Thursday, June 30, 2011


June is at its end. I've always liked June. In Alaska, May and June are usually the best months to visit, in my opinion. I have to admit that August of 2005 was not bad, as the 21, when I amrried was a beautiful, sunny day. June is very muggy in New York, and the worst months in Los Angeles have to be around August and September. Well, June 1 started with a grants workshop, and that was interesting. I had trouble with my machine, so did not take notes, and the afternoon was Dennis MacMillan and non-profit discussion about sustainability, goal-setting and the foundations, banks and others were represented as far as who they give to and their giving requirements. The oil companies were also represented. There were about nine entities represented, and I can't remember all of them. In the morning, Senators Murkowski and Begich were in attendance, and both said that they applauded me and thanked me for my leadership in the disability community, and Senator Begich said he thanked me for all I do. That was exhilarating and fun, even though the Braillenote (a machine that has Braille output and speech) was not functioning because of the battery which was flat. I don't know why. I thought it would be okay. I could not take notes during the presentations. My friend said that there was a picture in the paper, or a flyer was circulated with my picture. I went to an event for mental health or something, and I was in the front, next to someone on my left who had worked at the Disability Support Services office. I received a ride home with a woman who ran the video equipment. Okay, that's enough for now. Koraling Lynne

Tuesday night on the Paratransit

Tuesday, June 29, at night going home I met a woman using a wheelchair named Irene. She said something about having to work for five years for nothing and learning about corporations or something and then maybe she could make $20 or $30 an hour after that. She said that all people want to do is pat her on the head. She has a cat that ate through cords, and she has no computer and has to check her stuff on the computer at the library. Her cat makes people bleed because it bites and scratches. Hmm. She says she has four books she is writing, etc. etc. I thought of a song, and will have to reprise it. I said it was wrong the way she is treated and the way we are all treated. We need respect. I was going to tel her about the training concerning the reducing the risk of interpersonal violence concerning disabled persons, (which I attended Tuesday and yesterday) and gave her a business card for my fledgling business. She said she wants to die rich. I liked her spunk. I met a young woman on the AnchorRides bus, who was disabled like the rest of us, she said she was working for five years for free, and that was killing any of her dignity, and she said her cat had cut through her electric cords, and could not repair the computer because it was more than she could afford. She said that she did not want a pat on the head, but wanted to die rich and earn good money instead. Value and respect is what we crave, and understanding of the skills that we have. Koraling Lynne


I was on the downward slide yesterday, but I felt much better this morning. First of all, I figuredI could turn lemons into lemonade. Second, I realized by doing that, I could turn a negative into a positive, and turn someone who looks at a disability and their brain becomes inactive, and they forget everything they ever learned about human nature on its ear, could turn that person who turns "dumb" or stupid into a thinking, compassionate human being, and make these opportunities work for me. This is what I have to share and help others to grow in their open attitudes. The post-Kairos meditation (what the scientific and spiritualworkshop was last week) was really good, and designed to remind us of last week. I have talked to a couple of the participants this week, and we all feel, and I feel as if everything is enhanced, and much more vivid in detail. So, onward and upward. Koraling Lynne

Great article about the brain

Koraling Lynne says I pulled this article from again. "I am an extrovert" but if I am depressed, I feel ignored sometimes, and then shut down, and feel as if people are ignoring me, because maybe they think I have horns growing out of my head. " Koraling Lynne
Who You Are
Written by Ray Ross
Thursday, 30 June 2011 11:47

New research shows that personality traits are mirrored by changes in our brains. These changes define who we are. To change your personality you need to reconfigure your brain!
by Dan Eden for viewzone

Are you an optimistic person? Do you care about the feelings or wellbeing of others? Or do you sometimes seem withdrawn and notice the bad things going on in the world... We all have our "ups and downs" and the kind of attitude we have towards life defines our personality. But what exactly is personality? And can it be changed?

Right now, as you are reading this, your assessment of the external world is being processed and filtered by your brain. While the brain has often been compared to a computer, it really does not have software. Most of what you retain, manipulate and categorize from the outside world is the result of hardware -- the neurons and their components are physically rearranged.

This means that the kind of personality you have right now is the result of certain unique configurations within your brain. Yes, personality can and does change over time, but it requires similar changes to the structure of your brain. I hope to show you how this can be achieved in this article.

