View Full Version : Brain/computer similarities, and neuroplasiticity

June 24th, 2008, 05:36 AM
This is a brief listing of ideas of mine, related to one study in the field now known as neuro-plasticity. The purpose of this posting is to make public for verification purposes a listing of these formulations, and to date them, in a public domain, since I have not published them in any format to date - hardcopy or digital. Some are modifications of methodol-ogies in past and current studies; others are hypotheses that I’ve not observed in any publicized studies, but which in my opinion, need to be implemented as part of the respective studies.

With respect to Dr. Taub’s studies of stroke victims, and re-development of damaged motor cortex, two modifications should be implemented; the first involves the constraint used, and the second is removal of the constraint, to allow what I refer to as ‘mirroring’.

The constraint used in the original study is a ‘mitten’. Since the objective is to force the focus of the subject’s cognitive process on the damaged cortex, the mitten represents a distracting tactile process, albeit passive, but a distractive task nonetheless (in fact, the subject stated he “had to say no”, referring to the initial tendency to use the undamaged arm). This constitutes even more than a passive constraint. This methodology is an acceptable approach for ‘coarse’, or initial phases of motor cortex re-development. Remove the mitten, and allow the subject to develop the task discipline to ignore his own unconstrained/un-mittened hand.

Another modification in this study would be doing a complex manual/digital task with both hands - such as counting coins. This synchronous ‘mirroring’ between the two opposing hemispheres of motor cortex will in my opinion facilitate accelerated re-development of the damaged cortex.

The third modification is blindfolding of the subject. The use of vision feedback by the subject to guide the damaged hand is a handicap to re-development of the cortex. Without the vision aid, the subject is forced to slowly and in a more controlled manner, ‘feel’ his way to the object target - a coin for instance. This ‘feel’ process, whether the hand is moved along on the table surface, or whether the hand is moved through the air, consists of a process comparable in computers to as ‘pinging’. Efferent and afferent neural path-ways, through this ping/feedback process, are effectually ‘fine-tuning’. Even before the object target is touched, tactile feedback is processing. This I feel can be confirmed by fMRI.

In identical fashion, motor cortex dedicated to ambulation in hemiplegics can be improved upon. The subject would be allowed to view the layout of a large room, with obstacles, and then blindfolded. The use of a music source, and perhaps heat lamps would facilitate memory of the layout, to induce spatial tasking as the subject proceeds. A spotter would assist the subject’s navigation only by voice. The subject would respond accordingly, by slowing down - ‘feeling’ with the feet, and outstretched arms. The concentration and focus necessary for multiple tactile tasks would immensely improve cortical re-development.

If anyone is interested in other writings pertinent to neuroplasticity, feel free to respond.

I have more which has been posted (and dated) for several years in other domains, and which has SINCE been confirmed as research results at 4 universities in America - Columbia U, UCSB, U Wisc M, and UAB.

June 24th, 2008, 07:33 AM
Could you reference this. Also post more on Brain plasticity. :)

June 24th, 2008, 08:10 AM
Could you reference this. Also post more on Brain plasticity. :)

That looks Like Dr. E Taub at UAB.

This video is VERY interesting. It was released in April 2008...


This material I first wrote in 1999. I didn't post it anywhere on the web till July 2005, in a computer forum. It reads comparably to the video script of the show linked above...

Talk about a computer program analogy!!!

This is something that I posted as a thread starter in another forum. I saw many threads detailing individuals’ depression, and asking for help/advice.

It is entitled: Depression? Philippians Ch 4 v 8 KJV. .....

________________________________________ _______________________

This is copied from my reply to another’s thread. I offered this to someone who asked for help/advice...

My first thoughts were as were xxxxxxxx'x - 4rth ch. Philippians, vv7-8.
Especially v 8 - "... think on these things." i. e., think THIS way...

My second thought(s) are a little deeper. I'll try to keep it simple.

