Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Hi everyone, you owe it to yourself, your family, your country and the world to watch this and please
take it seriously. This is he reality of our corrupt world. 
"the smartest Guys in the Room" Based on the book of the same name by Peter Elkin, director: Alex Glibney's documentrary. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

In case you were desparately seeking this information!

Boredom can lead to madness in parrots. The birds need constant interaction, affection, and mental stimulation; bird authorities have determined that some parrots have the mental abilities of a 5-year-old human child. When caged by themselves and neglected for long periods of time, these intelligent, sociable birds can easily become mentally ill. Many inflict wounds upon themselves, develop strange tics, and rip out their own feathers. Should a neglected parrot go mad, there is little that can be done to restore it to normalcy. In England, there are mental institutions for such unfortunate creatures.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

If only our eyes could speak!


The following research further shows that we can listen to the human eyes not the human words reporting behaviors, images or events. The eyes encode images through eye movement, tracking, time and focus. Exposed to the same visuals, recognition & memory retrieval matching -eye tracking/movement/focus/time- can be verified.
"The witness points out the criminal in a police lineup. She swears she'd remember that face forever. Then DNA evidence shows she's got the wrong guy. It happens so frequently that many courts are looking with extreme skepticism at eyewitness testimony."

Where Is the Accurate Memory? The Eyes Have It  

ScienceDaily (Dec. 5, 2011)

Is there a way to get a more accurate reading of memory? A new study says yes. "Eye movements are drawn quickly to remembered objects," says Deborah Hannula, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, who conducted the study with Carol L. Baym and Neal J. Cohen of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and David E. Warren of the University of Iowa College of Medicine. Tracking where and for how long a person focuses his or her eyes "can distinguish previously seen from novel materials even when behavioral reports fail to do so." The findings will appear in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science.
The researchers gave university students 36 faces to study. These target faces were also morphed to produce images closely resembling them; the morphed phases were not seen during the study phase. The students were then shown 36 three-face displays, one at a time. Told that the studied faces wouldn't always be there, the participants had to press a button indicating which face was the studied one, or simply choose a face if they felt none had been studied. They then reported verbally whether the studied target face was present or not. While they looked at the 3-face display, their eye movements were recorded, tracking where the eyes focused first and what proportion of time was spent looking there. For the analysis, the psychologists divided the faces into three groups: studied targets; morphs mistaken for the "target" face; and morphs chosen and known to be incorrect.
Participants easily identified the target faces most of the time. They also spent more time looking at these faces, and did so soon after the 3-face display had been presented. "The really interesting finding is that before they chose a face and pressed a button, there was disproportionate viewing of the target faces as compared to either type of selected face," said Hannula. However, "after the response was made, viewing tended to mimic the behavioral endorsement of a face as studied or not, whether that endorsement was correct or incorrect." In other words, "pre-response viewing seems to reflect actual experience, and post-response viewing seems to reflect the decision making process and whether or not the face will be endorsed as studied."
Hannula theorizes as to what is happening: "Early disproportionate viewing of the target face may precede and help give rise to awareness that a particular face has been studied. Subsequently, we begin to think about the choice that we're making" -- we look closely, compare and weigh the options -- "these cognitive processes permit us to make a decision, but may also lead us down the wrong path. In this case, leading us to endorse a face as studied despite having never seen it before."
Aside from the potential for practical application, says Hannula, eye movement methods could be used to examine memory in individuals -- like some psychiatric patients and children -- who may have trouble communicating what it is that they remember. "Eye movements might provide us with more information about what exactly these individuals remember than behavioral reports alone."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

No one wants to cuddle with you? It is not you, it is your GENES!! wow..

 “What ultimately makes us kind and cooperative is a mixture of numerous genetic and non-genetic factors. No one gene is doing the trick. Instead, each of these many forces is a thread pulling a person in one direction or another, and the oxytocin receptor gene is one of these threads,” Kogan said.

Yesterday, Yasmin Anwar of the UC Berkeley News Center highlighted the results of a new study co-authored by the Greater Good Science Center’s faculty director, Dacher Keltner:

There’s definitely something to be said for first impressions. New research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests it can take just 20 seconds to detect whether a stranger is genetically inclined to being trustworthy, kind, or compassionate.

The findings reinforce that healthy humans are wired to recognize strangers who may help them out in a tough situation. They also pave the way for genetic therapies for people who are not innately sympathetic, researchers said.
“It’s remarkable that complete strangers could pick up on who’s trustworthy, kind or compassionate in 20 seconds when all they saw was a person sitting in a chair listening to someone talk,” said Aleksandr Kogan, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral student at the University of Toronto at Mississauga.

Two dozen couples participated in the UC Berkeley study, and each provided DNA samples. Researchers then documented the couples as they talked about times when they had suffered. Video was recorded only of the partners as they took turns listening. 
 A separate group of observers who did not know the couples were shown 20-second video clips of the listeners and asked to rate which seemed most trustworthy, kind, and compassionate, based on their facial expressions and body language.

The listeners who got the highest ratings for empathy, it turned out, possess a particular variation of the oxytocin receptor gene known as the GG genotype.

“People can’t see genes, so there has to be something going on that is signaling these genetic differences to the strangers,” Kogan said. “What we found is that the people who had two copies of the G version displayed more trustworthy behaviors—more head nods, more eye contact, more smiling, more open body posture. And it was these behaviors that signaled kindness to the strangers.”

The study, which builds on previous UC Berkeley research on the human genetic predisposition to empathy, is published in the Nov. 14 online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. An earlier UC Berkeley study looked at three combinations of gene variations of the oxytocin receptors AA, AG and GG.
It found that the people who were most empathetic – in that they were able to accurately interpret others’ emotions – had two copies of the “G allele.” In contrast, members of the AA and AG allele groups were found to be less capable of putting themselves in the shoes of others and more likely to get stressed out in difficult situations.

Widely known as the “cuddle” or “love” hormone, oxytocin is secreted into the bloodstream and the brain, where it promotes social interaction, bonding and romantic love, among other functions.
Kogan pointed out that having the AA or AG instead of the GG genotype does not mark a person as unsympathetic.