What exactly is personality?

Psychologists have had tests to measure personality for decades. The behavior that we most often exhibit is called a trait. And, for decades, there have been as many traits as there are adverbs to describe feelings. But that's changed now. Psychologists have rendered all of the possible traits down to five -- The Big Five. And with this new approach to understanding personality has come the link between these five characteristics of personality and specific regions of the brain.

The Big Five -- characteristics of personality:

Extraversion -- (outgoing / energetic vs. shy / reserved). Energy, positive emotions, surgency, and the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others.

Neuroticism -- (sensitive / nervous vs. secure / confident). A tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression, or vulnerability.

Agreeableness -- (friendly / compassionate vs. competitive / outspoken). A tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others.

Conscientiousness -- (efficient / organized vs. easy-going / careless). A tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement; planned rather than spontaneous behavior.

Openness -- (inventive / curious vs. cautious / conservative). Appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, curiosity, and variety of experience.

Kung Fu Psychology

In the martial arts there is a phenomenon called "muscle memory." A particular movement is practiced again and again -- in slow motion at first, but then at lightening speeds. Eventually, a complex thrust or a defensive move involving many precise steps is encoded in the body's muscles where it can be executed perfectly without conscious thought. Our attitudes and emotions are like this also. We learn how to react to the outside world, often without having to make conscious decisions.

But what if our reactions are causing problems, like making is depressed or self-destructive? What if our personality keeps us feeling lonely or instigates conflicts with our family, friends or the law? Can anything be done?

I was watching a Steven Seagal movie recently and one of the antagonists in the film asked Seagal's Kung Fu character,

"Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights with the good dog all the time. Which dog wins?" To which Seagal answers, "The one I feed the most."
The wisdom in this riddle was recently demonstrated by a couple of scientific studies I think you need to know about.

The Dynamic Brain

Colin G. DeYoung [right] of the Psychology Department, University of Minnesota, and his colleges, recently published the results a study they conducted which linked personality traits to changes in specific regions of the brain. The study found significant correlations of increased and decreased volume in parts of the brain associated with the "Big Five" characteristics of human personality.

In their study, they had 116 adults take the standardized test which measures each of the Big Five personality characteristics. Then each subject was subjected to brain scans to measure specific regions in their brain. While these results will only be meaningful to a neurologist, the implications of these findings should have significance for each of us.

The Study

In a previous article on viewzone, Left Brain : Right Brain, I explained how our brains are actually two brains connected together by a bundle of nerves. Each side, or hemisphere, has certain characteristics for processing information. These can change depending on the dominant side, with each hemisphere controlling the opposite side of the body. That being the case, the DeYoung researchers used only right handed subjects to avoid that whole pandora's box. The subjects were also screened for any psychiatric disorders, brain injuries or drug use -- things that could alter the parts of the brain they were measuring.

The subjects were given the Revised NEO Personality Inventory to assess their personality, then a 3-T Allegra System (Siemens, Erlangen, Germany) was used to acquire a high-resolution structural image -- magnetization-prepared rapid gradient-echo (MPRAGE) -- of their brains. Since people have different brain sizes, the proportions for each brain (including adjustments for sex and age) were taken into account.

For Extraversion, there was a significant association with volume in medial orbitofrontal cortex.

For Neuroticism, the two largest regions of association were in right dorsomedial PFC and in portions of the left medial temporal lobe, including posterior hippocampus, as well as portions of basal ganglia and midbrain, including globus pallidus and bilateral subthalamic nuclei. Both of these associations were negative, meaning the volume was decreased. There was an increase of volume seen bilaterally in the mod-cingulate cortex, extending to the cingulate gyrus and, in the left hemisphere, into the caudate. Additional regions not previously considered were also found to have significant increases in volume. These were the middle temporal gyrus and one in the cerebellum.

Conscientiousness was associated positively with volume in a region of lateral PFC extending across most of the left middle frontal gyrus. An unpredicted negative association with Conscientiousness was found in posterior fusiform gyrus.

For Agreeableness, there was a significant positive association in the retrosplenial region of posterior cingulate cortex and a significant negative association in superior temporal sulcus and adjacent superior temporal gyrus. An additional, unpredicted, positive association with Agreeableness was found in fusiform gyrus.

