Tag Archives: neuroscience

Looking Schizophrenia in the Eye

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Garden of the Mind

272994276_3c83654e97_bMore than a century ago, scientists discovered something usual about how people with schizophrenia move their eyes. The men, psychologist and inventor Raymond Dodge and psychiatrist Allen Diefendorf, were trying out one of Dodge’s inventions: an early incarnation of the modern eye tracker. When they used it on psychiatric patients, they found that most of their subjects with schizophrenia had a funny way of following a moving object with their eyes.

When a healthy person watches a smoothly moving object (say, an airplane crossing the sky), she tracks the plane with a smooth, continuous eye movement to match its displacement. This action is called smooth pursuit. But smooth pursuit isn’t smooth for most patients with schizophrenia. Their eyes often fall behind and they make a series of quick, tiny jerks to catch up or even dart ahead of their target. For the better part of a century, this…

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Stress and Memory From a Neuroscience Perspective

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Stress and Memory From a Neuroscience Perspective

 

 

 

 

 

 

“From a neuroscience perspective, amnesia in the absence of brain damage can be partially explained in biochemical terms. Stress causes a chemical reaction that affects regions of the brain responsible for memory. With repeated overwhelming stress, neurotransmitters and stress hormones are released in the brain in such excess quantity that they can adversely affect portions of the brain responsible for emotional memories as well as other kinds of memory.” p. 33, The Wandering Mind: Understanding Dissociation from Daydreaming to Disorders by John A Biever, M.D. and Maryann Karinch.

i'm not out to convince you or draw upon your mind*Image Credits (all work used with permission through CC license)–
“i’m not out to convince you or draw upon your mind” by Andrea Joseph
“Standing at the Gates of Hell” by Shane Gorski

Crying for you

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How do you look upon your tears?

Note on Sunday night.

by louisey

Working on empathy in lament, in the written-down song of grief that is also weeping aloud. In front of me a videotaped discussion between academics on the lament of Thetis in the Iliad, Thetis the sea goddess who sits on the beach cradling the head of her  son who lies prone on the ground, unmoving, although he is not dead. He will die in battle and both mother and son know this. There are no secrets between them. Not all the love in the world can save  the son, and all the mother can do is to be with him and wait for what must happen, to grieve her  loss even while he lives

ballongShe is mourning him before he dies, the professor says, and his co-facilitator on the video begins to weep, pushing a bunched up tissue under her spectacles and  getting up, apologising for ‘losing it’. Watching her weep for a  mother mourning her  son who is to die, an unbroken continuum of mourning, a deep heart-broken mourning that  has gone on for perhaps five thousand years since this lament was first sung and wept aloud, I too  feel my eyes filling with tears, shared grief spilling over, I reach for a tissue and  pause the video as I dry my eyes.

Continuum, empathy that is echoed and re-experienced unbroken through civilizations, centuries, generations,  the grief of a mother’s loss spilling out everywhere. Grief wild and bitter and unending as the  ocean itself, but contained by song. Unending grief but also shared grief, the gift of empathy. Those who will  weep with us and  wipe our eyes.

About the author

A SchizoAffective Existence

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We are the stuff of stars . . . and of dreams.

We are not all the products of society’s speculated and manufactured dreams. Some of us with the (dis)ability [deemed so by society’s very small and finite standards] of deviant perception see the world (and by the world I do not mean society’s reality, the technological lexicon industrial civilization has so purposefully become) as something else. Nay, as something more. Where although nature’s colors be bold and vivid, those colors are more so for us, with rays of colorful brightness that extends well beyond the so-called boundary of the object. As if the color glowed in the sun rather than the dark, as if ultraviolet were infused (as it is) but we are able to perceive its inevitable quantum inversion. As if each molecule spoke loudly, and those colors created the most beautiful of symphonies.

With our schizoaffected eyes, we hear music in every hue contained within a flower, or leaf, or body. Color sounds like the twinkling, glimmering glow that physics says it can possibly be. The world is not the binary bullshite of black and white, but voluminous with hues otherwise unimaginable. For it is not our eyes, our finite and limited eyes, that see, but our unfiltered minds the tastes of blue, smells of green, and feels of purple. The sounds of Now shine in the golden amber rays of the sun filtering through a newly-morned room, tasting of dust particles and feeling like humility. Should we scream our unconvinced insignificance onto the air, galaxies appear and dance like the seasons change subtly from one to the other. In our conscious minds beats the fervor of Earth planet’s hum, thrumming our inductive bones like native drums. When we dance, society names it crazy and neurotypicals follow the cry. Yet, their cry seems sad, for they too resonate with the rhythm of the spirit of life, only deadened by the burdens of eco and social (illusion) problems, solved only because they are meant to be unsolvable, less the economic clock quit tocking to the young tick of laborious tedium. Are people so ashamed not to let go of this miserable righteousness? Must we forever bear the cross of sins we never committed? I wonder.

Within the constantly firing neurons of our schizoaffected brains screams the need to be free of social ego’s needs, so we laid it to waste at birth, discarded like a piece of garbage onto the classroom floor. We are not children of light, we are not enlightened, we are merely unaffected by the scientifically managed, now neuromarketed, compulsion of affluence, abundance, deception, manipulation, and greed. Money does not provide our currency, only simplicity sooths our affected brows. Unable to stand the noise of shopping malls, labor, bureaucracy, government, felonious, superfluous laws and the other sick dis-eased ilk of modern (outgoing) social culture, we spit it out, repulsed and disgusted by the constant conundrum of society’s lies that attempt to entrap us. For this “crime”, we are sentenced to institutions and called disorder.

Funny. Who would call today’s society order? Or is it known only by name, and not action? What acts of order are seen performed on Shakespeare’s protean stage? What calm is felt from the pulpit’s preachers (read as presidents, priests, speakers, politicians, coaches, judges, etc. and other costumes of authority)? These, too, have color and it is one listless and bleak. Look around: where else do you see the blues of the sky? The purples, pinks, reds, yellows of the flowers wild?

Within our schizoid bodies, host a rainbow upon rainbows upon rainbows, a tessellated, multi-dimensional, interconnected double helix harmonic sequence of all senses woven together within every one. A chaotic order of untapped stillness . . . just barely there binaural beat pulsing, beckoning . . . life.

A schizoaffected existence.