ALPHABETICAL BRAIN® VOCABULARY
HUMANIST FAMILY BRAIN STUDY

DISCOVER YOUR ALPHABETICAL BRAIN®

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INTRODUCTION - SECTION 1 - DETAILS

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE
ALPHABETICAL BRAIN® WEBSITE?

May 25, 2022

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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 natural willpower and your awesome unique ability to imagine, reason, and remember.

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

To brain scientists, the idea of "categorizing" or "departmentalizing" a group of ideas about your brain or your mind is called "chunking." When you chunk brain knowledge, you are saving and assembling ideas deliberately in your long-term memory consolidation system.

During the past few centuries only a few hundred people had a partial view of what the brain and mind are. Then, during the last century only a few thousand neuroscientists knew a few details about how healthy brains and minds worked. Now, during the 21st century hundreds of thousands of educated scientists know exactly what most brain structures are and how average minds function.

All of the human beings who have ever lived before never knew the value and meaning of knowing brain knowledge. Therefore, they had far less self-control over their lives and livelihoods than an educated brain-savvy enlightened person does today!

This website is designed to add coherence and authenticity to the fundamental new brain knowledge created by scientists which is known as cognitive neuroscience or "brain science."

This new way of thinking and feeling is fully aligned with altruistic optimistic progressive liberal ethical assumptions and humanistic values. It assumes that all citizens have "agency" or the freedom and dignity to be respected as full participating voting members of our democratic society and lifestyle.

This view holds as long as people do no crime and use their brains to actively cooperate and share their knowledge with others.

This kind of freedom involves personal empowerment which was guaranteed first by the U.S. Constitution and then by the Bill of Rights. Educated citizens can now use the new brain vocabulary to become smart enough to decode the technical language which describes the newest brilliant discoveries made by brain scientists.

In addition, the brain vocabulary is being continuously expanded by neuro-scientists, evolutionary biologists, cognitive psychologists, neuro-sociologists, and neuro-philosophers. All of these different kinds of scientists and philosophers are discovering and naming new sensible pragmatic ways to think about human brains and human minds as distinct entities, which the Alphabetical Brain® Vocabulary aptly describes.

In brief, this website describes how you, as a citizen, can optimize your mind's mental functions in order to reason more logically and act more wisely to achieve your cherished goals and support democracy. This essential new brain knowledge must be consciously understand in its full scientific and philosophic linguistic contexts. And it involves what modern professional historians and linguists agree is one of humanity's greatest achievements: namely, a stable alphabet and an inclusive written language, which American English epitomizes more than any other language.

In other words, our consciousness and self-awareness are made possible by our versatile alphabet and vast vocabulary. Additionally, the diversity of Americans makes our country great because of the enormous variety of our multi-cultural intellectual resources. This is our human cognitive advantage.

To clarify this idea, our diversity of multi-cultural perspectives in conjunction with the amazing American English alphabet and our American English multi-cultural vocabulary are the most significant identifiable causes of our exceptional human intelligence and American national identity.

The singular essential cultural advantage caused by our great American alphabet and multi-cultural vocabulary facilitates the transfer of human knowledge from one generation to another!

Even though other languages also transfer human knowledge from one generation to another, ours does it much better for many historic reasons. During the past two centuries, millions of immigrants from many different countries have contributed to the growth of our American English language. Now we have more effective sensible words for describing reality than any other country since thousands of new practical scientific words have been integrated into the American English language along with many democratic political words.

All U.S. citizens have the strongest legal protections as they live diverse human lives protected by constitutional laws written down with words. Unfortunately, the secular power represented by our U.S. Constitution, which is based upon the principle of the separation of church and state, is usually not obvious because of the somewhat hidden religious origins of our American education system and the rigid bureaucratic structure of our government and American colleges and universities during the past two centuries. They have been and still are largely based upon the false myth of white male supremacy!

Nevertheless, it is now known scientifically that the significant causes of your mind's mental functions are an understandable sequence of dynamic interactive biological feedback and feedforward loops and other microscopic cellular processes in our brains that are directly influenced by the cumulative impact over time of our existential psycho-social cultural experiences and social situations.

The insights in the first book, The Optimist's Telescope, describe the willful actions of people who exercised foresight against the odds they faced to move forward. The stories and research in the book reveal five key lessons for our chaotic age. Each lesson is a strategy that has specific tactics whose power you can use to shape the future. What was believed once to be deterministic and inevitable about "human nature" is now understood by many brain scientists to be the result of choices and decisions made in the past because of willpower or free will.