Openness showed no significant correlation to an increase in any specific region of the brain. It is thought that all of the other characteristics contribute to the functionality of this trait.

Huh? What does it mean?

The study demonstrates that our personality is hardwired and, to some extent, not entirely subject to our free will. We react to the word in different ways, depending on the volume of specific regions of our brain. A negative, withdrawn, pessimistic personality can not easily become optimistic and outgoing merely by deciding to change -- at least not instantly. But does that mean our personality cannot change? No. Indeed it can.

I asked Dr. DeYoung about this:

Dan Eden: I have a rather obvious question... which came first, the chicken or the egg. Do we assume that the various regions of the brain increased because of personality traits, or are personality traits the result of the changes to these regions of the brain?
Dr. DeYoung: At some level personality must be controlled by the brain, since it's the brain that controls behavior, emotion, cognition, and motivation, and personality is simply stable patterns in those functions. However, our study provides no evidence that the size of these particular brain regions was the initial cause of people's personality. It is certainly possible, as you note, that engaging in extraverted behavior over a period of years led to extraverts' having on average larger OFCs, rather than that they had the larger OFC from birth and were therefore more extraverted.

We do know that behavior can alter the structure of the brain, even over a period of weeks, as evidenced by the attached article, showing increases in cortical thickness after learning how to juggle!

So our study doesn't answer the chicken-egg question.

While Dr. DeYoung could not answer the chicken and egg paradox, the article he sent me did. It was titled, Training-Induced Brain Structure Changes in the Elderly by Janina Boyke from The University of Hamburg. It gave me quite a bit of information that I didn't know before.

Juggling & the Brain

When I studied biology (decades ago) I was taught that we are born with a finite number of nerve cells in our brains. I think this was drummed into our mind to persuade us not sue use illegal drugs, as they supposedly killed brain cells which would never be replaced. It turns out that this is now known to be false.

As Dr. DeYoung told me:

"First of all, it's incorrect that neurons don't increase in number. That's an old and by now outdated assumption. There is neurogenesis even in adult human brains..."
To make this point, the Janina Boyke study used elderly subjects -- thought least likely to be capable of regenerating neurons. A total of 93 elderly individuals of both genders were screened for any history of dementia, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, or hypertension.

The subjects were given three magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. One scan was given at the beginning of the experiment. Then, some of the volunteers of the study received three juggling balls and were instructed on how to learn a three-ball cascade. A group of control subjects received no training. After three months, the experimentsl subjects were all able to perform the skill and a second MRI was taken of both the experimental and control groups. Then three more months passed, during which time the experimental subjects did not practice juggling and lost the ability. A final MRI was then taken of all the subjects.

The study found a significant increase in the brain's gray matter in the experimental group (jugglers) following the acquisition of the training-induced juggling skill, then a decreased when the skill was lost. These changes were notable in the left frontal cortex, the cingulate cortex, the left hippocampus, and the gyrus precentral on the right side.

Here's the BIG DEAL

The study with the elderly jugglers proves that the brain configures the neurons to process our ability to cope with the environment. This goes beyond juggling. Our brains change their hardwiring according to our behavior, eventually accommodating that behavior and making it less under the control of our conscious free will.

This means that our reaction to the world -- the characteristics that make us who we are (personality) -- become hardwired according to the kinds of behavior we engage in. It means that if we are in situations that allow for positive rewards from socializing, then we will become an outgoing person, full of optimism. On the contrary, if we are made to cope with fear, danger and pain, we will develop the hardwiring for being a withdrawn, pessimistic and negative person. If we are placed in a situation where we must plan ahead and maintain order, we will rise to the occasion, else we will be hardwired to lack self-discipline and be impulsive. The same is also true of compassion vs. competition.

"The one I feed the most."

The most impressive research on the effects of behavior on the human brain was done by Daniel G. Amen, MD, in his book "Change Your Brain Change Your Life." By meticulously alayzing brain scans from a number of patients who suffered from addiction, depression, obsessiveness, anger and impulsiveness, Dr. Amen proved beyond any doubt that these behaviors are linked to specific regions of the brain.

