Imagine a world where emotional health is prioritised and celebrated as a fundamental aspect of human well-being. A world where individuals are equipped with the tools and knowledge to take control of their emotional landscape and achieve true balance in their lives.
That world is closer than you might think…
Today, our very own Victoria Ke, Head of Communication at Love Out Loud, sat down with neuroscientist, and inTruth Chief Scientific Advisor, Dr. Kaushik Ram, to discuss the significant role of emotional health in our lives and his groundbreaking research – which is paving the way for a new era of emotional health empowerment.
“How you feel can affect your ability to carry out everyday activities, your relationships, and your overall health. How you react to your experiences and feelings can change over time. Emotional wellness is the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses and adapt to change and difficult times.”
– National Institute of Mental Health
As a leading expert in neuroscience, Dr. Ram brings together over a decade of study on the science of the brain and body, and his groundbreaking discovery shows how to biologically unlock the moment-to-moment responsiveness of the heart using the Precognition Method.
Dr. Ram reveals how the brain and body function together, and dives into the Theories of Neurovisceral Integration and Significance Processing, which are essential to achieving emotional health sustainability. Dr. Ram explains how the nervous system and emotional mapping play a critical role in our overall well being, providing actionable insights that can transform the lives of millions worldwide.
With his evidence-based research and application in leadership programs for organisations like ASX, Microsoft and federal government departments, Dr. Ram is a trailblazer in the field of emotional health. He has been featured in multi-award-winning documentaries and is the author of “Hidden World,” a book that connects us to a deeper reality where we not only accept who we are but who we can be.
In this interview, Dr. Ram empowers us to take control of our emotional health and backs it up with scientific evidence. He dives deeper into inTruth’s technology, which provides real-time data and insights to help individuals achieve emotional balance. By leveraging this technology, we can thrive in moments of rapid change, uncertainty, and ambiguity, and become more emotionally adaptable and stable.
Let’s get into it.
Victoria Ke: Dr. Kaushik can you just share a little bit about your role?
Dr. Kaushik: It’s a great privilege to be part of Love Out Loud and inTruth – The role that I play here is providing the scientific groundwork of the inTruth technologies that we’re developing. We were drawing from scientific models, initially around belief systems. Conversations arose and we realised that there were deeper questions that we could answer with this technology.
It is now the core driving force of inTruth technologies. And it is way beyond what our initial discussions were – We’ve come together and have come up with something that was far greater than we could have ever imagined.
Victoria Ke: In many ways we’re doing the work that’s pioneering these spaces. From your scientific perspective, what areas are we leading in this space?
Dr. Kaushik: With inTruth, we combine this research with a technology, we enter an area where we are truly thought leaders because no one has ever done this before. Many of the apps out there are purely talking about stress management or purely talking about the health of the brain. But it’s a much harder problem to solve when you take into account the entire ecosystem. How does the brain and body function together? When we look at emotion, emotion is the Latin equivalent of the word “to let out.” For example, we often vent our emotions because we have no way of managing them or we’ve never been taught how to manage them. This is where the origin of the word emotion comes from.
When we start diving deeper into that, we realise that emotions are our body’s expression to thoughts – and where do these thoughts come from? It depends on the state of our nervous system. Now we can see how this is all related to the brain-body connection2. This is where the thought leadership of inTruth technologies comes from, because we are providing emotion mapping technology to emotion health – a full spectrum emotional measurement tool and equipping that with emotional management strategies.
“An emotion is your brain’s creation of what your bodily sensations mean, in relation to what is going on around you in the world, like when your face flushes and stomach flutters and you construct feelings of attraction.” – Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett
Victoria Ke: For those looking to understand the key science that makes inTruth a breakthrough technology with a breakthrough solution, what studies would you refer to?
Dr. Kaushik: There are really two studies that I personally draw from.