“What ultimately makes us kind and cooperative is a mixture of numerous genetic and non-genetic factors. No one gene is doing the trick. Instead, each of these many forces is a thread pulling a person in one direction or another, and the oxytocin receptor gene is one of these threads,” Kogan said.

His coauthors are UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner; Laura Saslow, a postdoctoral student at UCSF; Emily Impett, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Toronto; Christopher Oveis, an assistant professor at UC San Diego, and Sarina Saturn, assistant professor of psychology at Oregon State University.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Here’s a simple arithmetic question

Here’s a simple arithmetic question: “A bat and ball cost $1.10. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?”
The vast majority of people respond quickly and confidently, insisting the ball costs 10 cents. This answer is both incredibly obvious and utterly wrong. (The correct answer is five cents for the ball and $1.05 for the bat.) What’s most impressive is that education doesn’t really help; more than 50% of students at Harvard, Princeton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology routinely give the incorrect answer.
Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Laureate and professor of psychology at Princeton, has been asking questions like this for more than five decades. His disarmingly simple experiments have profoundly changed the way that we think about thinking. While philosophers, economists and social scientists had assumed for centuries that human beings are rational agents, Mr. Kahneman and his scientific partner, the late Amos Tversky, demonstrated that we’re not nearly as rational as we like to believe.
When people face an uncertain situation, they don’t carefully evaluate the information or look up relevant statistics. Instead, their decisions depend on mental short cuts, which often lead them to make foolish decisions. The short cuts aren’t a faster way of doing the math; they’re a way of skipping the math altogether.
Although Mr. Kahneman is now widely recognized as one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, his research was dismissed for years. Mr. Kahneman recounts how one eminent American philosopher, after hearing about the work, quickly turned away, saying, “I am not interested in the psychology of stupidity.”
But the philosopher missed the point. The biases and blind-spots identified by Messrs. Kahneman and Tversky aren’t symptoms of stupidity. They’re an essential part of our humanity, the inescapable byproducts of a brain that evolution engineered over millions of years.
In Mr. Kahneman’s important new book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” his first work for a popular audience, he outlines the implications of this new model of cognition. What are the most important mental errors that we all make? And can they be overcome?
Consider the overconfidence bias, which drives many of our mistakes in decision-making. The best demonstration of the bias comes from the world of investing. Although many fund managers charge high fees to oversee stock portfolios, they routinely fail a basic test of skill: persistent achievement. As Mr. Kahneman notes, the year-to-year correlation between the performance of the vast majority of funds is barely above zero, which suggests that most successful managers are banking on luck, not talent.
This shouldn’t be too surprising. The stock market is a case study in randomness, a system so complex that it’s impossible to predict. Nevertheless, professional investors routinely believe that they can see what others can’t. The end result is that they make far too many trades, with costly consequences.
And it’s not just investors who suffer from this mental flaw. The typical entrepreneur believes that he or she has a 60% chance of success, though less than 35% of small businesses survive more than five years. Meanwhile, CEOs who hold more company stock—taken here as a sign of self-confidence—also tend to make more irresponsible decisions, overpaying for acquisitions and engaging in misguided mergers.
Even consumers are hurt by this bias. A recent survey of American homeowners found that they expected, on average, to spend about $18,500 on remodelling their kitchens. The actual average cost? Nearly $39,000.
We like to see ourselves as a Promethean species, uniquely endowed with the gift of reason. But Mr. Kahneman’s simple experiments reveal a very different mind, stuffed full of habits that, in most situations, lead us astray. Though overconfidence may encourage us to take necessary risks—Mr. Kahneman calls it the “engine of capitalism”—it’s generally a dangerous (and expensive) illusion.
What’s even more upsetting is that these habits are virtually impossible to fix. As Mr. Kahneman himself admits, “My intuitive thinking is just as prone to overconfidence, extreme predictions and the planning fallacy as it was before I made a study of these issues.”
Even when we know why we stumble, we still find a way to fall.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

disconnected & communicate! SCIENCE ROCKS

ScienceDaily (Oct. 19, 2011) — Like a bridge that spans a river to connect two major metropolises, the corpus callosum is the main conduit for information flowing between the left and right hemispheres of our brains. Now, neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have found that people who are born without that link -- a condition called agenesis of the corpus callosum, or AgCC -- still show remarkably normal communication across the gap between the two halves of their brains.

This was a real surprise," says Tyszka. "We expected to see a lot less coupling between the left and right brain in this group -- after all, they are missing about 200 million connections that would normally be there. How do they manage to have normal communication between the left and right sides of the brain without the corpus callosum?"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Science Rocks.

 This type of research and hundreds like this one are so magical and energizing to me. I have no doubt  that in the near future we will find ways to maximize the incredible potential of every single infant. The scientific community has such a rich world of knowledge about infant brain development and child rearing which is still not available to the public in simple language and applicable to all.
Can hardly wait.....
33 week fetus touching face, with the umbilical cord visible. (Credit: Image courtesy of Lancaster University)
Babies in the womb develop a range of facial movements in such a way that it is possible to identify facial expressions such as laughter and crying. For the first time, a group of researchers was able to show that recognisable facial expressions develop before birth and that, as the pregnancy progresses from 24 to 36 weeks gestation, fetal facial movements become more complex.