But that wasn't all that Dr. Amen discovered. He noted that successful therapy could be achieved by altering the behavior long enough to allow these regions of the brain to reconfigure. This, then, is the biological definition of a "cure" for mental illness. The therapy not only involved actual changes of lifestyles or patters however. Dr. Amen discovered that the brain could not discriminate between real and imaginary behavior. Thus, imagining a behavior, such as in visualization techniques, is an effective therapeutic method for curing the illness and changing the pathology in some personalities.

There was a book that went viral in 2006 ago called The Secret. The basic premise of the book was that visualization, a kind of meditative technique where an individual conjures up visual images of a desired goal, somehow causes this goal to be achieved. The book was marketed as a means to gain "wealth, love and happiness." Eventually the book was criticized by former believers and practitioners, with some going as far as claiming that the only people generating wealth and happiness from it are the author and the publishers. This gave visualization a bad name, and rightly so. It totally misrepresented the potentials of visualization by reinforcing negative behavior, such as greed, egocentricity and selfishness.

But in truth, correct visualization is a successful method for changing personality.

Lynne McTaggart, in her book The Intention Experiment, has shown that according to electromyography (EMG) experiments, the brain does not differentiate between the thought of an action and a real action. In an study with a group of skiers, EMG discovered that when they mentally rehearsed their downhill runs, the electrical impulses sent to the muscles were the same as when physically engaged in the runs.

According to Dr. Srinivasan Pillay, a psychiatrist, brain researcher and coach, the impact of visualization on brain activation has been well-demonstrated in cases of stroke. During a stroke, because of the blood clot in an artery in the brain, blood cannot reach the area of brain that the artery once fed with oxygen and nutrients, and the tissue dies. Tissue death spreads around the area that no longer receives blood. If, however, the patient imagines moving the affected limb or limbs, brain blood flow to the affected area increases and tissue death is minimised.

Pillay also emphasizes the importance of visualizing in the first person in order to reap the benefits. It is this which creates the experience of being in the self, thereby stimulating the neural pathways. The champion boxer Muhammed Ali was known to prepare for his fights by mentally rehearsing them in minute detail as if he were really in the ring. In The Intention Experiment, Lynne Mc Taggart says that when preparing for a fight with Joe Frazier, he would imagine "his right fist at the moment of impact on Frazier's left eye."

The point here is that thoughts have power. They can actually alter the structure of the brain and change our personality. While there is no "magic" that will bring wealth and happiness, the eventual changes to specific structures in our brains, brought about by visualization or meditation, will bring abou changes that improve our lives.

Oh my God! What are we doing to our kids!

Realizing that thoughts and "virtual" reality are interpreted by our brains the same way as "reality" poses the question, "What about video games?"

The US military uses real battle simulations to numb recruits to the confusion and stress of killing the enemy. In many cases, the remote infrared imaging and targeting systems in the Apache helicopter and drones is indistinguishable from a video game. In a recent viral video showing US forces accidentally killing civilians and a journalist in Iraq, you can hear the conversations between officers and the gunners. It sounds like a football game instead of an actual assassination. This is because of their training with video simulation.

Not much is different from the video games that our kids are playing with these days. They are routinely exposed to killing the "enemy" in vivid detail with blood spattering and cries of pain coming from the villains. This is immediately followed by a positive reward, either in increased points or in being allowed to continue with the game. This "learning" is, to the human brain, no different from the actual experience, according to research.

New research by Iowa State University psychologists provides more concrete evidence of the adverse effects of violent video game exposure on the behavior of children and adolescents. The study found that even exposure to cartoonish children's violent video games had the same short-term effects on increasing aggressive behavior as the more graphic teen (T-rated) violent games. The study tested 161 9 to 12-year-olds, and 354 college students. Each participant was randomly assigned to play either a violent or non-violent video game. "Violent" games were defined as those in which intentional harm is done to a character motivated to avoid that harm. The definition was not an indication of the graphic or gory nature of any violence depicted in a game.

The researchers selected one children's non-violent game ("Oh No! More Lemmings!"), two children's violent video games with happy music and cartoonish game characters ("Captain Bumper" and "Otto Matic"), and two violent T-rated video games ("Future Cop" and "Street Fighter"). For ethical reasons, the T-rated games were played only by the college-aged participants.

