Sunday, October 31, 2010

You can hack your Nike Air Maxes  into being controllers for a Wii Balance board:

Nike recently challenged 78 artists to remix and adapt the function of Nike shoes. Nick Marsh, one of the contestants, took a pair of Air Maxes and imported the internals of a Wii Balance Board to turn his shoes into controllers.
 
He placed the Balance Board sensors in the soles of the shoes and re-jiggered some wires to turn Air Maxes into a working Balance Board. According to Nick, the shoes work like this:
The user simply puts on the shoes, turns on the balance board/shoes (nike-wiis) and then plays as normal, except it's not a normal way to play. As you are now physically attached the to the board, the actions have changed, you can no longer simply step off, so you must lift your foot and stand on one leg or sit down when no pressure is required, making for an altogether interestingly different experience.
See Video on Nike Shoes Hacked for Wii Balance Board
I think this would have a lot of implications for Physical therapy for Gait, Posture, and Vestibular Rehabilitation among other things.   You could really hone your sports skills with the Wii as good balance is the foundation for many sports.  When you look at what top sports coaches look out for, they look at vision, and balance.  Balance drives good form whether it is a golf swing or a hockey swing.  
 
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tummy and Nose Perspective from Family Doctor

Metabolism of folic acid. The role of Vitamin ...Metabolism of Folic Acid Image via Wikipedia
Just went to see my family doctor.  I just switched to someone who is taking more interest in driving the train than my old GP


Dr Sander had felt a lump near my thyroid which she wasn't uncertain about and had me go in for an ultrasound.  The ultrasound was negative for a tumor so she suspects that it was just drainage  from fluid in my ears.   


Dr Sander is pleased that my sinus surgery went without incident.  She thinks having the sinuses cleared will probably decrease the amount of fluid in my ears.  As fluid behind the ears can lead to hearing loss, we want to make sure this is cleared up before I go in for auditory therapy and evaluation for a hearing aide next year.  


Also, in order to ensure that there won't be more fluid accumulating in the ear, she has ordered some allergy testing.  Given that insurance companies only reimburse for one of these kinds of tests per year, this time, she is testing for airborne allergies and not food allergies.  No sense in dumping more crap into the sinuses that will trickle into the ears.


Also, she is getting on top of my B12 deficiency.   In my blood test, my MCH and MCV values are low.  Dr Sander has ordered tests for B12 and intrinsic factor.  This is important because these deficiencies  might be leading to my fat malabsorption digestive issues.   Dr.  Chang, my Gastroenterologist,  and I had discussed doing a Schilling test which is a rather involved set of tests involving drinking cobalt radioisotopes-- 57Co and 58Co, -- not a pleasant prospect.  Also, no one really does the Schilling test anymore as it is easier and cheaper to see whether it is necessary to just take some B12 shots with or without intrinsic factor. 


Other problems that might be indicated include pernicious anemia, a decrease in red blood cells that occurs when the body cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 from the gastrointestinal track.  If I have a lack of intrinsic factor, I won't abosorb B12.

 In addition to being implicated in neurological conditions,  pernicious anemia  also has symptoms that include:  bleeding gums,  impaired sense of smell, and unsteady gait -- all of which I have.

So we shall see whether this is just simple fat malabsorption and/or pernicious anemia. 



I will see Dr. Sander in January and based upon the results of these tests, we will plot a course.
 
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nosing after the Nose

Since I am all things nose these days, I thought I'd share with you a little poem about the nose:

THE NOSE
(after Gogol)
The nose went away by itself
in the early morning
while its owner was asleep.
It walked along the road
sniffing at everything.
It thought: I have a personality of my own.
Why should I be attached to a body?
I haven't been allowed to flower.
So much of me has been wasted.
And it felt wholly free.
It almost began to dance
The world was so full of scents
it had no time to notice,
when it was attached to a face
weeping, being blown,
catching all sorts of germs
and changing colour.

For more see...




This poem was inspired by Gogol's story about the nose.  An official in St. Petersburg lost his nose.  The nose jumped off his face and began to lead a life of its own.

