Brothers Karamazov written by Dostoevsky in 1879- some insights

Brothers Karamazov written by Dostoevsky

Brothers Karamazov written by Dostoevsky in 1879 became an all-time best-seller which also provides us even today many useful insights into the field of “Therapeutic Jurisprudence”. Until recently there has been no general theory concerning the impact of legal processes upon participant wellbeing and its implications for attaining justice system objectives.

Admirers of the book include scientists such as Albert Einstein, philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Martin Heidegger, as well as many other famous writers.

Sigmund Freud called it “the most magnificent novel ever written” and was fascinated with what he saw as its Oedipal themes. In 1928 Freud published a paper titled “Dostoevsky and Parricide” in which he investigated Dostoevsky’s own neuroses.

Dostoevsky considered the introduction of the European Jury trial and its adversarial justice and the alleged discovery of the truth would supplant Russia’s pure, Christian attitude to truth.

The Brothers Karamazov is a message for Russians and also all of us not to accept the court as the most civil and equitable means of achieving justice. Looking into the attorney’s statements, the lay and expert witnesses, the introduction of dubious expert witnesses on both sides of the trial, the judge, and public response to the trial, all capture well author’s disillusionment with Western Judicial reforms of the nineteenth century.

The experts contradict one another, and the doctor from Moscow and Doctor Herzenstube take the case to pursue their personal vendettas against each other, overall making “the expert testimony appear ludicrous.”

It is here that the value of Therapeutic jurisprudence becomes useful. TJ says that the processes used by courts, judicial officers, lawyers, and other justice system personnel can impede, promote or be neutral in relation to outcomes connected with participant wellbeing such as respect for the justice system and the law, offender rehabilitation, and addressing issues underlying legal disputes.

The fact that evidence can be misconstrued to deny the truth and the fact that evidence is essential to proving the truth indicates Dostoevsky’s belief that “evidence…is a two-edged sword that can cut either way.

It is also our goal to propose new processes to be added to the range of existing processes—such as in the use of mediation in civil, criminal, and family law cases and the establishment of special intervention courts or lists to address broader issues underlying legal problems where such an intervention is consistent with other justice system principles.

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“I See What Is Right and Approve, but I Do What Is Wrong”:

I See What Is Right and Approve, but I Do What Is Wrong

In a recent paper authored by Michael Perlin and Alison Lynch titled “ “I See What Is Right and Approve, but I Do What Is Wrong”: Psychopathy and Punishment in the Context of Racial Bias, the authors stated that there can no longer be any question that issues of race are essential in efforts to understand criminal sentencing. A slew of studies makes clear that, despite federal sentencing guidelines intended to eliminate disparities in sentencing, unexplained disparities in sentencing lengths exist between defendants of different races.

The article adds more light that researchers have found that black defendants fare worse in court than do their white counterparts. Research on capital punishment shows that “killers of White victims are more likely to be sentenced to death than are killers of Black victims” and that “Black defendants are more likely than White defendants” to receive the death penalty.

These are great areas where Therapeutic Jurisprudence could make a positive contribution in the months and years to come.

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Intuitive anger in the context of crime and punishment

Intuitive anger in the context of crime and punishment

The central hypothesis in this study by Carolyn Côté-Lussie and David is that individuals will experience greater intuitive angry responses when making punitive decisions for purported‘ stereotypical criminals’ as opposed to ‘a typical criminals’. This hypothesis is tested using crossed multilevel multiple linear regression models adjusting for within-participant and within-picture clustering of data.

Intuiting may be a complex set of interrelated cognitive, affective, and somatic processes, during which there’s no apparent intrusion of deliberate, rational thought. Our own research in our AUGP TJC neuroscience centre confirms the construct of intuition has emerged as a legitimate subject of scientific inquiry that has important ramifications for education, personal, medical, and organizational decision-making, personnel selection and assessment, team dynamics, training, and organizational development. We have also conducted P300 research which we call event-related potential (ERP) component elicited in the process of decision making. It is considered to be an endogenous potential, as its occurrence links not to the physical attributes of a stimulus, but to a person’s reaction to it. More specifically, the P300 is thought to reflect processes involved in stimulus evaluation or categorization.

Intuition literature defined intuition as “affectively-charged judgments that arise through rapid, non-conscious, and holistic associations.” Outcomes of intuition are often experienced as a holistic “hunch” or “gut feel,” a way of calling or overpowering certainty, and an awareness of knowledge that’s on the edge of conscious perception.

The results of this study suggest that pictures of ‘stereotypical criminals’ engendered a statistically significant increased intuitive angry response (occurring between 500 and 1000 ms) compared to that for ‘atypical criminals’.

These results, therefore, support the hypothesis that individuals experience greater intuitive anger in response to ‘stereotypical criminals’.

This is an area that will provide all of us in TJ community with much material for further research. We are happy to arrange such studies using some of the sensitive technology we have at our neuroscience centre connected with AUGP Therapeutic Jurisprudence Centre.

