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Change Your Mind With Nintendo DS January 7, 2009

Posted by Dr. Rohn Kessler in 9-5-4, add parents, adhd, aging, alternative treatment, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention training, brain, brain drain.
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Professor Kawashima followed his dream. When he was a boy he saw himself putting his brain on a computer system. He believed that if he could represent mental functioning on a computer, he would be able to understand how people’s brains worked. On his journey he created the Nintendo DS brain training games. These games are inter-generational tools that are entertaining to people of all ages. Dr. Kawashima studied brain response with pet scans. He found when people simply watch television, brain zones that handle sound and sight respond. When playing a video game, zones that deal with motion and color respond. The part of the brain that really helps us think is called the prefrontal cortex. It is not stimulated with either of these activities.

Difficult math does not light up this part of the brain either, but simple math done under speed conditions makes a big difference. Reading silently does not use this part of the brain as much as when we read out loud. Dr. Kawashimi developed games that stimulate the prefrontal cortex. So the principle is to work out with your brain and have fun!

He came under fire because a British newspaper quoted him as saying videogames harm the brain. This is not actually true. He said videogames de-activate the prefrontal cortex. Professor Kawashima has four children. He let them all play video games but only for one hour every day. His reasoning was that sometimes the brain just needs to rest and video games were not harmful. He has done tests on elderly Japanese people. What he found was that solving mental puzzles can often arrest cognitive decline. Dr. Kawashimi says ‘I cannot comment on whether the illness of dementia is cured or not, but with these methods symptoms of dementia certainly improve”.

Other virtual activities that were once exclusively the domain of the young are being used with increasing success to rehabilitate older adults and bring them quality of life. In some senior centers card games and crossword puzzles are being replaced with virtual reality bowling or tennis. Crossword puzzles and sudoku are played in groups with computers and a mouse. These are much easier to navigate than small pieces of wood and studies have shown that simulated activities are almost as useful for practice as the real thing.

Some other scientists are jealous and treat his work with disparaging remarks such as there has not been enough time to test this or there is little empirical evidence. Other scientists like Dr. Posner are finding exciting results after only a few sessions with brain fitness tools. Scientists are testing brain games and finding increased brain fitness from the very old to the very young. Some say Professor Kawashimi is in it for the money. This is sad as all the royalties from the games and the books he wrote about the mind go entirely to the University. Dr. Kawashimi feels as a scientist it is his obligation and the obligation of others to return the results of our research to society.

This story is adapted from an article by Richard Lloyd Parry of the Times newspaper, London UK

By Dr. Amy Price

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How to Make Tough Choices June 20, 2007

Posted by Dr. Rohn Kessler in 9-5-4, add, add parents, adhd, aging, aspergers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention training, brain, brain drain, brain injury, challenged, cognitive decline, concentration, dementia, discipline, distractibility, focus, ld, learning disability, meditation, memory, memory loss, mTBI, parenting, social skills.
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One simple way we can sort out what choice is best is to create a plus and minus column.

Put in the advantages and disadvantages of your proposed choice. Number each choice on an “important to me” scale of one to ten. Add up both columns or get a friend to help.

Many genius minds got their inspiration after napping or a good night’s sleep.

Still undecided? Separate your thoughts into three sections I feel this way, I think this about this and I sense or remember this could happen. The first method gives you the “what” of the story while the second method gives you the “why.”
Now you need the “when.” This you can get by asking your self “Why is this a good time for this choice?” What can I gain by waiting, deciding immediately or not choosing at all”? For the where of this story consider if this is the best place or would a change of location make a difference. Also ask your self is there any knowledge missing I need to make this choice.

Sleep on your decisions and listen to the voice on the inside. Often you will sense a green light, a red light or a yellow proceed with caution.

Our minds have amassed countless categories and can assess in a moment of time what you could take months to think about actively. Many genius minds got their inspiration after napping or a good night’s sleep. It can work for you too!

Mathematicians have determined we can make informed choices by following what are called axioms. They use numbers to explain things but we will use life examples to share these ideas.

There are 5 principles or axioms for making decisions.

  1. Comparability
  2. Transitivity
  3. Dominance
  4. Independence
  5. Invariance

The first principle is called “comparability.” For this you need to know you prefer apples to bananas or banana to apples or that you dislike or like both bananas and apples.

Axiom two is called “transitivity,” which means if you prefer apples to bananas and bananas to carrots you must prefer apples to carrots.

“Dominance” is axiom three. Here is how it works, a choice is dominant and must be preferred if when it is compared to an alternate choice it is best in at least one respect and better in all other respects. Dominated or lesser choices are not to be preferred.

Axiom four is called “independence.” This says “no outside data should affect your choice.”

The last axiom, number five, is “invariance.” Different scenery involving the same choice scenario should not affect the choice. Another way of saying this is your choice preference should remain independent of how it is described.

When any of these axioms are not met there are several possibilities. The choice was not yours to make. In this case move on. You can not take responsibility for other peoples’ choices.

Zig Ziglar says ‘Life is like the movies …You produce your own show!”

Happy people live nineteen percent longer. Make a good investment. You can invest in worry or you can invest in you.

There was not enough information available to make an informed choice or you were not given the power to make the choice. Life happens and life cycles, what goes around comes around. Think out a strategy for next time or watch for something effective another individual is using to negotiate the issue.

You are a champion. Experience and coaching will help you win. Experts practice and watch for doors of opportunity. Novices give up because they see an event as defining them.

Failure is an event and not an identity.

Any novice can become an expert. Failure is an event and not an identity. Failure looks for servants, refuse to serve it!

Your choice was clouded by a cultural mindset or political manipulation and does not represent you.

For this scenario you will feel dissatisfied even when the choice is beneficial to you because you can not own it without changing your identity.

  • Think about how you can change your world one step at a time.
  • The way you see yourself is the way others will treat you.
  • Change your words and determine your destiny.
  • Your words will build you or destructure (destroy) you.
  • Go back to the chapter that suggests you decide what you would do if only you could. Find a way to take one step towards your destiny and do it!

–Dr. Amy Price

Music and Memory and…something else, I forget June 6, 2007

Posted by edukfun in add parents, aging, brain drain, cognitive decline, concentration, dementia, humor, memory, memory loss, mTBI, music.
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Here is a great music video about the wonders of aging and fading memories.  Take three minutes to watch it: the laughs are good for you, even when they are at your own expense.

Note to young people: you won’t get it.