Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Daydreaming - Benefits

Although daydreaming is function built into the brain, many people do not develop and hone it and many more are programed to stop using it. Very unfortunately, that. Einstein is often quoted about his belief in daydreaming. He said that he lived his daydreams in music. Many of his ideas reportedly came from daydreaming or his “thought experiences.”. As Einstein pointed out, logic can get you from point A to point B; imagination will take you everywhere. There are indications that other personages appear to have similar perspectives. Deepak Chopra advised: Daydream, imagine, and reflect. It is the source of infinite creativity. And I might add, creativity is the source of effective problem-solving. Neil Gaiman pointed out that you get ideas from daydreaming . . .The only difference between writers and other people being that writers notice when they are daydreaming. If you were one of those individuals unfortunately enough to have perhaps well-meaning although unenlightened adults try to stifle your “daydreaming,’ give yourself permission to do it. 

Monday, September 28, 2020


I grew up being told by parents, teachers, and other adults to “stop daydreaming and get down to business!” I really tried to stop daydreaming and nothing worked. I have felt guilt during these 50+ years because my brain still wanted to do it. Is there something wrong with my brain?  What’s the deal here?

 Many human beings will likely be able to relate to your experience and could tell a similar story—unfortunately. “You a such a daydreamer—get working!” was NOT a compliment or an encouragement to problem solve or use the creativity that is built in the brain and that needs to be honed. Daydreaming functions appear to be built into the human brain. However, like many other functions, it needs to be used and honed. II compare it to being born with innate musical ability but never doing anything with that. The “deal” is that there is definitely a time to pay attention in the present moment and there is definitely a time to daydream. Many of the world's greatest scientists, inventors, writers, playwrights, and artists in almost any genre knew how or know how to use daydreaming to their advantage. 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Specialists & Multipotentialists

Specialists can sometimes use their giftedness in a variety of settings, none of which particularly represent their passion—it being less about the product and more about the opportunity to “lead.” For example, a Prioritizer could lead a company without having personal excellence in the product of that company, relying on other individuals within the company to create the product. In times of economic crisis, an Envisioner could lead a company to look outside the box, to step away from the status quo and reinvent itself, again relying on other individuals within the company to handle the details. A Harmonizer might be asked to lead a company that was fractured from within due to conflict and dissention, pulling employees together toward a common goal. A Maintainer might be asked to lead a company that was in danger of being shut down because of failure to follow rules and regulations. The bottom line is that every brain on the planet is slightly different—and it "takes a village" filled with a variety of talents and expertise to make something really successful. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020


Multipotentialists tend to excel in two or more different fields. It may be in an field hat is orchestrated by a quadrant beside the one that represents their innate brain "bent." They may do one thing initially, and once they learn everything they want to know in that field, may find it no longer challenging. They enthusiastically branch out into a spin-off field and learn that genre. After a time they may branch out again. They are usually described as individuals of strong intellect and/or artistic curiosity. This can sometimes be seen in individuals who do one thing well during their career. After retirement, they become involved in something quite different and may spend 20 or more years excelling in that area. Unfortunately, an industrial society sometimes looks down on Multipotentialists, asserting that they lack “stick-to-itiveness” or “can’t make up their minds,” or are “unstable.” It does happen, however, that excellence in one area can make a great contribution to a different arena, helping it move forward successfully, because no one brain knows everything. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


Specialists tend to be those who excel in one specific area, often attaining world-class status. Individuals tend to excel within the quadrant that possesses their energy advantage. Starting from the top left and moving counterclockwise, let's treview stereotypical leadership characteristics for each quadrant. These include: 

Prioritizers: Exhibit an authoritarian leadership style and excel in being in charge and delegating. Competitive, they want to “win.” Tend to use time well and generally make money, especially in a stable economy.

Maintainers: Exhibit a status-quo leadership style. They excel at storing and retrieving data accurately, meeting deadlines, and following rules and regulations correctly.