Artile may be found here:

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Hear Yourself by Rawat

Hear Yourself

Prem Rawat a pilot who has ascended to heights of 30,000 ft above ground level, now in his book *“HEAR YOURSELF”*, bestseller, The New York Times, beckons us to undertake a refreshing, rewarding inward journey that would help optimize our true potential. He reminds us of what Socrates said “know thyself” and beautifully blends it with a poem of Blake who said:

“To see the World in a Grain of Sand
And Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”

All this ultimately points to the quest for silence, stillness, hearing your own inner sound, and an immersion in the reservoir within. A fulfilling journey indeed.

I very much agree with his pointers to Gratitude, Forgiveness, Loving in the moment and a touch of the divine which all add to enhance our peaceful and blissful life experience.

Prem has lived his life to the fullest and continues to touch the hearts of many. I recommend this book to all who are too busy with day-to-day chores and have a thirst for a deeper truth that transcends the outer glitter.

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If you look at a panoramic portrait of the universe (pictured above), it looks shockingly similar to a close-up, zoomed-in snapshot of neurons in the brain. The glowing nodes are entire galaxies filled with hundreds of billions of stars stretching out like limbs to other galaxies. The brain too has nodes, which are clusters of neurons stretching out through the cellular arms of dendrites and axons to other neurons.

And it’s not just human brains and the cosmos that share similarities in appearance. Networks of tree roots (via Harvard University), ant colonies (via the World Economic Forum), glowing city lights as viewed from space (Pinterest has good pictures), and much more all exhibit similarly networked, node-and-conduit shapes. As life grows more and more complex it seems to take the same form. Whether information is transferred by water molecules through roots or the mandibles of ants through tunnels, it moves from node to node according to the needs of its system.

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The 2-Question Method for Stopping Debilitating Anxiety Attacks Before They Start

The 2-Question Method for Stopping Debilitating Anxiety Attacks Before They Start

Another anxiety article? Yes — because the triggers for our anxiety are ever present, even as we enter into a promising new year. Covid-19 looms, climate disasters breach communities all over the world, and our future in business is uncertain, even as we enjoy remarkably low unemployment.

Instead of dreading the onset of anxiety attacks which, potentially, will unravel our work and personal lives, it’s time to be proactive. Life — and business — continues, and we should push ahead toward innovation, growth, and ambitious goals with an eye toward safety and mental health.

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Why Distracting Yourself Is Better Than ‘Positive Thinking’

Why Distracting Yourself Is Better Than ‘Positive Thinking’

Toxic positivity has earned a lot of backlash recently. Of course, we shouldn’t berate ourselves with negative self-talk, and there’s value in encouraging ourselves when fearful (I routinely utter, “I have all the skills I need” like a dime-store Stuart Smalley before doing anything nerve-wracking), but there’s also value in actually experiencing our negative emotions rather than glossing over them with trite cliches like “good vibes only,” “everything happens for a reason,” and the comically empty, “you got this.”

Research shows distraction to be more effective at keeping anxiety at bay

When we’re worried, common wisdom instructs us to pummel ourselves with positive thoughts. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, this study found distraction to be a better tool for reducing anxiety than “positive anticipatory thoughts.” In it, adolescent participants were told they’d be doing a basketball jump shot—while being rated on their performance by a gym teacher they’d never met—in front of their whole class. (Anyone who had to climb the rope up to the ceiling in 8th grade gym class during the now-disbanded Presidential Fitness Test will instantly recognize the anxiety. For many of us, it’s the adult equivalent of being asked to stand up and share “one thing people may not know about you” in a meeting.)

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Do the laws of physics and neuroscience disprove free will?

Do the laws of physics and neuroscience disprove free will?

Are we free to make choices or are we automatons in a giant and invisible cosmic machinery, cogs and wheels turning about, not knowing why we make the choices we make? This is a thorny question that has important consequences, and not just for law enforcement.

Of course, we all want to be free, even if freedom is a very difficult idea to define — firstly because no one is completely free. We all have our professional, family, and social commitments. We grow up within cultural norms. In a sense, to be free is to be able to choose to what we are going to commit. Most people believe that they are free to choose what to do, from the simplest to the more complex: Should I drink coffee with sugar or sweetener? Do I put some money in savings, or do I spend it all? Or, as a friend of mine

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This Is the Secret to Making Your Brain Quicker

This Is the Secret to Making Your Brain Quicker

If you feel like your brain is moving at a glacial pace, you’re not alone. Many people are feeling stressed, tired, and frankly, burned out, from the past year-plus (and counting, sigh) of pandemic living. But there may be a way to make your brain quicker, and it’s something you likely (hopefully!) are already doing—meditation.

You probably already know that meditation is a practice in quieting your mind, but a recent study from Binghamton University, State University of New York, finds that meditation may also make your brain move quicker.