A statue of the giant nose, inspired by Gogol's story, was erected in St Petersburg. After seven years it went missing and was only found again a year later. See the BBC News story at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3062059.stm
An interesting point about Nose in Russian is that it is dream spelled backwards.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just had the sinus surgery

Just had the sinus surgery and it is a lot more than what I thought it would be. I thought it would be a quick in and out. But it's not. I had my four paranasal sinuses opened up. The surgeon found my septum was wrapped around in a loop. So he straightened that out. I couldn't walk right out as I was pretty nauseuated so I was for 2 hours in pacu waiting to calm my tummy down. For a while my eyes were tearing up and I was afraid I'd go back for tear duct surgery but that has passed. So it looks like I am taking it easy for a few days.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Update on the Nose: Pre-operative visit with the Nasal Surgeon

Roses (Roxe) Nature: Cold in the first degree,...Smelling the Roses Image via Wikipedia
 I am going to get my sinuses drilled out on Monday.  I should be able to breathe better and with a bit of luck,  I will get a chunk of my sense of smell back.  Talked to the surgeon on Wednesday and did the clearances necessary for surgery.   He agrees that I will be able to breathe better through my nose.
He is making no promises on regaining the sense of smell but is pleased to note that the mixture of afrim and lidocaine he used to open up my nasal passageways in order to stick the camera up my nose has allowed me to smell the funk of the University of Pennsylvania's Medical School and heating vents.  I worked as an undergraduate at the Penn Med School and I never smelled the funk. Never.  Not that, after having smelled, I feel like that was any great loss!  But still, it's nice to smell.
I agree that there may be other things going on with the nose that the surgery may not correct. I understand that there may well be more things towards getting the sense of smell back online than the surgery can correct.   There may be sensory integration problems with the smell like there are with other problems I have with vision, motor, hearing, etc. skills.  But, I am optimistic that my sense of smell will improve  based on my experience at the med school and the dose of prednisone that I used earlier this year.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wii Hab

LOS ANGELES - JULY 15:  In this photo released...WII Image by Getty Images via @daylife
 Wii Hab... yup, that's right rehabilitation by using the WII.  A number of physical and occupational therapists are using the Wii and Wii Fitness as an adjunct to therapy.  Its fun and you can supplement the games provided with some add ons using an exercises ball.  A number of therapists are using the WII Balance board for patients with Parkinsons and Multiple Sclerosis and Autism.
Here's some Wii Games to strengthen your  lower back, shoulder, hip and knee, and ankle and foot over at WII Hab to Wii Fit Exercises


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Friday, October 22, 2010

Journey Around My Toes To My Soul: Visit 4

My self I then perused, and limb by limb
Surveyed, and sometimes went, and sometimes ran
With supple joints, and lively vigour led:
But who I was, or where, or from what cause,
Knew not; to speak I tried, and forthwith spake,
My tongue obeyed and readily could name
What e'er I saw.

- Milton, Paradise Lost, VIII, 253-73

 
The Journey Around My Toes circles back to my soul's great awakening.   Adam, in this passage from Paradise Lost, is describing his initial awareness at springing into life.  First, he becomes aware of his own self and then his body and then the use of his body.   I am going about this type of awareness of my body as I am going through these physical therapies which both enhance my functionality and point out my limitations.

I went back for my weekly visit with my podiatrist, Dr. Diamond, and got my usual toes in traction and tootsies stimmed and taped.  


We also reviewed my home exercises with one of his assistants, a Pilates instructor.  In the process of reviewing the hip flexor exercise, we noticed something a little different about me from many of Dr. Diamond's assistants.  His assistants are dancers or Pilates instructors who all have an innate awareness of their bodies.  I don't.  I just don't know where my body is in space completely.  I don't get any feedback when I stretch my legs out and rotate them.  I know they are out there somehow.  But, it's not intuitive.  I have to really think about what I am doing. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Interview with Dorothy Kelly: Central Auditory Processing Disorder and Speech