The participants subsequently played another computer game designed to measure aggressive behavior in which they set punishment levels in the form of noise blasts to be delivered to another person participating in the study. Additional information was also gathered on each participant's history of violent behavior and previous violent media viewing habits.

The researchers found that participants who played the violent video games -- even if they were children's games -- punished their opponents with significantly more high-noise blasts than those who played the non-violent games. They also found that habitual exposure to violent media was associated with higher levels of recent violent behavior -- with the newer interactive form of media violence found in video games more strongly related to violent behavior than exposure to non-interactive media violence found in television and movies.

Another study detailed in the book surveyed 189 high school students. The authors found that respondents who had more exposure to violent video games held more pro-violent attitudes, had more hostile personalities, were less forgiving, believed violence to be more typical, and behaved more aggressively in their everyday lives. The survey measured students' violent TV, movie and video game exposure; attitudes toward violence; personality trait hostility; personality trait forgiveness; beliefs about the normality of violence; and the frequency of various verbally and physically aggressive behaviors.

The researchers were surprised that the relation to violent video games was so strong.

"We were surprised to find that exposure to violent video games was a better predictor of the students' own violent behavior than their gender or their beliefs about violence. Although gender aggressive personality and beliefs about violence all predict aggressive and violent behavior, violent video game play still made an additional difference. We were also somewhat surprised that there was no apparent difference in the video game violence effect between boys and girls or adolescents with already aggressive attitudes." --Distinguished Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson
Then there is this study:

Psychologists Produce First Study On Violence Desensitization From Video Games
Research led by a pair of Iowa State University psychologists has proven for the first time that exposure to violent video games can desensitize individuals to real-life violence.

Nicholas Carnagey, an Iowa State psychology instructor and research assistant, and ISU Distinguished Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson collaborated on the study with Brad Bushman, a former Iowa State psychology professor now at the University of Michigan, and Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.

They authored a paper titled "The Effects of Video Game Violence on Physiological Desensitization to Real-Life Violence," which was published in the current issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. In this paper, the authors define desensitization to violence as "a reduction in emotion-related physiological reactivity to real violence."

Their paper reports that past research -- including their own studies -- documents that exposure to violent video games increases aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, physiological arousal and aggressive behaviors, and decreases helpful behaviors. Previous studies also found that more than 85 percent of video games contain some violence, and approximately half of video games include serious violent actions.

The methodology: Their latest study tested 257 college students (124 men and 133 women) individually. After taking baseline physiological measurements on heart rate and galvanic skin response -- and asking questions to control for their preference for violent video games and general aggression -- participants played one of eight randomly assigned violent or non-violent video games for 20 minutes. The four violent video games were Carmageddon, Duke Nukem, Mortal Kombat or Future Cop; the non-violent games were Glider Pro, 3D Pinball, 3D Munch Man and Tetra Madness.

After playing a video game, a second set of five-minute heart rate and skin response measurements were taken. Participants were then asked to watch a 10-minute videotape of actual violent episodes taken from TV programs and commercially-released films in the following four contexts: courtroom outbursts, police confrontations, shootings and prison fights. Heart rate and skin response were monitored throughout the viewing.

The physical differences: When viewing real violence, participants who had played a violent video game experienced skin response measurements significantly lower than those who had played a non-violent video game. The participants in the violent video game group also had lower heart rates while viewing the real-life violence compared to the nonviolent video game group.

"The results demonstrate that playing violent video games, even for just 20 minutes, can cause people to become less physiologically aroused by real violence," said Carnagey. "Participants randomly assigned to play a violent video game had relatively lower heart rates and galvanic skin responses while watching footage of people being beaten, stabbed and shot than did those randomly assigned to play nonviolent video games.
"It appears that individuals who play violent video games habituate or 'get used to' all the violence and eventually become physiologically numb to it."

Participants in the violent versus non-violent games conditions did not differ in heart rate or skin response at the beginning of the study, or immediately after playing their assigned game. However, their physiological reactions to the scenes of real violence did differ significantly, a result of having just played a violent or a non-violent game. The researchers also controlled for trait aggression and preference for violent video games.

The researchers' conclusion: They conclude that the existing video game rating system, the content of much entertainment media, and the marketing of those media combine to produce "a powerful desensitization intervention on a global level."

