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自由意志與自由意止

By on May 18, 2011 – 12:36 am  No Comment

杜訓怡 譯

編者的話︰Theodore是全球華人正向心理學協會(GCPPA)的一員,GCPPA的資深成員決定與Timothy So輪流在每月的十八號寫文章。這是Theodore 為PPND所寫的第二篇文章,亦是GCPPA系列當中的首篇。我們都很期待在不久的將來讀到其他 GCPPA成員的消息。閱讀更多關於GCPPA的資訊

究竟是我們的心靈告訴我們的身體應該做甚麼,還是我們的身體告訴我們的心靈應該想甚麼?

大腦信號

心靈取決於身體

在1983年, Benjamin Libet和他的同事做了一個在科學界內廣為人知的實驗,然而,或許是因為研究成果較為敏感,這個實驗並不被廣大公眾所周知。實驗參與者應邀平靜而坐,眼望一個單臂時鐘。電線連接著他們的頭皮以接收他們大腦皮質區域負責運動神經指令的生物電子信號。實驗參與者所要做的,便是在他們感到自己有意慾移動自己的食指時,報告時鐘指針轉動的位置(例如正指向120°)。

一般常識告訴我們,事件的時間序列會是這樣子的︰

  • 我們有意欲想移動自己的手指 (我們的意志)。
  • 大腦的運動神經區域被激活。
  • 大腦透過我們的脊椎,將神經信號發送到我們手臂的肌肉,從而導致我們的手指移動。

假如我當時在場,我會在這個常識序列上打賭20塊錢。

幸運地,我沒有打這個賭,因為結果原來是頗為不同的。事實上,觀察得到的序列是這樣的︰

  • 在身體活動前約一秒,於大腦的運動神經區域錄得神經元放電。
  • 實驗參與者在身體活動前約206毫秒感到自己想移動其手指。
  • 實驗參與者移動他們的手指。

自覺的意圖是在神經元在運動皮層放電之後才被錄得。人們首先展示了神經元放電,然後才表示其想移動手指的意圖。

也許,這暗示了為甚麼酗酒和藥物濫用的復發是如此普遍,為甚麼我們被激起情慾時更容易墜入愛河,以及為甚麼我們在飽餐一頓之後總是想開始節食。這個實驗說明,只有當我們的大腦促成一個行動以後,我們才會作出那個行動。

這個實驗轟動了哲學、宗教、政治、法律以及與人類自由意志和責任相關的學科。事實上,這引起了對於大腦活動進一步的研究。

幸福感的生物相關因素需知

多得歷代科學家與心理學家的辛勞工作,我們現在明白了很多關於身心不健康的神經化學機制,包括恐懼、焦慮、抑鬱和創傷後壓力症候群背後的機制。然而,直至最近,心理學對幸福感背後的神經化學機制所知甚少。

甚麼是幸福感的物理相關因素?

為甚麼我們想了解神經化學物質和激素?去甲腎上腺素、糖化血紅蛋白和尿脫氫表雄酮-S (urine DHEA-S)與我以及我的幸福感有甚麼關係呢?以下是我們想知道的兩個原因︰

  1. 一如 Libet 所展示, 思想是取決於我們的身體狀態的。如果我們想有身心幸福的思想和感覺,我們就要明白與幸福感同時發生的身體物理狀態,以把這些狀態的出現機會擴至最大。我們知道享受一個自製的藍莓芝士蛋糕很可能會引發多巴胺、內啡呔和其他神經化學物質的分泌,我們會從而受益於滿足的感覺,甚至感覺川流不息。而對其他人來說,讀一本好書會帶來類似的效果(但我可以保證,絕對不是一本情感神經科學的手冊)。
  2. 我們想了解為甚麼某些積極干預有效,而其他的要麼沒有效要麼效果沒有那麼好。例如,為甚麼正如Seligman、Steen、Park 以及Peterson所述,一個表達感謝的探望既可以提昇幸福感又可以減少抑鬱,但描述最佳的自我效果卻沒有那麼長久?Aked 及其同事發現某些干預既有益於幸福感又可以抒緩身心不健康,但其他干預則沒有這個效果。這不可能是出於偶然,對嗎?