The group of researchers include Dr Nadja Reissland, a psychologist and Professor James Mason Director of Research in Medicine and Health of Durham University, Professor Brian Francis, Professor of social statistics at Lancaster University and Dr Karen Lincoln, consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, where the fetal scans are collected.
The group examined video-taped fetal facial movements obtained by 4D ultrasound machines in the later stages of pregnancy.
They recorded the same fetuses after they had been found to be healthy at their 20 week scan, several times between 24 and 36 weeks of gestation. They found that the movements of the fetal face become more complex over time.
Fetuses at the first stage of observation (24 weeks) were able to move one muscle in their face at a time. They would for example stretch their lips or open their mouth. By 35 weeks gestational age, fetuses combined a number of facial muscle movements, combining for example lip stretch, lowering of the eyebrows and deepening the nasolabial furrow, thereby turning isolated movements into recognisable and increasingly complex expressions.
Professor Brian Francis from the Department of Maths and Statistics at Lancaster University said: "This is a new and fascinating insight into the remarkable process of fetal development. This research has for the first time demonstrated that in healthy fetuses there is a developmental progression from simple to complex facial movements, preparing the fetus for life post birth."
Although the fetus cannot make any sounds, the development of facial expressions means that at birth, the baby has already developed the facial movements to accompany crying and laughing.
Dr Nadja Reissland from Durham University said: "We have found so much more than we expected. We knew that the baby blinks before birth and that some research has identified scowling before birth. However in this study for the first time we have developed a method of coding and analysis which allows us to objectively trace the increasing complexity of movements over time which results in recognisable facial expressions."
The researchers argue that these patterns of the motor movements are developed before the baby feels the emotion, just as the baby practises breathing movements in the uterus even before it has drawn a breath.
The discovery could help potentially identify health problems in utero, since there is a link between fetal behavioural patterns and the development of the fetal brain. Looking at differences between normal and abnormal fetal facial developments may indicate problems with brain development.
The researchers now plan to look at whether fetal facial movement might help differentiate between fetuses of mothers who smoke during pregnancy and non-smokers. They will also examine the development of facial expressions relating to anger, smiling and sadness.
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Story Source:
The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Lancaster University, via AlphaGalileo.
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Journal Reference:
  1. Nadja Reissland, Brian Francis, James Mason, Karen Lincoln. Do Facial Expressions Develop before Birth? PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (8): e24081 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024081

Lancaster University (2011, September 13). Facial expressions develop before birth, researchers show. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2011, from­ /releases/2011/09/110913090927.htm

GENERATION X not such underachievers!

Generation X ScienceDaily (Oct. 25, 2011) — They've been stereotyped as a bunch of insecure, angst-ridden, underachievers. But most members of Generation X are leading active, balanced and happy lives, according to a long-term University of Michigan survey.

"They are not bowling alone,"
said political scientist Jon Miller, author of The Generation X Report.
"They are active in their communities, mainly satisfied with their jobs, and able to balance work, family, and leisure."  

Miller directs the Longitudinal Study of American Youth at the U-M Institute for Social Research. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation since 1986, now includes responses from approximately 4,000 Gen Xers -- those born between 1961 and 1981.
"The 84 million Americans in this generation between the ages of 30 and 50 are the parents of today's school-aged children," Miller said. "And over the next two or three decades, members of Generation X will lead the nation in the White House and Congress. So it's important to understand their values, history, current challenges and future goals."
The first in a new quarterly series of Generation X Reports describes how Gen Xers are faring in terms of employment and education; marriage and families; parenting; community involvement and religion; social relationships; recreation and leisure; digital life; and happiness and life satisfaction.
Among the many findings:
  • Compared to a national sample of all adults, Gen Xers are more likely to be employed and are working and commuting significantly more hours a week than the typical U.S. adult, with 70 percent spending 40 or more hours working and commuting each week.
  • Two-thirds of Generation X adults are married and 71 percent have minor children at home.
  • Three-quarters of the parents of elementary school children say they help their children with homework, with 43 percent providing five or more hours of homework help each week.
  • Thirty percent of Generation X adults are active members of professional, business or union organizations, and one in three is an active member of a church or religious organization.
  • Ninety-five percent talk on the phone at least once a week to friends or family, and 29 percent say they do so at least once a day.
"In sociologist Robert Putnam's influential book, 'Bowling Alone,' he argued that Americans were increasingly isolated socially," Miller said. "But this data indicates that Generation X members are not bowling alone.
"Although they may be less likely to join community-based luncheon clubs, they have extensive social, occupational and community networks. They are active participants in parent-teacher organizations, local youth sports clubs, book clubs and other community organizations."
In addition, Miller points out, nearly 90 percent of Generation X adults participated in at least one outdoor activity, such as hiking, swimming, boating or fishing, and 40 percent engaged in two or more recreation and leisure activities per month.
On the cultural side, 45 percent of the Generation X adults surveyed reported attending at least one play, symphony, opera or ballet performance during the preceding year, and 13 percent said they had attended three or more cultural events during the last year.
"Generation X adults are also readers," Miller said. "Seventy-two percent read a newspaper, in print or online, at least once a week, and fully 80 percent bought and read at least one book during the last year. Nearly half said that they read six or more books in the last year."
Finally, Miller reports, Generation X adults are happy with their lives, with an average level of 7.5 on a 10-point scale in which 10 equals "very happy."
"That is not to say that some members of this generation are not struggling," Miller said. "And in future issues of the Generation X Report we will address some of the challenges many members of this group are facing."
The second Generation X Report will be issued in January 2012, on the topic of influenza. Using data collected during the 2010 influenza epidemic, the January report will explore how young adults kept abreast of the issue and what actions they eventually took to protect themselves and their families. Subsequent reports will cover food and cooking, climate, space exploration, and citizenship and voting.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Does anyone ask why? Anyone out there?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidelines for diagnosing and treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in preschoolers as young as 4. Previous guidelines, issued in 2000 and 2001, focused on children aged 6 to 12, but the new recommendations expand the targeted age group to 4 to 18 to include both preschoolers and older teens.

The reason for the expanded advice? New data released in the past decade has revealed that ADHD can begin earlier, and that children may benefit from behavioral treatments before they enter school, where attention problems can impede learning.