"It (marketing of video game media) initially is packaged in ways that are not too threatening, with cute cartoon-like characters, a total absence of blood and gore, and other features that make the overall experience a pleasant one," said Anderson. "That arouses positive emotional reactions that are incongruent with normal negative reactions to violence. Older children consume increasingly threatening and realistic violence, but the increases are gradual and always in a way that is fun.

"In short, the modern entertainment media landscape could accurately be described as an effective systematic violence desensitization tool," he said. "Whether modern societies want this to continue is largely a public policy question, not an exclusively scientific one."
The researchers hope to conduct future research investigating how differences between types of entertainment -- violent video games, violent TV programs and films -- influence desensitization to real violence. They also hope to investigate who is most likely to become desensitized as a result of exposure to violent video games. "Several features of violent video games suggest that they may have even more pronounced effects on users than violent TV programs and films," said Carnagey.

["The Effects of Video Game Violence on Physiological Desensitization to Real-Life Violence," Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (July 2006).]

Using the BIG FIVE
by Herando Fuentes

Let's have a look at the Big Five personality traits again and examine where we might want to make changes.

Becoming more extroverted-- Being an extrovert has many positive benefits. There are more social and occupational opportunities and it's always healthier to mingle with others and not get too focused on yourself. To "become" the extrovert, you first have to act like one. Joining clubs and groups is a good start. Also, just going places where there are lots of people is beneficial. Your brain is looking to accommodate your behavior and will soon develop patterns that enable you to start conversations, become interested in other people's lives and find positive stimulus from these kinds of activities.

Force yourself to start a conversation with a stranger or to feel comfortable in a crowd. Visualize yourself in a room full of people, enjoying conversation and being outgoing.

A cure for neuroticism-- Having a pessimistic view of the world is a form of self-torture. Often this trait is the result of some past pain and it is fed by unreasonable fear. Knowing that there is likely a brain structure responsible for this trait, you should understand that it can be changed. Often pessimism goes along with being introverted. The solution is to begin changing the behavior to seek positive reinforcement from things that make you happy.

Happiness is an individual phenomenon. It may be a hobby or activity, a friendship -- even having pets has transformed many neurotic people by distracting them from their destructive behavior and allowing their brains to reconfigure to accommodate the relationship with a cat or dog. Here is an excellent use of visualization to imagine some pleasant experience, real or remembered, that can be replayed in consciousness to establish and grow new neural pathways and shrink those contributing to negative obsessions.

Learning to be agreeable-- There is a phenomenon in psychology called "Theory of Mind." Theory of Mind is the ability to attribute mental states -- beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc. -- to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one's own. It sounds pretty simple, but many people lack this ability to some degree.

Thinking that everyone should think or feel the same as you do is a recipe for arguments and conflict when they don't. Using your intellect and imagination, it is possible to "get inside" even the most difficult person and try to empathize with their point of view. Being agreeable is a characteristic that is taught by religions, such as Christianity and Buddhism. "Do not to others as you would have them do to you." Often, adherence to this kind of philosophy will be enough to change your personality so that you actually become a tolerant and compassionate being.

Being Conscientious-- The biggest promoter of this characteristic is military service. Being forced to adhere to a regimented schedule and to follow orders for many weeks turns almost every soldier into a model of conscientiousness. Lack of this kind of characteristic can lead to obesity (from being impulsive about food choices) and a shortened life (by making bad decisions about the future, such as smoking cigarettes or using addictive drugs). It can also cause economic failure (not following a budget) and a life full of problems. It is, in my opinion, the most difficult thing to change.

But since we now realize that conscientiousness is associated with a configuration of the brain (the prefrontal cortex) we know it can be changed. Since boot camp is a highly effective model, the same approach could be adopted to train the brain. Set a schedule for awakening, times to eat, what food to eat, and continue the organization to include making your bed, putting everything around you in its special place, making and keeping to a budget (writing down everything you spend money on) and keeping a daily log of what you have done.

Remember, this extreme behavior is to allow your behavior time to reconfigure your brain, and your personality.

