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Home Neurothèque Tutoriels Neurohacking Tutorial 6 - Association, Perception and Learning - Hacks & Exercices
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Neuropiraterie - Tutoriels
Écrit par NHA   
Samedi, 17 Septembre 2011 17:30
Index de l'article
Neurohacking Tutorial 6 - Association, Perception and Learning
The Learning Cycle & Perception
What Happens if Things Go Wrong
COMP & Natural Learning
NHA Guide to Methods & Technology
The Most Important Bits to Remember
Hacks & Exercices
Notes, References & Answers
Toutes les pages





HACKS -for networks 1&2


Hacking perception 1:

Count the letter 'F's in the following sentence:


"Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years."


Now scroll down to footnote [3].


Hacking perception 2: -Having fun with your senses- Throwing the speed of parallel processing.

We'd like you to get used to how weird perception is, as this will prepare you for understanding more complex concepts such as memory and imagination.

Make yourself a pendulum [anything reasonably heavy on a piece of string]. Hang it up in front of yourself [or get a friend to hold it] and set it swinging from left to right. Sit comfortably and watch it for a few seconds, then hold some dark-colored plastic or glass over one eye [using an old pair of shades with one side poked out works brilliantly for this]. Keep both eyes open and keep watching the pendulum.

If you get it right, you'll notice that the pendulum suddenly looks like it's moving back and forward as well as left to right...it appears to move in an ellipse.

Keep the eye shaded and now swing the pendulum towards and away from you.

You should notice an odd effect of acceleration and deceleration as it swings. Slip the shade up and down and watch the effect appear and disappear.

Perception has glitches in it, and you should start becoming more aware of that fact because you can exploit them.

What's going on here is that the shading slows down the processing of the image in one eye; lower brightness fires fewer neurons and the signal moves at a slower rate. Your brain is trying to process both streams of input in parallel, and interprets changes in brightness as speed differences instead of shading, because it isn't used to that. In effect, the image is reaching one retina at a delay compared with the other one. Because the brain knows the object is moving, the position of the incoming image is different, and the brain uses the difference in image perception input between the two eyes to compute depth and motion, and gets it wrong. You can't get a sense of one without a sense of the other.

What this experiment shows you is that from moment to moment, your brain is constructing a simulation of reality from input. It can be tricked into getting it wrong if the input is wrong. Remember that when we start to look more deeply at ‘wrong use’.


Hacking perception 3: -Having fun with your senses- Create your own UFO.

You need a darkened room and one point of light, say about as bright as a standby LED. Sit quietly opposite the light and stare at it and relax.

After a couple of minutes the light will appear to 'take off' and fly around.

This apparent motion is due to drift in your eyes. Your brain can't compensate for it in the dark, because it has no frame of reference. You literally can't tell whether the light is still or in motion.

This is called the autokinetic effect, and it's the secret behind how 'rotating' optical illusions work. It’s also a good example of how your perception can be tricked into externalising an internal effect on input. You think the movement is going on ‘out there’, when in fact it’s your own physiology that’s affecting your input. Remember this when we look at ‘wrong use’, too.

Remember this hack when we start exploring imagination (next tutorial).


Hacking unconscious perception: EMDR

Before you do this hack:

*Prior to using EMDR, your ability to achieve the relaxation response should be assessed and, if needed, worked on with biofeedback.

*You should do a self-assessment to define problems, goals and potential target memories.

*You should read through the entire EMDR procedure and decide whether you feel confident to proceed.

*If you are working with a friend to help you do EMDR, it must be someone you trust.

*If you are doing EMDR on drugs as part of a memory wipe you may lose more than just the target data.

You will need:

A bilateral stimulus. This can be provided by someone else, for example a friend tapping your alternate hands or waving hands in front of alternate eyes, it can be technological, such as flashing lights on alternate sides or musical tones on alternate sides [you can wear headphones].

You should decide which type of stimulus feels most comfortable for you before you begin; touch, visual or aural.

You will also need your diary for notes, unless you choose to record them by other means.



1. Target issue or memory and associations:

Assessment begins the core of the EMDR process. You have to decide what the target incident will be, and choose what picture represents the worst part of the experience. You then make a list of associated words that go with the picture (or experience) that express a negative belief (called a negative cognition) about yourself in the present time, becoming aware of any related body feelings.