"Treating children at a young age is important, because when we can identify them earlier and provide appropriate treatment, we can increase their chances of succeeding in school," said Dr. Mark Wolraich, chair of the AAP subcommittee responsible for writing the report.
Kids with ADHD typically have problems focusing and paying attention. They are hyperactive and behave impulsively. But the condition may look different in different age groups. Among school-aged children (age 6 or older), about half don't have issues with hyperactivity, according to Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, who specializes in studying preschool ADHD. In this age group, attention problems are more common, likely because they become more obvious in the school setting, where children need to sit in class and concentrate for longer periods of time.
Hyperactivity is more common among preschoolers, however. They may be accident-prone or have trouble playing with other kids. According to the AAP, it's the number of symptoms, and the number of different caregivers who notice them, that is important. It's not enough, for example, for only parents to complain of their child's overactive behavior. In order to meet the bar for diagnosis and justify treatment, at least one other party, such as a day care teacher or babysitter, must also note the same behaviors. And these symptoms must be persistent and severe enough to impair the child's ability to function, which could involve anything from their inability to get along with other children to being consistently unable to follow directions.
The new advice is similar to that in the diagnostic manual for diagnosing adult mental health disorders, and the AAP is advising pediatricians to follow the same guidelines in diagnosing the disorder among youngsters. It gives doctors something to look for in preschoolers, which may help parents and pediatricians to know when their child's energetic activity is normal, and when it crosses the line to become ADHD.
As far as treatments go, the Academy is recommending that preschoolers under age 6 start with behavioral therapies first, and to consider medications such as methylphenidate (known as Ritalin or Concerta) only if they don't improve. The AAP only recommends starting with medications in the most severe cases, in which both children and their families may benefit from more immediate alleviation of hyperactivity symptoms.
While the Food and Drug Administration has not approved methylphenidates for patients under age 6, the committee is basing its advice on clinical trials that suggest that the drugs are safe and effective in preschoolers. Trials on the effects of other ADHD medications, such as amphetamines, haven't been done in younger users. For older children in school (over age 6) the AAP advises either behavioral therapy, medication or, preferably, both, to address attention problems and hyperactive behaviors.
"For kids who present during preschool with symptoms of hyperactivity and attention deficit, pediatricians have been wrestling with how to approach and manage their symptoms," says Adesman. "What the AAP has done is provided clarification and guidance to pediatricians in terms of how to assess and treat them."

The Beatles are right .. again?


Scholars at Brigham Young University studied 1,734 married couples across the United States. Each couple completed a relationship evaluation, part of which asked how much they value "having money and lots of things."
The researchers' statistical analysis showed that couples who say money is not important to them score about 10 to 15 percent better on marriage stability and other measures of relationship quality than couples where one or both are materialistic.
"Couples where both spouses are materialistic were worse off on nearly every measure we looked at," said Jason Carroll, a BYU professor of family life and lead author of the study. "There is a pervasive pattern in the data of eroding communication, poor conflict resolution and low responsiveness to each other."
The findings will be published Oct. 13 in the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy.
For one in five couples in the study, both partners admitted a strong love of money. Though these couples were better off financially, money was often a bigger source of conflict for them.
"How these couples perceive their finances seems to be more important to their marital health than their actual financial situation," Carroll said.
And despite their shared materialism, materialistic couples' relationships were in poorer shape than couples who were mismatched and had just one materialist in the marriage.
The study's overall findings were somewhat surprising to Carroll because materialism was only measured by self-evaluations.

ScienceDaily (Oct. 14, 2011) — New research to be published Oct. 13 confirms The Beatles' lyrical hypothesis and finds that "the kind of thing that money just can't buy" is a happy and stable marriage.

Friday, September 23, 2011

  Pondering the science of Happiness! Learning tingles!
The happiness of people in our social networks is much more significant than you think.  Our friends influence what we think of as normal, and that influences our habits, feelings, and behavior, which, in turn, make us happy. Or unhappy. As Christakis and Fowler have found in their research in "Connected"  only 50% of happiness is genetically based, 10% about life circumstances and the rest from our social network. research shows  that our colleague's next-door neighbor's best-friend or office mate --someone we have never met... influences how happy we are!   Isn't that amazing?

“Changes in individual happiness can ripple through social connections and create large-scale pattern in the network,” write Christakis and Fowler, “giving rise to clusters of happy and unhappy individuals.” 3 degrees of separation.

 Dr. Christine Carter from UC Berkeley sums it up really well:
"Research suggests that happiness is a set of skills we can teach and practice with our children. But, it turns out, the people in our social networks—in schools, especially, because proximity plays a role—are also teaching and practicing things that influence how happy our kids are.
Think about your friends. Are they a little weak in the happiness department? Are they super-busy and talking obsessively about our country’s leadership problems? Are they always complaining about how they hate their boss and how their son’s teacher is an idiot? Are they burdened by a classmate’s peanut allergy or whiny about a hubby who never gets his socks in the hamper?
Or maybe you have friends with excellent happiness habits. Perhaps they are more grateful for what they have than whiny about what they don’t. Maybe your friends get lots of exercise, and enough sleep, have tight connections to friends and family, and these things make them frequently cheerful.
Our habits make us happy—or not. And our habits are influenced, in large part, by our friends’ habits. What do we see as normal? Busyness and cynicism? Or gratitude and mindfulness? Materialism and fancy vacations? Or time with close friends and dinner at home? 
Make no mistake: Our social connections influence our happiness. While all three of those choices in the above pop quiz do affect how happy we are, the one we often overlook is the invisible ties we have to everyone in our social networks. This means that increasing your own happiness, and the happiness of your children, is a great way to contribute to the greater good.  And encouraging happiness habits among your friends has positive ripple effects throughout their social networks, your family included. I hope you will join our discussion about this!
"© 2011 Christine Carter, Ph.D  Greater Good the science of a meaningful life."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Surprise, I am still alive!

         Checked my pulse this morning.  Still alive on this birthday, wow...Really? It has been too rough in my head, brain bruise you know,  too many questions bouncing about,  too many raised eye brows when  I would constantly ponder  the meaning of life, the future of humanity.... why are we so violent, why do we destroy others, why and why .... tiring..blablabla.. too many this and thats. 
I mean it.  

        You ask how I made it this far?  I do too,  quite often..
I have made it because of  the loving people in my life without whom I would not exist. Thanks for all of your love and good wishes. I am so deeply grateful......

        but left to my own devices, humm,  
looking to the right, to the left, index finger to chin,  
index finger to temple, .............pretty questionable.

        I think I am figuring it out .... Curiosity does kill the cat, but, CURIOSITY , LEARNING & REFLECTION has kept me alive. 
Literally, alive... so I would like to share one small example with you.