Harmonizers: Exhibit an accommodating leadership style. Attempt to avoid conflict and controversy, facilitating collaboration harmony. They have high concerns for people (less for results, quotas, budget compliance)

Envisioners: Exhibit an entrepreneurial leadership style. Have high concerns for problem-solving, innovation, and trending, (less for routines, details, status quo). Facilitate inventing, birthing a project, and moving quickly at the cutting-edge margin of an idea


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Brain Quadrants & Energy

Understanding a bit about the brain may help you understand the concept of multipotentialism and the types of brain “bent” that might align with each. The cerebrum is divided by natural fissures into four chunks of tissue. They all work together, however, it is believed that most (if not all) human brains have an energy advantage in one of these four chunks over the other three. Research by Richard Haier has shown that this energy advantage involves a reduced resistance to the transfer of information across the “synapse” or space between neurons. It is significant, estimated to be 1/100 of the energy required for the same process in the other three quadrants. This drawing illustrates the four cerebral chunks and I have assigned a label for each based on a key brain function led by that quadrant—less confusing for those of who tend to easily mix up left and right. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Multipotentialism & the Brain

I hear there was a TED talk recently that involved something called multipotentialism exhibited by multipotentialities. I had never heard of these terms before. Can you help me understand this and how it involves the brain—especially one’s brain bent?

 I have not seen the term multipotentialism in print. I am guessing it might refer to a theory that some individuals have multiple fields or creative interests in a lifetime versus those with just “one true calling.” The term multipotenialite is an educational and psychological term referring to the ability and preference of an individual to excel in two or more different fields. A multipotenialite, therefore, is an individual, particularly one of strong intellectual or artistic curiosity, who excels in two or more different fields. On a metaphorical continuum, Specialists would be at one end and Multipotentialites at the opposite end. Yes, it involves the brain because everything involves the brain. Everything starts in the brain.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Origin of Term - Confirmation Bias

The term itself is believed to have been coined by English psychologist Peter Wason to describe the tendency of people to favor information that confirms or strengthens their beliefs or values and is difficult to dislodge once affirmed. Since then many studies have been done on the topic. Michael Shermer has been quoted as saying that smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. Wikipedia points out that “confirmation biases contribute to overconfidence in personal beliefs even in the face of contrary evidence. Poor decisions due to these biases have been found in political, organizational, financial, and scientific contexts. For example, confirmation bias produces systematic errors in scientific research based on inductive reasoning (the gradual accumulation of supportive evidence). Similarly, a police detective may identify a suspect early in an investigation, but then may only seek confirming rather than disconfirming evidence. Can confirmation bias be avoided or eliminated entirely? Probably not. However, individuals can learn to identify their biases and manage their confirmation bias—if they purpose to do so. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Confirmation Bias, 4

Confirmation bias can often be seen in relation to highly charged issues such as those that involve or are related to religion, politics, race, gender, chauvinism, etc. But it can involve any personal belief. Bias assessments may be the fastest decisions the brain ever makes, occurring at nano-second speeds. They tend to be related to one’s personal perception of safety—physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually, ideologically, and so on. Again, no surprise, confirmation bias can impact the strength of one’s beliefs and behaviors related to inequality, bigotry, bullying, racism, chauvinism, and so on. If perchance, an individual’s brain is experiencing some imbalance, illness, or dysfunction, the confirmation bias may be so strong it triggers behaviors that can lead to injury or even death—especially toward another brain that harbors a different bias or little if any negative bias toward a specific ideology. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Conformation Bias, 3

The effect of Confirmation Bias may be strongest for deeply entrenched beliefs, for desired outcomes, and for emotionally charged issues. Beliefs are tricky concepts. Your brain creates your beliefs from what you are taught and from what you learned—two different things. This may include cellular memory from biological ancestors, role-modeling by adults around you, interactions with people you admire or don’t, your own life experiences, what you watch on TV and movies, what you read, what political or religious leaders tell you, what scientists report from studies, what those you hang out with the most think and believe, and so on. Once beliefs are firmly entrenched, they can strengthen your brain’s bias assessments along with your resulting choices, and behaviors. Anger or fear for something that is “different” may surface when that might not otherwise have been the case. New information can be ignored or discarded. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Confirmation Bias, 2