Openness and Intellect-- In their study, Dr. DeYoung did not find any specific region of the brain associated with either openness or intelligence. Rather, it is the ability of the balance and bandwidth of the other traits that allow for the full functioning of personality which is necessary for these characteristics. One can easily see how being socially extroverted, unafraid of life, compassionate and orderly wold contribute to an openness to aesthetics and new ideas. And with new ideas comes increased information and intellect.

Common Sense

Much of what I have reported here is common sense, for sure. The plasticity of personality is something that has been theorized for decades. With the proof that there is corresponding plasticity of the brain, we now can begin to make leaps with a new cognitive model for psychological change. Perhaps we can finally bury the outdated theories of Freudian psychotherapy and our reliance on drugs to solve our personality problems.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Can't post so I'll see if I can"

This is a test. It seems that I am having trouble posting. My friend Steve wants me to post, and I have not posted much in the past few weeks. So be it. I contributed a lot to the training on reducing the risk of interpersonal violence targeted towards disabled people. I did not conduct the training, but was a participant. Koraling Lynne

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm back in Anchorage

What a great scientific and spiritual retreat. I am changed more than I knew and thought. However, I am still depressed about finances, and wanting to know just what to do about it right now? Part-time employment, business acument, what? I met with my son's friends, and I liked them, and I spent the last couple of days with him, just shuttling around with him, which was good. My roommates in Portland were great. I came there and the energy was fantastic! It was such good energy! I believe that we should be reflective and reflect and not react. I also believe that the layers of our minds have to be gone through to get to our essence or core of ourselves. I've always believed in being a human being and not a human doing. Koraling Lynne

Saturday, June 18, 2011

New stem cell surgery could help blind people

This was an article off the site and I have an account there. When I see pertinent articles, I post them. Koraling Lynne First patients have stem cells injected into their eyes to test 'cure' for blindness
By Daily Mail ReporterA revolutionary technique that could restore sight to the blind is ready to be tested on people.

Two women will have millions of embryonic stem cells injected into their eyes to try to heal damage done by hereditary disease and age-related macular degeneration, the most common form of blindness in the elderly.

The initial trials will take place in the U.S. but it is hoped British patients will be tested in the autumn. If they all replicate the ‘phenomenal’ results of animal tests, millions of lives could be transformed in the future.

Leading stem cell researcher Robert Lanza found a cocktail of vitamins and chemicals turns the so-called ‘master cells’ into healthy versions of those that are damaged at the back of the eye.

In the next few weeks, a woman in her 70s with AMD and a women in her 20s with Stargardt disease will be treated.

It is likely to take months for vision to improve. If successful, the technique could be widely available in two years.

Dr Lanza, of Massachusetts biotech firm Advanced Cell Technology, said: ‘We hope the cells will provide a treatment not only for these two untreatable diseases but for other debilitating eye diseases.’

This is the second trial involving embryonic stem cells. The first began last year in the U.S. and aims to make the paralysed walk. AMD affects 300,000 Britons.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

moods and modes

I spoke to my very good friend and she is from high school Anna. We talked about how afraid I am now to travel,, and she reminded we helped someone move from a college dorm to another or something, and I was in the street by mistake, and she freaked out, and I did not. She said: "I want the old Lynne back." I said that I knew that one friend had an alcoholic father, and Brenda's mother combined prescriptions with alcohol and overdosed just like Brenda herself many years later. She asked what happened to Armand Bakalian, and I said I wonder what happened to Karen Wolmer. What happened to Barry and he took her to a French restaurant, and I said I knew he had died some time ago. He was a blind psychologist. We spoke about psychotherapy, and I said I did not understand why our parents would think we, the individual, was the problem, and not more complex ideations. I said it was lack of real closeness and love and all that that might have been the problem. We are social beings, and we do not thrive if there is not closeness and affection and warmth. Many parents did not show emotion, and that is a very sad thing. I think I demonstrated more of that to my son, as I had been denied it. I always felt a little strange and not one of the "in crowd" as a teen-ager, and read and read and listened to the radio also. How years give us perspective! I don't know how long I have been afraid to travel. My husband remembers Anna because we stayed at her house in the 1990's on our way to a conference and we were supposed to stay with dad, but he was in the hospital with a drug reaction, and was on dialysis, and mom was freaked out. Then, I saw Anna's mother. It is good taht we still keep in touch. I do wonder about the blind folks I knew back then. I said that Gerry had written me by e-mail in 2002, and what happenedto Willy Messing? What about Pat Logan--where was she? I said I'm afraid to ask people for favors, or to help me because I've been abused and maligned, even though I know I have skills. I said I help other people who are disenfranchised women or others feel good about themselves, and lift them up because I see through them with their skills. Anna asked if I wanted to work with adolescents. Hmm. I think adolescence was when we reflect and discover ourselves and our separation from our family of origin. She asked about Kathy, who was a foster child, and I forgot her last name, but I remember writing c/o Russo. I said my friend Caryn is doing well, and another friend who brought me to Alaska Sylvia is also doing well financially. Anna liked what I had to say, and on the trip where we spent the night with her, she was showing her young son about dogs, and Fennel was such a good one. Anna thinks I should get another dog also. I do wonder what happened to many of the people who were blind. I don't know anything about Chrystal, who lived right around the corner from me. Enough reminiscing for now. I still take things more personally than I like. I have to remember that what other people think of me is none of my business. Koraling Lynne