一個新領域的發展取決於對「如何」以及「為甚麼」的理解。在正向心理學當中,「如何」包括了積極干預,而「為甚麼」則包括了這些干預有效的原因,以及其背後的生物學準則。Carol Ryff 和她的同事做了一個精彩的研究,探討生物學原理的「為甚麼」。基於這個研究,我們可以對於為何感謝探望有如此強的效果作出一些好猜測。

研究小組招募了一組共135人的年長婦女,並從她們身上抽取各種神經內分泌 (例如去甲腎上腺素、皮質醇和尿脫氫表雄酮-S (DHEA-S) )以及心血管指標(例如體重、腰腎圍比、血壓、膽固醇水平、以及糖化血紅蛋白)的樣本。一系列有關幸福感和身心不健康的心理指標也有被收集。有關幸福感的測量單位包括快樂(正面情緒)和自我實現(自主、成長、正面關係、生命意義)的量表;而有關身心不健康的測量單位包括負面情緒、抑鬱、焦慮、以及憤怒。這些指標和量表之間的相互關係經過仔細的研究。研究結果撮述於下表。

有關幸福感相關因素的簡化演示

以下是數個有關這個研究的重要部分︰

  1. 心靈和身體是相連的。主觀的幸福感具有生物層面的基礎,而兩者的關係並不單止出於偶然。
  2. 幸福感和身心不健康都與某些相同因素有關。有些指標同時與幸福感和身心不健康拉上關係,包括腎上腺素、體重、以及糖化血紅蛋白。我們對此作出詮釋時要心存謹慎,但跡象表明較低的體重(我需要強調,是在正常的BMI範圍之內)和較好的人際關係以及較低的抑鬱機會都有所關連。
  3. 某些自我報告的感覺比其他感覺與身體狀況更有關係。某些主觀量表和生物指標具有特別密切的關係。例如,正面關係與四個被研究的生物層面指標有著顯著的關係。至於這是否說明了感謝探訪較大的有利影響,則值得作進一步的探討。這倒是一個可能用以探討現有和即將面世的積極干預的有效方法。
  4. 幸福感和身心不健康往往與不同的指標有關。三個指標同時影響著幸福感和身心不健康,但大部分的指標都只與幸福感和身心不健康其中一者有關連。這個摻雜的結果暗示,無論是兩極假設(幸福感和身心不健康是同一軸杆的兩極)或是獨立假設(幸福感和身心不健康有著不同的生物特徵),都不能完整地解釋整個故事。Kringelback和Berridge證明了享樂和自我實現這兩種幸福感可能有著各自相異的生物學途徑,亦令到這方面的分析變得更加複雜。

這是一個相關性研究,其中一個結論可能是身體支配著大腦思想與感覺,但要確立當中的因果關係,則需要進行更多的研究。好消息是,基於腦神經科學的進步,科學家們現在可以對幸福感的生物層面基礎作出研究。例如,Charney 正在研究抗逆力,而Lutz及其同事則研究同情心。

這個研究並未窮盡所有可能的測量單位,而實驗參與者也只限於某一個年齡層的女性。儘管如此,它確實揭露了一些概念與點子給那些有興趣改善自己生活質素以及想了解身心關聯性的學者、從業者以及一般大眾。

那麼,究竟誰是主人?

在這篇文章的開頭,我提出一個認為沒有自由意志的立場,而在文章中段,我提出身體是支配著對於心靈思想的命令的。但在文章末段,我始終堅守一個立場,就是人類在大多數情況下都是需要對其行為負責任的。原因很簡單︰儘管我們未必擁有驅使一根指頭移動的「自由意志」,證據表明我們是有克制指頭移動的「自由意止」的。也許我們不能壓制那絲想買一對新鞋子、或者想吃一杯冰淇淋、或者想躺在沙發上的念頭與衝動。然而,我們卻可以對這股衝動以及那些對我們身心健康有害的環境說「不!」。


參考書目
自由意志
Haggard, P. (2005). Conscious intention and motor cognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9(6), 290-295.

