A specially designed computer program can help diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans by analyzing their voices, a new study finds.
Published online April 22 in the journal Depression and Anxiety, the study found that an artificial intelligence tool can distinguish – with 89 percent accuracy – between the voices of those with or without PTSD. (Source)
This tech provides a usably objective standard for measuring PTSD. This is important for diagnosing PTSD and also may lead to further voice analysis techniques for diagnosing other psychological states.
More on this topic: New Analytic Model to Better Identify Patients Likely to Develop PTSD
I look forward to the day when we have a lot of inexpensive technology that people can afford to buy and use at home to diagnose or simply describe a wide variety of mental states.
For now, FIML practice provides an excellent objective standard for measuring psychological states as they occur during interpersonal communication.
Scientists have used a noninvasive form of electrostimulation to boost working memory in older people, effectively giving 70-year-olds the thinking abilities of their 20-year-old selves, at least temporarily. (Scientists Fixed People’s Working Memory With Simple Electrical ‘Zaps’ to The Brain)
The study (paywall) is here: Working memory revived in older adults by synchronizing rhythmic brain circuits.
From the abstract:
…After 25 min of stimulation, frequency-tuned to individual brain network dynamics, we observed a preferential increase in neural synchronization patterns and the return of sender–receiver relationships of information flow within and between frontotemporal regions. The end result was rapid improvement in working-memory performance that outlasted a 50 min post-stimulation period.
This study further demonstrates the importance of electrical waves in brain functioning. It targets working memory decline in older adults but similar improvements were found in young adults already experiencing memory deficits.
“We showed that the poor performers who were much younger, in their 20s, could also benefit from the same exact kind of stimulation,” Reinhart says in a statement.
“We could boost their working memory even though they weren’t in their 60s or 70s.” (Scientists Fixed People’s Working Memory With Simple Electrical ‘Zaps’ to The Brain)
News stories on working memory tend to trivialize it as merely a brain function that helps us remember phone numbers or where we put stuff. When in fact…
…working memory is the part of you that organizes and executes action in real-time. All real-time actions—save stupor or deep sleep—require working memory.
Working memory is where your life meets the world, where your existential rubber meets the real-time road.
Working memory is the spear point of the mind as it does life. For this reason, it is the single best key to understanding human psychology. And through this understanding to change it for the better. (Working memory is key to deep psychological transformation)
Other news articles:
Incidentally, Buddhist mindfulness practice can greatly enhance working memory while also adding a metacognitive component to it in circumstances that would not otherwise normally call on metacognition.
FIML practice does something similar in that it adds a layer of psychological and linguistic mindfulness to working memory during acts of interpersonal communication.
Most fundamental changes in human societies happen due to technological advances.
The next big change in human psychology will come from inexpensive, very sensitive brain scans.
These scans will show millions people in real-time how their brains are actually behaving and reacting. Presently unnoticed or concealed twinges of emotion will become conspicuously visible on a screen or within a hologram that surrounds our heads.
People will be able to use this technology in the company of a computer program or with a human partner. A good AI program will use brain-scan information to reveal much about us. We will learn stuff about how we actually function that very few are aware of today.
Having this knowledge will change the way we understand ourselves and our interactions with others. Rather than work almost exclusively with the vague stories we tell ourselves, we will be able to see how our brains (and bodies) actually function in real time.
The difference between our stories and how we actually function is very great. Great enough to completely change the landscape of what we now think of as human psychology.
There already exist inexpensive EEG rigs that are sort of good at measuring moods and honesty. There are also expensive ones with more capacity. Within a decade or two, these devices will be much better. An accurate lie-detector will surely be included in the consumer package.
This technology will rewrite our understanding of human psychology and remake the ways we think of human society today. If you want to get a head start on the future, learn how to do FIML now.
First posted 4/30/18
…Synchronized oscillations were first noted as far back as the 1600s, when the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens, known for discovering the Saturnian moon Titan, noted that two pendulum clocks hung from a common support would eventually come to tick in unison. Through the centuries, mathematicians and other scientists have come up with various ways to explain the strange phenomenon, seen also in heart and brain cells, fireflies, clouds of cold atoms, the circadian rhythms of animals, and many other systems.
Something along these lines must be happening in human communications systems, from the smallest—a single human brain/body—to the largest, the entire planet.
This post is concerned with the micro, meso, and macro levels of existential semiotics and communicative thought, and how those levels affect human understanding.
- Micro levels are very small units of thought or communication. These can be words, phrases, gestures, etc. and the “psychological morphemes” that accompany them. A psychological morpheme is the smallest unit of an emotional or psychological response.
- Meso levels lie between macro and micro levels. Longer discourse, a sense that people have personalities or egos, and the basic ideas of any culture appear at this level.
- Macro levels are the larger abstract levels that sort of stand above the other two levels. Macro levels might include religious or scientific beliefs, political ideologies, long-term personal goals or strategies.
Most people most of the time socialize on the meso level, often with support from shared macro level beliefs or aims. For most people, the broad outlines of most emotions are defined and conditioned at the meso level. This is the level where the nuts and bolts of convention are found. This is the level that tosses the beach balls of conversation back and forth across the dinner table and that defines those balls. The meso level defines our subculture and how well or badly we conform to it. The meso level is necessary for much of social life and sort of fun, though it is by definition not very detailed or profound. It is something most people can agree on and work with fairly easily for an hour or two at a time.