White noise image
RB: So, would it be fair to say that there are two categories of CAPD: developmental and acquired?
DK: Yes. However, I believe that the term Central Auditory Processing Disorder is too amorphous. Perhaps we should have several categories of the disorder such as Central Auditory Processing Impairment, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, and Central Auditory Processing Delay, especially where the CAP is secondary to another disorder. I also think that we should have a term called Specific Central Auditory Processing Disorder to describe CAPD when it exists alone. CAPD exists in secondary form in the vast majority of cases. I think that is one of the main reasons that the incidence estimates we have are probably underestimated. In the school setting, for example, CAPD is frequently applied to an academic school setting, which does not deal with those terms. In the school, the primary diagnosis would be an educational diagnosis such as Attention Deficit Disorder, Learning Disability, and so forth. So, the diagnosis of CAPD may be missed because all symptoms are lumped together under one disorder.
 
RB: I understand you deal with five skill areas in CAPD. Could you describe those skill areas?
DK: I have been working on CAPD since about 1974. My first years in practice were spent as a teacher of the deaf. My first group of students was a group of Rubella children that first entered the school system in the early 1970s. It was apparent to me at that time there were kids with very similar audiograms that had very different uses of residual hearing and there appeared to be a mismatch between hearing and perception. I came across a wonderful book (Auditory Perceptual Disorders and Remediation; 1974, Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas) by Bernice Heasley. Heasley identified fourteen areas of processing skills. As I studied these fourteen areas, I began thinking of five key areas that impact on social and academic performance and that is how I developed my five skill areas.
 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

History of Autism

Good collection of links from Neurodiversity.com regarding the History of Autism.

This site contains the  definitive studies on autism from the 1940's through 1978.  A lot has happened since 1978 in Brain Science but  I think it is good to know where you've been in order to get a little perspective.  When I find a nice collection of links from 1978 to present, I will post them.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Arts and Cognition: More Hints of the Relationship

Isadora Duncan performing barefoot. Photo by A...Isabella Duncan via WikipediaWhy has arts training been associated with higher academic performance?  The Dana Foundation has brought artists and neuroscientists from seven universities together to try and answer this question.  Their recently completed study shows a number of tantalizing correlations between the arts and academic performance:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Accupuncture and Autism

According to Chinese medicine,  there are 5 differentiations of Autism: 
  •  First differentiation is Liver Heat:  Excessive Liver Heat leads to Hyper activity, Anxiety, Anger, Insomnia, and Compulsive, Self-Destructive Behaviors. 
  • Second differentiation is Spleen Deficiency, mucus block liver meridian:  Spleen Deficiency leads to indigestion and poor absorption of nutrients, which cause mucus accumulation, bacteria imbalance, reflex, constipation, and obesity.
  • Third differentiation is mucus blocks heart (mind) meridian:  It leads to sensitive to sound and light, Asperger Syndrome, seizure and Insomnia
  • Forth differentiation is Kidney Deficiency (weakness):  It leads to Speech Delay, sensory & motor development delay, and Mental concentration problem.
  • Fifth differentiation is Lung Qi Deficiency:  It leads to immune dysfunctions, allergies. 

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Age of Chemistry and Our Bodies

2D structure of antibacterial / antifungal age...Image via WikipediaMan-made chemicals now found in human tissue samples now stands at 287, including bisphenol A, found in many plastics; triclosan, found in antibacterial soap; a dozen perfluorinated chemicals, such as PFOA used in the manufacture of nonstick cookware; and 29 volatile chemicals, such as the gasoline additive MTBE.
About The Chemicals In Our Bodies

We are in the Age of Chemistry for sure.  According to the Environmental Working Group, "There are currently more than 80,000 chemicals in consumer goods, with little or no safety information about their impact on human health."  I don't think the EPA has the ability, or the funding to test all the chemicals and all the appliances that we are now manufacturing.  When you add to the decrease in oversight caused by the globalization of manufacturing, you can also include that there are now known safety risks that are conveniently being ignored for the sake of profit as more goods are manufactured in countries with lax regulations.


