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Courtney Wylie
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Courtney Wylie is an attorney on the professional development team at Drinker Biddle located in Chicago.
Courtney Wylie is an attorney on the professional development team at Drinker Biddle located in Chicago.

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Let's reduce the stigma together.
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via Voices of Recovery Podcast Series – Episode 6 It is so important to be able to talk about these issues openly and honestly, I hope my story helps to inspire others in the profession to do the same.
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Things happen the way they are meant to!
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Getting the invitation to be an American Bar Foundation Fellow today, reminded me how important it is to stay passionate about what you do no matter the obstacles. Helping to create a better legal profession is my passion.  Having received a few “Nos” to…
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Interesting to see that it isn't the type of music that matters. I wonder if it is different for increasing focus or memory for studying...
Music Has Powerful (and Visible) Effects on the Brain
It doesn’t matter if it’s Bach, the Beatles, Brad Paisley or Bruno Mars. Your favorite music likely triggers a similar type of activity in your brain as other people’s favorites do in theirs.

That’s one of the things Jonathan Burdette, M.D., has found in researching music’s effects on the brain.

“Music is primal. It affects all of us, but in very personal, unique ways,” said Burdette, a neuroradiologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “Your interaction with music is different than mine, but it’s still powerful.

“Your brain has a reaction when you like or don’t like something, including music. We’ve been able to take some baby steps into seeing that, and ‘dislike’ looks different than ‘like’ and much different than ‘favorite.’”

To study how music preferences might affect functional brain connectivity – the interactions among separate areas of the brain – Burdette and his fellow investigators used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which depicts brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow. Scans were made of 21 people while they listened to music they said they most liked and disliked from among five genres (classical, country, rap, rock and Chinese opera) and to a song or piece of music they had previously named as their personal favorite.

Those fMRI scans showed a consistent pattern: The listeners’ preferences, not the type of music they were listening to, had the greatest impact on brain connectivity – especially on a brain circuit known to be involved in internally focused thought, empathy and self-awareness. This circuit, called the default mode network, was poorly connected when the participants were listening to the music they disliked, better connected when listening to the music they liked and the most connected when listening to their favorites.

The researchers also found that listening to favorite songs altered the connectivity between auditory brain areas and a region responsible for memory and social emotion consolidation.

Source & further reading:
http://www.newswise.com/articles/music-has-powerful-and-visible-effects-on-the-brain

#neuroscience #music #functionalconnectivity #brainactivity #neuroimaging
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Laughter can be incredibly powerful. Now, there is neuroscience to support this.
Social Laughter Releases Endorphins in the Brain
The recent results obtained by researchers from Turku PET Centre, the University of Oxford and Aalto University have revealed how social laughter leads to endorphin release in the brain, possibly promoting establishment of social bonds.

Social laughter led to pleasurable feelings and significantly increased release of endorphins and other opioid peptides in the brain areas controlling arousal and emotions. The more opioid receptors the participants had in their brain, the more they laughed during the experiment.

"Our results highlight that endorphin release induced by social laughter may be an important pathway that supports formation, reinforcement, and maintenance of social bonds between humans. The pleasurable and calming effects of the endorphin release might signal safety and promote feelings of togetherness. The relationship between opioid receptor density and laughter rate also suggests that opioid system may underlie individual differences in sociability", says Professor Lauri Nummenmaa from Turku PET Centre, the University of Turku.

"The results emphasize the importance of vocal communication in maintaining human social networks. Other primates maintain social contacts by mutual grooming, which also induces endorphin release. This is however very time consuming. Because social laughter leads to similar chemical response in the brain, this allows significant expansion of human social networks: laughter is highly contagious, and the endorphin response may thus easily spread through large groups that laugh together", tells Professor Robin Dunbar from the University of Oxford.

Journal article:
http://www.jneurosci.org/content/37/25/6125

Source & further reading:
http://www.utu.fi/en/news/news/Pages/Social-Laughter-Releases-Endorphins-in-the-Brain.aspx

#neuroscience #endorphins #laughter #opioidreceptors #research
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via ABA House of Delegates Adopts Lawyer Well-Being Resolution
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It is undeniable that the practice of law is a male dominated field but by working together we can start to create a positive shift.  This is why the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois teamed up with Loyola Law School to host their inaugural Women in Law…
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