Dementia: listen between the lines

Camp For Alzheimer’s Patients Isn’t About Memories
September 06, 2010
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129607201

Listen between the lines.
As dementia progresses and syntax and word finding falters, “listen with your ears, eyes and heart,” the Family Caregiver Alliance advises. Keep your conversation unhurried and simple, and watch for nonverbal clues and body language to find the meaning underlying the words.

The Emoji Evolution

Why 140 Characters, When One Will Do? Tracing The Emoji Evolution
June 30, 2014
http://www.npr.org/2014/06/30/326937998/why-140-characters-when-one-will-do-tracing-the-emoji-evolution

You may have heard that 250 more emojis, the little smiley face icons and other symbols you can send in text messages, are coming to a cellphone near you.

The story of the emoji starts in Japan in the mid-1990s. Back then, pagers were all the rage with teenagers.

The ability to send an image of a cartoon heart was one of the special features on Docomo pagers. That’s widely believed to be the first instance of an emoji.

emojis caught on like wildfire in Japan because they helped clarify the meaning of text messages and avoid misunderstandings.

… Enter the Unicode Consortium http://www.unicode.org .
The group manages the Unicode Standard, which contains code for displaying characters like letters, math symbols and Chinese pictograms. It’s meant to ensure messages sent on phones and computers appear the same on both ends.

related:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/the-mehrabian-study

The Emotional Life of Your Brain

Express gratitude

The Emotional Life of Your Brain
Forbes. July 07, 2014
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericmack/2014/07/07/sleep-switch-for-consciousness-may-have-been-accidentally-found-in-the-brain

Our personalities, thought patterns and emotional responses are wired into our brains, says Richard Davidson, Ph.D., author of The Emotional Life of Your Brain, but you can change your brain. Here are several exercises that will help rewire the neural pathways to help you think more positively, become more self-aware, focus better, understand social cues, ease your emotional triggers and grow more resilient:

1. Make Your Home And Workspace Optimistic

2. Express Gratitude
Davidson says expressing gratitude regularly will help you feel more optimistic. Make the effort to look someone in the eyes and say “thank you,” and keep a journal to daily remind yourself of what’s good in your life.

3. Compliment others
By finding and making opportunities to compliment others, you’ll train your brain to see the good in people, in life and in yourself, says Davidson.

4. Pay Attention To Body Language
If you’d like to become more socially intuitive and good at dealing with people, Davidson suggests making an effort to watch people’s body language while in public and try to guess what emotions they are expressing. Then, start to take notice of friends and colleague’s facial cues and body language and how it corresponds to their tone of voice.

5. Identify Emotional Triggers
If you’d like to be less emotionally reactive and more tuned in to context, Davidson advises regularly making a list of the specific events or behaviors that triggered your response. Then spend about 15 minutes thinking about these behaviors while breathing deeply until you feel comfortable and more relaxed.

6. Do A Mindfulness Meditation
a new book on the topic:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/07/12/330680160/searching-for-stress-relief-try-feeling-your-breath

Language and music: same syntactical neural circuits

Art Tatum

Jazz Music Activates Some Language Centers of Brain
Science. 19 February 2014
http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2014/02/scienceshot-jazz-music-activates-some-language-centers-brain

As most jazz lovers know, the high point of a concert is when the musicians let loose and improvise, “talking” to each other with their instruments.
Indeed, modern jazz owes a lot of its appeal to pioneers like pianist Art Tatum (photo above) who introduced improvisation into the art form.
Scientists have long suspected links in the brain between music and language, although just what they are isn’t clear.

In a new study, researchers recruited 11 professional jazz pianists to engage in sessions of what musicians call “trading fours”—a form of improvisation in which two soloists alternate playing four bars of music each, riffing off of each other’s spontaneous creations.
The musicians took turns having their brains scanned with a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine while playing on an all-plastic keyboard (metal parts would be attracted to the fMRI’s powerful magnet), while their partners played within earshot. The scans showed that during the sessions, parts of the brain linked to language syntax—the structural way that words are put together to make sentences—were activated; but brain areas linked to language semantics—the actual meaning of words and sentences—were suppressed.
The team concludes today in PLOS ONE that language and music partly overlap in the brain because they both employ the same syntactical neural circuits, but communicate meaning in very different ways: language verbally, and music nonverbally.
This may be why music lovers often feel keenly that they know what the musician is saying, but can’t put it into words.

related:

September 10, 2014
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/this-is-your-brain-on-music

Victory Or Defeat? Emotions Aren’t All In The Face

Victory Or Defeat? Emotions Aren’t All In The Face
November 29, 2012
http://www.npr.org/2012/11/30/166184008/victory-or-defeat-emotions-arent-all-in-the-face

… that sense of certainty disappeared, he found, when he took images of tennis winners and losers, and erased everything but the face. When he showed just those isolated faces to people, they couldn’t tell if something positive or negative was going on.

Then he showed people images of tennis players with the faces erased. People had to judge winners from losers based solely on the rest of the body. “And when people saw the body alone, they easily knew if this was a positive or negative emotion,”

This is counterintuitive, he says, because people usually assume that if they are getting an emotional message, it must come from the facial expression.

In fact, when Aviezer shows people full images of tennis players — the faces plus the body — and asks them to describe how they know what the player is feeling, people usually describe the face. They claim to see tell-tale clues in the player’s eyes or mouth. “When in fact it’s an illusion,” says Aviezer. “They have this false idea of information in the face when really it’s coming from the body.”

These studies challenge long-held assumptions about the importance of facial expressions, she says.

“When you and I talk to each other and we look at each other, we’re really looking at each other’s faces. That’s where our attention is. And so the assumption has been that that’s where all the information is, too,” says Barrett. “But these studies show very clearly that that’s not the case.”

These findings add to a growing body of evidence that when we’re trying to figure out another person’s emotional state, we rely on a lot more than just the face.

very related:
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/03/well-quiz-the-mind-behind-the-eyes

The Mehrabian Study

The Infamous Mehrabian Study And Why You Should Care
Forbes. 2/28/2011
http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorgan/2011/02/28/the-infamous-mehrabian-study-and-why-you-should-care

Forty years ago communications expert Albert Mehrabian did a little study that got an outsized reputation — and is often misunderstood.
Here’s what he actually found, and what it means, in a short video from a speech last year.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=_emfl7u2FsI

http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorgan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Mehrabian
the 7%-38%-55% Rule, for the relative impact of words, tone of voice, and body language when speaking.

related:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/big-personalities-that-jump-through-the-screen

https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/brocas-area

Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are

Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are
TED Talks. Jun 2012
http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

Amy Cuddy’s research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions — and even our own body chemistry — simply by changing body positions.

Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.

“Our bodies change our minds, and our minds can change our behavior, and our behavior can change our outcomes.”

“When we think of nonverbals, we think of how we judge others. … We tend to forget, though, the other audience that’s influenced by our nonverbals: ourselves.”

see also:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/self-help-messiah-dale-carnegie-gets-a-second-life