 Why is this important for someone like me who is very interested in neuroscience?  There is a very active interest in how environmental toxins trigger autistic responses.  No one from the main stream community will come out and give definitive guidance but there is a certain gathering together of the medical herd that is running in this direction; but there is a lot of hemming and hawing about the link between genes and the environment. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Autism Awareness: Is proximity a factor in diagnosing autism? - Child Caring - Boston.com

Reports of autism cases per 1,000 children gre...Diagnoses of Autism  Wikipedia"The study took place in California, where autism cases handled by the state's department of developmental services increased 636 percent from 1987 to 2003, according to Science Daily. The Columbia University team studied data from more than 300,000 children born in California between 1997 and 2003, and found that children who live within 250 meters of a child with autism have a 42 percent higher chance of being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder with the next 12 months. Children who live 250 to 500 meters away have a 22 percent higher chance of being diagnosed, and the greater the distance the less the likelihood of a diagnosis. The 'social effect' was more prevalent in cases of mild (or 'high functioning') autism diagnoses."
Autism Awareness: Is proximity a factor in diagnosing autism? - Child Caring - Boston.com
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Finding the part of the brain that controls eye movements

Human eye.Image via WikipediaResearchers at Hôpital de la Salpêtrière in Paris, France, found the part of the brain which control eye movements.  So we know know where preparation and triggering of eye movements are located and the locations in the brain for visual spatial integration and eye-hand coordination.

Saccadic eye movements are controlled by a cortical network composed of several oculomotor areas that are now accurately localized. Clinical and experimental studies have enabled us to understand their specific roles better. These areas are: (1) the parietal eye field (PEF) located in the intraparietal sulcus involved in visuospatial integration and in reflexive saccade triggering; (2) the frontal eye field (FEF), located in the precentral gyrus, involved in the preparation and the triggering of purposive saccades; and (3) the supplementary eye field (SEF) on the medial wall of the frontal lobe, probably involved in the temporal control of sequences of visually guided saccades and in eye-hand coordination. A putative cingulate eye field (CEF), located in the anterior cingulate cortex, would be involved in motivational modulation of voluntary saccades. Besides these motor areas, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in the midfrontal gyrus is involved in reflexive saccade inhibition and visual short-term memory.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Your Health In 2020

Mind Map of Connected Health
  By 2020, the status quo will give way to personalized health care. More care will be provided remotely. Patients will become empowered participants. Technology will help coordinate care results and yield consistently better outcomes. Our growing knowledge of genetics will lead to personalized therapies. Patient adherence to treatments will improve. Outcomes will be measurable. Hospitals will leave less room for human error--and doctors will refocus on patient care.    Existing technologies make it possible to provide more services outside traditional settings. Telemedicine systems like Bosch's Health Buddy allow clinicians to consult patients electronically, view abnormalities in data streams and adjust medications before they end up in the hospital. Research at Japan's Showa University showed that remotely monitoring asthma patients reduced hospital visits by 83%, over a six-month period. Results like these offer hope that, in 10 years' time, remote care will keep patients healthy and at home.
Your Health In 2020 - Forbes.com
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Estrogen, Hearing and More

SMI32-stained pyramidal neurons in cerebral co...Image via WikipediaHave you ever thought that you weren't as sharp as you used to be?  Are you not hearing as well as you used to?  Many women find this dip at midlife.  Researchers have found a link between Estrogen, Hearing and possibly Sensory Integration.

“We’ve discovered estrogen doing something totally unexpected,” says Raphael Pinaud, assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester and lead author of the study. “We show that estrogen plays a central role in how the brain extracts and interprets auditory information. It does this on a scale of milliseconds in neurons, as opposed to days, months, or even years in which estrogen is more commonly known to affect an organism.”


Previous studies have hinted at a connection between estrogen and hearing in women who have low estrogen, such as often occurs after menopause, says Pinaud. No one understood, however, that estrogen was playing such a direct role in determining auditory functions in the brain, he says. “Now it is clear that estrogen is a key molecule carrying brain signals, and that the right balance of hormone levels in men and women is important for reasons beyond its role as a sex hormone.”