The other three books --- [1] Humankind: A Hopeful History; [2] Beyond Human Nature: How Culture and Experience Shape the Human Mind; and [3] Brain Bugs: How the Brain's Flaws Shape Our Lives, --- describe how cultural influences control "human behavior" far more than heredity and DNA. Basically, your destiny is influenced everyday largely by your "cognitive tools," which are used for survival (healthy living) and reproduction (either biological or social).


      To learn the Five Key Lessons
      for shaping your own optimistic
      self-identity in this chaotic age
      of turbulent change, link up
      and cherish the new information:
OPTIMIST'S TELESCOPE:
Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age.
by Bina Venkataraman.
Riverhead Books, 2019
(i-xvi, 318 pages)

instantly go to:
OPTIMIST'S TELESCOPE

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      To learn the Ten Rules to Live By
      for shaping your own optimistic
      self-identity in this chaotic age
      of turbulent change, link up
      and cherish the new information:
HUMANKIND:
A Hopeful History.
by Rutger Bregman
Little, Brown, and Company,
2011 (310 pages)

instantly go to:
HUMANKIND

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      Since cultural psychology is more
      influential in determining your behavior
      than the DNA in your Genome, link up
      and cherish the new information:
BEYOND HUMAN NATURE:
How Culture and Experience
Shape the Human Mind

by Jessie J. Prinz.
W. W. Norton, 2012
(i-xii, 402 pages)

instantly go to:
BEYOND HUMAN NATURE

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      To counteract your "Brain Bugs"
      and "blind spots" (weaknesses) use
      your cognitive tools to create an
      optimistic self-identity in this chaotic
      age of turbulent change by linking up
      and cherishing the new information:
BRAIN BUGS:
How the Brain's Flaws
Shape Our Lives

by Dean Buonomano.
2011 (310 pages)

instantly go to:
BRAIN BUGS


This new enlightenment (self-awareness) of the true causes of human consciousness can be learned and controlled by you in collaboration with your family, friends, and business associates. Such evidence-based new brain knowledge can give you a new ability to imagine creative goals and make rational decisions by using your critical thinking skills and your critical reading strategies.

You can use the new brain vocabulary of names and definitions expressed by words to change your customary habits of thinking and socializing. This new self-understanding (revelation) can give you the educated fresh capacity for self-awareness and also self-empowerment.

Then you can organize your own thoughts and feelings to personalize your own plans and achieve your own unique goals. If you have the courage to choose to grow in self-awareness and self-discovery, the series of cognitive processes on this website can empower you to use your natural willpower and your creative imagination to feel positive and eager to help others. These fundamental "mental forces" can strengthen your logical ability to imagine, reason, and remember.

Evolving your personal adaptable tacit knowledge is really simple, if you learn how to motivate yourself to do it!

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WILLPOWER = FREE WILL
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Today, brain science has confirmed the existence of your natural willpower. It is important to realize that free will is one of the dominant mental functions of your mind. Your own willpower and creative imagination can empower you to challenge and change traditional "fixed mindsets" (social customs) and invent new "open mindsets" of healthy personal attitudes and habits, when necessary.

The factual basis of your natural willpower and creative imagination is the ability to choose between cultural alternatives (social rules) within your kinship group, or your wider community. Your own family group by birth, or your social group by education, is now often called your "tribe" or "identity" within the color-coded political and racial caste system in the United States. Nevertheless, your new behavior patterns can be controlled directly by your own natural willpower with no need for any help or intervention from unknown gods or goddesses or spiritual super powers.

What you need is only your own ability to learn how to think rationally and feel and remember the new brain knowledge in the context of the new possibilities for your personal humanistic growth. This powerful way of learning and remembering new things is used daily by all kinds of professionals and amateurs alike.

For example, athletes, teachers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, parents, and especially children, all create and perfect their developmental physical and mental skill-sets every day. You can choose to learn the new brain knowledge in order to optimize your mental functions in exactly the same way that all ingenious innovators and resourceful improvisors use their minds every day.

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 self-identity (sense-of-self or secular-self or self) can be reinforced by remembering the new brain knowledge in your long-term memory consolidation system for safe keeping.