          This morning as is my inner 24/7 ritual even during my sleep, I was occupied by the incredible process of evolution, the human condition... blabla...this computer that is built out of a bunch of outdated refurbished parts belonging to other outdated operating system,  a primitive fight or flight software contained in a fancy high tech state of the art cortex package, lugging around ten or more different body parts that not only unnecessary, but causes of terrible misery, high medical expenses and tons of antibiotic usage... have you had a sinus infection lately? Appendicitis? Tonsillitis? Strep Throat?  

             Up and off to work, I noticed so much activity in my email boxes... just to find out that my own email accounts were beeping me, notifying me of my birthday and wishing me a happy birthday... having many accounts, this was a mess... 

             Then dozens of seemingly loving birthday notes from any entity that I had ever purchased from, written to, talked to, or barely checked out.. So, the fascinating part is that Godaddy, Amazon, Microsoft, Aol , the local Pilate studio, the local Dermatologist, ... etc.  can actually become your friends & make you feel special....  Think about it, you can definitely count on them like a secure and stable parent.  They never ever forget your birthday, they always provide you money as a birthday gift, I could be a rich woman if I could cash out all the gifts I got today!   they are very validating and appreciative of your attachment and loyalty.  Most importantly, they never judge or criticize you. .........

            So, for today, I  am speculating that evolution is taking us to new human condition frontiers of secure attachment, love and safety. May be a few thousand years from now, anxiety and depression will be no longer since we can feel noticed, adored, mirrored, remembered, gifted, talked to, appreciated, validated, on every special occasion or every day for that matter... that would be interesting to ponder!  Here I go pondering and speculating yet again.  I bet tomorrow another evolutionary matter will come up. Keep u posted.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Before DADT Repeal, Gay Soldier Comes Out on YouTube

ABC News’ Elizabeth Kreutz reports:
Just hours before the official end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the policy prohibiting gays from serving openly in the military, a U.S. solider decided to come out in perhaps one of the most open ways imaginable: YouTube.
In the video he posted Monday, 21-year old, Randy Phillips, under his handle “AreYouSurprised,” calls his father to tell him — as the video description says — “the hardest thing that gay guys will ever have to say.”
“You promise you’ll always love me? Period?” he asks his father, his voice shaking.
He takes a beat, and then says it: “Dad, I’m gay. I always have been. I’ve known for … forever.”
But this video is not his first. The “faceless soldier,” currently serving in the Air Force in Germany, has been garnering Internet fame since April, when he first began chronicling his experiences coming out, while serving abroad.
Six months ago he wouldn’t even reveal his face. But with last night’s midnight appeal of DADT, he’s slowly revealing much more.  And using the power of the Internet as his guiding tool.
If there’s one thing he hasn’t been secretive about though, it’s his mission online, openly describing himself on Twitter as a “military member in the closet, using social media to build up the courage to come out to family, girlfriend, friends, and coworkers.”
“I am tired of hiding this,” he says.
And while he no longer has to, his story — and courage —  has already touched thousands along the way. And as of 2 p.m. today, his video already had more than 3,000 likes and 30,000 views. And counting.
SHOWS: World News

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Want to know what you think?

Question:  What color is your brain?     Does your brain get more wrinkled with age or are you born with wrinkles?

Lerning Rocks!Evolution and useless body parts we are stuck with, Did you know?

Hey everyone, just like our funny brains, our body is also a mess of an evolutionary process. Our brain is layered with a primitive fight or flight system super imposed with a cortex of a rational thinking human. On an hourly basis we are completely and utterly conflicted between primitive emotional overwhelm and what we know to be the fact.  Yet we cannot reconcile the two systems because the operating mechanism is build with old refurbished parts that don't communicate too well yet, may be in a couple of million years it will get better. Anyway, here are some useless body parts we are still stuck with and suffer from, just four reflection and fun:
Erector Pili: Body hair sticking up to intimidate others but now just irritating goose bumps

Wisdom Teeth: Yanking meat off the bone and losing them through time with rough usage
but now every poor college student spends one summer vacations recuperating from
wisdom teeth removal...

Appendix: Early roughage processor, can burst and kill you

Male nipples:   Have no idea?

Plica semilunaris - Third eye lid:  Left over from the lizards, just to get red and irritated

Body hair: Just to make human miserable. Men and women lasering, tweezing, shaving and  waxing their legs, faces, backs, private parts, arms, faces etc…

Sinuses:  Purely for painful sinus infections, otherwise not needed any longer

and of course, Tonsils,  Coccyx, adenoids and many more.....

Monday, September 12, 2011

Learning Rocks!! Did you know?

Hello my friends, I have been so obsessed about our brain, the funny layering of the old brain, the frontal, the pre-frontal, and the amygdala,  the fight and flight verses the rational human and on and on and on that I have neglected to share some basics of life matters.

For example:   I just learned something very important. I had never heard of this before, and could not believe how ignorant I am.  Ok,  ready ? here we go:  Do you know how often you need to change your tooth brush? Now, do you know why?  Forget bacteria build up from your own mouth......but focus and please listen carefully:  just think of fecal matter on your tooth brush! YES THAT IS WHAT I SAID.

OMG, have never thought of that. Have you? Here are your choices, do not every flush the toilette without closing the lid, keep your tooth brush in a sealed box or get a new one every 3 months. With this knowledge, I think we are all going to get one every day, you think?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A few amazing facts about your Brain!

Your brain uses less power than your refrigerator light
The brain uses 12 watts of power. Over the course of a day, your brain uses the amount of energy contained in two large bananas. Curiously, even though the brain is very efficient, it's an energy hog. It is only 3 per cent of the body's weight, but consumes 1/6 (17 per cent) of the body's total energy. Most of its energy costs go into maintenance; the added cost of thinking hard is barely noticeable.

You can't tickle yourself
When doctors examine a ticklish patient, they place his or her hand over theirs to prevent the tickling sensation. Why does this work? Because no matter how ticklish you may be, you can't tickle yourself.
This is because your brain keeps your senses focused on what's happening in the world; important signals aren't drowned out in the endless buzz of sensations caused by your actions. For instance, we are unaware of the feel of a chair and the texture of our socks, yet we immediately notice a tap on our shoulder.
To accomplish this goal, some brain region must be able to generate a signal that distinguishes our touch from someone else's. The cerebellum, or “little brain”, may be the answer. It is about 1/8 of our total brain size - a little smaller than our fist - and weighs about 4oz (113g). It is also the best candidate that scientists have for the part of the brain that predicts the sensory consequences of our own actions.
The cerebellum is in an ideal location for distinguishing expected from unexpected sensations. If a prediction matches the actual sensory information, then the brain knows that it's safe to ignore the sensation because it's not important. If reality does not match the prediction, then something surprising has happened - and you might need to pay attention.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Man is deeply FLAWED, let us just stop fooling ourselves.

