melluransa: (Default)
Alzheimer's self-portraits, drawn by an artist who has Alzheimer's until he eventually forgot to do them. Wow. Click here to see. What a transformation. I wish there was a cure for dementia.

This made me laugh. What men are REALLY saying when catcalling women. LOL! I always ignore them, it's pathetic and inappropriate. Ignoring a behavior results in extinction of that behavior. Hashtag behaviorism.

And this was interesting! A dynamic visually-represented comparison of vocal ranges, highest pitches achieved, and lowest pitches achieved by many well-known vocalists.

I enjoyed this -- 15 things impossible to do gracefully. ^_^
melluransa: (Default)
I'm currently reading Brain on Fire: My month of madness by Susannah Cahalan. It tells of the endless search for a diagnosis of a rare disease of which Susannah suffers. It took one neurologist to try something unthought of and then follow the clues to the true etiology of her disease. Once the cause was found, effective treatment and recovery could begin. It's an amazing story in itself.

Reading it and reflecting on the success of the neurologist to finally figure it out, I thought about my own connection to neurology. It's kind of lengthy, but I've been thinking on it a lot lately and wanted to share it. It's impacted my life a lot in the past couple of years.

Read more... )
melluransa: (bill tom mean srs bsnz)
The most powerful speaker about something like this is one who suffers from it. I think also about Michael J. Fox, who is a powerful advocate for curing and managing Parkinson's Disease.

This kid is awesome! I love seeing success stories about stuff like this where a team approach helps a person who learns differently (because everyone learns differently) to help him achieve success. And, music helped him too! AND if those things weren't awesome enough, he's taking a step beyond and going out, speaking and raising awareness about FASD!!! AWESOME.

Additionally, I love that he mentions that it's more than drinking during pregnancy. It's so easy to make the mother out as a bad guy (well, girl) but it's often more than that. His mom suffered from domestic violence with an alcoholic husband, whose behavior was in part a result of generations of a culture which has no prevention against such things, which is due to other cultures interacting with it and a history between everything, and it's all a result of everything together. If that makes sense. And how complicated this all is makes blame lie a little less neatly.


/intense enthusiasm
melluransa: (bill tom mean srs bsnz)
I was administering the SCATBI (Scales of Cognitive Ability for Traumatic Brain Injury) to a patient with TBI. I came upon this test item which made me laugh inside!

Tom and Bill, whose wives' names are Fran and Barb (not necessarily in that order), went shopping one day. One man bought a suit; the other bought a sweater. One of the men also bought a shirt. From the clues given, tell me which man bought which clothes. Tell me their wives' names also.

(1) Tom did not buy any pants
(2) Barb's husband bought a suit
(3) The shirt was chosen because it matched the buyer's new sweater.

Answer under the cut! It's not too difficult to figure out.

Read more... )
melluransa: (amtoria cute)
Our brains are wired to recognize faces. Even babies a couple of days old will respond to a simple smiley face drawn on a piece of paper. If there's no smile, and just two dots for eyes, they don't respond. It's easy to see faces everywhere! I do it all the time. My brother did too, when he was younger. He would see faces in his room when he went to bed and he had nightmares. :( But he wouldn't have nightmares about these cute faces.

melluransa: (Default)
"Irregardless" is such an empty word. "Regardless" just means "in spite of," but what does that make "irregardless" mean? It means nothing, then. There is no contrasting point that is in spite of something. There's just no issue.

It was cold. Regardless, the paradegoers eagerly waited in the streets.
In spite of it being cold [regardless] the paradegoers eagerly waited in the streets.

It was cold. Irregardless, the paradegoers eagerly waited in the streets.
The paradegoers eagerly waited in the streets in spite of nothing [irregardless].

XD It's not even a word in the dictionary.

The reason I'm bringing this up is that my genius professor used this word. I'm not detracting from her brilliance at all -- she's truly a genius, brilliant -- but she was really incensed about the topic she was lecturing about (overdiagnosis of "autism" for kids who don't have it) and she was on a roll.

She had other winsome quotes tonight too. I love her. This is the same professor who said "Sparkly unicorns work very hard at eating play-doh" to prove a point, which effectively did so.

"Zero. Zilcho. Nada" (about how age-equivalent scores tell you nothing about a child's level of functioning but are just some empty statistic of the median score of a particular age group of the norming sample)

"Oh my god, disorder from cat litter. Another reason not to have cats!" (talking about cytomegalovirus, which is actually quite terrifying and the reason pregnant women are not allowed to change cat litter)

"So this brings me to a point about my husband's family" (talking about how his sister in law made everyone take off their shoes in their house, because their house had a crawling baby who would put things on the floor in her mouth and shoes can track in nasty things like toxins that can affect development)

"I don't know if it's a 'sexy speech disorder' or what...." (talking about how the diagnosis of "childhood apraxia of speech" is overused when people can't or don't take the time to really figure out why a child doesn't talk or talk typically)
melluransa: (joon glasses hat smile)
They did an EEG on Zico, a rapper from South Korea. First - for entertainment purposes - they made him compose a rap about the homunculus and the sensory and motor cortices. That was neat! I learned about those last semester.

Then they did the experiment. They recorded the electric activity in his brain when looking at images. I suspect that these images cause standardized, "normal" patterns of electric activity. That was the pre-test. Then, they had him recite something. I don't know if it was just random stuff, or relevant to the test, or what. The researcher in me wants to know what they gave him to read, but anyway... They did a post-test of the same image thing. Results showed more electric activity in the post-test, which is a "better performance."

