Mind and body, Mindody, Bodind?

-Salvador Dali 1938-

Encouraged by the somatic markers of Antonio Damasio, the mirror neuron theory and the work with the body of Bessel Van der Kolk and Pat Odgen in trauma therapy brings me to be more and more interested in neuroscience.

And last week I discovered the Spanish neurologists Pascual-Leone, who made a lovely experiment:

Two groups.

One group practice a particular exercise in the piano for one week. For real. In a real piano.
The other group practices the same exercise in their minds. Only inside of their heads. With their imagination.

And incredible results:
In both groups the grey mater of the motor cortex responsible for the fingers movement had increased.
In both groups.

Thought can change the brain.

Mental practice and imagination lead to physical measurable changes.

So the clear distinction between mind and body that has predominated since the 17th Century with the dualist René Descartes is being more and more challenged in the last decades.

The thoughts, the mind or the soul as Descartes called it, was completely immaterial, had no conexion with the space or physicality. The brain was part of the  material world and would respond to clear laws.

Now all this pilar concepts are beeing shaked by the research in the neuroscience field.

Hopefully in the coming years we will read more research. Maybe we will for example be able to explain how positive affirmations or visuzalization techniques work in a physiological level.

The mind is slowly getting closer to the body.

The article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7500130

Information gathered from the book “The Brain that changes itself” from Norman Doidge.