Researcher Neil Slade first appeared on Coast to Coast AM 24 year ago to talk about the function of a part of the brain called the amygdala. Only now has science caught up and is starting to explore this "new" discovery. Slade joined host George Noory on Friday night to delve into his research on the amygdala and the remarkable power of the brain.
The amygdala is the emotional thermostat of the brain, and it controls the fear and reward systems, Slade explained, noting listeners can gauge how much of the amygdala/brain is being used through emotions. The more advanced parts of one's brain produce positive emotions, and nature seeks to encourage using these regions through positive reinforcement, he added. "If something gives you long-term pleasure, you're tickling your amygdala," Slade said.
According to Slade, there are small parts of the brain that are dormant, but these dormant areas can be useful in the same way an empty jar can be utilized to contain something. "We actually don't have any idea of what the human brain is truly capable of, what its potential is," he continued. Slade reported on the case of a man who received a head injury in a car accident and instantly developed the ability to play piano. He could write music as well, he noted. Slade suggested there may be some latent genetic component to such musical inclinations.
He spoke about how memories are stored across multiple parts of the brain which work in concert with each other to remember things or trigger memories. He also recommended a list of power foods for the brain which are high in antioxidants, omega fats, and protein, including fatty fish, coffee (in moderation), blueberries, turmeric, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, nuts, oranges, eggs, and green tea.
Open Lines followed in the latter half of the program. Roger recounted the time he was driving a cargo van from Janesville, Wisconsin to Cleveland, Ohio, and lost traction on icy roads. According to Roger, he slid uncontrollably toward what he thought was certain doom and blacked out. "I saw the street below and two retaining walls coming at me," he said, adding "I thought I died... when I woke up I was in the median between the two freeways, and I was trembling." Roger believes God was looking out for him that night.
Gladys in San Francisco phoned in to tell George about a frightening shadow person encounter she had when she was eight years old. Gladys recalled waking up around 2:30am to a still dark house. "As I looked through the doorway I saw this shadowy figure," she said. Gladys described what she saw as a silhouette of a person wearing a tall hat peering back at her.
Valerie from Texas admitted her family has a running joke about her killing celebrities. Apparently, often when Valerie decides to watch the movies of a particular celebrity, that person dies. She noted Christopher Plummer, whom she just watched in The Sound of Music, as well as Prince in Purple Rain as two examples of actors dying after she watched their films. "It happens all the time," she said.