Pinaud, along with Lisa Tremere, a research assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences, and Jin Jeong, a postdoctoral fellow in Pinaud’s laboratory, demonstrated that increasing estrogen levels in brain regions that process auditory information caused heightened sensitivity of sound-processing neurons, which encoded more complex and subtle features of the sound stimulus. Perhaps more surprising, says Pinaud, is that by blocking either the actions of estrogen directly, or preventing brain cells from producing estrogen within auditory centers, the signaling that is necessary for the brain to process sounds essentially shuts down. Pinaud’s team also shows that estrogen is required to activate genes that instruct the brain to lay down memories of those sounds.
 
“It turns out that estrogen plays a dual role,” says Pinaud. “It modulates the gain of auditory neurons instantaneously, and it initiates cellular processes that activate genes that are involved in learning and memory formation.”

Sleep Disorders Can Impair Children's IQs As Much As Lead Exposure

Alderman Library, University of Virgina, Charl...Image via Wikipedia In a recent study, UVA discovered that youngsters who snore nightly scored significantly lower on vocabulary tests than those who snore less often. 
 
"Vocabulary scores are known to be the best single predictor of a child's IQ and the strongest predictor of academic success," explains Dr. Paul M. Suratt, a pulmonologist who directs the UVa Sleep Laboratory. 

According to Dr. Suratt, the vocabulary differences associated with nightly snoring are equivalent to the IQ dissimilarities attributed to lead exposure. "Studies show that, even at nontoxic levels, lead exposure can reduce a child's IQ by more than seven points," he notes.

Sleep Disorders Can Impair Children's IQs As Much As Lead Exposure
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Development Hierarchy

from The Mind-Eye Connection shows the relationship between foundational skills starting with biochemical systems and muscle/perceptual systems and higher order thinking.

A recap for those of my gentle readers who have not been following my progress:

I have addressed many of these in the course of my therapy so far:
  • Nutrition:  Found out that I have problems metabolizing fat and have vitamin D and B12 deficiencies and gluten/dairy intolerance.  So, I have changed my diet and started taking vitamin supplements and probiotics/VSL3.
  • Muscle Skills:   Addressing motor skill problems including vestibular (balance) and propriception(body sense).   So, I have  done Tomatis/Balametrics and Interactive Metronome.  Additionally I am doing exercises to strengthen my core.   Also, these therapies have enhanced my overall awareness of my body.  In the process of doing this therapy, I have found that my feet are misaligned and am in the process of getting my feet straightened out.  In the course of doing vision therapy, I have been strengthening eye muscles involved in eye tracking, focusing and binocular vision (3D vision).  I am looking for Occupational Therapy that strengthens fine motor skills.
  •  Perceptual systems:  Vision therapy has enhanced perception. I am on the verge of seeing in 3 Dimensions.  Since my ability to focus has improved, I see a lot more details in the world around me. Also, some of the Tomatis/Balametrics exercises and the Interactive Metronome has enhanced my hearing and my sense of being connected to the earth. I will be getting sinus surgery soon and that should improve my sense of smell dramatically.   Finally, getting my feet taped, stimmed and doing exercises to align my body helps me feel the earth more solidly under my feet.   I am starting to have a relationship to my environment as opposed to a feeling of looking at the world out of a window.
  • Attention and Cognition:  These skills have not been addressed specifically, however, I find that as my body starts working correctly,  I don't need to concentrate on functions that now occur automatically.  So, my working memory is not crowded out.  I am not as forgetful.  I feel "smarter".  I am finding that I am doing better on visual tests.  
  • Emotional:  I find that I am looking at events in my past and understanding them in the light of disabilities.  A number of fears and anxieties are being quelled.  I am no longer afraid of heights as my vestibular system is much stronger.  Physically, I can control more of the world around me as my hand-eye coordination has improved.  Mentally, I feel clearer.  On the other hand, a lot of old and fundamental anxieties are raising their head.  I imagine that as physical therapy proceeds that many of these will eventually calm down.
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