You can motivate yourself by repeatedly recalling the following powerful mantra/meme:

"Use your flexible neuroplastic mind
or lose its infinite adaptability!"


The first two links are to an essay and a book, Willpower, about willpower or free will. They provide the best modern analysis and explanation of the different levels of causation involved in understanding the cultural context and the human source of your natural willpower or free will.



From SLATE online magazine,
September 2013

by Roy F. Baumeister

instantly go to:
YOU REALLY DO
HAVE FREE WILL


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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:
WILLPOWER:
Rediscovering the
Greatest Human Strength

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

instantly go to:
WILLPOWER


A brief paraphrased summary of highlights by the webmaster from the first link above follows. It summarizes the best argument or rational proof that defends the reality of your natural willpower or free will:
    "Willpower or self-control --- which human beings 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 impulses." (Slightly paraphrased by webmaster from above linked essay)
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Willpower is really real, but only if you "train your brain" to optimize your mind's mental functions. A good motivation booster is the following mantra/meme:

"Use your willpower to increase self-esteem or
deny your free will and decrease self-esteem!"


To optimize your mind's mental fitness, you must learn to properly use the definitions of a few specific new contextualized brain vocabulary words. They are contained in the factual scientific language of brain research.

Also, you can learn why these new facts about your brain and mind are so important to sustain your motivation and create your personal vision of the future. By learning the meaning of the new brain vocabulary, you can better predict your personal future behavior and better achieve your future goals. In brief, you can investigate some of the traditional "stories" about history that you were taught many years ago when you were a dependent child. And you may need to forget some of the old myths or traditional tales that have no believable logical meaning anymore in our science-oriented society. The stories were probably part of your childhood socialization process and were not true then and are still not true now.

Now you do not need to believe in a god or goddess or some mysterious unknown spiritual deity of one sort or another in order to create a long fulfilling life for yourself. No matter what cultural or ethnic group, or social class or caste system, you were born into, you can transcend the social status of your birth family or birth community when you take advantage of modern humanistic educational opportunities.

But you may need to be careful about which educational or professional or political institutions you choose to be influenced by, since many do not have secular organizational values and might compel you to uphold devious cult values. Nevertheless, with sensible rational effort you can acquire sufficient knowledge to transcend your birth status.

To repeat, now you do not need to fortify your self-awareness or moral conscience by believing in imaginary magical spiritual supernatural beings anymore. In Charles Darwin's time, they were called "animal spirits." As late as the end of the 19th century, there were many psychic quack hucksters influencing vulnerable mourning people to pay money to allegedly contact recently dead relatives.

In summary, you can use the new brain vocabulary to great advantage when you discuss consequential personal and social issues and make important decisions with your family, friends, and business associates. You can use the definitions in the brain vocabulary to describe who you are (your authentic secular self) and who you want to become (your potential future ideal secular self).

A very helpful motivation booster is the following amazing mantra/meme:

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


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CONSTRUCTED EMOTIONS
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You can learn about the new brain idea called "Constructed Emotions" by Lisa Feldman Barrett and her research team. You can visit her blog and view her TED Talks for more details about her new theory and read the book outlines and reviews of two of her books, How Emotions Are Made and 7 1/2 Lessons About the Brain, which are linked in the following information box:


HOW EMOTIONS ARE MADE:
The Secret Life of the Brain
by Lisa Feldman Barrett,
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017
(i-xv, 425 pages)

Click or Tap to Outline and Reviews

HOW EMOTIONS ARE MADE

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SEVEN AND A HALF
LESSONS ABOUT THE BRAIN

by Lisa Feldman Barrett,
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020
(i-x, 180 pages)

Click or Tap to Outline and Reviews

SEVEN AND A HALF
LESSONS ABOUT THE BRAIN



The new theory of "Constructed Emotions" is directly related to the new research-based brain idea that memories can be deliberately changed if you "edit" them when you recall them. Nevertheless, if you are healthy enough, and not suffering from brain-damage due to misinformation, trauma, or concussions, you can decide to remember positive memories in a new emotionally intelligent linguistic context for future use. Or, you can forget negative memories forever, while remembering why they are now useless.

It is now known that every memory you can recall is tangled up with feelings that you may have unconsciously associated with past behavior or experiences at the time you originally memorized them. Barrett's books explain how you can either enhance positive memories or forget negative memories about your experiences from the past. You can do this by simply changing your emotional associations with them.