1.) One is the Theory of Neurovisceral Integration3. This theory originated in the early 2000s and it’s subsequently been modelled in various ways. It was originally by an author, Julian Thayer. Since then, I’ve developed my own iteration of that theory, and that has become a fundamental part of my teaching of the Train Your Nervous System Program. It’s no longer just a theory, but a way of regulating the nervous system. I’ve broken this down into eight levels of processing between the brain and body.
2.) The second approach is another theory called the Theory of Significance Processing4. This theory highlights the fact that there is a fundamental way the brain judges what is important to you – And that simply comes down to fear. The moment fear arises, regardless of what triggers that fear, is what is deemed most important. For example, if we hear a loud sound, we have an immediate orienting response to that loud sound, our heart rate accelerates if we feel threatened by it and it goes similarly to memory. If we have had a previous experience, which may have been traumatic when that memory is revoked, we have a similar response to the original experience. It’s as if we are creating and re-experiencing the trauma once memory appears. Salience is significant – It has the most meaning inside your brain. And that’s the theory of significance processing. From this theory, we’ve mapped out the four stages from which emotion turns into feeling, feeling turns into mood and mood turns into a predisposition. This is actually part of the research that I was doing for my PhD. The lab where I was working at are the ones who came up with this theory – The project that I was working on at that time was called the emotional well being project.
Victoria Ke: How well known are these theories in the scientific community? Have they been cited a lot, or are they being cited more recently in the last few years since you’ve been doing this work?
Dr. Kaushik: The Theory of Significance Processing has been cited hundreds of times – it’s quite a niche area of research. It is one theory of many – this goes for the theory of Neurovisceral Integration as well. I see it as the most comprehensive map of the brain and body. I largely draw from Julian Thayer and Ryan Smith’s5 work, which is remotely close to what the HeartMath Institute talks about – Stephen Porges polyvagal theory – but those theories don’t fully capture the brain-body connection. To get a very deep understanding of the pathways, the actual neurological steps that happen in the nervous system, then the subconscious, and then our conscious perception, we require an in-depth look into Neurovisceral Integration.
Victoria Ke: Would you say that would be what makes inTruth accurate? Or are there some other differentiators between inTruth and other technologies that already exist?
Dr. Kaushik: From my understanding the technologies that already exist come from research that is well known – but not actually that deep. That’s the crucial point of difference here:
The application side of things is where I expanded upon, and that developed into the Train Your Nervous System Program. It’s a tried and tested model for therapeutic purposes as well as lasting longevity in the brain and body.
Other models out there come more from a therapeutic and patient care perspective. For that reason, it lacks a lot of key elements in the structure of the theory as well. When we look at, for example, the theory of fear being created in the brain by the amygdala, it was originally conceived by professor Joseph Ledoux6 in the 1970s.
In his original research, he refuses to say that the amygdala is the source of fear in the brain, or the fear centre of the brain. He was the person who did the original research on this. In his research, he destroyed the amygdala in mice and these mice still elicited a fear response, but that research has been hijacked and manipulated for pharmaceutical purposes. And now we call the amygdala the fear centre of the brain – adopted by new neuroscientists, psychologists and researchers of the 2000s onwards. But if you go to the original research, that was not the case. This has just been a popularised science – believed that to be true without looking at the original works.
So when you look quite deeply into science, you can either trace the origins of the science to what it was funded by, or the person who came up with the original idea, and those two things might not be correlated.
Victoria Ke: For those who are already quite experienced and aware of this science, for those who’ve tried different technologies in the past, who are looking for their exact next step to increase performance, what are some of the things that you would say to them in that instance?
Most of the treatments as well as programs out there are looking at acute changes. For example, when we look at treatment for depression, we find that 30% of the people on medication don’t respond to medication at all. The medication just does not work. However, this is not how the medical industry sees it. They choose to say 30% of the patients don’t respond to the medication.
And when we consider treatments that are out there, for example, positive psychology that is not designed for emotional health, but designed as a brute force approach to get you out of negative thinking or negative emotional health, we are looking at the Circumplex Model7. It is in four quadrants of arousal and valence so there isn’t a positive or negative side to it.