A confirmation bias can be defined as a tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one's prior belief or value. The more fervent one’s belief, the likelihood of a more fervent confirmation bias. Nickerson, Raymond S Nickerson has referred to it as “A ubiquitous phenomenon in many guises.” Confirmation bias can distort evidence and, consequently, impact evidence-based decision-making. How is this displayed? Individuals gather and/or recall information selectively, or interpret information in a biased way, or ignore any information or evidence that does not support their strongly-held beliefs. This can include scientific evidence (e.g., the world is round and not flat, Planet earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around). They may also interpret what they believe to be ambiguous evidence as supporting their beliefs. Depending on the individual, he or she can become defensive, argumentative, irate, or even destroy property or other attempt to injury or do bodily harm to persons who disagree with or challenge the individual's belief. More tomorow.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Confirmation Bias

I just don’t get it. People are not wearing masks, shooting some who tell them to do so, catching and spreading Covid-19. I heard on the news about a young man who voluntarily went to a party where he knew some of the people were infected with Covid-19 because he said he believed that the virus was not as contagious or as serious as some people were saying. No one, including himself, wore a mask. He caught the virus and was dead a week or so later. What is going on in that type of brain, and where was any concern for NOT infecting others on the part of those with the virus?

I would like to be able to give you a specific answer—however with about seven billion brains on Planet Earth, each slightly different, that is not possible. It is a question many are having around the world, especially in the US where there are a lot of cases. Every brain appears to have some innate bias, describes as an inclination for or against something. A healthy and balanced discrimination bias based on accurate assessments can help keep you safe—unmanaged, it can be deadly. There is a phenomenon, however, known as a Confirmation Bias. It involves overconfidence in one’s personal beliefs. More tomorrow.

Friday, September 11, 2020

IBD-Dementia link, 4


According to a Harvard Medical School report, chronic inflammation plays a central role in some of the most challenging diseases of this time I world’s history, including cancer, heart, disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and dementia. Some have said that another name for IBD could be Enteric Neuropathy. Meaning the neurons in the gut are unhappy because something is not working properly. It does not seem to be just one thing that triggers IBD, but a combination of factors. Some of these factors are stress, smoking, excess fat intake, excess consumption of added sugar and refined and highly processed carbohydrates. These factors are also linked with LDL cholesterol, weight gain, and gut permeability. Until more definitive research comes out one’s best shot is likely to live as balanced and healthy a lifestyle as possible.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

IBD-Dementia link, 3

It is important to remember when attempting to understand research conclusions that they represent “on average” findings and do not say anything about a specific person. Researchers are taking a long hard look at inflammation. It is triggered by the body’
s Immune System to protect the body from foreign substances or to help heal an injury. Blood flow increases to the area along with numbers of white blood cells. This process may result in swelling, warmth, and pain. If the inflammatory process is needed to heal an injury, that’s one thing. If it is triggered unnecessarily by ingestion of foreign materials it can cause a great deal of harm. For example, having too much added sugar in one's food and beverages and high levels of foods made with refined carbohhydates are inked with elevaed levels of inflammation in the body--along with insuin resistance and weight gain. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

IBD-Dementia link, 2


he gut is being referred to as your 2nd brain. It is now believed to contain as many thinking cells—neurons—as are in your brain, if not more. Granted, gut neurons do not “think” consciously in the same way as do brain neurons. However, gut neurons are continually communicating with brain neurons over the vagus nerve, said to be the longest and perhaps most complex nerve in your body. Some believe that the wisest decisions are made with a combination of input from the brain, heart, and gut (e.g., ‘a gut feeling’). First author Dr Bing Zhang, reportedly said that their research does suggest that there may be a connection between IBD and neurocognitive decline. It is too early to tell if IBD causes cognitive decline but there appears to be a link between the two. Chronic inflammation may trigger processes involved in dementia and/or disruptions to the microbiome in the gut. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

IBD-Dementia Risk


I just heard that people who suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease are at higher risk for developing dementia. I have relatives with that diagnosis. How do IBD and dementia go together?