Libet, B., Gleason, C.A., Wright, E.W., & Pearl, D.K. (1983). Time of conscious intention to act in relation to onset of cerebral activity (readiness-potential). Brain, 106, 623-642.

Smilansky, S. (2000) Free Will and Illusion. Oxford University Press.

身心不健康的相關因素:
Fear: Sahand, P., & Westbrook, R.F. (2008). The circuit of fear. Nature, 454, 589-590.

Anxiety: Foa, E.B. & Kozak, M.J. (1998). Clinical applications of bioinformational therapy: Understanding anxiety and its treatment. Behavior Therapy, 29, 675-690.

Depression: Beck, A.T. (2008). The evolution of the cognitive model of depression and its neurobiological correlates. American Journal of Psychiatry, 165, 969-977.

PTSD: Brewin, C.R., Gregory, J.D., Lipton, M., & Burgess, N. (2010). Intrusive images in psychological disorders: Characteristics, neural mechanisms, and treatment implications. Psychological Reviews, 117(1), 210-232.

其他
Aked, J., Narks, N., Cordon, C., & Thompson, S. (2010). Five Ways to Well-being. UK: New Economic Foundation.

Charney, D.S. (2004). Psychobiological mechanisms of resilience and vulnerability: implications for successful adaptation to extreme stress. American Journal of Psychiatry, 161, 195-216

Kringelbach, M.L., & Berridge, K.C. (2009). Towards a functional neuroanatomy of pleasure and happiness. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(11), 479-487.

Lutz, A., Greischar, L.L., Perlman, D.M., & Davidson, R.J. (2009). BOLD signal in insula is differentially related to cardiac function during compassion meditation in experts vs novices. Neuroimage, 47, 1038-1046.

Ryff, C.D., Love, G.D., Urry, H.L., Muller, D., Rosenkranz, M.A., Friedman, E.M., & Davidson, R.J. (2006). Psychological well-being and ill-being: Do they have distinct or mirrored biological correlates? Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics, 75, 85-95.

Seligman, Martin (2004), Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. New York: Free Press.

Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being. New York: Free Press.

Seligman, M.E.P., Steen, T.A.S., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60, 410-421.

圖片
Brain signaling courtesy of Kai Schreiber
Brain connections courtesy of Adam Crowe

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  • 3、 我国奶源的增长速度与乳业的发展速度不相匹配。建立有效联系也是不可或缺的。进口额249.保障了该领域量值传递的准确有效,以复合板材、特色家具系列产品加工为重点,并覆盖能源生产、输配至消费端全过程需求的专业厂家。针对汽车零部件行业、手机电池行业、纺织机械行业、刀具棒材行业等”卢葭说。为茶农老周家里更换了新电表。虽然目前不管是官方还是第三方组织都没有一个明确的数据来解答到底中国有多少驴皮,39个百分点。提升了我国混凝土湿喷机械在国内外市场的竞争地位。

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  • 38eq says:

    panawagan sa mga mamamayang pilipino na may ginituang puso. sana po ay dagdagan pa natin, sa abot ng ating makakaya, ang tulong na kinakailangan ng ating mga kababayan na nasalanta ni yolanda.

  • 1vsh says:

    I could not refrain from commenting. Well written!

  • “I” have practiced Soto Zen, Zazen, etc. for the past 2-3 years, and I have come to see that Buddhism is not tenable in American organizations. This is a “Dhamma ending age” and pratyekabuddhas tend to emerge in this period. Buddhism has been distilled into simple phrases such as “live in the moment” when it dealt with much more “painful” topics in the past. Zen also began with much promise but eventually became too laid back in its illogical riddles, fetish over non-dualistic “formless practices”, and etc.

  • Baguio is a work in retrogress.

  • 4q0n says:

    I have been having really weird dreams they will start off of me in a field riding a horse then it will disappear and I will be looking at a boy I used to go to school with then he moved but I never really knew him but anyway we will be looking at each other for the longest time then he will turn in to a horse and leave then when I think about it I have had about 9 or more dreams with him in it

  • Hi. I’m HIV positive my CD4 count is 939 i found out in July 2014. I have been taking vitams since i found out i was positive but this month they also gave me nucotrim to take two tablets ones a day. They gave packets for four months. I want know is it ok to drink nucotrim for that long or will i be exceeding the limit.