"Arnold, Chaney, Water Boarding VS. Human used as Guinea Pigs VS. a child left to die without water for a week?" and millions of other examples, all proof of the human flaw.The following article is true just as is the Tuskegee and there are hundreds more.

U.S. scientists knew Guatemalan STD studies were unethical, panel finds
Washington Post By Rob Stein, Published: August 29

U.S. government researchers who purposely infected unwitting subjects with sexually transmitted diseases in Guatemala in the 1940s had obtained consent a few years earlier before conducting similar experiments in Indiana, investigators reported Monday.

The stark contrast between how the U.S. Public Health Service scientists experimented with Americans and Guatemalans clearly shows that researchers knew their conduct was unethical, according to members of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, which is investigating the experiments.

“These researchers knew these were unethical experiments, and they conducted them anyway,” said Raju Kucherlapati of Harvard Medical School, a commission member. “That is what is reprehensible.”

At least 5,500 prisoners, mental patients, soldiers and children were drafted into the experiments, including at least 1,300 who were exposed to the sexually transmitted diseases syphilis, gonorrhea and chancroid, the commission reported. At least 83 subjects died, although the commission could not determine how many of the deaths were directly caused by the experiments, they said.

“This is a dark chapter in our history. It is important to shine the light of day on it. We owe it to the people of Guatemala who were experimented on, and we owe it to ourselves to recognize what a dark chapter it was,” said Amy Gutmann of the University of Pennsylvania, the commission’s chairwoman.

The revelations came on the opening day of a two-day hearing the commission convened to review the findings of its investigation. President Obama ordered the probe when the experiments were revealed in October. Investigators reviewed more than 125,000 documents from public and private archives around the country and conducted a fact-finding trip to the Central American nation.

The Guatemalan government is conducting its own investigation. The experiments were approved by some Guatemalan officials.

“Actually cruel and inhuman conduct took place,” said Anita L. Allen of the University of Pennsylvania. “These are very grave human rights violations.”

In one case described during Monday’s two-hour hearing, a woman who was infected with syphilis was clearly dying from the disease. Instead of treating her, the researchers poured gonorrhea-infected pus into her eyes and other orifices and infected her again with syphilis. She died six months later.

The ultimate goal of the Guatemalan research was to determine whether taking penicillin after sex would protect against syphilis, gonorrhea and chancroid. The question was a medical priority at the time, especially in the military. The Guatemalan experiments, carried out between 1946 and 1948, aimed to find a reliable way of infecting subjects for future studies.

The research included infecting prisoners by bringing them prostitutes who were either already carrying the diseases or were purposely infected by the researchers. Doctors also poured bacteria onto wounds they had opened with needles on prisoners’ penises, faces and arms. In some cases, infectious material was injected into their spines, the commission reported.

The researchers conducted similar experiments on soldiers in an army barracks and on men and women in the National Mental Health Hospital. The researchers took blood samples from children at the National Orphanage, although they did not purposely infect them.

In the studies conducted in Indiana, researchers exposed 241 inmates in Terre Haute to gonorrhea in 1943 and 1944. But there, the researchers explained the experiments in advance in detail and experimented only on the prisoners who volunteered. In contrast, many of the same researchers who began experimenting on Guatemalans a few years later actively hid what they were doing and never tried to obtain permission, the commission found.

About 700 of the Guatemalan subjects were treated for the sexually transmitted diseases, but it remains unclear whether they were treated adequately or what became of them. Gonorrhea can cause a variety of complications, including infertility. Chancroid can cause painful ulcers. Syphilis can cause blindness, major organ damage, paralysis, dementia and death.

Susan M. Reverby, a historian at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, discovered the Guatemalan experiments while doing research for a book on the infamous Tuskegee studies in Alabama. Reverby found papers from John C. Cutler, a doctor with the federal government’s Public Health Service. Cutler had participated in the Tuskegee experiment, in which hundreds of African American men with late-stage syphilis were left untreated to study the disease between 1932 and 1972. Cutler died in 2003.

After sending Obama a report in September, the commission will meet again in November to discuss whether current protections are adequate for research subjects internationally and in the United States and will issue a final report in December.

USA is too young to loose its edge!

Please help change our educational system. There are reasons why the concept of "math anxiety" is non existent in Europe, the middle east, India and China. We can change the system, our educational system is a problem, who is in charge? Soon, we may have a situation that only private school kids get to go to college, to function in society or to compete in the world. That would be about 1 or 2% of the us population! A very sad day for this nation that was and is the land of my opportunities, that gave me the chance to build on what I was taught as a child, that provided me with possibilities I would have never had in any other country. What has happened?

U.S. must improve math grade to retain global edge

Dave Schechter
Senior National Editor

The 7th-grader was struggling with a homework project, creating a PowerPoint presentation on the origins of mathematics. One requirement was to note similarities between Babylonian and Chinese math. I helped him research this question, all the while assuming that his teachers had good reason for its inclusion.

But it did make me think about what math skills are being taught and remember my own less-than-stellar math grades.

Math may have been my least favorite subject. I concurred with a yearbook entry that mocked a slogan on our high school’s walls: “Two years of mathematics is not a service to mankind.”

I suffer from “math anxiety,” a malady that affects not only students, but also some teachers and clearly parents who squirm when their children ask for help with math homework. “People are very happy to say they don’t like math,” said Sian L. Beilock, a University of Chicago psychology professor and the author of “Choke,” a 2010 book on brain responses to performance pressure. “No one walks around bragging that they can’t read, but it’s perfectly socially acceptable to say you don’t like math.”