That is a good question. A physician friend sent me an excerpt from a study that was just released a few weeks ago. Apparently, this study is the latest to find a high degree of correlation between gut health and mental health. Researchers are linking gut-heath to neurological diseases. Apparently, those with a diagnosis of IBD are at more than twice the risk of developing dementia. This growing body of research suggests that changes in your gut (gastrointestinal system) may impact the brain through a two-way communication system—the gut-brain axis. More tomorrow.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Genetics & Pandemics, 2

Hopelessness begins with a choice to believe that there is nothing you can do that would help you to be healthier. There is always something that can be done to improve one’s health, wellness, and potential longevity. Mindset is critical because self-talk, choices, and behaviors follow what you think. If you think you can do something or think you cannot do something, either way you are correct. Because of this, estimates are that 70 percent of how well and how long you live is in your hands. What do you want? If you keep on doing what your ancestors and you have always done, you will continue to get the same outcomes. Start with one aspect at a time and build healthier skills into your daily routine. This is the purpose of the Longevity Lifestyle Matters program . . . 

Friday, September 4, 2020

Genetics and Pandemics

I come from a long line of “physically sickly” ancestors. Because of that, are my own decisions regarding lifestyle choices, especially during communicable disease outbreaks, really going to matter much? Seems rather hopeless to me.


No doubt you have heard the old saying: “Prevention beats cure.” That can apply to almost every area of life. In my brain’s opinion, current research indicates that there is a huge amount of hope if you grab onto it. For example, Genetics (genes and chromosomes you inherit from your biological ancestors) is believed to have about a 30 percent impact on your health, wellness, and potential longevity. Epigenetics (everything that is not genetics including your own lifestyle choices) appears to have a 70 percent impact on your health, wellness, and longevity. Where is any hopelessness in that?                                  

                                                                                                                 More tomorrow.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

ABO Blood Type and Covid-19, 2


Recent studies also have shown evidence of a difference between Type A and Type B blood types. Compared with Type O, Type A seems to have a higher risk for Covid-19 related venous thromboembolism, such as pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. Again, researchers believe it is too early to link blood types definitively to outcomes.

 Knowledge is power. If a person has type A blood, knowing this research could motivate them to follow recommended guidelines carefully and avoid any unnecessary exposure. In my brain’s opinion, individuals with the other blood types would be well-served to do the sam

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

ABO Blood Types and Covid-19

Q: Is there anything to the rumor that some blood types may be at higher risk for contracting Covid-19

 A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that blood group O was associated with a lower risk of acquiring Covid-19 as compared with non-O blood groups.

 Blood group A was associated with a higher risk than non-A blood groups. researchers concluded. A potential explanation may be because the immune systems of people with Type O blood already have antibodies for both A and B in their plasma. Thus, their bodies are more equipped to identify foreign proteins—including those on the surface of viruses. Researchers do not yet know, however, if type A has an increased susceptibility to infection or to severity.

More tomorrow

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

ABO Blood Types, 2

Blood type is determined by the presence or absence of specific antigens named A and B, molecules that are attached to red blood cells.


     - Type A: individuals with Type A have an A antigen on red blood cells and B antibodies in their plasma (the almost transparent liquid that is part of the blood).

  -    B: individuals with Type B have the B antigen on red blood cells and A antibodies in their plasma.

 -  Type AB: individuals with Type AB have both A and B antigens on red blood cells but neither A nor B antibodies in their plasma.

 -   Type O: individuals with Type O have neither A nor B antigens on their red blood cells but have both A and B antibo

dies in their plasma.

