How to dull the brain

This may be one study that proves the old, old saying:

"Better to be the rat among the cats,
than to be the cat among the rats."

Read on...

Brain patterns predict mistakes: study

CHICAGO - It turns out that dull tasks really do numb the brain. Researchers have discovered that as people perform monotonous tasks, their brain shifts towards an at-rest mode whether they like it or not.

And by monitoring that area of the brain, they were able to predict when someone was about to make a mistake before they made it, a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found.

"There's this thing that's probably intrinsic where your brain says I do need to take a little break here and there's nothing you can do about it," said study author Tom Eichele of Norway's University of Bergen.

"Probably everyone knows that feeling that sometimes your brain is not as receptive or as well performing and you didn't do anything to actually induce that."

When that happens, blood flows into the part of the brain which is more active in states of rest.

And since this state begins about 30 seconds prior to a mistake being made, it could be possible to design an early-warning system which could alert people to be more focused or more careful, Eichele said.

That could significantly improve workplace safety and also improve performance in key tasks such as airport security screening.

"We might be able to build a device (that could be placed) on the heads of people that make these easy decisions," he told AFP.

"We can measure the signal and give feedback to the user that well, your brain is in the state where your decisions are not going to be the right one."

Eichele and his colleagues in the United States, Britain and Germany were able to detect these brain patterns with MRI scans, which are not portable.

The next step is to see if more mobile EEG devices are able to detect the phenomenon.

A prototype of a wireless, mobile, and lightweight EEG amplifier is currently in development and could be ready for the market in 10 to 15 years, he said. - AFP/ar

From; source article is below:
Brain patterns predict mistakes: study

We have moved!

*quack!* Are you my mommy?Image by Ana Santos via Flickr
We have finally moved, and do visit our consolidated site: One Blog for the Kids!

All of our posts, articles, comments - everything - is already in that site, the first one actually that was set up.

And with this parting words, we hope to see you in the other site. Do visit us often, and we'll do our best to collect articles that will be of value to you, and everybody else.

Till then.

Au revoir!
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Singapore mums need to step up

Alicia Sacramone, Natasha LiukinImage by jlantzy via Flickr
From TODAY, Sports
Thursday August 7, 2008

Leonard Thomas
sports editor in beijing |

Sports matters
More must show interest in sport for their kids to fall in love with it

Picture: James’ mother Gloria has played a crucial role in her son’s sporting career. GETTY IMAGES

THE most influential person in Michael Phelps’ life is his mother. LeBron James always acknowledges the crucial role his mum has played in shaping him and pushing him to achieve.

Both 23-year-olds are here in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games, experts in different fields but on the same path to sporting immortality.

One’s a multi-millionaire king of the pool, who could become the greatest of all time at these Games. The other’s a multi-millionaire basketball colossus who stars for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA and the Redeem Team here, with the world at his size 15 feet.

Unlike Phelps’ and James’ mothers, so many women in Singapore don’t have a drop of interest in sport. Most of my friends don’t. Most of my friends’ wives don’t. Most of my brother’s friends’ wives don’t. My sister-in-law is not interested.

All of the men are sports fans, while most of the women are mothers, but only a couple of their children are showing any genuine interest in sport.

And we wonder why the country’s talent pool is so small.

The United States have “soccer mums”, Singapore has too many mothers who allow their sons and daughters to pursue any interest they have in any particular sport, on their own.

Mothers seek out tutors carefully for their children, they drive or accompany the youngsters to class and back, but tennis lessons are a waste of time, hockey after school means homework has to be put off to a later time, and that’s also a waste of time.

I remember having lunch with Desmond Koh and his mum in the 80s. He was in his early teens back then, not yet graduated into the national swimming team, but tipped to be a star.

I marvelled then when his mother revealed how she got up early in the morning to fix her son something to eat, before ferrying young Desmond off to the pool for training. And then either back home, or straight off to school.

Singapore has maintained a steady pool of champion swimmers over the years because most of their parents took a keen interest in their sporting ambitions from the time when they were young.

In most of the cases, it has been the mothers who have been the main supporting cast.

There is little doubt the men must share the blame for helping to steer their children towards the single-minded pursuit of degrees, diplomas and doctorates. But the women, as mothers, know they have a stronger emotional link with their young ones, and thus greater influence.

Sports fights obesity.

It toughens the young mind and if a youngster is serious about it, then discipline is necessary.

It teaches us how to lose, and how to win.

It either promotes teamwork or teaches us how to think independently.

It helps us find a multitude of friends.

Most of all, it is just simply so much fun.

Many mothers in the West and in countries like Australia, New Zealand and Japan, show tremendous interest in their children’s pursuit of sport. Athletic events are a family day out, any trophies collected are celebrated and fussed over. It is puzzling so many mothers in Singapore don’t care for sport at all.

I wonder what Debbie Davisson Phelps and Gloria James would say.
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We are moving!

Computer CousinsImage by Clover_1 via Flickr
For the past couple of years, we tried to grab a website name that suggests the content. That wasn't possible then. So the attempt ended up in creating assigning a name close to what was intended. It worked, somehow. And for some time.

Now, there's a bit of confusion as to which website should an article be posted, and that confusion is growing daily. Until...

The decision is made. We will consolidate both, and sadly, the other URL was selected. The first one is somehow sentimental, or that, it is more unique, with the initials of my 3 daughters. I now have 4, but that name remains.

So we are moving. Do visit us still: One Blog for the Kids! - the original.

Leave your comments there; here is also OK.

Till then!

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