Even with my math deficiency, I recognize the truth of the following statement, drawn from a report on how American students compare with their counterparts in other nations: “Maintaining our innovative edge in the world depends importantly on developing a highly qualified cadre of scientists and engineers. To realize that objective requires a system of schooling that produces students with advanced math and science skills.”

Based on the proficiency of the high school graduating class of 2011, the United States ranked 32nd out of 65 industrialized countries. “Performance levels among the countries ranked 23rd to 31st are not significantly different from that of the U.S. in a statistical sense, yet 22 countries do significantly outperform the United States in the share of students reaching the proficiency level in math. Six countries plus Shanghai and Hong Kong had majorities of students performing at least at the proficiency level, while the United States had less than one-third.”

Of the individual states, only Massachusetts had more than half (51 percent) of its students score at or above the proficient mark. Minnesota was second (43 percent), followed by Vermont, North Dakota, New Jersey and Kansas. [Note: Massachusetts also topped the states in reading proficiency.]

How to improve this situation? There are debates over how much math students need to know, what parts of the subject should be given more emphasis and how fast students should be allowed to progress. There are some who say the current teaching methods are inadequate to the task.

In some states, including the one in which my children attended public schools, test results prompted discussion of whether students are being taught more forms of math than reasonable and more in later grades than they will need for their futures, aside from those who will go on to study math or other fields in which advanced knowledge is critical. Is a class that includes algebra, geometry and statistics of greater value than one that focuses solely on algebra?

An interesting perspective from John W. Myres, a former teacher and superintendent in California schools: “No doubt, algebra is a steppingstone to higher mathematics and quite necessary in professions that require extensive knowledge of math. Too, it offers insights not only into numbers, but also into general problem-solving separately. It is also reasonable for most students to have some experience with it before they leave school. The difficulty, however, is assuming that algebra, in itself, will greatly increase everyone's ability to do the kind of mathematics that most people do in ordinary life. Most people add, subtract, multiply, and divide, using whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percentages. They purchase food and clothing, balance checkbooks, create budgets, verify credit card charges, measure the size of rooms, fulfill recipe requirements, and even understand baseball batting averages or horse-racing odds. These activities don't require a real knowledge of algebra,” Myres wrote in Education Week.

The debate over how much math to teach how fast took root earlier this year in Montgomery County, Maryland, when the state’s largest (and a well-regarded) public school system stopped advancing elementary and middle school students past their grade level in math. “Parents had questioned the payoff of acceleration; teachers had said students in even the most advanced classes were missing some basics.”

And if learning math is hard, teaching it can be difficult, as well. Interestingly, research shows that majoring in math in college may not of itself make a graduate qualified to teach. Math teachers need to “know the subject matter well and how to teach it,” said Deborah Loewenberg Ball, dean of the University of Michigan school of education, who has studied math education extensively. “The problem is that the math major is not a good proxy for that.” A report released last year by The National Mathematics Advisory Panel, on which Ball served, found no evidence of a link between teachers’ degree attainment in college and student academic gains in elementary and middle grades and a slightly stronger connection between math majors and students’ high school performance.

But there may be a link between math knowledge and future well-being. “. . . math appears to be the subject in which accomplishment in secondary school is particularly significant for both an individual’s and a country’s economic well-being. Existing research, though not conclusive, indicates that math skills better predict future earnings and other economic outcomes than other skills learned in high school,” reports a study titled “U.S. Math Performance in Global Perspective,” prepared by Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance and Education Next.

The EducationNext/Harvard study calculated that improving the math proficiency of American students could, over time, increase the U.S. Gross Domestic Product by 2 percent to 3 percent annually and, an 80-year period, be worth $75 trillion to the nation’s economy. “Even if you tweak these numbers a bit in one direction or another to account for various uncertainties, you reach the same bottom line: Those who say that student math performance does not matter are clearly wrong,” the report affirms.

And if math comprehension is that indicator of future well-being then it also may be worth noting a divide along racial lines. “While 42 percent of white students were identified as proficient in math, only 11 percent of African American students, 15 percent of Hispanic students, and 16 percent of Native Americans were so identified. Fifty percent of students with an ethnic background from Asia and the Pacific Islands, however, were proficient in math.”

A history of African-American students performing below their white counterparts has spurred discussion of math education as a civil right.

Earlier this year the government released data from more than 7,000 districts, representing at least three-quarters of American students. In 3,000 high schools, math classes went no higher than Algebra I, and in 7,300 schools, students had no access to calculus. Schools serving mostly African-American students were twice as likely to have inexperienced teachers as schools serving mostly whites in the same district. “These data paint a portrait of a sad truth in America’s schools, that the promise of fundamental fairness hasn’t reached whole groups of students that will need the opportunity to succeed, to get out of poverty, to ensure their dreams come true, and indeed to ensure our country’s prosperity,” Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights in the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, told the Christian Science Monitor.

Robert Moses was years ahead in recognizing this issue. A veteran of the 1960s civil rights movement (as field secretary for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee), Moses’ experience teaching in an inner city school convinced him that mathematics literacy is as important for inner city and rural poor students as the right to vote was to sharecroppers and laborers in Mississippi in the 1960s. “Math illiteracy is not unique to Blacks the way the denial of the right to vote in Mississippi was. But it affects blacks and other minorities much, much more intensely, making them the designated serfs of the information age just as the people that we worked with in the 1960s on the plantations were Mississippi’s serfs then,” Moses wrote in “Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project.” In the mid-1980s, Moses used the proceeds from a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant to develop the Algebra Project, aimed at addressing the racial disparity.

As for my son’s PowerPoint project, should he eventually go into a field requiring an intimate knowledge of mathematics, knowledge of similarities between ancient Babylonia and China indeed may be valuable. As for me, since my years in school I’ve kept my use of math fairly basic, pleased to have avoided story problems or “unknown” numbers.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

why say " I am in so much pain" when depressed? Is it mind or body?

Why Does Feeling Low Hurt? Depressed Mood Increases the Perception of Pain

ScienceDaily (June 7, 2010) — When it comes to pain, the two competing schools of thought are that it's either "all in your head" or "all in your body." A new study led by University of Oxford researchers indicates that, instead, pain is an amalgam of the two.