Depressive states - chronic depression - in an otherwise healthy person are largely attributable to more 'downer' [inhibitory] neurotrans-mitters being passed between neurons of brain tissue, than 'upper' [excitatory] neurotransmitters.

This is a 'learned' way. Typically, this 'learning' is throughout childhood and adolescence. A more understandable example of this type of learning is child abuse, and its' cyclical nature. There are 3 distinct types: physical, sexual, and psychological.

When a child is subject to physical abuse, the child grows up 'learning' that physical abuse is how love is expressed to his/her children. That child, grown up, expresses love in like manner.

Sexual abuse is almost identical in it's cyclical pattern. The child 'learns' that sexual abuse is how love is expressed to the child, and does so to his/her children, in like manner.

In psychological abuse, the 'learning' process is the same, but the results are almost always catastrophic. The child daily learns that he/she is loved, yet is told routinely by the parent(s) that he/she's worthless, etc., and grows up not knowing ANYTHING about interpersonal relations. Actual input, and perceived input were in opposition. This is just the best case scenario. At worst, the grown-up makes the 6:00 news in a bad way.

Another analogy is a muscle, which is another group of specialized cells. When a particular type of neurotransmission occurs routinely, the muscle gets bigger [learns]. In the brain, repeated 'downer' [inhibitory] neurotransmission becomes a 'learned' way. It perpetuates itself much more readily than muscular neurotransmission too.

Another example of learning of this nature, was the subject of recent research on stroke victims, using - get this now - VIDEO GAMES! When I heard this, I thought to myself, DUUUUUHHHH. When I was younger, I
played video games, and was keenly aware of the effects of the incessant neuron firing related to this activity, and its' continuity, AFTER STOPPING THE GAME! The stroke victims, just in ‘thinking’ the physical nature of the activity in the video game, are showing significant motor function recovery.

Psychotropic, or psychoactive drugs can help, by changing what neuro-transmitters pass between synapses. But this doesn't help change the 'learned' way. And, the drugs metabolize, so you have to take more. In my opinion, drugs are only for severe clinical depression. And by the way... many subjects report that they know that the meds make them feel better, but still don't wanna' take 'em??? They'd rather stay in their 'learned', natural condition.

Do this. Smile. Work on voice inflection. 'FORCE' happiness, and a cheerful nature. All day. Every day. 24/7. It will become your nature. And get a full nights' rest (6-9 hrs). That's necessary for mental health. In the morning, get a strong cup of coffee. It will stay with you throughout the day.

Again, v 8 - ...think THIS way...

And 1 more verse from 4rth Ch Philippians - 13!!! I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

< Message edited by [username] -- 7/10/2005 12:38:43 AM >

________________________________________ _______________________

It did not generate 1,300+ replies, neither 14k views. In that forum, some threads get rated with stars, from zero to 5. I won't say how many mine has received. It doesn't matter. All that matters is whether one - just one - might be helped.

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EDIT: more posts from the thread for analogies on human cognition:

That's a tough question, xxxxxx...

" 'locked' in the learned way'” is a very good way of putting that. Very good.

I gotta give it that some thought...

...one who does not see the Word as being the solution??? You mean the Word of God? Yikes! I think faith in Christ is absolutely necessary, to make any difference at all. Even if an individual understands brain physiology, it's extremely difficult because of ... HMMM ...? Well you have to un-learn, and then re-learn.

Ask any programmer. NO programmer wants to repair a program. It's infinitely easier to un-install a program, and load a new driver.

That's why I said 'force' happy, smile, etc., etc., all day, every day, 24/7.

It can be done. Get the person to read what's posted, and write it in his/her own words - again, and again, and in different words, again, and again.


< Message edited by [username] -- 7/13/2005 >

...and another...

You asked, xxxxxx, about how someone locked into a learned way could change themselves, even if they understood how we think.

I mentioned that many subjects report not wanting to take their medications, KNOWING that the medication make them feel better. Seems il-logical to me, but it's too common a thing to deny.

