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Picture and paper source: Science 318, 980 (2007);
Louis N. Manganas, et al.

Progenitor Cells in the Live Human Brain
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Identifies Neural. by Louis N. Manganas, et al

The adult mammalian brain retains the ability
to generate new neurons. These neurons
are produced from neural stem and progenitor
cells (NPCs), which reside in the hippocampus
and the subventricular zone (1–4). NPCs
possess the ability to self-renew and also to
generate progeny that can give rise to mature cell
types. The ability of NPCs to produce neurons,
astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes in vitro and in
vivo raises the prospect of harnessing them to
repair nerve tissue damaged or lost to neurological
disease or trauma (1, 2, 4)....(read rest of the paper...)

(Paper source: Science 318, 980 (2007);
Louis N. Manganas, et al.)



These places will be also dedicated to considering and examining the science of the brain and the nervous system, in particular the field of neuroscience, neurobiology, called neuroplasticity. These studies will be gathered from multiple perspectives: genetic, molecular, cellular, anatomical, neurophysiological, system, comparative, evolutionary, computational, behavioral, societal, cosmological and beyond. They will include organisms in all stages of development, but concentrate on the mature, adult, and aging stages of development. This research component won't be for everyone, (although anyone is invited and is welcome to participate), but is mainly for people who have a scientific interest and curiosity in these areas.

Further, we feel that it is important to make sure that these research activities won't interfere with the overall dialogue and the deeper intent of the retreats. On the contrary, we want this scientific field and activity to give us feedback, perspective and reliable knowledge and insight when necessary. We won't have actual science labs, but our purpose is to understand, analyze, review, and summarize other scientists' brain and nervous system research with clear and rigorous scientific approaches. There are currently in the world many scientists and labs generating good, prolific data, but there is not enough interpretation, synthesis or meta-analysis of these data.

Although we are aware that science will not solve our fundamental human problems, we feel that scienfitic qualities such as unbiased observation, dedication, and the pursuit of truth are also genuine spiritual qualities. Science can also give us perspective, facts, technology, and can challenge our assumptions. .

The main purpose for including the science of the brain and nervous system in these places is to first, keep any of the guests who will come to these retreats, up to date on what is happening in these fields; second, to bring up issues that can be investigated in dialogues; and third, when appropiate, point to corroboration, support or refutation of the insights that will be generated from direct discoveries of retreat interactions, dialogues and meditative endeavours.

Our reasoning and asumptions for including science and, specifically, the science of the brain and nervous system stem from the following:

We are interested in changing both individuals and society. We feel that this change involves the whole structure and depth that makes us human, from our biology, body, brain, all the way to the universe; from our minds, thinking, feelings, behavior, society, all the way to what we can call the spiritual, goodness, and beyond.

We also acknowledge that the human brain, with its ancient, current and pervasive activity of thought, language, experience and knowledge is caught in narrow behavior, fixed patterns, closed loops and one dimensional responses that greatly contribute to its deterioration and decay, affecting its overall functioning and health.

The brain, at one point in time, (and to this day, and at every moment), apparently in the process of developing higher functioning activities, from external movements to internal, cognitive ones, shifts into protecting more the content of these particular cognitive activities (thought, emotions and self-images) rather than the actual physical reality and the meaning of its existence.

So, we feel that a fundamental change in human beings has to include the brain and nervous system, which means the understanding of matter is crucial in order to allow genuine change and be able to have an insight into its unlimited source which is where we feel the real generation of this change comes from.

It is important to reflect on the fact that we are dealing, in these creative dialogues, not with a particular brain, but with an ancient common human brain, which makes the source of human problems universal and systemic. And although it includes particular problems, the source of these problems is deeper and universal, and there is a need to deal with them at that level.

Again, scientific work involves experiments, observations,insights, theories, understanding of facts, truths, and evidence, and we feel that dialogue or creative encounters and conversations among each other have the same qualities and, in a way, covers a similar scientific process, (except that the 'experiments' in dialogue come from an actual understanding of one's brain/mind, what it is now called, first person methodology) and in creative dialogues theory and facts (theory, understood as a way of observing, from 'theatre' in Greek) can be viewed as the living state of our unbiased observation of our own life, of our brain, emotions and thoughts, body, nature, society. And the evidence in creative dialogue can be shown or tested by the quality of our brain/mind, and our overalll behavior over time.

In sum, we feel that the brain can not only deeply change its structure and functioning, creating a new and more meaningful culture, but can, more importantly, renew itself.





Experience in a new environment can change the structure of the adult mammalian brain. Exposing laboratory rodents to complex or “enriched” settings enhances many aspects of brain structure, including the number and size of neurons, the complexity of dendritic trees, and the number of synapses, thereby affecting cognition, such as learning and memory (van Praag et al., 2000). The genetic background of the animal also influences the response of the brain when interacting with the environment (Kempermann et al., 1997; Kempermann and Gage, 2002). Likely, most of these changes are consequences of new settings of gene expression in the affected brain target region. These findings indicate that the adult brain remains highly plastic and responsive to complex experiences. Thus, it is clear that structural processes typically associated with brain development continue to operate in the adult brain on an ongoing basis. To our knowledge, no genetic alteration has ever been reported in the brain after an individual exposure to a new environment.

(Introduction paragraph from: Environmental Influence on L1 Retrotransposons in the Adult Hippocampus, Alysson R. Muotri,1* Chunmei Zhao,2 Maria C.N. Marchetto,2 and Fred H. Gage2. Hippocampus. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2009 October 7 Published in final edited form as: Hippocampus. 2009 October; 19(10): 1002–1007. doi: 10.1002/hipo.20564.


 Legal formalization of a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Construction of a well-designed website. Already a reality, we have finished this current design and althouth not fully operational, the main parts are, we will continue to work on it this year.

Formation of an organizing team committed to developing the formal and informal steps necessary to bring these centers to fruition, and to provide the scientific networks for neurobiology and brain research.

Formatization of a Board of Directors. Anyone interested in being part of a Board of Director? please write to us.

Exploration for funding, including revenue guidelines essential to initiate and build a solid financial endowment. Anyone ready to donate?

Exploration of potential land and facilities (beginning in California), including settings based on Frank Lloyd Wright's organic visions, and Christopher Alexander's design theories. Anyone ready to donate land or facilities?

Discussion of management styles based in part on Peter Senge's organizational insights.




Science is an ever-changing process. As new research and clinical experience broadens our knowledge and understanding and changes at all levels are part of the scientific process. The authors have checked with sources believed to be reliable in their efforts to provide information that is complete and generally in accord with the standards accepted at the time of publication. However, in view of the possibility of human error or changes in sciences, neither the authors nor the Pebble Project Educational Retreat Centers nor any other party who has been involved in the preparation or publication of this work warrants that the information contained herein is in every respect accurate or complete, and they are not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources.










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