Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Gifted Adults: Relationships and Career

Very good presentation based on Marylou Kelly Streznewski that includes an interesting discussion of neuroscience behind giftedness.  Gifted People have more dendrite spines.  Need for stimulation.

3 Keys to Being Gifted and Happy on the job
  • –  Finding a day-to-day level of stimulation which provides challenge and newness
  • –  Ability to move to new areas of work when challenge of present area wares off
  • –  Ability to create own work environment 

    Dating and Marriage 

    • Five steps to finding true friends and partners
      • –  Create a support group
      • –  Understand that most people won’t get
        your needs and be ok with that
      • –  Find places and activities that attract
        other gifted people
      • –  Contact “Mensa”, a national
        organization for gifted adults, to get a
        list of members in your area
      • –  Be comfortable with yourself

    Remember, your playing small does not suit the world.  Nor does it suit you.

    “Our deepest Fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest Fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that scares us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? You are a Child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically LIBERATES OTHERS.
             -- Mairanne Williamson

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cognitive Impairment in Patients With Bipolar Disorder

 It is widely accepted that patients with schizophrenia have some degree of cognitive deficiency and that cognitive deficits are an inherent part of the disorder. Historically, there has been less focus on cognitive deficits in patients with bipolar disorder; however, numerous studies of cognition in patients with bipolar disorder, including several comprehensive meta-analyses of bipolar patients who were euthymic at the time of testing, have recently been undertaken.1-4 Each of these analyses found that cognitive impairment persists during periods of remission, mainly in domains that include attention and processing speed, memory, and executive functioning.

Cognitive Impairment in Patients With Bipolar Disorder | Psychiatric Times:

 Copyright © 2010-2014 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains - The Atlantic

bellinger (Photo credit: island home)
Forty-one million IQ points. That’s what Dr. David Bellinger determined Americans have collectively forfeited as a result of exposure to lead, mercury, and organophosphate pesticides. In a 2012 paper published by the National Institutes of Health, Bellinger, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, compared intelligence quotients among children whose mothers had been exposed to these neurotoxins while pregnant to those who had not. Bellinger calculates a total loss of 16.9 million IQ points due to exposure to organophosphates, the most common pesticides used in agriculture.
Last month, more research brought concerns about chemical exposure and brain health to a heightened pitch. Philippe Grandjean, Bellinger’s Harvard colleague, and Philip Landrigan, dean for global health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan, announced to some controversy in the pages of a prestigious medical journal that a “silent pandemic” of toxins has been damaging the brains of unborn children. The experts named 12 chemicals—substances found in both the environment and everyday items like furniture and clothing—that they believed to be causing not just lower IQs but ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. Pesticides were among the toxins they identified.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Your Brain Has 2 Clocks

Old Clocks
Old Clocks (Photo credit: servus)
Gee, and I have enough time with only one clock!  But apparently there are more than one ways to tell time.  
I have a bit of a problem monitoring how much elapsed time passes.  When I worked where I had regular appointments I had a better sense of it, but now that I am at home I don't have a real sense of elapsed time since I am not on a regular schedule.   That should tell you something there!
I am thinking of doing the Fehmi's Open Focus exercise on time at some point but I am doing a lot with other Open Focus exercises so it is on my list.
Did you make it to work on time this morning? Go ahead and thank the traffic gods, but also take a moment to thank your brain. The brain’s impressively accurate internal clock allows us to detect the passage of time, a skill essential for many critical daily functions. Without the ability to track elapsed time, our morning shower could continue indefinitely. Without that nagging feeling to remind us we’ve been driving too long, we might easily miss our exit. 
But how does the brain generate this finely tuned mental clock? Neuroscientists believe that we have distinct neural systems for processing different types of time, for example, to maintain a circadian rhythm, to control the timing of fine body movements, and for conscious awareness of time passage. Until recently, most neuroscientists believed that this latter type of temporal processing – the kind that alerts you when you’ve lingered over breakfast for too long – is supported by a single brain system. However, emerging research indicates that the model of a single neural clock might be too simplistic. A new study, recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience by neuroscientists at the University of California, Irvine, reveals that the brain may in fact have a second method for sensing elapsed time. What’s more, the authors propose that this second internal clock not only works in parallel with our primary neural clock, but may even compete with it.
Past research suggested that a brain region called the striatum lies at the heart of our central inner clock, working with the brain’s surrounding cortex to integrate temporal information. For example, the striatum becomes active when people pay attention to how much time has passed, and individuals with Parkinson’s Disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that disrupts input to the striatum, have trouble telling time.
But conscious awareness of elapsed time demands that the brain not only measure time, but also keep a running memory of how much time has passed. Scientists have long known that a part of the brain called the hippocampus is critically important for remembering past experiences. They now believe that it might also play a role in remembering the passage of time. Studies recording electrical brain activity in animals have shown that neurons in the hippocampus signal particular moments in time. But the hippocampus isn’t always necessary for tracking time. Remarkably,people with damage to their hippocampus can accurately remember the passage of short time periods, but are impaired at remembering long time intervals. These findings hint that the hippocampus is important for signaling some – but not all – temporal information. If this is the case, what exactly is this time code used for, and why is it so exclusive?