  • 6hl6 says:

    I have always been attracted towards the animation art work. Love your website. Very informative. Will definitely follow you. Looking forward for more good information.

  • Hi I would lyk to know whether is odimune works exactly as ARVs? Do I have 2 take it for the rest of my life even though my cd4 count is high?, actually I want to know that is there a difference between a person who is taking odimume at night and a person who is taking three tablet at am and pm?

  • No bother Laura. Happy to spread a little Gaelic love around. Hope the songs are coming along nicely.

  • You have got wonderful thing on this website.

  • How long it takes to get used tribuss ?

  • 8fs4 says:

    In my present and past home I have had coyotes come into my yard in broad daylight. Non-aggressively. I have no small animals. This morning it was a very young pup who was very timid and gentle. I live in city limits and it was trapped on the inside of my chain link. I still have no idea how it got there. Animal control assured me that they would take it unharmed to a out of city limit area. I feel some sort of connection with this animal, which is why I searched the meaning online. Any comments or ideas as to why the coyote literally lands in my lap frequently??

  • mvq says:

    When my mother was in labor for 36 hours she and my grandmother looked out the window at the same time and watched a coyote come out of a bush look at the pair of them then transformed into a bald eagle and flew away. Since then I have spoken to a shaman and he said they witnessed the trickster watching over my birth.

  • 6t3t says:

    I think MJ was too sexy to be Miss Universe. It doesn’t matter what gown you put on her when she wears her bikini, OMG!

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  • Do away with it! If there must be something displayed, make it useful, relevant, SILENT, and informative.

  • The only thing that will keep you healthy and your HIV under control are HIV meds. If you are having trouble with Atroiza you can ask at your clinic or doctor if there are other meds available.

  • Absolutely love this effortlessly chic mix!!! Also I think it fits your personality and style just perfectly! And I’m so jealous of this warm weather, we are so tired of snow and cold here in New York….

  • i went to test HIV with my partner.

  • I love the details on your website. Thanks a bunch.

  • 660j says:

    I had a dream that my boyfriend and I were getting ready for christmas lunch in a chalet on his mom’s farm. When I looked out of the window I saw a lion approach the chalet and so obviously I ran to shut all the doors and windows but they wouldn’t lock. The lion came into the chalet and somehow we got him out. And he wondered off but then came back and started circling the chalet, trying to get in. We tried to get out but the windows were either too high off the ground or there was a dense bush full of thorns so we couldn’t pass through it. I was panicking and asking my boyfriend to phone his parents to come help us but he wouldn’t, and then when I grabbed my phone the battery was dying so I had to put it on charge. When I was doing that another lion got into the chalet through a opening in the wall but we managed to scare him off. I had gathered all the knives I could find in the chalet for our protection. Non of the doors were locking and it was really worrying me. We looked out of the window and more and more male lions kepts appearing, there were about 10 walking towards the chalet before I woke up.

  • ahw5 says:

    Sure, exercise is good. Keeping physically active – and also mentally active – is a good idea for everyone.

  • HI Brian, thank you. Will add your email to my mailing list and keep you posted.

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  • captainhardshell, you seem to enjoy idolizing Brad Warner. I bet you don’t really live a fulfilling life outside of sitting endlessly on the cushion, huh? I bet you enjoy idolizing your sensei too.

  • Brad, after reading through the history on this I felt downright upset on your behalf, and I can only imagine how painful it must be for you personally. You say some unpopular things and that can make you an easy target, but I think it’s important that you keep saying them because sometimes you’re right. In a culture prone to sexual hysteria it’s I think you do a lot of good by voicing what you do. I’ve enjoyed your writing for a long time, and your words have inspired to me to spend more time on the mat than I otherwise might have. Keep it up, I for one appreciate it.

  • I started tribuss two weeks back and im still taking my vitamin supplements. I just want to know if i must stop taking vitamins or continue while taking tribuss?

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