In order to act on any tissue, testosterone has to bond with a special receptor, the androgen receptor. Rather like your radio has to be tuned to the station you want to hear. Only those tissues that have androgen receptors (eg the prostate, the penis and certain parts of the brain) can detect, and respond to, testosterone. No receptor, no effect of testosterone. Occasionally there is a mutation in the androgen receptor (a large protein) that prevents it detecting testosterone. Males with this mutation may secrete testosterone but they will be unaware of its presence. They are born looking like females, and often not diagnosed until puberty (which does not happen: hence their referral to a doctor). They also think of themselves as female (that is, they have a female gender identity) and are usually attracted to males. On all psychological measures they seem no different from ‘normal’ females, though they have the male XY chromosomes, a pair of testes inside … [Read more...] about Sex Differences in the Brain: Do They Exist or Matter?
Pregnancy brain real
But the good news is that neuroscientists have shown through fMRIs (functional magnetic resonance imaging) the human brain is plastic. And each of us has the agency to override our brain’s hard-wired, automatic fear reactions. An innate ability called neuroplasticity allows you to use your “thinking mind” to rewire the structure and functioning of your brain. Neuroplasticity guarantees that the architecture of your mind is never set in stone. You don’t have to stay trapped by the pandemic storms of your body (frustration, anxiety, worry). It’s possible for you to re-engineer your brain and self-calm the knee-jerk worries and fears because your brain has the ability to change its own structure. Here are a few tips to bring your mind into the present moment, instead of worrying about “what if’s,” and improve your brain health. … [Read more...] about The Pandemic Changes Your Brain Even If You Don’t Have It
For my first book, which was published in 2007, Dad and I created a hypothetical split-brain model we called "up brain-down brain." One goal of this framework was to take the emphasis off "left brain-right brain" and to help athletes optimize their sports performance by taking a two-pronged approach that addressed "up brain" (i.e., cerebrum) and "down brain" (i.e., cerebellum) from different angles. This illustration (below) from The Athlete's Way reflects the earliest incarnation of this split-brain model circa 2005. … [Read more...] about Need to Ace It? Hack Your Cerebellum & Vagus Nerve Like This
For some, this impulse can become tragically extreme. The intense vulnerability and dependency of those who require constant care can lead to some frightening feelings even from caregivers who love them deeply. I think that a lot of parents are feeling this during the pandemic. They are facing greater stress than ever. Many of us have had no escape or relief from our children. … [Read more...] about The Part of Motherhood We Hate to Talk About
Perhaps you’re not sleeping well, or you have trouble focusing on your work. Perhaps you’re more forgetful than usual, or you find yourself falling into cognitive ruts you can seem to claw your way out of. You are not alone. According to a recent poll by the American Psychiatric Association, 36% of Americans feel that coronavirus is affecting their mental health while 59% say that it is having a serious impact on their day-to-day lives. … [Read more...] about Flexible Minds and Organizations Could Thrive in Crises