17 March 2010

More on brain healing, learning

A McClatchy story by Nancy Churnin ran today in the Oregonian entitled "Scientists rethinking the brain" - couldn't find it on their website, but found it on the Taiwan News site.  News of interest concerns a man who was thought to have permanent damage with regard to "his ability to talk to people and stay on task".  He was helped by a set of exercises on attention and reasoning.
Strategic attention: the skill to block out distractions and focus on what's important. Exercises might include taking stock of your environment, identifying what distracts you and eliminating or limiting those things, and creating daily priority lists.

Integrated reasoning: the ability to find the message or theme in what you are watching, reading or doing. Exercises might include making a point of reflecting on the meaning of a book after you've read it or a movie after you've seen it and writing down your interpretation.

Innovation: the vision to identify patterns and come up with new ideas, fresh perspectives and multiple solutions to problems. Exercises might include thinking of multiple solutions to problems as they come up, talking to other people to get a different perspective and taking time to step away from a problem to give yourself an opportunity for creative thoughts.

Hayner says his sessions - he attended for two months and completed take-home exercises - proved invaluable.

"I have been on so many drugs and medications, and they got me nowhere," he says. "Adults with TBIs (traumatic brain injuries) tend to become overwhelmed, and when someone becomes overwhelmed, it spirals into fear and chaos, and we have a tendency to shut down.

"Today as long as I stick to what I was taught here about filtering information and innovative thinking and what's important and what's not important and apply that to my real life, things don't confuse and baffle me ... I can make a decision on the important things that have to be done each day."
Using the mind to heal the brain...

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