How does the Brain tell time

Animation of an MRI brain scan, starting at th...Image via Wikipedia
Animation of a Brain Scan
Dean Buonomano
How does the brain tell time?
  The neural basis of timing in the range of tens to hundreds of milliseconds is the range is critical for simple interval and duration discrimination,  speech and music recognition, and motor coordination. Temporal processing in this range is a generalized property of cortical networks, and does not rely on specialized or centralized mechanisms. Timing is more akin to the dynamics of ripples on a pond than a clock.  Our representation of time is inherently nonlinear, and subject to a number of illusions and distortions.
Athanassios Siapas
Clocking the Brain’s Memory Making Circuits
Theta oscillations are a clocking signal that strongly modulates activity in the hippocampus, a brain area critical for the formation of long-term memories. The prevailing view has been that theta oscillations are synchronized throughout the hippocampus. Experiments have shown that theta oscillations are in fact traveling waves that pattern hippocampal activity not only in time, but also across anatomical space. Hence time in the hippocampus, as clocked by theta oscillations, is organized in a way similar to time on Earth—in a regular progression of local time zones.
Bernhard Staresina
Building memories across temporal gaps
Our memories enable us to vividly re-experience past events, feelings and thoughts. Importantly, many of the original experiences consist of multiple event details and unfold over extended time periods that exceed the temporal constraints for synaptic learning (i.e., long-term potentiation [LTP]). How do our brains overcome those gaps in order to make discontiguous experiences amenable to LTP and thereby convert them into a unified memory trace? Our recent work has focused on revealing the building blocks of our memories and the neural mechanisms through which they are assembled in the brain. We found that specific regions in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) play a key role for intact memory and that there exists a clear division of labor in the service of successful memory formation. In particular, our data suggest that the human hippocampus is critical for integrating separate event details across space and time and thus provides the 'glue' with which our vivid memory traces are formed.
John-Dylan Haynes
The transparent mind: Reading thoughts from human brain activity.
Recent advances in human neuroimaging have shown that it is possible to accurately read out a person's conscious experience based only on non-invasive fMRI measurements of their brain activity. This "brain reading" is possible because each thought is associated with a unique pattern of brain activity that can serve as a "fingerprint" of this thought in the brain. By training a computer to recognize these fMRI "thought patterns" it is possible to read out what someone is currently thinking with high accuracy. This talk will give an overview of this emerging field and will show how brain science can read out a person's visual imagery, their emotions and their future plans. For example, it is possible to read out a person's concealed intentions and even to predict how they are going to decide a few seconds later. Finally, the talk will discuss fundamental challenges and limitations of the field, along with the ethical question if such methods might one day
be a danger to our mental privacy.
Christian Kluge
Studying time in the Neurosciences: The conceptual framework.
The concept of time, like the somewhat related concept of space, has been at center stage in human thought since ancient times. About one hundred years ago physics taught us to see the two as related sides of one entity and the whole as not absolute and universal but rather relative and context-dependent. I will present an overview of the use of the concepts of time and space, starting from their ancient Greek roots and extending via the thoughts of Newton, Kant, and others to present day theories. In this, special attention will be paid to the overlap, the differences, as well as the frequently observed tension between concept-using empirical sciences, especially neurosciences, and concept-reflecting, i.e. philosophical ways of seeing these matters. Here, the synthesis aims to show not only that, but also how these two ways of seeing complement each other and that their constructive co-operation can be most fruitful for both domains.
Reuben Heyday Margolin
Making Waves
We see waves everywhere: in water, in wind, in the contours of a flame. I have spent the last ten years making kinetic sculptures inspired by these movements. Seeking to combine the logic of mathematics with the sensuousness of nature, I've built a series of mechanical mobiles that have been exhibited both in science and art museums. I'll show photos and video of completed wave sculptures, as well as a couple short documentaries about making these kinetic and mathematical artworks.
Rafael Núñez
Making sense of time: The embodied nature of human abstraction