Yes, in the quadrants we have pleasant and unpleasant high arousal and low arousal, but there is no start on end to that circle. It’s not on a linear scale of positive and negative. It’s circular – a circumplex model. That is so powerful to truly think about.
A few years ago I entered Australia’s largest poetry slam. And the poem I shared wasn’t pleasant. It was actually quite humiliating, and quite sad, which created the most heightened emotional response. Because there was so much beauty in that sadness. And even though tears fell, those tears were evoked through a nostalgic or a very deep sense of sadness that someone experienced but at the same time found it beautiful. When we label emotions as good or bad, we have an aversion to something that’s not necessarily connected with the emotion itself, or the person you’re trying to connect with. Instead, we are suppressing our connection and that is no good for either the person who’s suppressing or the person who’s trying to connect.
We are able to give very specialised metrics on how much time people are spending in these emotional states – whether it’s a passing feeling, whether it’s turned into a corrosive mood, or whether it is something that switches between happiness and sadness very quickly, and that can relate to emotional instability. With all these very finer details of emotional processing, we are able to utilise the technology to do the heavy lifting to provide real time graphical representation for users so that they can understand their emotional landscape.
For many kids out there, this is so useful because sometimes on their journey of discovering themselves, they don’t feel comfortable with their own emotions. And we can already see many fake disorders are arising because youth don’t know how to relate to the emotion – so instead, they fake something and they pretend to be ill. The illness is what creates a sense of belonging or identity with a group and this is the level to which we are disconnecting from our own emotions and therefore ourselves.
Victoria Ke: Who would be ideal partners that can truly help us co elevate this entire paradigm of where humanity needs to go to evolve in their emotional health?
Dr. Kaushik: The biggest benefactor of this would be the mental health space. They’re the ones who are in desperate need of help. They’re the ones who are being provided with false solutions. In terms of how many people are suffering in any given moment:
“If we are able to help even 10% of that, that would be a huge alleviation of the mental health burden.”
Another beneficial use for this technology at a very basic level, is for those who feel something but are unable to say it. Think about a kid who may have done something to save a friend, but then got in trouble by taking the blame. That is a very complex emotion to translate. Too often, people take the blame for someone else. They remain silent, and have no way of sharing. They suffer in silence. But what if there were ways of showing that emotion? To express it to a friend, to perhaps a teacher or a parent. You might not need to share the context of the scenario, but you can show the level of guilt or the level of pain that has resulted as a consequence. This level of detail is very hard to verbalise, if you do not match with the emotion.
Which in itself is a huge leap for humanity. Think about how many people in relationships leave things unspoken just because they don’t have the right words to say it. Imagine being able to finally express those things left unspoken. Showing how you feel would be a huge leap.
At the moment, we get very sheltered because of technology and our emotional range is actually getting smaller because what we see out there is a product of what the algorithm recommends. Certain emotions get heightened as certain reaction videos keep popping up. Yet other emotions which are part of the human emotional range, might not gain traction if the recommendation system does not recognise it as important.
Here, we have an opportunity to provide a deeper insight and a much more balanced development of human emotion. That is something I’m strongly looking into because the lack of connection to emotion is amplified when there is a lack of connection to ourselves. By bridging that gap, people will become more emotionally adaptable, and more emotionally stable. And then we’ll be able to relate and connect deeper with people rather than be insulated by them.
Victoria Ke: Can you speak some more to how the use of inTruth can lead someone to an emotionally balanced and stable outcome?
Dr. Kaushik: inTruth not only provides you with real time data but also syncs up with your activities throughout the day – It syncs up with your calendar, it syncs up with your resting activity patterns. With all of this information you can start observing at a trend level. You might realise that every Friday night when you hang out with the boys, your emotional recovery decreases, or every time you’re in this meeting, you have a high level of agitation and anxiety. These trends are powerful ways of bringing you into a new awareness of thinking: “Maybe going into this meeting, I need to better prepare myself so I’m not anxious” or “Maybe this group of boys that I hang out with is not right for where I’m headed.” At this level of understanding, it’s easy for people to simply think about these things, but much harder for them to do and apply. When you show them this data, that adds another layer of confirmation, and sometimes people don’t have a friend or spouse to get a second opinion. And this provides that secondary opinion for people.