This new way of thinking about emotions and self-control can eventually become an automatic habitual way of thinking. It can help you purposefully adjust your previously learned emotionally-charged long-term memories of the past. Modern humanistic neuro-psychology describes this essential adult striving for new meanings during adulthood as self-actualization and self-transcendence.

Otherwise, you may be compelled to perpetually repeat old useless memories which can stymie your progress toward achieving adult self-actualization and self-transcendence. In other words, any patterns of apathy or procrastination may be due simply to your own "learned helplessness." Such an old dysfunctional habit can be changed by you if you have the courage to adapt to new conditions in your life.

The new "brain-knowledge mindset" of self-control skills are especially important when old memories or new experiences make it necessary for you to decide to change your behavior. With respect to any past negative memories, you can intentionally arouse old memories in your consciousness in the present moment and then choose to remember them in a more vivid positive context. Or, you can choose to forget such dysfunctional memories forever!

Importantly, you can learn how to "reconstruct memories" correctly by repeatedly associating them with thoughts about your desired new behavior. This critical thinking procedure can reinforce any new memories.

In relation to the traditional "fixed mindsets" of the past, you can replace the feelings of negativity with healthy new memories. They can strengthen your self-esteem in the context of creating a fresh new "growth mindset" that is based upon current emotions stimulated by the present moment.

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CIRCLE OF CONSCIOUSNESS SYMBOL©
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At the beginning of your brain study, it is important to know why the emphasis of this website is on the connection between the memory functions of your working (short-term) memory system and your long-term memory consolidation system.

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

CIRCLE OF CONSCIOUSNESS SYMBOL©

Circle-of-Consciousness-Symbol
You may notice immediately that Brain-Idea #1 and Brain-Idea #15 are next to each other on the circle. This fact can remind you that they are both inseparably connected inside your brain. Since your working (short-term) memory system is located in your prefrontal cortex and your "long-term memory consolidation system is located in your hippocampus, they must be permanently connected by a healthy lifeline of neuronal pathways. This connection is essential for you to be able to control your own behavior and enhance your adaptable self-identity (sense-of-self or secular-self or self) on a daily basis.

Otherwise, you would not be able to recognize your relatives and friends or talk coherently. This kind of babbling is called "confabulating."

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MEDICAL DISASTER AHEAD!
FUTURE CATASTROPHE IF PEOPLE
ARE NOT AWARE OF THEIR OWN
BRAIN FUNCTIONS

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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 mental functions of victims cannot connect with both of their conscious and unconscious long-term memory consolidation system.

If your working (short-time) memory system (located in your prefrontal cortex) and your long-term memory consolidation system (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 would only be able to "confabulate," which means that you would only be able to make up unintelligible sentences during a conversation.

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. It is predicted that the number of cases of Alzheimer's disease will increase exponentially in the next two decades and produce a medical catastrophe much greater than the major multi-year covid pandemic in the United States. 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 brains have already been destroyed!

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 insides of both your left and right hemispheres.

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. 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 also forget how to speak appropriately during conversations.

Their perception of reality and their self-awareness (consciousness) of their own self-identity is diminished --- often to the point of no return. Tragically, if the connections are severely damaged, then the self-identity of victims becomes permanently altered. This is because essential self-defining memories cannot be recalled at will by the prefrontal cortex (the executive function) part of their brains. These victims are compelled to confabulate, which is making up nonsensical explanations to fill the cognitive void during fumbled conversations.

Therefore, Alzheimer's victims provide clear evidence of the importance of making the following declarative statement a useful mantra/meme:

"Your self-identity depends on keeping the
nerves connecting your working memory
and your long-term memory healthy!"


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, another good mantra/meme to repeat daily is:

"I think, therefore, I can feel;
and I move, therefore, I will live longer"


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NEUROPLASTICITY MEANS
CHANGE YOUR BRAIN,
CHANGE YOUR MIND,
CHANGE YOUR LIFE

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The fundamental fact that explains what causes your adaptable self-identity are the scientific words themselves with their intrinsic scientific meanings. The brain research which is described by patterns of words has allowed scientists to discover and report on the brain's physical structures and the mind's mental functions. Now we know what your brain's structures are and what your mind functions do!

