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Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

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f190792af99d26dbe81be25e8bffb3a3_250pxAlice-in-Wonderland-Syndrome, or AIWS, is a perceptual disorder where objects or people may seem to be out of proportion, different in size than they should be, colored strangely, or too far or too close away. The size disturbances include micropsia, where the object being looked at appears too small and macropsia, where objects seem too large. Sometimes, objects seem farther away than they should be, as in teleopsia.
If the problem is not in size or distance, it can even involve color, as in achromatopsia, where there is no perception of color. When the hallucination involves people, the person can appear too small, as in Lilliputian hallucinations (yes, this is the name of the disorder).

In a sufferer, the eye is normal and there are no defects that would lead to the perceptual distortions associated with the disorder. Instead, the problems lay in the brain. There are theories that the disorder can arise during Epstein-Barr viral infection, which causes infectious mononucleosis (IM).

Sufferers of chronic migraines have reported visual disturbances that occur prior to onset of migraine pain. AIWS is sometimes associated with these hallucinogenic migraines. The AIWS episodes can occur even without the pain of a migraine. It is not fully known why AIWS occurs, especially when it is in conjunction with migraines.

One other possible cause of AIWS is temporal lobe epilepsy. As the name implies, the temporal lobes of the brain are involved. The temporal lobes, which are at the sides of your brain, control the brain’s language center, and are an important area in auditory processing. Why AIWS may be associated with this form of epilepsy is also unknown.

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Talking to yourself may be a good thing

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It is often said that people who talk to themselves must be crazy. This is not necessarily true as a new study has shown. Charles Choi has reported for Live Science “Talk to Yourself? Why You’re Not Crazy.” Researchers have found that talking to yourself might not mean you are crazy and that this can actually benefit thinking and perception.

Scientists have said that people often talk to themselves, with most doing so at least every few days. Many people even report talking to themselves on an hourly basis. Although the action of talking to oneself may appear to be irrational muttering, previous research has shown that self-directed speech can help guide children’s behavior. Kids often talk to themselves to help guide themselves step-by-step through tasks such as tying their shoelaces, with the self talking apparently reminding themselves to focus on the job at hand.

Keep Reading: Talking to yourself may be a good thing – National health | Examiner.com.

Thoughts of death may be associated with a good life

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There has been a tendency to take the position that thoughts of death are associated with depression and associated negative health consequences. However, according to a new analysis of recent scientific studies thinking about death can actually be a good thing. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology has discussed this topic in the article “How Thinking About Death Can Lead to a Good Life.”

Thoughts about death can actually be a good thing which can help us re-prioritize our goals and values. It appears that even non-conscious thinking about death, such as walking by a cemetery, could prompt positive changes and promote the helping of others. Past research generally suggests that thinking about death is destructive and dangerous and sets off everything from prejudice and greed to violence. These studies which have been related to terror management theory (TMT) have rarely explored the potential benefits of being aware of death.

Keep Reading: Thoughts of death may be associated with a good life – National health | Examiner.com.

NLP and reading people’s eyes

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NLP or neuro linguistic programming is a controversial area of psychology that deals with how our thought processes relate to our bodies and our body movements. One of the most interesting aspects of NLP has to do with the subject of “eye accessing cues”. According to NLP theory the human eye moves in unique ways depending on what a person is thinking about.

American psychologist William James first suggested the idea that eye movements might be related to our thought processes in 1890. Robert Dilts, Richard Bandler, and John Grinder later expanded upon the theory in the 1970s.

According to the neurological research conducted by Dilts, Bandler, and Grinder our eyes move both laterally (left and right) and vertically (up and down) depending upon what types of thoughts our brain is processing.

NLP defines various quadrants or directions of human eye movement. When our eyes move laterally to the left, it is called “visual remembering” and it means we are attempting to recall or remember something. For example, if someone were asked, “What color was your first car?” we would expect their eyes to move the left, actually to the left and slightly upwards, since they are recalling an “image”. (The upward movement in the eye indicates that the information that is being recalled is “visual” or some type of image.)

Keep Reading: NLP and reading people’s eyes – Philadelphia Mental Health | Examiner.com.

Expressing past events in present tense preserves original emotion

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Will Hart of the University of Alabama conducted several experiments to determine how the way a person expresses or retells emotionally charged past events effects the storytellers mood. The four experiments involved asking participants to recall positive, negative and neutral events, reports the Association for Psychological Science.

Results of the study concluded that when a past negative event is described as though it were still happening – or in the present tense – participant’s moods remained negative. When describing the event as though it had already occurred – or in the past tense – the participants felt more positive. The same held true of describing positive events that have occurred in the past, with the present tense preserving the positive feeling.

The study by Will Hart, which will appear in a future issue of Psychological Science, concluded that one way to alleviate negative feelings is to phrase any discussion of negative events in the past tense, while using the present tense to describe positive events.

This appears to confirm the practice of New Age followers of the Law of Attraction that encourages participants to phrase dreams and goals in the present tense, as though they have already been achieved.

Keep Reading: Expressing past events in present tense preserves original emotion – Bangor new age | Examiner.com.

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