Sunday, July 24, 2011

Idle thoughts.

I can't find any pattern here, it's just what's going through my head today. Maybe it will turn into something, more likely it won't.

From recently:

Yet more mesodermalism: The fun never stops
This is from a conversation I had on Facebook last week with a mesodermalist devotee. It went exactly nowhere. You'd think I'd learn. But I never seem to.

The Chestnut Challenge
Byron, a member of Somasimple, wanted to get to the essential bits, in under 400 words.

From today:

Dissecting the empathic brain: an interview with Christian Keysers
I'm always interested in how to develop a more empathic brain and simultaneously retain firm interpersonal boundaries. It ain't easy, that's for sure. I think I might have a brain whose somatosensory apparatus can literally feel what's going on in other peoples' somatosensory cortex, and have to try to do something about it using physical contact. Insert myself into their brain loop. Excerpt:  
"seeing activity in somatosensory regions while viewing others being touched is primarily information about ‘where’ the process occurs. But it also shows that you transform what others feel into representations of what you would feel in their stead; ‘where’ becomes ‘how’ you understand others."
Using manual therapy to treat pain

Yes! It's all in there (beautifully laid-out):

"Laboratory and clinical studies have started to identify the physiological changes that occur in individuals undergoing manual therapy. Manual therapy results in a rapid-onset, localised analgesia, increases limb mobility and effects autonomic changes. Animal models have been developed to inform on neuronal mechanisms, and suggest a local action on nociceptors and modulation of central pain-inhibition mechanisms.

Manual therapy is a commonly used treatment modality for managing musculoskeletal pain that has been shown to promote rapid recovery. Localised, manipulation-induced analgesia is routinely seen following manual therapy and is proposed to occur via a number of mechanisms:

·  A local action on nociceptors.
·  Modulating the activity of both descending and segmental pain inhibitory systems.
·  Exerting psychological effects, probably as a result of treatment expectations.

The mechanical hypoalgesic effect occurs within minutes of manipulation, and meta-analysis of clinical studies has confirmed that it is associated with an increase in pressure-pain threshold and limb mobility. In contrast manual therapy does not modulate sensitivity to thermal pain.

In addition to the demonstrable analgesic effects, manual therapy also induces a number of autonomic changes such as increased skin conductance and cutaneous blood flow, increased pulse and respiration rate, and changes in skin temperature. This indicates that, in addition to changes in pain perception, manual therapy modulates central nervous system function in a sympathoexcitatory manner (promoting mobility).

The local analgesia and systemic autonomic changes in response to manipulation have been demonstrated in healthy individuals and those with pain. Manual therapy also achieves motor function benefits; cervical mobilisation in individuals with insidious-onset cervical pain has been shown to promote increased deep neck flexor muscle activity and improve pain-free grip. However, motor function benefit tends to be restricted to individuals with a clinical condition.

These patterns of effect are suggestive of activation of the descending supra-spinal pain systems. Further evidence of a role for descending pain modulation pathways has been generated using animal models. A rat model has been developed in which capsaicin injection induces hyperalgesia in the hind-paw; ipsi-lateral knee joint manipulation subsequently exerts an anti-algesic effect in the entire limb. The model has shown that the analgesic effect of joint mobilisation is inhibited by the intrathecal administration of serotonin antagonists and is partially modulated by a22-noradrenergic receptor inhibitors; in contrast opioid antagonists and gamma-aminobutyric acid inhibitors have no effect. This suggests that manual therapy affects the activity of the supra-spinal, descending pain-inhibitory systems that involve seratogenergic and noradrenergic pathways."

(Thank you, Dr. Julie Eastgate, from the U.K. )
Insight and creativity, by Janet Kwasniak.
I agree. They are quite different.
"creative thinking does not appear to critically depend on any single mental process or brain region, and it is not especially associated with right brains, defocused attention, low arousal, or alpha synchronization, as sometimes hypothesized."
 "insight is represented by distinct spectral, spatial, and temporal patterns of neural activity related to presolution cognitive processes that are intrinsic to the problem itself but not exclusively to one’s subjective assessment of insight."

" [JK]This implies that we can unconsciously notice that we are thinking about a problem in an unsuccessful way, search for an more successful framing, and evaluating the new way of thinking about the problem. To me, this hints at working memory not being required in this search for a transformation. Another interesting result is the gamma increase was in the right hemisphere (rather than left or both). This implies that the usually less dominant hemisphere was carrying the load in finding a transformation.... Insight may or may not be part of any thinking process – creative or not. Creativity is probably so varied and so complex a process that it cannot be correlated with any particular neural picture. "


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