Events that already occurred and events that have not occurred yet, cannot be perceived directly thought the senses. In order to grasp them, refer to them, talk about them, and make sense of them, we must construe them in a stable and tractable manner via the recruitment of bodily-grounded mechanisms that make human imagination possible. Thus, humans from all over the world, speaking different languages, naturally express (and apparently, think about) everyday temporal events as if they were spatial entities. This remarkable but ubiquitous phenomenon manifests itself via ordinary linguistic metaphorical expressions such as (a) "we are approaching the end of the semester," and (b) "Easter is approaching." Moreover, beyond words and grammar, this phenomenon can be observed also through largely unconscious motor actions co-produced with speech-- spontaneous gestures, which reveal its deep conceptual nature. In this presentation I will try to give an overview of how the question of human conceptualization of time can be studied empirically using a variety of research methods, from ethnographic fieldwork to psycholinguistic experiments to neuroimaging. Research in cognitive linguistics and in processing of temporal metaphors has traditionally distinguished between Moving-Ego conceptual metaphors, as in (a) above, and Moving-Time ones, as in (b). Both of these conceptual metaphors involve time events in reference to an Ego, which specifies the present time “Now” where Future is in front of ego and Past is behind ego. I will argue, however, that the picture is more complicated than that: (1) not all spatial construal of time have the Ego as reference point (Ego-RP), and (2) the specified bodily orientation is not universal. I will provide evidence from a priming psycholinguistic experiment to support (1), which shows that there is a fundamental (perhaps more primitive) spatial metaphorical construal of time defined after Time events—not Ego—as reference points (Time RP mapping). Regarding (2) I will show convergent empirical evidence (lexical-metaphorical-gestural) from my fieldwork in the South American Andes, which shows that the Aymara people operate with an unusual Past-In-Front-Of-Ego and Future-Behind-Ego mapping. Moreover, from a recent fieldwork investigating time construal in the Yupno culture from the remote mountains of Papua New Guinea, I'll show some preliminary data we have that suggests that some human groups can also naturally conceive time in terms of an entire different set of spatial frames of reference, namely, geocentric (not ego-centric) ones. Finally, regarding Ego-RP mappings, I will present some of our preliminary neuroimaging (fMRI) studies that address the question of the neural basis of the Ego-RP space-time mapping, especially what concerns the role of the ventral-intra parietal area (VIP) and the poly-sensory Zone (PZ) of the human brain. Implications for “Embodiment” and bodily-grounded approaches to the understanding of human imagination and abstraction will be discussed. 
Barry Dainton
Time, Change, and the Structure of Immediate Experience
‘I saw the ball cross the line’, ‘I watched her stand still, motionless, for several seconds’, ‘I can hear the bell ringing’: claims such as these are a familiar part of everyday life. So clearly, if our ordinary ways of talking are anything to go by, both change and persistence feature in our immediate experience. But what underlies these ordinary ways of talking? Are we really capable of directly apprehending phenomena which possess temporal extension? Among philosophers interested in such matters, there has long been a marked divergence of opinion. Some hold that our talk of perceiving change (or persistence) is just that: talk, and nothing more. Those who adopt this line claim that change cannot feature in our immediate experience, on the grounds that change takes time, our consciousness is confined to the present, and the present is durationless. Others maintain that this view is wrong, and that we do directly experience change. However, in this camp there are very different views regarding how this is possible. Some philosophers, reluctant to give up the idea that experience is confined to the momentary present, have developed accounts of the structure of consciousness according to which our immediate experience of change occurs in episodes of experiencing that themselves lack duration. Philosophers in the second main camp maintain that there is no need to adopt such counterintuitive contortions. What we must do instead is reject the dogma that consciousness cannot extend beyond the present. If we take this step – if we allow that our direct awareness can extend a little way through time – there is no difficulty whatsoever in understanding how we are able to directly experience change and persistence. After taking a general look at the considerations which have led philosophers to adopt these very different positions, I will take a more detailed look at the two main ways of incorporating change and persistence into our immediate experience, focusing on the problems which confront these very different conceptions of the temporal structure of consciousness. After arguing that, on balance, the approach which allows our awareness to extend a brief way through time is superior to the alternatives, I will take a brief look at some objections to this approach which have appeared in the recent literature, and suggest some ways in which these objections can be countered.

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