The study, which was published in May in the journal Scientific Reports, examined the brain patterns of 10 students over the course of an eight-week meditation training. The researchers instructed the students to meditate for 10–15 minutes a day, five times a week. After eight weeks of meditation, scans showed an increase in the speed of the students’ brains.

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Neuroeconomics tries to bridge the disciplines of neuroscience, psychology, and economics. I think of economics and psychology as really, in some sense, one discipline. I know that that’s a strident statement to make, but they really are siblings separated at birth. Psychology and economics are complementary disciplines, in many cases studying the same phenomena: decision making, value-based judgment, heuristics. One side approaches it from a phenomenological, experiment-driven perspective and the other from an abstract, theoretical perspective.

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New Imaging Technique Captures How Brain Moves in Stunning Detail

New Imaging Technique Captures How Brain Moves in Stunning Detail

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) images are usually meant to be static. But now, researchers from Mātai Medical Research Institute (Mātai), Stevens Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of Auckland and other institutions, report on an imaging technique that captures the brain in motion in real time, in 3D and in stunning detail, providing a potential diagnostic tool for detecting difficult-to-spot conditions such as obstructive brain disorders and aneurysms – before they become life threatening.

The new technique, called 3D amplified MRI, or 3D aMRI, reveals pulsating brain movement which could help researchers to non-invasively visualise brain disorders and inform better treatment strategies for tiny deformations or disorders that obstruct the brain or block the flow of brain fluids.

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Although we are only beginning to understand the workings of the brain, it clearly isn’t the same thing as the mind

Here are some reasons why they aren’t really the same:

1.Is the human brain unique in some way? Yes, but not so much in its structure as in the things we do with it. For example, the human, mouse, and fly brains all use the same basic mechanisms, which is a bit of a puzzle, considering the different things we do with our brains. The human brain is bigger than most. But then lemurs performed as well as chimps on the primate cognitive test battery (a primate intelligence test) and lemurs only have brains that are 1/200th the size of chimps’ brains. So, what we humans are doing differently from lemurs and chimps doesn’t depend wholly on brain size either. One recent surprise for neuroscientists is that the white matter (connectome) in human brains is quite orderly, not the haphazard accumulations of aeons of evolution that the researchers expected. Another basic assumption has been that the brain operates like a series of switches. But most parts of the brain are involved in, for example, processing signals arising from touch. And that’s just the beginning. So we know that human thinking is different from animal thinking operationally but just how it comes to be different has not been found in the brain.

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19 science-backed ways to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, from reading to playing chess

19 science-backed ways to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, from reading to playing chess

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most mysterious and tragic diseases, and scientists are still grappling to understand what causes it, and how to avoid it.

But a new review of Alzheimer’s research has identified 10 suggestions backed by “strong evidence” that could reduce your risk for the disease, including reading, and avoiding stress and trauma.

The paper, published today in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, listed another nine tips backed by “weaker” evidence, including getting sufficient sleep and working out.

In the most comprehensive meta-analysis of Alzheimer’s research to date, the researchers in China analyzed 395 previous studies, including randomized controlled trials (the gold standard of scientific research) and observational studies.

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How the Brain Focuses While Ignoring Distractions

How the Brain Focuses While Ignoring Distractions

Experimenting on mice, they located the precise spot in the brain where distracting stimuli are blocked. The blocking disables the brain from processing these stimuli, which allows concentration on a particular task to proceed.

Edward Zagha, an assistant professor of psychology, and his team trained mice in a sensory detection task with target and distractor stimuli. The mice learned to respond to rapid stimuli in the target field and ignore identical stimuli in the opposite distractor field. The team used a novel imaging technique, which allows for high spatiotemporal resolution with a cortex-wide field of view, to find where in the brain the distractor stimuli are blocked, resulting in no further signal transmission within the cortex and, therefore, no triggering of a motor response.

“We observed responses to target stimuli in multiple sensory and motor cortical regions,” said Zagha, who led the study published today in the Journal of Neuroscience. “In contrast, responses to distractor stimuli were abruptly suppressed beyond the sensory cortex.”

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Neuroscientist Christof Koch has just published an interesting article in Scientific American on near-death experiences:

Near-death experiences, or NDEs, are triggered during singular life-threatening episodes when the body is injured by blunt trauma, a heart attack, asphyxia, shock, and so on. About one in 10 patients with cardiac arrest in a hospital setting undergoes such an episode. Thousands of survivors of these harrowing touch-and-go situations tell of leaving their damaged bodies behind and encountering a realm beyond everyday existence, unconstrained by the usual boundaries of space and time. These powerful, mystical experiences can lead to permanent transformation of their lives.

Koch points out that NDEs share common characteristics across individuals, cultures, and historical eras—freedom from pain, traveling down a tunnel to a light, an intense sense of peace, seeing loved ones, experiencing a life review, and having an unusual sense of time and space. These experiences are also remembered with unusual intensity. To the person who experiences them, they seem “realer than real”—and they often fundamentally change the person’s outlook on life.

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