Sunday, June 12, 2011

reflections on websites

I realized in the last couple of weeks that I could chat with adobe connect pro, but only if I use Firefox. I also noticed this with sendspace that it is easier on Firefox. However, the forum for Higher Balance is best accessed with Internet Explorer 8, so go figure. There was a great article on cell phone access, but don't know which "smart phone" to buy. What does "smart" mean, anyway? I remember when "dumbbells" exercise equpment is called "smartbelles" or how ever spelled. Kitty had some of those, actually, which was when I heard of them. I guess silk screening on shirts is now called "screen painting" according to my indomitable son. Well, it's my birthday today, June 12. We'll see what this year bodes. Interesting about websites and other things, especially when JAWS (my screen reader, which speaks to me in a synthesized voice) said it was operating in 40-minute mode and needed to be authorized, so I shut the machine down, and restarted it, and it acted as normal. I sometimes think these machines are alive, for goodness sake. Koraling Lynne

Saturday, June 11, 2011

mood changes

My son found this Zen channel on his technology or television and I don't know what network it is on, Sirius or whatever. Since Thursday, we are getting on much better than the first couple of days. He found some Ezekiel spaghetti at a store entitled Marlene's or something. It is interesting that someone Dana mentioned to me--John Perkins--I believe, was mentioned in a news item on the Higher Balance site. It would be interesting to know more about him. And a John Perkins is here and the uncle of the young man graduating that my son and I will see tonight. I found out about a conference where I can network perhaps next week, and I received a call to conduct perhaps some more training. Things will fall into place, as I support my son also. So, the last networking session was Thursday also. Koraling Lynne That was the web-based marketing and networking class. Great people and presenters.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I'm in Seattle

Well, exhausted out of my mind, and all that, but here with my son, as we could not get on the train today. I'm in Seattle. We decided on Saturday not to go, when the train would not go, and save the money to go to Reno in July. Maybe, I received two hours of sleep on the plane, and my left cheek and back of the head and ear was killing me and could not tell if it was the ear not popping or the nostrils. My son and I went to a "get motivated" at the famous Key Arena today. I liked Dan Rather, Colin Powell, a guy named James Smith and even Giuliani I liked some of what he said and remembered about the "Broken Windows Theory" of crime, and also remembered how he had cheated as others do, which is so sad. That's enough for now. Keep checking this blog. Koraling Lynne

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Home from Homer

Well we got home around between 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. on Monday with no more halibut, and I caught a cod which was sent back, and I think Sandy got a cod and eel, but no one (Dana and Chris were on the boat Monday at 9:00) so we went home left about 1:45, I think after eggs and sausage. I had some fish and salad on the way out. We ate around 10:00 on Sunday with some cod, steak, fried potatoes that Dana had cooked, and corn on the cob and broccoli for dinner. I did not sleep until midnight, but by the time Kathy came to get me as she had done the previous day, it was about 9:20 p.m. I still have not gotten stuff out of the duffel bag. It was great to speak to Shannyn today on the radio and it is wonderful that we have the same birthday. Koraling Lynne Keep commenting, or I feel as if I am speaking into a void. (Smile).