So here's some stuff, which might show how our cognition can change.

Ever lose something? Keys? Sunglasses? Favorite pen? A tool from the toolbox? Of course - we all have. A rule for life is to put stuff where it belongs, or put it in your pocket. That way, if something isn't where it belongs, it's in your pocket. If you adopt this rule, and live strictly by it, 100 %, you will never lose anything again. 100% means NOT putting the keys anywhere, except in one specific place. NEVER. That's difficult when a bag of groceries is in each hand. But it has to be 100%. 100% also means when working under the hood of the car, you do NOT PUT THE WRENCH on the fenderwell. You put it back in the toolbox every single time you let it out of your hand. You put nothing, ever, anywhere that it does not belong. NEVER.

Here’s how this behavior changes your cognition...


Don’t depend on this phenomenon too often. Break the rule over and over, and no impression is made, about the rare rule-breaking instance.

In this example, you had a previously learned ‘way’ to un-install, but all that is done is overwriting with a new ‘way’. The new behavior is learned, and the old behavior becomes extinct.

I'm stuck right now trying to close this, and tie new learning to re-learning, to answer your question, xxxxxx...

HMMM ...

you have forced a new behavior...

one that was not a learned way...

when the rule-breaking instance - triggered a memory, this made
clear the fact that the forced behavior [happy] had become second-

< Message edited by [username] -- 7/14/2005 >
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Several criticist reply-er's said 'learned' behavior couldn't be changed. So I added the following to the thread:
________________________________________ _______________________

Just thought of some more stuff.

When I described some behaviors to 'FORCE', I see how that can be difficult. DUUHH! HOWEVER, consider this...

When you have become the one who, in the workplace, or the playplace, or where ever, is the happy cheery person, then who does everybody like to hang around? YOU!!! Do you think this might re-inforce the happy, cheery persona? And consequently, the happy cheery nature is ''learned'' faster than it would have otherwise.

Ever notice that in every workplace, or playplace, there's one who everybody loves to flock to? UH-HUH! How do you know that that person doesn't hate life? Well, that don't matter. Cause when he/she’s amidst a crowd, everybody loves him. You can be that person. Smile. Force 'HAPPY'. Do serious voice inflection. Compliment others. You don't have to mean it, just do it with VOICE INFLECTION. "You look sharp John",
"Great smile, [lady]". And call them by name, Jane, when you're talking
to them. Let them know you're listening to them. People love to know they're being listened to. Never mind that what they're saying might not matter. AND ZERO NEGATIVITY. ZERO. ZERO. ZERO. Negativity has a tendency to fester, and is a tool used by some to improve their own standing. Improving your standing, however, is done from within - not without.

Your peers will flock back to you every chance they get. Ya' think that will help YOU change YOUR own frame of mind/learning? When people like your presence??? Count on it.

< Message edited by [username] -- 7/16/2005 >

June 24th, 2008, 08:55 AM
Thanks for the above; very interesting :) Dr. Ramachandran has also published a lot of interesting work concerning similar material.

Of course, it's very important to remember that while computers are useful in terms of providing analogies and functional models for the brain, the two differ in a number of important ways. Human brains aren't so good at number crunching, and stored data does not remain in the same state over time, such that you get a 'verbatim' copy each time you retrieve it. There's also nothing like a CPU in the brain -- it is a massively distributed, parallel-processing neural net -- or an single underlying 'code'.

June 24th, 2008, 08:14 PM
That looks Like Dr. E Taub at UAB.

This video is VERY interesting. It was released in April 2008...

Talk about a computer program analogy!!!

I would talk about a computer analogy but 1st I am not a computer geek but a person studying for a degree in psychology. So my bias is towards the brain which is actually hardly understood even by the best neuro-psychology and neurology at this point a lot of what is accepted is really hypothesis, but none the less quite interesting. :)

June 28th, 2008, 11:48 AM
No, alot of what is accepted is now proven; no longer hypothesis.

Give the program a look-over, that I linked to...