To me, neurodiversity is the idea that neurological differences like autism and ADHD are the result of normal, natural variation in the human genome. This represents a new and fundamentally different way of looking at conditions that were traditionally pathologized; it’s a viewpoint that is not universally accepted though it is increasingly supported by science. That science suggests conditions like autism have a stable prevalence in human society as far back as we can measure. We are realizing that autism, ADHD, and other conditions emerge through a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental interaction; they are not the result of disease or injury. At the same time, we are identifying diseases and injuries (physical and environmental) that will produce brain injuries whose effects look very similar to autism and other differences. Acceptance of neurodiversity certainly does not include passive acceptance of such injury and insult, though … [Read more...] about What Is Neurodiversity?
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Source: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock A new study from the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reveals that 9- and 10-year-old children who are aerobically fit tend to have significantly thinner gray matter in the cerebrum than their "low-fit" peers. Interestingly, thinning of the outermost layer of brain cells in the cerebrum is associated with better math skills, according to the researchers. The August 2015 study, "The Role of Aerobic Fitness in Cortical Thickness and Mathematics Achievement in Preadolescent Children,” appears in the journal PLOS ONE. Cerebrum (Latin for brain) in red. Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Life Sciences Database The new study finds a correlation—but not direct causation—between cardiorespiratory fitness and cortical gray matter thinning in the cerebrum. Thinning of gray matter is also known as "neural pruning," which is an … [Read more...] about Why Do Aerobically Fit Children Have Better Math Skills?
© 2007 Cathy Malchiodi Daniel Goleman observes that flow is possibly emotional intelligence at its best. Emotional intelligence includes self-awareness of one’s feelings, self-motivation, and empathy for the emotional experience of others. Goleman believes that emotional intelligence is essential for creativity and is an ability one can cultivate through being in flow. During the flow state, people are more productive because they are focused, calm, and self-satisfied. Like the experience of meditation, brain waves are actually in a state of relaxed alertness that facilitates inspiration and confidence. If you are painting, drawing, or constructing while in a flow state, you may feel like you are part of or one with your creation. While you may already have experienced flow in your own life, the following suggestions can help you experience it through art making or other forms of expressive arts to enhance your creative potential: • Challenge yourself. The flow state … [Read more...] about Getting into the Flow for the New Year