Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hillary's Fall and New Glasses

The vertical lines that you’ll notice on Secretary of State Clinton’s left lens indicates that the lens is a Fresnel Prism, a type of membrane lens that is cut out and applied to the inside surface of a spectacle lens.  The more vertical lines you see, the higher the power of the prism, so the prism Hillary is wearing is pretty powerful.  Her double vision must therefore be of a significant amount without her prism in place.
Hillary AdjustingThe New York Daily News was among the first media outlets to comment on the observation.  Coverage of the story however has been impoverished by the meager discussion about Hillary’s concussion, without a single source that I’ve seen speculating on what caused the double vision, what her treatment has been, and what the outlook for resolution is.  But perhaps you’re thinking along different lines, possibly something like Hillary’s now famous line at the Benghazi hearing where the now famous Fresnel photos were taken:  ”Is her double vision due to a brain bleed, or due to the concussion she experienced when she passed out and hit her head in December?  What difference, at this point, does it make?  It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.”
Please note:  Like the source that I have linked from, this post is not meant to be a political one, either. 
I am just wondering what other symptoms follow from Hillary's fall and concussion.   Like when she dropped her papers:
Biden had just wheeled around Hillary so that the photographer in the picture did not catch her picking up the papers.  Obama joined in so  that surely the photographer wouldn't get a photo of that to embarrass her.
Or is just dropping papers just that.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Clue from an Optometrist!

Went to see Dr Blackburn and got some interesting news.  The plot thickens

Of course, I pass the standardized battery of tests but the therapist noted that I work at it much harder than most people.

He did a bunch of optometric evaluations and started checking me with prisms.  After he finished putting in prisms, I brought up the fact that Dr. Seiderman had wanted to put me in yoked prisms.  He started to try some yoked prisms on me and they seemed to improve things.  I had some improvement in space but not a complete sense of 3 dimensions as I moved through his office suite.

Dr. Blackburn gave me a test on the visual midline.  I am a bit off as I try to follow a pointer with a ball on the end.

We are wondering if I have visual midline shift syndrome.   He is going to consult some colleagues.

I looked up visual midline shift syndrome and it has nothing to do with learning disabilities or adhd.  It is generally lumped in with a brain injury or a disease like multiple sclerosis or chronic fatigue syndrome.

I am wondering if I need to do some sort of brain rehab and not just vision therapy.  A neuropsychologist who deals with children just told me that she doesn't think that my problems are based on a  learning disorder but are more organic.
Copyright © 2010-2013 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex

Friday, January 25, 2013

An Audience With His Holiness the Dalai Lama by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Photograph of Preetha Ram, Director of the Emo...
Photograph of Preetha Ram, Director of the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative, meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
His Holiness: Although all phenomena and their bases of imputation are imputed by conception, it's not necessary that the phenomena and the conception designating it should always be there at the same time. I'll tell you a little story. One Amdo monk came to visit a senior lama to clarify some doubts. He said, "My doubt is that it says in the scriptures that all phenomena are merely designated by thought or conception." The lama replied, "Yes, that's a very difficult point." After the monk left the room, he said, "It's not necessary that the thought designating those phenomena should always be tied to those phenomena."
The point is that when a sense consciousness sees particular phenomena, there is no relation with conception or thought. For example, when a thought apprehending form realizes the form, then that thought is induced by a sense consciousness. It's not the other way around. If we ask whether the focal object of an eye consciousness is designated by thought or not, we have to say that it is definitely designated by thought.
Saying that form is designated by thought is a general explanation, but we are not saying that the thought induced by the sense consciousness has designated that form, because that thought has yet to arise. If we analyze and try to find whose thought has designated this form—mine or yours—we will not be able to explain it. Similarly if we ask if this form has been designated in the past, present or future, we will not be able to explain it. If we try to analyze in that way, we are going beyond that limit and trying to find something that is inherently existent. This is because imputation by thought is itself imputed by thought. If imputation by thought had inherent existence, then of course we should be able to find it, but again it is imputed thought, so we will not be able to find it if we analyze in that way.
When we say that phenomena are merely imputed by mind, we know that for phenomena to exist, they must have only nominal existence. That nominal existence is designated by thought, therefore it exists. It can produce a result and it has its own causes, so there is something. That phenomenon can give us a pleasant or unpleasant experience, so it definitely exists. If we try to investigate the very nature of those phenomena, the conclusion is there is something, but we cannot find it. The ultimate answer is that it exists due to designation and its existence is just through renown. The conclusion is that things exist, but they don't have an inherent mode of existence. Since we're sure that they exist nominally and that we experience them, then the only recourse open for us is that their existence is based on the mind. Did that clarify this question?