This new enlightened self-awareness makes it possible for you to chunk brain and mind facts and ideas into separate categories. Then you will not be confused about the sources of the causation of your willful conscious behavior and your intuitive unconscious behavior.

Your deliberate decision can help you reframe your present thinking so you will be able to create your future behavior and flourish happily now and in the future.

This strategic decision is based partly on the solid evidence presented in the book "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman. It was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, in 2013 and is one of the most important books about thinking ever written, and especially consumer economics. Kahneman's second blockbuster book is "Noise in Decision Making," which was written with two coauthors, business professor Sibony and legal scholar Sunsein. The book explores the bias and "noise" that cause errors in human judgment. It explains the way "variability in judgments that should be identical" can be combined with one's own biases, either consciously or not, and thus cause human error. The authors offer noise-reduction strategies such as "decision hygiene." For example, on strategy involves sequencing information to reduce the possibility of confirmation bias. That is a major technique used in forensic science analyses, where examiners get "only the information they need when they need it."

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COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE:
DETAILS, SOURCES, AND QUOTATIONS

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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 primitive 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!

The new 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 multi-cultural 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 the 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 as the new brain research seeks better treatments for brain diseases and cognitive disorders.

After the new brain vocabulary is safely saved in your permanent long-term memory function, you will understand how your natural willpower (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 prospering require that you keep fresh blood flowing through your blood vessels and keep sparks of electrochemical ionic signals flowing throughout your connectome.


COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE
OF LANGUAGE

by David Kemmerer.
Psychology Press/Taylor and French,
2015 (599 pages)

Click or Tap to Outline and Reviews

COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE
OF LANGUAGE



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WESTERN ENLIGHTENMENT CULTURE
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The foundational scaffolding ideas of the core brain knowledge can be learned in a few days or a few weeks depending upon how much time you devote to the project, and how many useless things you choose to forget.

Then the rest of the detailed information about your amazing brain and your incredible mind can be integrated into your evolving new specialized brain vocabulary and also your general vocabulary about Western Enlightenment Culture in the perspectives of deep history, nature, earth, and the universe.

Once you are clear about the true source of your adaptable self-identity and your natural willpower (free will), you will be able to appreciate how important the Western Enlightenment Culture has been. It has made possible our human ability to create and even transcend our previously learned childhood values in order to create and sustain our adult democratic values and form of government through research and the invention of new words to describe new facts about the human brain and body and society.

Instead of being manipulated by the tyranny of social caste-based fascist, socialist, or communist dictatorships, democrats in the United States have struggled to strengthen our Constitutional rights and responsibilities in national politics and to apply ethical utilitarian social welfare policies as fairly as possible to citizens who need them to develop themselves.



ENLIGHTENMENT NOW:
The Case for Reason, Science,
Humanism, and Progress

by Stephen Pinker.
Viking, 2018 (556 pages)

instantly go to:
ENLIGHTENMENT NOW

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AMERICAN ENLIGHTENMENTS:
Pursuing Happiness
in the Age of Reason

by Caroline Winterer.
Yale University Press,
2016 (i-x, 355 pages)
[The Lewis Walpole Series in
18th-Century Culture and History]

instantly go to:
AMERICAN ENLIGHTENMENTS

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ENLIGHTENMENT AND THE
INTELLECTUAL FOUNDATIONS
OF MODERN CULTURE

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

instantly go to:
ENLIGHTENMENT AND THE
INTELLECTUAL FOUNDATIONS
OF MODERN CULTURE



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 A FACT
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Evolution is not a "theory" anymore! It is established factual knowledge now among people with accurate knowledge about evolution, psychology, and neuroscience in the context of our American Enlightenment Culture with its fabulous industrialized high-technology economy.

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

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


WHY EVOLUTION IS TRUE
by Jerry A. Coyne.
Viking, 2009 (282 pages)

instantly go to:
WHY EVOLUTION IS TRUE

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FAITH vs. FACT:
Why Science and Religion
are Incompatible

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

instantly go to:
FAITH vs. FACT


First, the best known neuroscientist in the world, former UC Irvine professor, Daniel Amen, who is featured on many PBS infomercials promoting his many books, got his first public recognition with his book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.

Second, the idea that your mind's mental functions are definable and manageable "mental forces," and also distinct from your brain's physical structures, was first clearly described widely in the popular mass media by UCLA cognitive neuroscientist, Jeffrey M. Schwartz and his co-author Sharon Begley in their book, The Mind and the Brain. It was published in 2002.