Victoria Ke: This technology truly has the potential to transform humanity. How can that average person interested in improving themselves and becoming a more sovereign human being leverage this technology? How will it actually improve their life?
Everyone has challenges, whether they care to admit it or not, it’s there. And one of the, one of the ways that this can be illustrated is that if you look at our user base, once this is up,with a half million users, regardless of their profession, regardless of their social status, you’ll clearly see that we all experienced the same emotions. This would provide people with a much more humble understanding of humanity. People will begin to realise that even the wealthy person, despite their riches, is going through the same emotional struggles as the everyday person living next to them. Rather than thinking some people are just better at personal development, motivation or mindset or whatever is trending on the day. We recognise that this is a mask that people put on. When you can show that in real-time data, that brings a very raw understanding of humanity rather than an artificial one that is often painted on the highlight reels.
Victoria Ke: How can this technology support a person who might have suppressed emotions, minimal dysregulation, or aren’t quite aware of their emotions yet? How can we help them with what’s important to them?
When someone might not be experiencing much emotion, things might just be going along as they expect. But life isn’t always like that, it doesn’t remain that way forever. Sooner or later things blow up in your face. One day, someone is sort of going along with their normal life, something happens and that’s the right time for that person to reach out and think “Wow, maybe I needed to do something about this area of my life so that I’m better able to manage this next time it happens.”
This technology is designed for everyone – But everyone has to arrive at it on their own time.
Dr. Kaushik Ram’s groundbreaking work reveals how emotional health is key to our overall well being. By integrating the science of the brain and body, by analysing the theories of neuro visceral integration and significance processing, he demonstrates a thorough and breakthrough approach to health.
This integrated and multidisciplinary approach holds many of the answers that have been missing in mainstream scientific discourse. That is, the key to efficiently and predictably achieving emotional balance and sustaining long-term emotional health.
With his evidence-based research, Dr. Ram is truly leading the way in the field of emotional health, providing actionable insights that can transform the lives of millions worldwide. Dr. Ram empowers us to take control of our emotional health.
Through inTruth’s innovative technology, we now have a powerful tool to bring humanity into a state of emotional balance. It’s time to discover how to thrive in moments of rapid change, uncertainty and ambiguity, and take the first step towards emotional health empowerment.
Visit inTruth.io to learn more about this revolutionary technology and get started on your journey to emotional balance.
6Blakeslee, Sandra. “Using Rats to Trace Anatomy of Fear, Biology of Emotion.” The New York Times, 5 Nov. 1996, www.nytimes.com/1996/11/05/science/using-rats-to-trace-anatomy-of-fear-biology-of-emotion.html.
2Feldman Barrett, Lisa . “The Theory of Constructed Emotion: An Active Inference Account of Interoception and Categorization.” Oup.com, 2023, https://academic.oup.com/scan/article/12/1/1/2823712#126900486
1National Institutes of Health. “Emotional Wellness Toolkit.” National Institutes of Health (NIH), 7 Apr. 2017, www.nih.gov/health-information/emotional-wellness-toolkit .
7POSNER, JONATHAN, et al. “The Circumplex Model of Affect: An Integrative Approach to Affective Neuroscience, Cognitive Development, and Psychopathology.” Development and Psychopathology, vol. 17, no. 03, Sept. 2005, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2367156/ , https://doi.org/10.1017/s0954579405050340 .
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3Thayer, Julian F, and Richard D Lane. “A Model of Neurovisceral Integration in Emotion Regulation and Dysregulation.” Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 61, no. 3, Dec. 2000, pp. 201–216, https://doi.org/10.1016/s0165-0327(00)00338-4 .
4Williams, Leanne M. “An Integrative Neuroscience Model of “Significance” Processing.” World Scientific- Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, 2006, www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/S0219635206001082?queryID=%24%7BresultBean.queryID%7D .
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