Monday, August 31, 2020

ABO Blood Types


ABO Blood Types

 What does blood type really mean?

 There are four main blood types: A, B, AB, and O (with O being either positive or negative). Following are a couple of definitions:


·         An antigen is any substance that causes your immune system to produce antibodies against it, because the immune system does not recognize the substance and is trying to fight it off. An antigen may be a substance from the environment, such as chemicals, bacteria, viruses, pollen, toxins, and cells from a transplanted body organ. An antigen may also form inside the body as with cancer cells. Typical an antigen triggers the immune system to produce antibodies.


·         Antibodies are proteins typically produced by specialized B cells when they are triggered by an antigen. Antibodies are elite and specialized immune-system fighters that act against that specific antigen and attempt to neutralize or kill it. Think “green berets.”

More tomorrow.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Proverbs from Israel

The State of Israel has been known by that name since 1948. But down through the centuries, the territory has been known by a variety of appellations, including Judea, Samaria, Southern Syria, Palestine, Canaan, and the Holy Land, to name just a few. These are some proverbs from Israel.

  • A slave shows his true character, not while he is enslaved but when he becomes a master
  • Never approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side
  • If there is bitterness in the heart, sugar in the mouth won't make life sweeter
  • We do not see things the way they are but as we are
  • When you are hungry, sing; when you are hurt, laugh
  • What you do not see with your eyes, never invent with your mouth

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Pandemic "Parenting," 3

The human brain is a relational brain. Prior to the pandemic I am guessing the kids were at school interacting with their friends. Social media can have a downside for sure if it is overused for long periods of time and if the user starts thinking everyone else has more than he or she does. Chatting with friends at home by cell phone, however, can help the relational brain to feel less alone. There are many entities that are working diligently to release products that children can watch while at home. By all means block internet access for some things. However, there are many excellent YouTube presentations. I just uploaded four sets of videos they might like on my Brain Talk channel. (www.arlenetaylor.org - click on Brain Talk in the upper left corner of the home page). Try to make this pandemic time as fun and pleasant as possible. Put yourself in their place? How happy and content would you be? Or is this the type of atmosphere in which you grew up and figure if you survived, so could they? Humans tend to do to others as they have been done to—unless they make a different choice. You can create a different path if you choose to do so. Your choice will impact you and your children for the rest of your lives.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Pandemic "Parenting," 2

 Studies have shown that typical parental behaviors that undermine a child’s sense of self-worth, include:


·         Making the child feel bad for upsetting the parents, and/or perceived withdrawing of love when the parent is angry

·         Unreasonable rules, harsh punishments, and a lack of empathy and caring behaviors.

·         Discouraging teenagers from asserting themselves and becoming independent.

Parents need to be aware of how parental attempts to control teens may actually stunt their progress and create damage that may last a lifetime. Perceived traumatic events in childhood are very stressful for a child/teenager and can actually change the biology of the brain. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Pandemic "Parenting"

I am stuck at home during this pandemic. I have decided this is a good time to lay down some rules to help my kids grow up to be well-rounded adults. I took away their cell phones so they don’t waste time talking with their friends all day. They get two hours or carefully monitored TV each day. No computer time until the school district decides if they will stay home or go back to school. The rest of the time they can read or ride the stationary bike etc. I’ve told them I’m really stressed and its their job to make things easier on me. Mind you, I am not asking for any advice, I’m just telling you what I am doing.


