Friday, April 24, 2015

Visualization Effectiveness, 2

Be real and consistent when visualizing what you want to accomplish. Tell your brain you are preparing for an actual event or performance. Prepare every day. Even if you concentrate for only ten minutes a day, do it at least six days a week.

Thank your brain for helping you rehearse. When you experience a particularly effective active mental rehearsal, get excited about it. Tell yourself: I am improving. I am having fun doing this. My brain is helping me! Part 3 is coming.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Visualization Effectiveness

Many things can be more effective when individuals use all their senses; especially the senses that use eyes, ears, nose, touch, and sometimes taste. The same is true of active mental picturing. Ask yourself:

  1. Can I see a picture in my mind’s eye of what I want to accomplish?
  2. Can I hear my internal self-talk about what I want to accomplish or imagine myself explaining it to someone else?
  3. Is there anything to smell about what I want to accomplish? If yes, what it is?
  4. Can I physically touch what I want to accomplish?
  5. Can I taste what I want to accomplish, literally or metaphorically?

The more senses you involve in your visualizing practice, the more likely it is to be effective. Part 2 tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Active Mental Picturing

Western cultures, so called, are thought to have started embracing visualization (or active mental picturing) as a powerful technique when Russian athletes used it to train for the Olympic Games in the 80’s. Reportedly, the athletes that spent 25% of their time on physical training and 75% of their time on mental training, performed better than those who concentrated on physical training exclusively. Now, many of the best athletes use creative visualization as the core of their training program. Since 60 percent of the population is estimated to have a visual sensory preference, many think of visualization as creating an internal mental picture in their mind’s eye. Active mental picturing, visualizing, is much more than that, however. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Friendship Paradox, 2

Feiler and Kleinbaum designed their study to evaluate the interaction of two key factors in the formation of social networks: extraversion, which correlates with popularity, and homophily, the idea that people with similar levels of extraversion are more likely to become friends. The results showed that network extraversion bias exists.  Furthermore, it is more pronounced in the networks of extraverts. "The skew gets really extreme the more extraverted you are," Feiler reported. Apparently the degree of bias uncovered was unexpected. In addition they found that introverts were more likely to form friendships with other introverts. Their networks still displayed the friendship paradox, but to a lesser degree.

D. C. Feiler, A. M. Kleinbaum. “Popularity,Similarity, and the Network Extraversion Bias. Psychological Science,2015; DOI: 10.1177/0956797615569580

Monday, April 20, 2015

Friendship Paradox

The Friendship paradox, so-called, states that because extraverted people tend to have more friends, they are disproportionately represented in social networks. This tends to suggest that everyone's network is more extraverted than the population as a whole. Daniel C. Feiler and Adam M. Kleinbaum of Tuck Business School at Dartmouth College, have researched the so-called Friendship Paradox. They studied the emerging social networks of 284 new MBA students, who were surveyed twice:

·         The first time at five weeks after orientation
·         The second time after 11 weeks

Researchers gave the student participants a class roster and asked them to indicate the people with whom they socialize. After the second survey, the student participants took the Big Five Inventory, designed to evaluate personality traits, including extraversion. More tomorrow.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Brain-Body Mismatches, 5

In earlier Studies, Dr. Margaret McCarthy found gender differences in levels of a protein associated with language acquisition and development, which may be associated with higher levels of communication among females in some species. In her latest study, researchers also found that inflammatory immune cells known as microglia appear to play a role in masculinization, in part through their production of prostaglandins, a neurochemical normally associated with illness. This follows the increasing understanding that the immune system is integral to the development of the brain. McCarthy and colleagues are the first to show that prostaglandins are important to creating sex differences in the brain. The current discovery “showed that Dnmt enzymes control expression of genes that play a role in inflammation and immunity, and also in the sexual differentiation of the brain.”  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Brain-Body Mismatches, 4

McCarthy and Nugent succeeded in changing the brain of a female rat—after the window had closed—which resulted in the female rat brain taking on the characteristics of a male rat brain. The injections occurred after the first week of birth when the window for brain sexual differentiation was thought to have been closed. Despite this, the preoptic area in these animals was transformed, and took on structural characteristics of a male rat. The female rats also behaved differently, displaying sexual behavior typical of male rats. In another experiment, McCarthy and Nugent genetically deleted the Dnmt gene in female mice. These animals also showed male behavior patterns. Nugent said, “Physically, these animals were females, but in their reproductive behavior, they were males. It was fascinating to see this transformation."