Third, 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 newest facts from brain science.

The following information box contains links to the three books, which present and integrate information about the new brain vocabulary:



Book #1:
CHANGE YOUR BRAIN,
CHANGE YOUR LIFE:

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)

instantly go to:
CHANGE YOUR BRAIN,
CHANGE YOUR LIFE


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Book # 2:
THE MIND AND THE BRAIN:
Neuroplasticity and the
Power of Mental Force

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

instantly go to:
THE MIND AND THE BRAIN

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Book #3:
YOUR MIND IS WHAT YOUR
BRAIN DOES FOR A LIVING:

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

instantly go to:
YOUR MIND IS WHAT YOUR
BRAIN DOES FOR A LIVING



SUMMARY OF PRACTICAL IDEAS

BOOK #1 by Dr. Daniel Amen from his book: CHANGE YOUR BRAIN, CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

An outline of Chapter 11 --- from Daniel Amen's first book based on research involving thousands of brain scans --- Achieving Total Focus: Prefrontal Cortex Prescriptions (starting on page 188 the book discusses how to use the "One-Page Miracle" ("OPM") strategy of staying focused on an important goal can help you stay totally focused on a clearly defined goal, which is essential for success. (page 194).

Daniel Amen said: "Specifically, we need to know who we are and what we want to accomplish in our relationships, at work, and within ourselves. When we know what we want, we are more likely to change our behavior to get it; being goal-directed helps keep our behavior and choices on track." (page 194)
    note 1 = Daniel Amen said: "Making goals that you can focus on daily will make a big difference in your life." Goal-setting is for now and it is very specific. (page 194)

    note 2 = Daniel Amen said: The "One-Page Miracle" goal-setting exercise can help guide nearly all of your thoughts, words, and actions. (page 194)

    note 3 = Daniel Amen said: "Take one sheet of paper and clearly write the following main headings and subheadings:" (194-195)

    note = Daniel Amen said: "When you separate your behavior into the four areas: RELATIONSHIPS, WORK, MONEY, and SELF, you will be able to achieve a more balanced approach to life." (195)
[1] RELATIONSHIPS:
    (1) Spouse/Partner/Lover

    (2) Children

    (3) Extended Family

    (4) Friends
[2] WORK:

[3] MONEY:

[4] SELF:
    (1) Body (Definition by webmaster includes brain's physical structure as well as the physical structure of the rest of your body)

    (2) Mind (Definition by webmaster is that your "mental forces" are caused by mental functions inside your body)

    (3) Spirit (Definition by webmaster is that your "constructed emotions" are under the control of your mental functions inside your body)

      note = Daniel Amen said: "Next to each subheading, write down what is important to you in that area. Then, write what you want, not what you do not want!"

      note = Daniel Amen said: "Be positive and write in the first person." Also keep a copy with you for several days so you can work on it over time. (195)

      note = Daniel Amen said: "After you finish the first draft, place the paper where you can see it every day. You should update it frequently. This makes it easier for you to supervise yourself and to match your behavior to get what you want." (195)

      note = Daniel Amen said: "Your life will become more [self-aware], and you will spend your energy on goals that are important to you."
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BOOK #2 = by Jeffrey Schwartz and Sharon Begley from their book THE MIND AND THE BRAIN: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force. The book explains the discovery of the idea of brain plasticity at any age and the utility of using the term "mental force" to more dramatically describe the mind's amazing mental functions.

Notes from the book and the publisher's description of the book: "Conventional science has long held the position that the mind is merely an illusion; a side effect of electrochemical activity in the physical brain. This book argues exactly the opposite; namely, that the mind has a life of its own."

"Jeffrey Schwartz, a leading researcher in brain dysfunctions, and Wall Street Journal science columnist Sharon Begley demonstrate that the human mind is an independent entity, which can shape and control the functioning of the physical brain. Their work has its basis in the newly emerging understanding of adult neuroplasticity. Plasticity is the brain's ability to be rewired not just in childhood, but throughout life. This trait has just recently been established by neuroscientists."