I was not put on this planet to give advice. Nor do I make suggestions unless asked to do so. I will make an observation or two based on research. There is a huge difference between a wise teacher and overbearing and overcontrolling parent, who tend to cause self-esteem issues in their children. Bottom line: If your goal is to lower the level of self-esteem in your children (albeit unwittingly), make them dislike being at home, and set them up for relationship problems for the rest of their lives, continue doing what you are doing. Research of teenagers (age 13 and up) who perceive they received this type of parental control, predicted lower levels of psychosocial maturity and peer acceptance in mid-adolescence. It also was linked with potential undermining of autonomy so as to lead to less favorable outcomes well into adulthood. More tomorrow.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Pandemic Challenges, 4


Pandemic Challenges, 4

 Dr. McLaughlin, one pf the researchers, reportedly said: “The fact that we see such consistent evidence for faster aging at such a young age suggests that the biological mechanisms that contribute to health disparities are set in motion very early in life. This means that efforts to prevent these health disparities must also begin during childhood . . . A critical next step is determining whether these psychosocial interventions might also be able to slow down this pattern of accelerated biological aging. Mental health treatments may help to reduce the detrimental effects of early abuse and violence. If this is possible, we may be able to prevent many of the long-term health consequences of early-life adversity.” What each individual can do is to become a committee of one to do everything in his or her power to protect children from deprivation, violence, abuse, and trauma.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Pandemic Challenges, 3

Pandemic Challenges, 3

 The researchers analyzed the results of over 100 studies including more than 100,000 people. Different types of adversity were shown to impact different areas of the brain. Evaluations of the outcomes of abuse and trauma during childhood showed that deprivation damages brain regions that are important for cognitive thinking and sensory processing. Violence, on the other hand, was linked with brain regions that are critical for the emotions. In many cases the studies pointed out that psychological abuse or neglect were just as damaging as physical or sexual abuse. This means that just because parents are spending more time in the company of their children, this does not necessarily equate with quality time. It can involve neglect or worse, as parental tensions and discomfort leak out all over the kids. More Tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Pandemic Challenges, 2

Pandemic Challenges, 2

Anecdotal reports are that people being cooped up together in relatively small quarters when they have not been accustomed to that, can create conflict and dysfunctional behaviors. No surprise. Put a dozen rats in a tiny space and they start biting each other, or worse. When children are present, they can be caught in the middle of parental arguing and fighting and be themselves abused and traumatized at the worst. A recent study has revealed the long-term impact of abuse and trauma for children. For example, both violence and abuse are linked to faster biological aging. This is shown by changes in brain structure, early onset of puberty, and cellular aging. In addition, the changes in brain structure include a thinner later of cortex, the outside layer of the brain. This thinner cortex is linked to dementia. I have seen that happen—and older person (one who was beaten every day during childhood for small infractions) who develops symptoms of dementia soon after retirement when there was no familial history of that.  More tomorrow.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Pandemic Challenges


Pandemic Challenges

For every action there is a reaction. For every plus, there is a minus. You always give up something to get something. Period. Everything you do involves a decision. To decide not to make a decision, not to choose, is in itself a decision. Some of the challenges involve spending more time together than you may have done in the past. This will also surface how each person deals with change—especially unwanted change. Sit down together and draw up some parameters, so each has some alone time. Decide how you will use some of the other chunks of time. Hopefully, especially if you have children, you will agree to eat meals together. Divorce filings have reportedly risen, although one always looks at statistics with a somewhat jaundiced eye because you can tweak them so they say almost anything. One couple reported that after a month of togetherness, they decided they didn’t really even like each other all that much. Too bad. Be really honest with each other and dig to find what was the initial attraction. If it was primarily sexual, that intensity tends to fall off in 12-18 months if not sooner. What do you admire about each other. Anything? Do you want to work learning to know yourself and each other or not?

Friday, August 14, 2020

Pandemic Pluses, 5

Pandemic Pluses, 5

If you are a parent working remotely, this is also a good opportunity to teach boundary-setting, and to set your own boundaries. Some children are content to play quietly on the floor near a parent. Depending on the age of the child, you can set a timer for a specific period. During that time, the parent works, if remote working is occurring. When the timer goes off, the child gets a few minutes of playing with the parents or some other favorite activity. This can teach delayed gratification as well as looking forward to a favorite activity. The sky is the limit. Success begins with a mindset, however. The way in which you view this pandemic and how creatively you approach “what is,” will be lessons that will remain with your child for a lifetime.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Pandemic Pluses, 4


