Austrian psychiatrist Hans Berger wanted to know if brain electricity can be recorded. In 1908, he invented a machine to record electric current (brainwaves). Berger’s initial device was not sophisticated, but it is because of him we have the first recording of brain waves. 1.) Electroencephalography (EEG) Machine: electro = electrical, encephalon = head, and graph = drawing or picture. Electroencephalography depicts brainwave electricity. EEG measures the frequency (speed) of electrical current oscillations (voltage fluctuations). The brain waves are graphically shown and presented on a piece of paper. EEG medical uses include diagnosing epilepsy, coma, and brain death, and 2.) Digital electroencephalogram is a more sophisticated EEG that measures higher level brain activity. With digital it is possible to pick up gamma waves (more to come).
Wilhelm Reich, MD was an Austrian-American psychiatrist who focused on the biological energy that exists in the human body. Reich indicated that within our biological activity there exists an extraordinary amount of energy. He focused on bio-energetics! Reich was well ahead of his time and on the fringes of psychiatry of his day. He discovered “orgone energy.” Reich maintained that orgone energy comes from the original primordial Cosmic energy and he tied it into sexual energy. Reich talked in terms of orgone energy having orgiastic potency and he built an orgone energy accumulator machine. Reichian bio-energetics emphasized deep energetic capabilities in an orgasm. It is unfortunate that Reich concentrated so much of his theory on its sexual component. This sexual talk frightened the repressive Victorian Society of his day. In many ways he is in a long line of heretical theorists bearing messages that are well ahead of their time.
Brain Electricity – In previous posts, I discussed quantum cerebrology and the neuro-chemical components of the brain. In this post, I focus on brain electricity (energy) component. According to Jack Huberman, “human brains are demanding organs: they make up only 2.4% of the body’s mass, but devour 20% of its energy.” (2007) Our brain is an organ generating a tremendous amount of electrical impulses. There is a large amount of electrical capacity in the gray matter of the human brain. The estimate is that an average size brain (3 ½ lbs.) has the capacity to generate 10-14 watts of electricity (enough to power a flashlight). Our brains are electrified, electrically powered, and have neurons transmitting electrical information from cell to cell. Electrical impulses fire chemical messages (neurotransmitters) at the synaptic junction to receptors on the other side of the synaptic gap. This electrification greatly adds to the brain’s swiftness of action (speed). Our goal should be how to best use this electricity, how to best focus, and how to have our brains function and work with the most efficiency. Without focus a lot of the details of incoming information to the brain are missed and electricity is lost.
Our Brains’s Balancing Act – Individually and collectively we must learn ways to integrate a balance between the emotive (heart) and cognitive (head). Daniel Goleman said the “hub of the battle” (1995) between our feelings and thoughts is to find better ways to integrate the Limbic and Neocortex. Emotions are needed input for thought, but thought is important to understand and label emotions. “We must strike a balance between thought and emotion.”(Jacobs, 2003) It was Lawrence Shapiro who suggested that, “the cortex allows us to have feelings about our feelings.” (1997) I view emotional intelligence as a balancing process of identifying emotions, understanding emotions, and having an appropriate cognitive response. The balancing act is a transactional process between the emotive (Limbic) and the cognitive (Neocortex) and is one of the major balancing acts in life. A lot of bad and sad things can happen when the heart and the head are in conflict. This balancing act is part of the Act of the Balance, and the Art of the Balance, that I extensively discuss in the Theory of Balanceology. I suggest that each of us is our own balancer, and we have the responsibility of balancing-out the many dualisms that exist in our life.
I have come to understand bio-energetics as a process where there is an integration of mind-body. This integration includes biology and physics. This integrative process is a psychosomatic process addressing: 1.) vast interconnections with our mind and body, 2.) quantum interconnections as particle-waves flow between mind and body, and 3.) huge interconnections between our new brain and our old brain. Psychosomatic energy gives us life and it makes human energy and mind-body energy. When it comes to health, a healing that focuses only on Newtonian Physics (modern medicine of materialism) will look towards chemicals and drugs to heal. However, a healing that focuses on bio-energetics will focus on mind-body integrative processes in healing. Depending on how the mind-body is viewed we can create a tremendous amount of (+) mind-body energy that can enhance us, or a tremendous amount of (-) negative mind-body energy that can deplete our resources. Good (+) energy energizes <—> bad (-) energy de-energizes. I will address mind-body integration, mind-body interconnections, and mind-body energy many times in my theory and treatment model.
Brain Interactivity – Human emotions may begin in the Limbic Brain but at some point there is prefrontal cortex involvement. There is an interactivity between the Limbic Brain and the Neocortex. I ask, “How is the prefrontal cortex involved in emotions emanating from the Limbic system?” It appears that the prefrontal lobes executive function allows for a meta-emotional interpretation of Limbic system emotions. It interprets emotions into feelings (often inaccurately). The frontal lobe can inhibit the expression of certain emotions but there will always be some emotive involvement in our thinking. For neuroscientist Antonio Damasio there is a link between emotion and thinking and this link comes in terms of “somatic markers,” or a kind of gut reaction having an emotional component that is useful in making decisions. (1966) Lou Marinoff suggested that, “the experience of an emotion occurs in a higher part of the brain where physiological responses are interpreted and labeled. It is a one way street. Can’t control emotion. Only recognize.” (1999)
Brain Interconnections – In recent posts, I reviewed major human brain dualisms —> mind-body, 2-hemispheres, rigidity-plasticity, and emotive-cognitive. I now emphasize that beyond the dualisms are connective neural structures of the CNS. When I discussed the debate over the Triune Brain, I referred to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) research that verifies these interconnections. Neural structures have the ability and the capacity to collaborate and help solve our predominant contrapuntal forces: 1.) self-preservation (Self-Needs), and 2.) species-preservation (Belonging-Needs). In this post, I emphasis the interconnections between our Limbic Brain and the Neocortex. For personal, interpersonal, social, and cultural advancement I ask, “What interplay must to take place between emotion and cognition?” Vallant maintained that, “the limbic system is very much at the center of emotional life, but it is neither its beginning or its end.” (2008) Our brains 3 ½ lbs. of energy-matter have huge interconnections —-> especially the thalamic and cortical brain connections, and the corpus callosum that connects the 2-hemisheres. The thalamic and neocortical connections are from the Limbic system to the prefrontal cortex.