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Meditation makes lasting change in brain

La méditation (Danse Odissi, musée Guimet)
La méditation (Danse Odissi, musée Guimet) (Photo credit: dalbera)

new study has found that participating in an 8-week meditation training program can have measurable effects on how the brain functions even when someone is not actively meditating. In their report in the November issue of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston University (BU), and several other research centers also found differences in those effects based on the specific type of meditation practiced.
“The two different types of meditation training our study participants completed yielded some differences in the response of the amygdala – a part of the brain known for decades to be important for emotion – to images with emotional content,” says Gaëlle Desbordes, PhD, a research fellow at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at MGH and at the BU Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural Technology, corresponding author of the report. “This is the first time that meditation training has been shown to affect emotional processing in the brain outside of a meditative state.”


Sunday, January 20, 2013

The 19 Brain Exercises

brains! (Photo credit: cloois)

ECIC offers a wide range of cognitive brain exercises. There is no other program for adults and young adults with such comprehensive options. These exercises were developed at Arrowsmith School® in Toronto which has used this program successfully since 1978. These exercises focus on specific brain functions that are responsible for memory, reasoning, planning, organization, processing, listening, social perception and number efficiency (mental math ability). The following is the name for each Arrowsmith Program® brain exercise offered at ECIC and what functions they address in the human brain:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Vision Assessment: I am a Trained Seal!

The dorsal stream (green) and ventral stream (...
The dorsal stream (green) and ventral stream (purple) are shown. They originate from primary visual cortex. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Took a battery test of visual memory, form perception and right left perception.  I worked my little heart out and then some.

 Preliminary results are that I passed the tests. 

No surprise. 

Ask me to do tricks and throw me a fish and I am happy!  I can do the neurological equivalents of balancing a ball on my nose, wave at people, jump in the air and twist!

Observation:  I am analyzing and probably compensating to get those results.

No surprise.

I did the visiograph and found that I still have significant eye tracking problems.  Rats!  I thought I was over that one.  Oh well.

Next week.  I will talk to the doctor and see what the plan is going to be.

Copyright © 2010-2013   Traveller     Journey Through The Cortex
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

ADHD 50 Tips For Adults

English: Symptoms of ADHD described by the lit...
English: Symptoms of ADHD described by the literature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  1. Be sure of the diagnosis. Make sure you're working with a professional who really understands ADD and has excluded related or similar conditions such as anxiety states, agitated depression, hyperthyroidism, manic-depressive illness, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  2. Educate yourself. Perhaps the single most powerful treatment for ADD is understanding ADD in the first place. Read books. Talk with professionals. Talk with other adults who have ADD. You'll be able to design your own treatment to fit your own version of ADD.
  3. Coaching. It is useful for you to have a coach, for some person near you to keep after you, but always with humor. Your coach can help you get organized, stay on task, give you encouragement or remind you to get back to work. Friend, colleague, or therapist (it is possible, but risky for your coach to be your spouse), a coach is someone to stay on you to get things done, exhort you as coaches do, keep tabs on you, and in general be in your corner. A coach can be tremendously helpful in treating ADD.
  4. Encouragement. ADD adults need lots of encouragement. This is in part due to their having many self-doubts that have accumulated over the years. But it goes beyond that. More than the average person, the ADD adult withers without encouragement and positively lights up like a Christmas tree when given it. They will often work for another person in a way they won't work for themselves. This is not "bad", it just is. It should be recognized and taken advantage of.
  5. Realize what ADD is NOT, i.e., conflict with mother, etc.
  6. Educate and involve others. Just as it is key for you to understand ADD, it equally if not more important for those around you to understand it--family, job, school, friends. Once they get the concept they will be able to understand you much better and to help you as well.
  7. Give up guilt over high-stimulus-seeking behavior. Understand that you are drawn to high stimuli. Try to choose them wisely, rather than brooding over the "bad" ones.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Twice Exceptional Students: Disparity Between Potential and Performance

