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Change in Focus

OK, lately I have been focused on everything “wrong” in my life. I am going to try to decide consciously to look at the exciting things that I have coming up in my life instead; especially, things that help people and work on my plans for various events and activities. I was reading a book the last few days about the brain and how it works. One thing it was saying is that the brains neural paths are not “locked down” at a certain age as was previously believed, but can be retrained overtime. Part of one way that this can be done, is by sheer repetition and a conscious effort to try and “re-learn” certain things.

Please do not quote me on this right now, I believe that is what it said, I will look it up tonight and post some quotes from the book.

I do remember it was about the Merzenich monkey study. They had a pellet of food in a cup and left it in front of the cages so that the monkeys could reach and grab it. Over time they were able to do just that, they kept trying and learning to manipulate their hands in different ways to accomplish what they wanted. During these exercises they mapped their brain and saw that certain areas of the brain grew larger during these events. As they mastered the cup they started shrinking the cup size and repeated the process four times. By the time they got to the fourth cup, the process was well learned and a “standard” function. At this point the same area that had grown, now returned to its normal size allowing the neurons to be used for other learning. This leads to the premise that with enough repetition and perhaps dedication to a task ,we can make at least certain actions “standard” where they did not exist before or were “malformed.”

Another example they citied was a woman who has Autism and now holds a Ph.D. and some of the things she did to improve her life. I will get more details on this when I get home. One thing of special note with her, is that it was not just motor skills that she retrained herself with, she trained herself how to negotiate with people by reading/listening to some negotiations from Camp David. She then applied the concepts to her needs and life and picked up this skill.

So for now, I will focus on the various treatment options I have available, finding the right type for me, the right doctor and treatment center, etc as well as the upcoming NAMI walk and my plans for my college next year. So, now I am going to try to focus on these things when I start going down the wrong path, and try to “force” myself to think differently and retrain my thought process.

Sounds like fun!

Yes, I am serious not sarcastic. These things are fun to me and exciting.

Posted: July 25th, 2008 under My Journey, Thoughts.

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