Many people define themselves mainly on the meso level and judge others by their understanding of this level. Many subcultures become stifling or cloying because meso definitions are crude and tend to leave out the rich subjectivity of individuals. Macro definitions are not all that different from meso ones except that they tend to define group feelings more than meso definitions. Groups band together based on macro level assumptions about ideologies, science, religion, art, style, location, ethnicity, etc.
Since most people are unable to fully access micro levels of communication the rich subjectivity of the individual mind is rarely, if ever, communicated at all and almost never communicated well.
In other fields, micro levels are all important. For example, the invention of the microscope completely changed the way humans see and understand their world. All that was added by the microscope was greater resolution and detail in the visual sphere. From that arose germ theory, material sciences, modern biology, modern medicine, and much more.
Micro levels of communication are basic to how we understand ourselves and others. Poor micro communication skills consign us to communication that occurs only at meso or macro levels. This is a problem because meso and macro levels do not have sufficient detail and also because meso and macro levels become the only tools we have to decide what is going on. When we are forced to account for micro details with the crude tools of meso thought, we will make many mistakes. Eventually we become like the long-term cigarette-smoker whose (micro) alveoli have collapsed, destroying full use of the lungs.
Without the details of the microscope, people for millennia happily drank germ infested water. Without a way to resolve micro levels of communication, people today, as in the past, happily ingest multitudes of micro error—errors that make them ill.
Micro communication errors make us sick because we make many serious mistakes on this level and also because our minds are fully capable of comprehending the sort of detail we can find at the micro level. We speak and listen on many interpersonal levels like crude beasts when we are capable of very delicate and refined understanding.
FIML or a technique similar to it provides a method for grasping micro details. Doing FIML for a long time is like spending a long time using a microscope or telescope. You will start to see everything differently. Detailed micro analyses of interpersonal communication changes our understanding of micro communication and also both the meso and macro levels of existential semiotics and communicative thought. Microscopes allowed us to see germs in water and also to understand that some of those germs can kill us.
First posted 12/04/2014
I’ll probably have more to say on this subject, but for now let me just say I am delighted to have found a psychotherapy that is highly compatible with FIML practice.
Indeed this psychotherapy is based on the same principles as FIML, though the approach is different.
In FIML unwanted psychological reactions are discovered in real-world, real-time situations with a partner.
In Coherence Therapy—the psychotherapy I just discovered—unwanted psychological reactions are called schemas. Schemas are transformed through memory reconsolidation in a way that is theoretically very similar to FIML practice.
Here is a video that explains the process of memory reconsolidation that is achieved through Coherence Therapy:
Coherence Therapy (CT) requires a therapist, while FIML does not.
In a nutshell, CT uses three steps (as described in the video) to achieve results. I will list them below in bold font and explain briefly how FIML differs and is also very similar.
1) CT: Reactivate the target schema as a conscious emotional experience. This is done with the help of a therapist.
FIML: In FIML, harmful or unwanted schemas are encountered in real-life with a participating partner. No therapist is needed, though prior training in the technique is helpful.
2) CT: Guide a contradictory experience. This juxtaposition unlocks (de-consolidates) the target schema’s memory circuits. (“Mismatch”/”prediction error” experience)
FIML: The “contradictory experience” is discovered in real-life through the FIML query. The partner’s answer to the FIML query provides the “juxtaposition” that unlocks or de-consolidates the encountered schema. In FIML, we have been calling this process the discovery and correction of a contretemps or mix-up.
3) CT: Repeat contradictory experience in juxtaposition with target schema. This rewrites and erases target schema.
FIML: Repetition of the contradictory experience happens in real-life whenever it next happens if it happens again. Generally, most schema or unwanted reactions are corrected within 5-10 recurrences. Serious unwanted schemas may take more repetitions.
Since CT uses a therapist as a guide, it is better than FIML for very serious problems and for people who are unable to find a partner to do FIML with.
Since FIML does not use a therapist, it is better for dealing with a very broad range of many unwanted schemas, not just the most serious.
I am quite sure that CT will be very effective for many kinds of psychological agony. If a problem is acute, I would recommend CT based on my experience with FIML.
A shortcoming of FIML is it requires a caring partner and the transformations it induces are generally all induced in the presence of that partner. Much good comes of that and most transformations can be extrapolated to other people and other situations, but for serious problems like panic or deep anxiety, an CT therapist may be more helpful.
FIML is best for two people who want to optimize their psychologies. Partners will discover and correct many unwanted schemas and many bad communication habits.
If you can understand CT, you should be able to do FIML. If you have already done CT and had good results and now you want to go further and optimize your psychology, FIML will help you do that.
I believe the core theory of CT is sound. If that is so, it should be clear that bad schemas arise constantly in life. We start new ones all the time. Bad schemas are like trash that inevitable accumulates and must be cleaned away. FIML does this job very well.
Here is more on memory reconsolidation, which underlies CT: A Primer on Memory Reconsolidation and its psychotherapeutic use as a core process of profound change.
More on FIML can be found at the top of this page and in most posts on this site.