Lessons from the Hand and Mind Symposium

I had the great pleasure of attending a symposium held in the College of Education at my alma mater, the University of Portland, focused on this interesting subject, and the implications that it bears for effective learning and teaching. My co-participants were distinguished professors in linguistics and education science (Ellyn Arwood and Richard Christen), and…

The brain plasticity revolution

I delivered a lecture at the University of Konstanz in Germany two weeks ago, as a part of the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Heidelberg Akademie. This is one of 7 scientific academies in Germany. Because Germany was created as an amalgamation of powerful states in the 19th Century, its scientific academies originate…

Autism and early oxygen deprivation 2

I received a wonderful comment about the hypothesis that early umbilical cord clamping might contribute to the risk of origin of autism from a wonderful former colleague, Dr. David Blake, a researcher in the Department of Neurology at the Medical College of Georgia. His observations: Fraternal twins typically have different placentas, whereas identical twins share…

A Danish delight! Progress in treating cerebral palsy and related movement disorders?

I delivered a lecture sponsored by the Danish Neuroscience Society and the Helene Elsass Center (a wonderful new research institution in the suburbs of Copenhagen) that has developed a state-of-the-art research and treatment center focusing on cerebral palsy. I was delighted to sit down with the Center’s Director, Peder Esben Bilde, to review new training…

Autism and early oxygen deprivation

In a July 9th, 2008 post, I added oxygen deprivation incurred at childbirth as another factor potentially contributing to an increased incidence in autism. As I noted in that blog: “We have published compelling evidence that peri-natal anoxia meets all of the other criteria for adding to “noisy” brain processing. It can have strong, selective…

Autism, mercury, video games, the Courts, and Arnold

The several-month-old report by the Masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on the “Omnibus Autism Proceeding” is old news, but I thought I’d put an oar in, by saying that this is something that the courts got right. There is a large body of evidence that demonstrates, to a level of near-certainty, that…

Brain plasticity and criminal behavior; part 5

Before I begin to talk about commonly applied strategies of prevention and rehabilitation designed to reduce the numbers of criminal offenders and recidivists amongst us, let’s begin with a note about statistics. In all of my earlier blogs, I talk about the “average” offender and their neurological and personal history. In reality, there are many…

Brain plasticity principles, in the words of a leading therapist

I strongly encourage our readers to check out the newly published book “Move Into Life”, authored by a highly distinguished therapist (and personal friend) Anat Baniel. Anat was originally trained by Moshe Feldenkrais, who developed a novel empirical perspective about physical/cognitive/perceptual rehabilitation that is broadly consistent with the principles of brain plasticity neuroscience. She has…

Brain plasticity and criminal behavior; part 4

A young adult American – usually male – has committed a crime. He stands in the dock. As we sit as courtroom observers, what, in the overwhelming majority of the cases, do we see before us? As we’ve discussed in earlier blogs: 1. We see a young man who has failed at school. There is…