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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 精神身体医学寻找身心健康联系

2017年11月13日11:35 来源:互联网
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想看上一篇双语阅读?点这里>>生物学家探究人手进化之谜

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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 精神身体医学寻找身心健康联系图1

Psychosomatic medicine——Think yourself well

精神身体医学:好好反省一下

You can. But it helps to think well of yourself in the first place

你可以。只是它会先帮你好好自省。

这篇阅读材料还有MP3音频哦!下载>>传送门

THE link between mind and body is terrain into which many medical researchers, fearing ridicule, dare not tread.

大脑与身体之间存在着千丝万缕的联系,但是,因为怕被嘲笑,很多医学研究人员不敢涉足这块领域。

But perhaps more should do so.

但是,可能应该有更多人来研究它。

For centuries, doctors have recognised the placebo effect, in which the illusion of treatment, such as pills without an active inGREdient, produces real medical benefits.

数个世纪以来,医生们已经认识到了安慰剂的效力,其实是一种错觉治疗达到了真正的药物效应,比如没有实际疗效的药丸等。

More recently, respectable research has demonstrated that those who frequently experience positive emotions live longer and healthier lives.

最近以来,相当受重视的研究表明, 那些经常以积极的态度生活的人活得更长久,而且更健康。

They have fewer heart attacks, for example, and fewer colds too.

比如,他们几乎不会有心脏病,而且也很少感冒。

Why this happens, though, is only slowly becoming understood.

只是这种现象现在还无法解释。

What is needed is an experiment that points out specific and measurable ways in which such emotions alter an individual's biology.

我们需要的是做一个试验,指明具体的,可衡量以情绪改变人体生物机理的方式。

And a study published in Psychological Science, by Barbara Fredrickson and Bethany Kok at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, does precisely that.

位于查珀尔希尔的北卡罗莱纳州大学的巴巴拉弗雷德里克松和伯斯尼考克最近进行了一项研究,发表在心理科学杂志,他们的研究正体现了这点。

Dr Fredrickson and Dr Kok concentrated their attentions on the vagus nerve.

弗雷德里克松教授和考克教授集中于研究迷走神经。

This nerve starts in the brain and runs, via numerous branches, to several thoracic and abdominal organs including the heart.

这种神经起始端在大脑,通过众多的分支与几大胸部和腹部器官,包括心脏相连。

Among its jobs is to send signals telling that organ to slow down during moments of calm and safety.

它的一项职能就是,发出信号告诉这些器官,在人体处于平静和安全的时候减缓工作步伐。

How effectively the vagus nerve is working can be tracked by monitoring someone's heart rate as he breathes in and out.

你可以通过监测一个人呼吸时的心率来有效地追踪迷走神经的工作过程。

Healthy vagal function is reflected in a subtle increase in heart rate while breathing in and a subtle decrease while breathing out.

如果迷走神经工作正常的话,你可以从人体吸进空气时心率的不明显增加上看出来,同样,当人体呼出空气时心率也会有微弱的减少。

The difference yields an index of vagal tone, and the value of this index is known to be connected with health.

如果迷走神经处于不健康状态时,会产生不同的迷走张力指数。

Low values are, for example, linked to inflammation and heart attacks.

众所周知,这个指数值与健康密切相关。比如,指数值低的话,就可能说明有炎症,及心脏病了。

What particularly interested Dr Fredrickson and Dr Kok was recent work that showed something else about the vagal-tone index:

特别有趣的是,弗雷德里克松教授和考克教授最近研究也显示了与迷走神经张力指数有关的其它东西。

people with high tone are better than those with low at stopping bad feelings getting overblown.

在避免让不良情绪扩大方面,指数高的人这方面的能力明显优于指数低的人。

They also show more positive emotions in general.

这些人平时也会表现出更乐观积极的情绪。

This may provide the missing link between emotional well-being and physical health.

这可能也弥补了在情感福祉与身体健康之间缺失的一环。

In particular, the two researchers found, during a preliminary study they carried out in 2011, that the vagal-tone values of those who experience positive emotions over a period of time go up.

特别是,两位研究者发现,在他们2011年的初期实验中,那些一直保持积极乐观情绪的人的迷走神经张力指数也上升了。

This left them wondering whether positive emotions and vagal tone drive one another in a virtuous spiral.

这个现象让他们想知道,积极情绪和张力指数之间的良性循环,究竟哪个才是真正的驱动呢?

They therefore conducted an experiment on 65 of the university's staff, to try to find out.

因此,他们对65所大学中的人员进行了试验,想找出真相。

【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 精神身体医学寻找身心健康联系图2

They measured all of their volunteers' vagal tones at the beginning of the experiment and at its conclusion nine weeks later.