BUT listen here, there could have just been more activity simply because it was a second exposure to the test that was administered so soon after the first. And did he know he'd take it a second time, or did they "blind" him? Does recitation of random words, which is a visual-motor-language activity, really help with a visual images test? My research methods teacher would laugh at this experiment. Despite all that, it holds entertainment value because Zico is a celebrity and actually a pretty awesome guy imo. He had dreadlocks once and I love his voice and his raps.

melluransa: (Default)
Neat! I wish it could pause at midline.

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melluransa: (love is bill tom gustav and georg)
Animals even as "simple" as rats may be able to feel empathy. Loose rats free trapped rats -- choosing to do so even over the offer of food. They don't free a fake rat, and they express no interest in freeing when the box is empty. <3 This suggests that empathy is a primal thing, programmed in our limbic system of basic emotions and instinct. The article is here.
melluransa: (Default)
Loss of knowledge, something you take for granted.

Akinetopsia - loss of motion perception. Can you imagine not seeing motion? You wouldn't pay attention to someone waving to you. How would you perceive the world, then?

Auditory agnosia - difficulty in distinguishing environmental noise from speech. How could you listen to people? I tell you how-- you wouldn't. You wouldn't even know how.

Semantic agnosia - wtf!! You look at an object and have no idea of what it is by sight; the moment you touch it, feel it, smell it, taste it, hear it... anything that's not seeing it, you might remember what it is.

Form agnosia - in which you can't perceive an object as a whole, but only its separate parts. What in the world would this feel like?

Interesting stuff. Wear helmets, people. Don't want you getting brain injury and losing abilities you didn't even know you had.
melluransa: (Default)
Apparently, it stimulates the limbic system deep in the brain. It even stimulates the amygdala, which modulates emotions. feel sleepy. It's my second listening-through. But then again, it's late afternoon/evening; my usual daily slump.

Download + more here
melluransa: (Default)
This is so neat. In general (lol, right hemi here) the left hemisphere concentrates on important details, while the right hemisphere looks at a holistic big picture as to what all those details mean together. That's great; fascinating, actually. But it had an effect on culture? Say waaat?

OMG I never thought of it like that, but it makes so much sense! The frontal lobe INHIBITS! That explains so much!

The end got a little too psychological and cultural for me. Perhaps I'm too left-hemisphere orientated? Quite interesting! We are a left-hemisphere orientated culture, and that ending line was so powerful!

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melluransa: (bill charming fanparty smile)
This is a story I found when I cleaned out my computer desk. I wrote this when I was in second grade. I can't believe I used semicolons at age 7 or 8. I was awesome. I'm gonna type it below. It's not long. It's unedited save for me putting paragraph breaks.

I couldn't see over the tall wildflowers and buttercups and I wanted to see what was in the world )
melluransa: (gd eye and heart)
A beautiful poem called "Language Acquisition," written by Marie Ponsot, who struggles with her own language after having a stroke.

Language Acquisition

Burn, or speak your mind. For the oak to untruss
its passion it must explode as fire or leaves.
The delicious tongue we speak with speaks us.
A liquor of sweetness where its root cleaves
ripens fluent, as it runs for the desirous
reason, the touching sense. The infant says “I”
like earthquake and wavers as place takes voice.
Earth steadies smiling around her, in reply
to her self-finding pronoun, her focal choice.
We wait: while sun sucks earth juices up from wry
root-runs tangled under dark, while the girl
no longer vegetal, steps into view:
a moving speaker, an “I” the air whirls
toward the green exuberance of “You.”
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melluransa: (xiao hua tang men loling and smiling)
Irrational optimism might not always be the best thing for us, but it is the one thing that keeps us moving forward and growing.

It also talks about how memory is flexible and therefore inaccurate. Why is it flexible anyway? Because we also think about the future, and are hopefully optimistic about it! That blows my mind, that the brain might be more future- than past-orientated. The hippocampus does both functions; memory and future. It's all a complicated mess, considering how expectations of the future actually alter it.

And then bring perception in. How do you perceive the events? Is something bad that happens to you a blessing in disguise? Does your brain literally make it a blessing in disguise, just because the information is processed in this lobe versus that lobe?

Your brain is wired to pay attention to positive information and to think about things with positive ends.

Really really interesting article. The brain is really powerful. Think about placebos! They are strong, and powered by illusions and positivity!
melluransa: (love is bill tom gustav and georg)
Because it's proof that it's all in your mind. There are people who have experienced withdrawal symptoms from placebos. Weird. Awesome. If we can tap into the power of our own brains the medicine industry would take a serious hit.

melluransa: (Default)
On, there are a few short but really interesting articles.

Musicians discern speech sounds presented with noise better than nonmusicians because musicians have trained their brains to pick out certain musical sounds in the presence of others, which probably bleeds into speech sound discrimination.

Babies might see different colors than adults do, because what we as adults perceive in the world is affected (limited even) by language. Because we have a name for it, we limit it. But since babies don't have language, they are more experiencing the color without any labels or limits. But optic nerves are optic nerves, and the visual cortex is the visual cortex in every human. Hm.

People born blind can use the visual areas in their brain for language tasks. It shows how plastic and malleable the brain is, and that the idea of localization in the brain for certain tasks isn't as set in stone as we'd like to think it is.

Another article about language and its location and processing in the brains of blind people. If language is processed in more than one area, then does that mean it's being processed on a different level and with a different point of view? Does it mean you're "getting more" out of language? Or is the brain just making ends meet and using whatever regions necessary? This article also talks about the differences in young brains and old brains.
melluransa: (Default)
Here. It's really pretty, graceful, and bloody.

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