2. Target replacement issue:

Next, you must decide what you would like to believe about yourself in place of the negative thought. (This is called a positive cognition).


3. Desensitization

The desensitization process begins with you holding in focus the picture, the negative self-perception and any body sensation associated with a disturbing event. You should begin the bilateral stimulus as soon as you begin to concentrate on these and try to continue concentrating on them while paying attention to the stimulus.

These times of bilateral attention may last from less than a half minute to several minutes, depending on your response. Do not go on for more than four minutes. Then stop the bilateral stimulus, clear your mind and allow whatever comes into awareness. Write or dictate a short description of what thoughts or feelings come up in your mind, then do another set of eye movements (or other method of bilateral stimulation) once again focusing on the target issues. Over many sets of bilateral stimulation, your notes will show the processing of whatever comes to mind. Stop whenever you get bored or feel too anxious, or if the thoughts and feelings remain the same for two or three sessions.


4. Installation of Positive Cognition

When the processing of the disturbing memory is complete, as measured by the amount of residual disturbing effects of the memory, the positive thought (positive cognition) is revisited and reassessed as the most realistic response to the memory of the original experience. Sets of bilateral attention are applied until the positive thought is experienced as being totally valid and the memory no longer disturbs you deeply but is perceived in context with the correct weighting.


5. Body awareness

Then concentrate once more on the target experience and mentally scan the entire body. If unpleasant sensations or lack of sensations are reported, short sets of bilateral stimulation should be applied until the sensations subside or a positive feeling is experienced.

End the session when you get bored or when you get positive results. It is generally wasteful to go on more than an hour at a time. After the session, initiate the relaxation response by whatever means you use.


6. Closure

You may continue to process the material for days or even weeks after a session, perhaps having new insights, vivid dreams, strong feelings, intrusive thoughts, or renewed recall of past experiences. These experiences may feel unfamiliar, confusing or even mildly disturbing to you, but they are considered to be a continuation of the reprocessing you have begun. These new sensations and experiences should be recorded in your notes too. If at any point you become concerned or surprisingly disturbed, you should stop the sessions.


7. Re-evaluation

You should do one session a week. At the beginning of each session, review the last week’s notes, considering any new sensations or experiences and adding any notes you want to before you proceed.

Generally, the process is also applied to past events, current triggers and anticipated future events related to the original target event.



Exercises -for building up or augmenting networks 1 & 2


Health, fitness & energy

Assessment with Biofeedback

You will need a watch or clock with the ability to display seconds and something about 8” [20cm] high that you can stand on safely. The bottom step of a flight of stairs or a solid footstool will do nicely.

Take your pulse and make a note of what it is. Stand with your feet together in front of the step and start the clock. For three minutes, step up and down at the rate of twice every five seconds [up-down-up-down is 'twice']. Stop if you begin to feel uncomfortable. When the three minutes are up, sit down and rest for exactly one minute, then take your pulse.

If your circulation’s working properly and you’re fit, your pulse should be almost back down to where it started. Here’s a guide to different results:

Final pulse rate:

Under 82 = very fit

82-92 = fit

93-107 =somewhat unfit

108 plus = very unfit

N.B. These scores do not apply accurately to anyone under 15 –please contact us if you need details for younger ages.

If your score was over 93, you need to practise biofeedback for the sake of your physical health as well as your brain, [but you should not begin a physical exercise program unless you are sure of what you’re doing –find out more about why you are unfit first and deal with any physical health problems].

You can get this sort of straightforward biofeedback information from your body once every few months to see how you improve.


Senses & perception

Meditation for fine-tuning control over attention

Everyday experience and psychology research both indicate that paying close attention to one thing can keep you from noticing something else. However, attention does not have a fixed capacity - it can be improved by directed mental training, such as meditation.

Seeing and mentally processing something takes time and effort. Because a person has a finite amount of brainpower, paying close attention to one thing may ordinarily mean the tradeoff of missing something that follows shortly thereafter. For example, when two visual signals are shown a half-second apart, people miss the second one much of the time. Your attention gets stuck on the first target, then you miss the second one. This effect is called "attentional blink," as when you blink your eyes, you are briefly unaware of visual signals. This limitation is not strictly physical, but is subject to mental control.