Pandemic Pluses, 4

During any enforced working remotely or sequestering, this gives parents and child(ren) a chance to spend much more time together than ordinarily is possible. That does not mean you must spend every waking moment entertaining a child. It does mean that you provide safe and interesting toys for them and perhaps audiobooks they can listen to while they are playing. If they are old enough to do simple jig-saw puzzles or build with Legos, a story playing in the background can be very helpful and even engaging. Variety is key. The brain loves variety. The research reinforced the need to vary the types of play children have access to, and mothers can, of course, support physical play with young children as well. Perhaps you can have a special toy or game for each day of the week—one the child can look forward to, so the days do not all run together. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Pandemic Pluses, 3

Pandemic Pluses, 3

It is interesting to hear from children and teens what is important to them. For example, a common thread is, “We all get to eat together at the table. That never used to happen.” And in the typical “both parents work outside the home” households, that may be true. It’s feed and dress the kids, get them out the door to the babysitter or school, and grab a donut to eat on the way to work. The human brain is a relational brain. Make mealtime a fun time. No disciplining, no rehearsing of less than desirable behaviors, no lectures, no disparaging remarks. Do active listening. Look at the child while listening. This helps them feel that what they say is important to you. They may come out with some very interesting comments, too, because they watch adults carefully. More tomorrow

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Pandemic Pluses, 2


Pandemic Pluses, 2

 Time and interaction with fathers are more important than many have believed. Some fathers work hard to give their children “things” the parent never had. Some of that is great. Time, however, is the greatest gift and it is the only gift a father can give to his child. No one else can give that for him. Many parents play with their children every day. Studies show that generally fathers play more physically with their children. They lift babies and toddlers up in the air more. Depending on the age of the child fathers use more rough-and-tumble wrestling and play. Not only do these children tend to have stronger levels of self-control, they are less likely to have emotional and behavioral problems later on. They also have a lower risk of hyperactivity. Even into adult years, children tend to remember which parent played with them and what they played. Who knew? More tomorrow.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Pandemic Pluses


Pandemic Pluses

During a pandemic, are there any positives for kids?

There can be many positives. Not only for kids, but for parents and grandparents. Everyone is there together. What a great opportunity for play. For example, a study just released a few weeks ago reported on research about the link between father-child play and self-control skills. Self-control is repeatedly found to be vital for success in relationships, work, and even for good mental health. Four decades of research revealed that people whose fathers played with them more as chlidren tend to grow up with stronger levels of self-control. Play is the work of children and play with parents is important. However, up to the age of about three, playiing with their father appears to have a signigant beneficial efffect.  Several reasons for this were cited in the abstract.  More tomorrow. 


Friday, August 7, 2020

Proverbs from Mexico

As you know, The United Mexican States  share a rather very large Southern border with the United States of America (as does the Dominion of Canada on the Northern side). For years, as a child in Canada, I pictured the USA as the ‘sandwich filling.’ When I grew older and moved to the USA with my parents, I laughed at the size of the 'sandwich filling.' 

Here are a few proverbs from Mexico. 
  • A gilded cage is still a cage
  • All time spent angry is time lost being happy.
  • If you build a wall around your suffering it may devour you from the inside
  • Remember that every tic-toc tic-toc of the clock is a second of life that goes by and never repeats itself
  • Although a monkey may be dressed in silk—it’s still a monkey
  • Do good and don't worry to whom

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Pandemic Problems - Brain Stimulation, 3

Pandemic Problems – Brain Stimulation, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                   
No surprise, there is an entire retinue of supporting cells to help care for your neurons. Known as glial cells, there may be 6 glia for every neurons, concentrations varying in differing parts of the brain. Some neurons have 9 glia each. These personal assistants manufacture the myelin that covers many of the axons and which allows communication to occur much more quickly. (When something causes deterioration of the myelin a variety of problems can arise such as those seen in Multiple Sclerosis.) The glial cells also prepare food for the neurons, neurotrophins. They help maintain homeostasis (balance) among the neurons and provide support and protection for them in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. It’s beginning to appear that glial cells can be found almost anywhere neurons reside. Use this time to read a book you’ve been putting off, do stretching exercises each morning, keep your brain hydrated. Play games you’ve not had time to do. Avoid allowing your thinking cells to deteriorate! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Pandemic Problems - Brain Stimulation, 2