他们测得了刚开始试验时,试验志愿者的张力指数及九周后的张力指数。

In between, the volunteers were asked to go each evening to a website especially designed for the purpose, and rate their most powerful emotional experiences that day.

在试验期间,志愿者们被要求每晚去一家指定的,特别为这个试验设计的网站,并且为他们每天最强烈的情感体验打分。

Dr Fredrickson and Dr Kok asked their volunteers to consider nine positive emotions, such as hope, joy and love, and 11 negative ones, including anger, boredom and disgust.

弗雷德里克松教授和考克教授要求志愿者们想着积极的情绪,比如希望,喜悦和爱,还有11种消极的情绪,包括愤怒,厌倦和厌恶。

They were asked to rate, on a five-point scale, whether—and how strongly—they had felt each emotion.

志愿者们打分的标准分为五级,他们是否感觉到了要求的情绪,有多强烈等。

One point meant not at all; five meant extremely.

一级意味着没什么;五级意味着极其。

In addition, half the participants, chosen at random, were invited to a series of workshops run by a licensed therapist, to learn a meditation technique intended to engender in the meditator a feeling of goodwill towards both himself and others.

另外,以随机的方式抽取了一半的参与者,被邀请参加一系列由特许理疗师主持的研讨会,学习冥想技巧,以达到成为一名对自己或者他人心怀善意的禅定者。

This group was encouraged to meditate daily, and to report the time they spent doing so.

研究人员鼓励这些人每天都冥想,并且要汇报他们花了多长时间做这件事。

Dr Fredrickson and Dr Kok discovered that vagal tone increased significantly in people who meditated, and hardly at all in those who did not.

弗雷德里克松教授和考克教授发现,这些人的每天冥想,使得他们的张力指数明显上升,而那些没有参与冥想学习的人几乎没什么变化。

Among meditators, those who started the experiment with the highest vagal-tone scores reported the biggest increases in positive emotions.

在这些冥想者中,那些试验开始时迷走神经张力指数最高的人,在他们身上最大的变化就是保持积极情绪的时间更大长了。

Meditators who started with particularly low scores showed virtually no such boost.

而开始试验时张力指数特别低的冥想者,他们的变化就没有前者那么大。

Taken as a whole, these findings suggest high vagal tone makes it easier to generate positive emotions and that this, in turn, drives vagal tone still higher.

总体来说,这些发现表明,在张力指数高的情况下更容易产生积极的情绪,而反过来,积极的情绪又会让指数变得更高。

That is both literally and metaphorically a positive feedback loop.

而这种现象无论是从字面上还是从修辞上,都称为正面的回馈循环。

Which is good news for the emotionally positive, but bad for the emotionally negative, for it implies that those who most need a psychosomatic boost are incapable of generating one.

这些对拥有积极情绪的人是个好消息,而对总是弥漫着消极情绪的人可是个坏消息,因为它暗示,那些最需要身心健康的人是无法自己达成这个目的的。

A further experiment by Dr Kok suggests, however, that the grumpy need not give up all hope.

但考克博士进行了一项更深度的试验,认为那些郁郁寡欢的人也不要完全放弃希望。

A simpler procedure than meditation, namely reflecting at night on the day's social connections, did seem to cause some improvement to their vagal tone.

一个比冥想更简单的,在当天晚上即反映其一天社会关系的方式,似乎对这些人的张力指数有些提高作用。

This might allow even those with a negative outlook on life to bootstrap their way to a mental state from which they could then advance to the more powerful technique of meditation.

这可能让那些拥有消极人生观的人通过他们自己的方式,引导自身进入一种让他们可以拥有更强大冥想技巧的精神状态。

Whether, besides improving general health, the mechanism Dr Fredrickson and Dr Kok have discovered helps explain the placebo effect remains to be investigated.

除了改善一般健康,弗雷德里克松教授和考克教授发现的生理机制也在某种程度上说明了,安慰剂的效果仍有待研究。

But it might, because part of that effect seems to be the good feeling engendered by the fact of being treated.

但是,也许安慰剂真的是作用的,因为它们的部分效果似乎产生了良好的幸福感,这是基于病人认为他们正在接受治疗这个事实。

More generally, doctors in the ancient world had a saying: a healthy mind in a healthy body.

更普遍的是,古时的医生都会说这样一句话:健康的心态,健康的身体。

This sort of work suggests that though this proverb is true, a better one might be, a healthy mind for a healthy body.

上述研究表明,虽然这种谚语是正确的,可能这种描述会更好些,为了健康的身体,你必须保持健康的心态。

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