Depression and pain often co-occur, but the underlying mechanistic reasons for this have largely been unknown. To examine the interaction between depression and pain, Dr. Chantal Berna and colleagues used brain imaging to see how healthy volunteers responded to pain while feeling low.

Their findings revealed that inducing depressed mood disrupted a portion of the participants' neurocircuitry that regulates emotion, causing an enhanced perception of pain. In other words, as explained by Dr. Berna, "when the healthy people were made sad by negative thoughts and depressing music, we found that their brains processed pain more emotionally, which lead to them finding the pain more unpleasant."

The authors speculate that being in a sad state of mind and feeling low disables one's ability to regulate the negative emotion associated with feeling pain. Pain, then, has a greater impact. Rather than merely being a consequence of having pain, depressed mood may drive pain and cause it to feel worse.

"Our research suggests depressed mood leads to maladaptive changes in brain function associated with pain, and that depressed mood itself could be a target for treatment by medicines or psychotherapy in this context," commented Dr. Berna. Thus, the next step in this line of research will be to examine this mechanism in individuals who suffer from chronic pain, as these individuals also commonly experience depression. The ultimate goal, of course, is to develop more effective treatments. This is good news for the millions of individuals around the world who suffer from chronic pain and depression.

Use Rumination to Cope with Depression. Empowering!

All of us, at times, ruminate or brood on a problem in order to make the best possible decision in a complex situation. But sometimes, rumination becomes unproductive or even detrimental to making good life choices. Such is the case in depression, where non-productive ruminations are a common and distressing symptom of the disorder. In fact, individuals suffering from depression often ruminate about being depressed. This ruminative thinking can be either passive and maladaptive (i.e., worrying) or active and solution-focused (i.e., coping).
New research by Stanford University researchers, published in Elsevier's Biological Psychiatry, provides insights into how these types of rumination are represented in the brains of depressed persons.

The interactions of two distinct and competing neural networks, the default mode network (DMN) and the task positive network (TPN), are particularly relevant to this question. Whereas the DMN supports passive, self-related thought, the TPN underlies active thinking required for solving problems, explained study author J. Paul Hamilton.

Using brain imaging technology, Hamilton and his colleagues found that, in depressed patients, increasing levels of activity in the DMN relative to the TPN are associated with higher levels of maladaptive, depressive rumination and lower levels of adaptive, reflective rumination. These findings indicate that the DMN and TPN interact in depression to promote depression-related thinking, with stronger DMN influence associated with more worrying, less effective coping, and more severe depression.

"It makes sense that non-productive ruminations would engage default-mode networks in the brain as these systems enable the brain to 'idle' when humans are not focused on specific tasks," commented Dr. John Krystal,editor of Biological Psychiatry. "Better understanding the factors that control the switch between these modes of function may provide insights into depression and its treatment."

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tongue Twisters? It is a brain matter not the tongue!

Contrary to what we think, tongue twisters are as a result of the speed of our brain not the muscular structure of our tongue, mouth, nor the lips or facial features. If you read this passage twice or three times, the similarities of the sounds confuse the speed of our brain activity to make proper connections on the path to produce clear complex repetitive sounds. Try it for yourself.

Betty Botter bought some butter,
"But," she said, "this butter's bitter.
If I bake this bitter butter,
It will make my batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter -
That would make my batter better."
So she bought a bit of butter,
Better than her bitter butter,
And she baked it in her batter,
And the batter was not bitter.
So 'twas better Betty Botter
Bought a bit of better butter.

Notes from the gratitude journal: Greater Good Science of a Meaningful Life-UC Berkeley

A gratitude journal is a must for us all. Here are some entries from the UC Berkeley Greater Good Site. It is a valuable reminder to be grateful for all the gifts that life offers us, no matter how small. Start yours today.

I’m grateful for some time up north in the woods. Finally out in nature!
City Girl

I’m happy that my husband is going to take care of the kids for a whole week so that I can go to a writing workshop.
Writing Mama

I am very happy that the money I gave a girl for her hostel(stay) to study for her master’s is doing very well and enjoying her lectures in the college.

I’m grateful for my husband; who makes room in his busy schedule to take over with kids so I can have several days away, alone!

I am so thankful for the generosity of good friends, just when I needed help.
Texas Neighbor

I am thankful for an extended family that is willing to be “on-call” when my family is going through a hectic time.
Carly Brown

I am very grateful for libraries. I’m especially grateful for Laura, a very helpful librarian at our neighborhood library.
A Reader

I’m grateful to have a great mechanic and body shop experts. They help me extend the life of my car.
Happy Driver

I’m grateful that when I had to relieve myself of some stressful job obligations, the people who need to understand understood and supported me in my decisions.
Janine Kovac

Friday, August 19, 2011

Math Aptitude? An American Illusive Handicap! I promise you, everyone has it.

So many studies confuse the public about math aptitude and too many American children end up believing that they are bad at math. Math phobia is a national disaster and an unhealthy phobia allowed by early education. I promise you it is not true. This study is confirming that math concepts exists in all people including infants and people with no formal education.

Published: August 11, 2011

Children as young as 3 have a “number sense” that may be correlated with mathematical aptitude, according to a new study.

Melissa Libertus, a post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University.

Melissa Libertus, a psychologist at Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues looked at something called “number sense,” an intuition — not involving counting — about the concepts of more and less. It exists in all people, Dr. Libertus said, including infants and indigenous peoples who have had no formal education.

The researchers measured this intuition in preschoolers by displaying flashing groups of blue and yellow dots on a computer screen. The children had to estimate which group of dots was larger in number. Since the display was fleeting, they had to use their number sense rather than count the dots.

Children with a better number sense were also better at simple math problems the researchers posed. The children were asked to count the number of images on a page out loud, read Arabic numbers and make other simple calculations.

Previous studies have shown that there is a connection between number sense and mathematical ability in adolescents. But this is the first study to explore the connection in children with little formal education.

“We were interested in the earliest math abilities that children have, from before they enter school,” Dr. Libertus said. Understanding this could help level the playing field in mathematics among children.

Dr. Libertus hopes that, with more insight, games or training programs could be developed for children to improve their number sense.

The research is reported in a recent issue of the journal Developmental Science.