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    It’s back.  I have journeyed hither and yon, leaving no corner of the the ethernet unexplored, (except those unseemly ones) in my tireless effort to bring, you, the reader, the very best the internet can offer on all things mind, soul and body.  Today I have Zombie spiders, the terrifying dangers of shampoo, brain enhancing chewing gum, what we think Stephen Colbert is really thinking, how the elderly predict the weather, and repairing genes gone bad 7 million years ago to name just a few.  So grab a chair,clear your calendar, and enjoy the very tip top (IMHO)- 

Regarding the Mind-

Bill Hendrick at WebMD reports on a fascinating study that found that chewing gum improved students scores in math on standardized tests. 

 One of the strangest stroke syndromes is hemineglect, in which patients are paralyzed on one side of their body but do not comprehend it, or even recognize that side as themselves, impeding any effort for physical rehabilitation.  BPS research digest rep0rts a fascinating new study in which hemineglect is improved by having patients observe themselves on video.

The Situationist reports how our political ideology changes how we interpret satire, examining a study on college students and Stephen Colbert.  I can never decide what Colbert really believes, what does that say about me?

Regarding the Soul-

 In a first ever for this blog, I wade into the prickly subject of Gay marriage with an article in Time magazine that reports how the union of church and state in regard to marriage is at the heart of the conflict, and whether a “divorce” could possibly enact a solution to the conflict.

At Urban Monk, Evan Hadkins emphasizes the return of the conquering hero/heroine in life’s spiritual journey, encouraging the remembrance of the entire purpose of the journey in our celebration.

    At the Millennial Star, JA Benson gives a fascinating religious history lesson on the Sephardic Jews, whose experience diverged from the rest of Judaism during the reign of King Solomon, and were at the heart of the Spanish inquisition.

Regarding the Body-

At World of Psychology, Diana Walcutt, PhD, examines the role of the adrenal gland, and the stress hormone cortisol in our ability to predict the weather, in a fascinating biology lesson.

At Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ed Yong has an excellent summary of breakthrough new research that has discovered for the first time some of the genes that are related to autism and their function in the brain, helping neurons connect with other neurons, for the very first time.

Having a particularly good week, Ed Yong at Not exactly Rocket Science also reports a fascinating find,  how fixing a gene gone bad 7 million years ago holds promise in the fight against HIV.

or All the Above-

At the Boston Globe, Jonah Lehrer examines the very subject to which I have dedicated my career, the amazing Baby brain, and the surprising finding that in a very real sense, Baby’s experience much more of the world than we do.

The wonderfully named Coco Kraft and the Village Elders has an insightful discussion on the idealized version of the patient so much of our ideas on health care reform depends on, asking if we are setting ourselves up for failure.

At World of Psychology, Therese Borchard critically examines the response of the mind to criticism in depression., expounding on this profound, if confusing thought,  “I’m not who I think I am…. Nor am I who you think I am…. I am who I think you think I am.”

AtMusings of a Distractible Mind, Dr. Rob takes an insightful look at worry and fear, in the context of both doctor and patient in a way that refreshingly humanizes both, noting we all fear worrying too much (fear itself).

At Neuronarrative, David DiSalvo discovers that when it comes to resisting bullies, girls are much better friends to have than boys, according to a very interesting study out of San Francisco.

and just because I Liked it=

Zooillogix is busy working out the plot for the next big horror flick, describing real research into spiders that appear to wake from the dead.   Bwahahahaha!

Dr. Rob of Musings of a  Distractible Mind gets his silly, satirical groove back as he expounds of the newly celebrity endorsed dangers of shampoo.

Here is a video of some contagious laghter that I guarantee will brighten your day, and maybe even think for a minute that quadruplets might not be SO bad.  (HT- No Surf Girl)

  How can you top that.  I’m out of here.  I will be back later to bring you more as always.  Until then, happy surfing.

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One of the features of humankind that has long been thought to be unique to us is the theory of mind.  This is our ability to deduce what another might be thinking, a critical base for such behaviors as for empathy, socialization, even battle and strategy.  It is so prevalent and so innate that we often do it without realizing it, anthropomorphizing machines, televisions, the computer, animals, even the clouds and the waves.  Imagine a world where no one did this.  Imagine for a minute not even realizing that the people you interact with daily have their own minds inner workings and dealings.  This is the world of Asperger Syndrome.

 

   Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome, welcome one and all to the very best of the stuff I found laying around in cyberspace this week.  It may be a day late, but better late than never, I always say.  So without delay I present the very best I found on the Internet- Read the rest of this entry »

Now an entire week is come and gone and I am about to break my one remaining unbroken blogging rule, putting two point of interest posts back to back with no actual original content in between.  Sadly, I feel guilty about this.  It’s irrational, no one is paying me.  This is my online journal, where I practice a supposedly enjoying hobby of putting my thoughts in ink, well actually, in pixels, as it were.  Guilt is the enemy of anyone who ever suffered depression and is not much of a gift in this sace.  I know I am just being compulsive.  The funny thing is, I am also compulsively drinking in other blogs, and spend more time writing their praises than anything of my own.  However, the bright side is, it keeps me writing, and this week there has been so much to write about.  Here are the gems I collected wandering the ethernet this week. Read the rest of this entry »

There just seems to be something about July.  Everything at the hospital is new and enthusiasm is bursting.  It has made for a busy week in trying to keep up with the very best the internet has to offer.  I have expanded my usual offerings and still have to great posts I’ve left out.  If any of you are real die hard fans, subscribe to the nuggets from all over feed on the sidebar.  For those who just need a weekly fix of the world wide web’s offerings, I present the best I’ve seen- Read the rest of this entry »

 

One of the features of humankind that has long been thought to be unique to us is the theory of mind.  This is our ability to deduce what another might be thinking, a critical base for such behaviors as for empathy, socialization, even battle and strategy.  It is so prevalent and so innate that we often do it without realizing it, anthropomorphizing machines, televisions, the computer, animals, even the clouds and the waves.  Imagine a world where no one did this.  Imagine for a minute not even realizing that the people you interact with daily have their own minds inner workings and dealings.  This is the world of Asperger Syndrome. 

Read the rest of this entry »

The always fun topic of autism and vaccines has been in the news again.  Truth is, it never leaves, but this time the whole movement has found new life and hope in the brave, new world of mitochondrial disorders.  It all started when the first ever vaccines caused my child to develop autism case was won in court a few months ago by one of my fellow child neurologists.  Now, with one case in the law books, a second has arrived. I thought I might attempt a look at the issues this brings up.

I am now breaking a vow of silence and entering dangerous territory, the swirling vortex of controversy that is Autism and vaccination.  This is a difficult path for my conflict avoidant self to tread.  The amount of blog space devoted to this subject is long, the tone is invariably impassioned and the feelings involved are raw.  In a way, this is more interesting to me than the question of whether vaccines cause Autism itself.  Why is this such a lightning rod of an issue?

Because they are babies!!!

 

    The answers are actually rather complex, but the biggest factor is dealing with children, whom we subject to multiple needles full of mysteriously weakened viruses and various unknown and frightening substances at regular intervals in our weakest and most vulnerable population.  This undoubtedly requires a great deal of faith and trust in the medical field. I know that we doctors do not always behave in a manner completely worthy of this trust.  The parent child relationship is intense.  Our desires to want the best for them are very real.  There is a very real impulse to take the frustration that comes along when all is not well with the child and direct it at the physician.  I know, because I walk the tightrope associated with this in dealing with the parents of sick children every day.  My hope is that I might allay a fear or two without appearing to be insulting the impassioned opposition.  I have a hard time faulting parents for caring too much.

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