"Through decades of work treating patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), Schwartz made an extraordinary finding: while following the therapy he developed. His patients were effecting significant and lasting changes in their own neural pathways. It became a scientific first: by actively focusing their attention away from negative behaviors and toward more positive ones, his patients were using their minds to reshape their brains. They were discovering a thrilling new dimension to the concept of neuroplasticity." (Paraphrased slightly by webmaster from publisher's description)

"The book follows Schwartz as he investigates this newly discovered power, which he calls "self-directed neuroplasticity" or, more simply, "mental forces." It describes his work with noted physicist Henry Stapp and it connects the concept of mental force with the ancient practice of mindfulness in Buddhist tradition. This idea suggests that potential new applications could transform the treatment of almost every variety of neurological dysfunction, from dyslexia to stroke. And it could lead to new strategies to help us harness our mental powers." (Paraphrased slightly by webmaster from publisher's description)

"Yet as wondrous as these implications are, perhaps even more important is the philosophical dimension of Schwartz's research results. He discovered the existence of the 'mental force' which offers convincing scientific evidence for human free will, and thus of the inherent capacity of human moral choice. (Paraphrased slightly by webmaster from publisher's description)

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BOOK #3 = by Fogel and Rosin from their book: YOUR MIND IS WHAT YOUR BRAIN DOES FOR A LIVING. It contains a rational optimistic explanation of how you can achieve personal success by optimizing your mind's mental functions which are described as "mental forces" in the book.
    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 (state) 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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BRAIN NEUROPLASTICITY AND
THE POSITIVE GROWTH MINDSET

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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 mind's incredible mental and emotional unctions possible.

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 delusional idea were based upon ignorance. But now brain scientists know the true knowledge that free will exists and is caused by human brains and educated human minds.

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 "synaptic plasticity" or "plasticity." This idea 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 desire to do it.

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 synaptic 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 links 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 by re-wiring brain structures to overcome injuries. In some cases, the brain can recover from serious damage by itself, but usually it requires the help of modern medical science through rigorous education or psychotherapy.

The following information box has links to five of the best books that popularized the new brain knowledge. They reported the new ideas about your brain and mind in the most practical language and comprehensive vocabularies so you can understand how your mental functions work. You can learn why it is so important to keep asking the questions "why?" and "how?" in the linguistic context of your study of your brain and your mind. A good way to begin learning is to use this Alphabetical Brain® Vocabulary:



BRAIN LOCK:
Free yourself from
obsessive-compulsive behavior.

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

instantly go to:
BRAIN LOCK:

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YOU ARE NOT YOUR BRAIN:
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)

instantly go to:
YOU ARE NOT YOUR BRAIN:

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TRAIN YOUR MIND,
CHANGE YOUR BRAIN:

How a New Science
Reveals Our Extraordinary
Potential to Transform Ourselves

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

instantly go to:
TRAIN YOUR MIND,
CHANGE YOUR BRAIN


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EMOTIONAL LIFE OF YOUR BRAIN:
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)

instantly go to:
EMOTIONAL LIFE
OF YOUR BRAIN


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THE BRAIN THAT
CHANGES ITSELF:

Stories of Personal Triumph
from the Frontiers of Brain Science

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

instantly go to:
THE BRAIN THAT
CHANGES ITSELF



Synaptic neuroplasticity 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. This new brain knowledge of the past few years explains more completely than ever before in human history how your human brain and your nervous system are connected at the very tiny nano-microscopic scale. By understanding this foundation knowledge, you will be able to easilyy learn more about how you can take advantage of these phenomenal facts and ideas about your mind's mental functions or "mental forces."

The new brain research explains the objective biological and psychological facts about your subjective perceptions about yourself. This new factual basis fo understanding your adaptable self-identity (sense-of-self or secular-self or self) can save you countless unproductive hours of anxiety and traumatic worry throughout your lifetime, if you now believe in traditional magical mythical incorrect ideas about reality.

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

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 will be abler to control your own emotions and habits with your new brain knowledge about yourself!

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. Now it is known in more detail that your mind's mental functions can control your emotions and habits, if you have the personal knowledge that includes facts about your natural willpower and creative imagination. 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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REMEMBER ALWAYS:
You Are Your Adaptable Memory!
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instantly go to:
Introduction - Section 2 - Details
WHAT DOES THE ALPHABETICAL
BRAIN® SYMBOL MEAN?


or instantly return to:
INDEX TO THE INTRODUCTION
SECTION 1 - SUMMARY LINK


ALPHABETICAL BRAIN® VOCABULARY

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Infinite Interactive Ideas®