The power of thought – One of the greatest riddles of science | DW Documentary
Whether you like it or not, thoughts are constantly racing through your mind. Even when you’re trying not to think about anything. And although people have been researching thoughts for over 5,000 years, it’s still not clear how a thought arises — or what exactly a thought is.
How thoughts arise is still one of the greatest mysteries of science. But it has been clear for millennia that they have an enormous influence on human health. Now, as researchers like neuroscientist Ulrike Bingel of Essen University Hospital use imaging techniques to illustrate things like the placebo effect, interest in human thought power has exploded.
Thoughts have an effect on the body. For psychologist Ellen Langer, they are the most powerful medicine. In numerous experiments, she proved that thoughts can influence blood sugar levels, help you lose weight and even measurably rejuvenate you. However, thoughts are difficult to control: The majority are unconscious and shaped by old thought patterns.
In the past few years, neurotechnologies have begun to play a role: Brazilian physician and neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis was the first to interface the brain with a computer, helping a rat move things outside its body. Meanwhile, even airplanes can be controlled using similar techniques. However, thoughts can also be manipulated via neurotechnology. Who will ensure that our thoughts remain free?
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