5 things that make the twice-exceptional student have such a wide disparity between their potential and their performance:

  Learns differently — Dr. Silverman refers to these students as visual spatial learners — we tend to call them right-brained learners. That is these students learn best when they see and experience information and they use their right-brains, far more often than their left-brained peers. Often these students have difficulty with sight word vocabulary (e.g. words like but, what, if, however, etc.) and recognizing words they have previously learned but not mastered
2-  Skips words and lines when reading
3-  Has difficulty paying attention to that which is boring
4-  Is very anxious
5-  Is very frustrated

Copyright © 2010-2013 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I'm Not a MultiTasker!

Pottery Selection
Pottery Selection (Photo credit: violetknows)
Don't Bounce Me Around From Project to Project!  I just can't handle it!

I have been taking another ceramics class at the Earth Center and I have been cranking out pots both thrown on a wheel and hand built.  I got into this because my Occupational Therapist thinks that ceramics is great for developing motor skills and provides great tactile feedback.

Yesterday, My teacher had started me out on finishing my wheel thrown pots that I had started last time.   She showed me how to trim a pot using my crumpled up mistake of a pot from last time.   I had to wait a bit to trim my good pot because it was still a bit too wet even though it had been sitting for a week.

While we were waiting for it to dry, I finished glazing a flat dish and a casserole dish from another session.

My teacher was demonstrating another pot using a slab technique to another student and called me over to make another pot while I was waiting.  So I started on that pot.  But in the middle of that pot, she reminded me to go check my other pot.

I dropped what I was doing and found the pot to be bone dry. 

So, I sat at the wheel to trim the pot.

I picked up my needle tool and drew a blank.  Just couldn't remember the previous steps of the task.

Uh oh.  Memory problem.

So, I took a page out of asking for a small accommodation and made a joke out of it.  I said that I was a uni-tasker; not a multitasker.  And if the teacher would be so kind, as to repeat what she had just said about trimming pots. She understood and repeated.

I just have a problem following instructions that involve doing things.  Don't mean to be insensitive to other folks but I just can't be distracted.

I could never teach in a pottery workshop.  I could never keep track of what everyone is doing and what the next steps are and where the equipment is.

On another Note:

My studio is having a fundraiser for a kiln on Indiegogo.  Please support us by clicking on the link.  Even if you only like us or contribute a dollar that would be much appreciated.  Obviously, of course, if you are inclined to feel generous, we would be very grateful.   We would like to get as many supporters as soon as  possible because that will help the rankings on Indiegogo.   If a crush of people like the project, it will rise in the rankings.

The kiln will be in  a really cool place with a sculpture garden.  A variety of people from schools through professional potters will use this kiln.  Many thanks for your support.

Copyright © 2010-2013 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Word-finding difficulty: a clinical analysis of the progressive aphasias

The patient with word-finding difficulty presents a common and challenging clinical problem. The complaint of ‘word-finding difficulty’ covers a wide range of clinical phenomena and may signify any of a number of distinct pathophysiological processes. Although it occurs in a variety of clinical contexts, word-finding difficulty generally presents a diagnostic conundrum when it occurs as a leading or apparently isolated symptom, most often as the harbinger of degenerative disease: the progressive aphasias. Recent advances in the neurobiology of the focal, language-based dementias have transformed our understanding of these processes and the ways in which they breakdown in different diseases, but translation of this knowledge to the bedside is far from straightforward. Speech and language disturbances in the dementias present unique diagnostic and conceptual problems that are not fully captured by classical models derived from the study of vascular and other acute focal brain lesions. This has led to a reformulation of our understanding of how language is organized in the brain. In this review we seek to provide the clinical neurologist with a practical and theoretical bridge between the patient presenting with word-finding difficulty in the clinic and the evidence of the brain sciences. We delineate key illustrative speech and language syndromes in the degenerative dementias, compare these syndromes with the syndromes of acute brain damage, and indicate how the clinical syndromes relate to emerging neurolinguistic, neuroanatomical and neurobiological insights. We propose a conceptual framework for the analysis of word-finding difficulty, in order both better to define the patient's complaint and its differential diagnosis for the clinician and to identify unresolved issues as a stimulus to future work.
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