Meditation is a family of methods designed to facilitate regulation of emotion and attention. Research has found that three months of rigorous training in Vipassana meditation improved people's ability to detect a second target within the half-second time window. Because the subjects were not meditating during the test, their improvement suggests that prior training caused lasting changes in attentional ability. Their previous practice of meditation is influencing their performance on this task, and this shows that attention capabilities can be enhanced through practice.

If you don’t know how to meditate, start with the Relaxation response exercises.


Timing & rhythm


Biofeedback 2


Biofeedback means live interactive training using a display of your physiological responses. You may think you are relaxing, but are your body & brain actually relaxing? How do you know unless you wire yourself up?

The goal of this exercise is to get your heart rhythms and breathing in sync. When we inhale our heart rate increases, and when we exhale, our heart rate decreases. Having a wide range of heart rates within a single breath is an excellent indicator of overall health. Getting your breathing in sync with your heart rhythms is excellent for anxiety reduction and health training.

The fastest way to train for heart rate variability is to use uor stopwatch for timing and breathe at around one breath (in and out) every ten seconds (that's six breaths per minute). Counting your heartbeats or your pulse comes next: around five beats breathing in, five beats breathing out should be close to your timed breathing if you're reasonably healthy. You can check the heartbeat method against the stopwatch method for accuracy and fine tune your practice until you can breathe six times a minute without needing a stopwatch; just by counting your own heartbeats.

This is a good pattern to retain for training with tech or drugs. Your aim is to teach yourself the skill using your own body and brain as your main toolkit. That way, technology and chemistry become augmentations and enhancements rather than supports or prostheses.


Sensorimotor skills


Biofeedback 3


A cheap and easy device to use for BF is a digital thermometer [they cost about $20; Google for “stress thermometer”]. Your biofeedback task is to hold the sensor and relax so that you slightly decrease your finger or toe temperature. This is a mind-body exercise with trial and error learning. Learning how to bring blood flow to your extremities is a particular form of relaxation that can be mastered with training and practice.

The goal of this exercise is to learn to alter your temperature within five minutes. Remember the ambient air in a room is usually cooler where there are draughts at ground level and warmer higher up, so don't change the altitude of the thermometer during the exercise.



Relaxation response techniques


Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a simple, but very effective, method of relaxation. It is a core component of everything from the "take ten deep breaths" approach to calming someone down, right through to yoga relaxation and Zen meditation. It works well in conjunction with other relaxation techniques such as Progressive Muscular Relaxation, relaxation imagery and meditation to reduce stress.

To use the technique, take a number of deep breaths and relax your body further with each breath. That's all there is to it!

Get into the habit of breathing through your nose and relaxing your jaw.


Progressive Muscular Relaxation [PMR]

Progressive Muscular Relaxation is useful for relaxing your body when your muscles are tense.

The idea behind PMR is that you tense up a group of muscles so that they are as tightly contracted as possible. Hold them in a state of extreme tension for a few seconds. Then, relax the muscles normally. Then, consciously relax the muscles even further so that you are as relaxed as possible.

By tensing your muscles first, you will find that you are able to relax your muscles more than would be the case if you tried to relax your muscles directly.

Experiment with PMR by forming a fist, and clenching your hand as tight as you can for a few seconds. Relax your hand to its previous tension, and then consciously relax it again so that it is as loose as possible. You should feel deep relaxation in your hand muscles.


Combination techniques: PMR and breathing

* Sit quietly and comfortably.

* Close your eyes.

* Start by relaxing the muscles of your feet and work up your body relaxing muscles.

* Focus your attention on your breathing.

* Breathe in deeply and then let your breath out. Count your breaths, and say the number of the breath as you let it out (this gives you something to do with your mind, helping you to avoid distraction).

Do this for ten or twenty minutes.

An even more potent alternative approach is to follow these steps, but to use relaxation imagery instead of counting breaths in step 5. If you like, you can prove to yourself that this works using biofeedback equipment.



Mise à jour le Lundi, 29 Mai 2017 13:07