 Pandemic Problems Brain Stimulation, 2

 In general, neurons do not undergo cell division—except perhaps for cells in the hippocampus and olfactory bulb. So you have what you have and they need to last your entire life. That’s one reason for making careful choices about how to take care of these vital cells. Although protected by your bony skull, neurons can be easily damaged. Blunt trauma, for example, can break off some of the axons, interfering with the transmission of information. That’s part of the controversy about some types of sports that can damage these delicate but vital cells. Pugilistic Parkinson’s is one example of problems that can arise from some types of sports. Wear a helmet when doing any type of sport or activity that might result in an injury to your head. A broken bone often heals ‘as good as new.’ A broken ‘head’ rarely does. If you smoke, stop. If you don’t, never start. Be careful about breathing side smoke from tobacco products or from vehicle exhaust. Stay alert and avoid falls—a huge cause of head injuries and often of deteriorating brain function. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Pandemic Problems - Brain Stimulation


Pandemic Problems – Brain Stimulation

 You can think because of neurons in your brain: cells that have a propensity to exchange information with each other. They talk to each other almost constantly using electrical-chemical transmission. Sometimes their chatter occurs at a conscious level but much more often at an unconscious or subconscious level. The brain contains an estimated 86 billion neurons give or take a few billion. About 16.3 billion are in the cerebral cortex, and 69 billion in the cerebellum. Neurons have a cell body or soma and an axon that allows information to leave the neuron. Depending on your height some of these axons, going down to your big toe, for example, can be a meter length. Each neuron also has many tiny filaments that project from it called dendrites. These little finger-like projections absorb information and pull it into the brain. In some forms of mental retardation, researchers have found that the neurons have insufficient numbers of dendrites so information isn’t absorbed and pulled into the neuron. The dendrites can shrink from lack of mental stimulation. Not a good thing!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Pandemic Problems - Snacking

Pandemic Problems - Snacking


Stuck at home? Less easy access to groceries—if you haven’t been “made redundant” as they say down under, and have money to shop. A tendency to snack, rather than doing your level best to create actual meals and eat together? The outcome? Often it is weight gain. Studies have shown that not much has changed during the last 40 years. In 1961, Mickey Stunkard, an obesity research veteran, showed children drawings of healthy disabled and obese children and asked how much they liked them. The obese drawings were liked least of all. In 2001 the experiment was repeated and obese children were liked even less than before. Obesity does tend to stigmatize a child. Children observe their parents—even when it doesn’t look like they are watching. What you ‘say’ is not nearly as impactful as what you ‘do’ yourself. Your child will likely follow your lead in maintaining an optimum weight. The outcome is a decreased risk for serious illnesses such as diabetes type 2 and 3 and an increased risk for a longer lifespan.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Aphantasia, 5

After a few weeks, I played the Vibes in public for the first time—a duet with my father. Two people, four hands, and four mallets. It actually sounded better than I had initially expected. I wish I knew how my father even knew to teach me that skill—where did he learn? He didn’t know, either. Back to your original question. Your brain may not visualize but that does not mean there is something wrong with you. Relative new research on ”Aphantasia” reported that approximately 95 percent of individuals are able to picture things in their mind’s eye—at least at some level. That means that the brains of about 5 percent of individuals do not. That’s what is difficult about making presentations and writing articles and so on, as there are always outliers—brains that do things differently. Before you automatically relegate yourself to the 5 percent, I suggest you do some experimenting with picturing objects or faces in your mind’s eye. You may be surprised that you can learn to visualize at some level—if not, no worries. There are other things your brain can do . . . enjoy those things.