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: End of Cogmed

Well, I have finally finished Cogmed.  Thank God it's over.

I  have done 125 sessions and I feel like you do at Christmas when you've eaten the whole fruitcake.  Ouf…. Just stuffed.

Over time, I gradually got better at it but it was slow steady progress.

So, what's the end result?  I was and am still quite good at verbal memory.  I improved overall with visual memory but I didn't quite get over visual spatial memory.   I only improved with visual spatial memory after I went and did some of Brain Hq's navigation exercise.

Copyright © 2010-2014 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Monday, December 30, 2013


English: A white cup or two black faces?
English: A white cup or two black faces? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The gestalt notion "figure-ground phenomenon" refers to the characteristic organization of perception into a figure that 'stands out' against an undifferentiated background. What is figural at any one moment depends on patterns of sensory stimulation and on the momentary interests of the perceiver. Figure-ground relationship is an important element of the way we organise reality in our awareness, including works of art. Poets may rely on our habitual figure-ground organisations in extra-linguistic reality to exploit our flexibility in shifting attention from one aspect to another so as to achieve certain poetic effects by inducing us to reverse the habitual figure-ground relationships. This flexibility has precedent in music and the visual arts. Works by Escher, Mozart, Beethoven, Dickinson, Sidney, Shelley and Beckett are examined.
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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Andy Rutledge - Gestalt Principles of Perception - 1: Figure Ground Relationships

English: Gestalt psychology - perception Magya...
English: Gestalt psychology - perception Magyar: Gestalt-pszichol├│gia alapelvei (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Gestalt principles of perception help to take the guesswork out of design. For instance, once the page content is defined and the communicative objectives are known, Gestalt principles make clear how to distribute elements on the page, when and why to use line delineation, background shading, a gradient, or when and why to group things in an enclosure (or not). Once you understand Gestalt principles, design becomes much simpler and your creative ideas will enjoy a far more effective articulation.

These principles are:

  • Figure Ground Relationship:  Elements are perceived as either figures (distinct elements of focus) or ground (the background or landscape on which the figures rest).
  • Law of Pr├Ągnanz:  Humans tend to interpret ambiguous or complex images as simple and complete.
  • Uniform Connectedness:  Elements that share uniform visual characteristics are perceived as being more related than elements with disparate visual characteristics.
  • Good Continuation:  Elements arranged on a line or curve are perceived to be more related than elements not on the line or curve.
  • Closure:  When looking at a complex arrangement of individual elements, humans tend to first look for a single, recognizable pattern.
  • Common Fate:  Humans tend to perceive elements moving in the same direction as being more related than elements that are stationary or that move in different directions.
  • Proximity:  Things that are close to one another are perceived to be more related than things that are spaced farther apart.
  • Similarity:  Things that are similar are perceived to be more related than things that are dissimilar.
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