Monday, March 28, 2011

Frontal versus Temporal Lobes and Languages

MRI studies have shown that distinct regions of the brain are used to process different types of sentences in different languages. For examples, sentences in which word order determined the relationships between the sentence elements (e.g., English language with sentences such as "Sally greets Bob") utilized parts of the frontal cortex that give humans the ability to put information into sequences. On the other hand, sentences in which inflection was providing that same type of information (e.g., Spanish language) utilized parts of the temporal lobe that specialize in dividing information into its constituent parts. The hope is that this information could prove valuable assistance in assessing how best to teach language to a person with brain damage in certain areas but not others, such as a person who has experienced a stroke.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Modern Medicine: Science or Religion?

Dr.Malerba is board certified in Homeotherapeutics, a Clinical Assistant Professor at New York Medical College, a visiting lecturer at Albany Medical College, and past president of the New York State Homeopathic Medical Society. The title of a recent article: "Is modern medicine more science or religion?" If you enjoy viewing more than one side of a coin, you may find his perceptions thought-provoking, certainly controversial. Here are a few of his comments.

In its quest for objectivity, medicine has rejected its spiritual roots and lost sight of its humanity. The church of medicine found its origins with Rene Descartes, a seventeenth century proponent of rationalism, a philosophy that elevated the mind and its ability to reason to a superior status above all other sources of knowledge. There are many thoughtful individuals, however, who would consider spiritual insight to be a superior form of knowledge. Like some religious faiths, medicine clings ferociously to its worldview when challenged by congregants (patients) whose firsthand experiences sometimes lead them to believe otherwise. It defends its dogma with a powerful form of groupthink and is quick to lash out at heretical ideas that threaten its doctrine and its territorial interests. Like some religious movements that purport to be the one and only true path to salvation, it displays an unusual degree of intolerance when faced with nonbelievers who dare to ask questions. It is a closed belief system that does not allow innovation or new ideas.