitive neuroscience. The new knowledge about the true functions of human brains can be used to replace obsolete ancient traditional beliefs about the structures of human brains and the functions of human minds. Now computerized microscopes let researchers "see" smaller parts of the human nervous system than ever before. Now everyone can learn more about the smallest molecular interactions in their own brains and bodies than was ever known before by anyone in history!

Now the word connectome is used to describe all the millions of connections within the neuronal pathways of your brain and nervous system. They are what connect your sensory neuron signals (signals from your senses to your brain) to your motor neuron signals (signals from your brain to your muscles). Now for the first time, we can understand how this extremely tiny system operates in a unified interactive way.

This monumental multicultural neuroscience research project is "mapping" the human connectome. or nervous system. It is already providing great benefits for understanding the tiny microscopic causes of human behavior that were hidden from scientific observation and understanding throughout history.

Now with additional recent discoveries and insights from microbiology about the human genome, epigenetics, and jumping genes, there is indisputable evidence that we humans can control our own destinies by ourselves. The new understandings and technologies are dramatically improving medicine. The new brain research seeks better treatments for brain diseases and disorders.

When the new brain vocabulary is safely saved in your permanent long-term memory function, you will understand how your willpower or free will and creative imagination and emotional intelligence all depend upon your using specific critical thinking skills and critical reading strategies to understand the new brain vocabulary.

The goals of living long and well require that you keep fresh blood flowing through your blood vessels and keep sparks of electrochemical ionic signals flowing throughout your connectome. You will learn why it is so important to keep asking the questions "WHY?" and "HOW?"

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The new brain knowledge is based upon the newest brain information concerning the tiny intricate nano-microscopic functions of the human brain's physical structure. These previously unknown tiny brain structures make your incredible mental and emotional brain functions possible!

But "How?"

This new revolutionary humanistic idea relies on the theory of quantum effects, which is beginning to replace the old scientific reductionist and deterministic theories. Those old scientific cultural stereotypes claimed that free will is an illusion. However, in the 1960s, the experiments used to prove that delusion were based upon ignorance and, therefore, have been proven to be inadequate to explain human consciousness.

Those speculative conclusions were simply wrong. In addition, the old metaphor that the brain was like a clock or a computer with fixed wiring has been debunked by the new brain knowledge about the brain's neuroplasticity or "plasticity." It refers to your brain's natural ability to change by itself and adapt at all ages. This adaptability gives you the capacity to create a growth mindset whenever you want to!

The new brain knowledge explains how your natural willpower and creative imagination are produced by your mind's fine-tuned self-organized memories and the phenomenon of brain plasticity. In other words, your brain can "change itself by itself" — even at night when you are asleep!

This biological changeability of your evolutionary brain is the source of your adaptable mind. The data in the following information box identify the first books which described in detail the adaptability of the human mind and the brain's ability to recover from serious damage and disorders. In some cases, the brain can recover from serious damage by itself, but usually requires the help of modern medical science, education, or psychotherapy. The following information box has links to more details:

Free yourself from
obsessive-compulsive behavior.

by Jeffrey M. Schwartz.
HarperPerennial, 1996, 2016
20th Anniversary rev. ed. (288 pages)

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The 4-step solution for changing
bad habits, ending unhealthy thinking
and taking control of your life

by Jeffrey Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding.
Avery/Penguin Group, 2011
(362 pages)

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How a New Science
Reveals Our Extraordinary
Potential to Transform Ourselves

by Sharon Begley
Ballantine Books, 2007
(i-viii, 283 pages)

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How Its Unique Patterns Affect
the Way You Think, feel, and Live:
and How You Can Change Them.

by Richard J. Davidson
and Sharon Begley.
Hudson Street Press, 2012
(i-xviii, 279 pages)

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Stories of Personal Triumph
from the Frontiers of Brain Science

by Norman Doidge.
Viking, 2007 (i-xvi, 427 pages)

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The Breakthrough Program for
Conquering Anxiety, Depression,
Obsessiveness, Lack of Focus,
Anger, and Memory Problems

by Daniel G. Amen. Harmony, 2015,
revised and expanded (352 pages)

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Plasticity is your brain's natural ability to change by itself and adapt at all ages. It gives you the capacity to create a "growth mindset" whenever you want to do it. The new brain knowledge of the past few years explains more completely than ever before in human history how the human brain and nervous system are connected at the very tiny nano-microscopic scale and how you can take advantage of this phenomenal fact.

In addition, a detailed description of the "whole-brain" model of decision-making (rational thinking) that is emphasized on this website is presented in Section 2 of the Introduction. It provides an evidence-based way for all family members to discover the Alphabetical Brain™ Vocabulary by using their own intelligence and personal knowledge to share in the adventure of gaining this new knowledge. It is a good way for all family members to create stronger bonds of trust and kindness as they learn to share the age-appropriate brain facts together — from the youngest to the oldest family members or classmates.

The new brain research explains the objective biological and psychological facts about your subjective perceptions about yourself! This new factual basis of knowing your secular self (sense-of-self or self) can save you countless unproductive hours of anxiety and much worry throughout your lifetime.

But you must learn how to separate false ideas about reality, based upon the traditional "fixed mindset" of the past compared to the correct true modern "growth mindset," which emphasizes reliance on personal knowledge and life-long-learning!

As you grew up, you may not have been taught about the vast potential of your natural intelligence and creativity without the need to believe in mystical spiritualism of one sort or another. It is definitely known now that your brain gives you the superpower of your mind's mental functions or mental forces. Every idea you have is associated with emotions that you remember as feelings. Now you can learn to control your emotions and habits with your immense potential to educate yourself. This website can help you develop personal knowledge about your unique natural willpower or free will and your creative imagination.

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This new brain knowledge of the past 100 years explains more completely than ever before in history how the human brain and nervous system are connected at the very tiny nano-microscopic scale. In addition, the science-based whole-brain model of explaining the mental functions of thinking and decision-making is emphasized on this website. More details are revealed and linked in Sections 2-4 of the Introduction.

Now it is known that your mind's mental functions or "mental forces" (brainpower) can control your emotions and habits, if you have the personal knowledge that includes facts about your natural willpower and creative imagination.

To summarize, the new brain research explains the objective biological sources of your subjective self-awareness of your sense-of-self (secular self or self). In addition, the detailed explanations provide an evidence-based way for parents and teachers to use the new brain knowledge to teach children about the significance of the structures of their brains and the vast potential of the mental functions of their minds!

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SUMMARY: The purpose of this website is to assist you in understanding your brain's physical structures and your mind's mental functions. It explains how the new scientific brain vocabulary can improve the quality of your reasoning ability and your creative imagination. This can give you more effective control over your own thoughts and feelings and behavior.

RECOMMENDATION: You may print this essay and read it and edit it by adding or deleting brain ideas. Then you can read your edited version by using an effective reinforcement schedule such as the flash-card technique or the spaced-repetition method of memorization --- or both --- to speed up your learning of the new brain ideas and their interactions. Such deep introspection can strengthen your willpower and increase your self-esteem and dramatically change your adaptable self-image or identity.

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You Are Your Adaptable Memory!
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Introduction - Section 2 - Details

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