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Showing posts from October, 2009

Dr. Amen and ADHD

Dr. Amen is a well known child and adult psychologist specializing in brain imaging science. He believes there are currently 6 types of ADHD not the 3 stated in the Diagnostic Manual.

The brain imaging that he works with is referred to as SPECT imaging (single photon emission computerized tomography). SPECT is a sophisticated nuclear medicine study that looks directly at cerebral blood flow and indirectly at brain activity (or metabolism). In this study, a radioactive isotope (which, as we will see, is akin to a myriad of beacons of energy or light) is bound to a substance that is readily taken up by the cells in the brain.

One kind is a 3D surface brain image, looking at the blood flow of the brain’s cortical surface. These images are helpful for picking up cortical surface areas of good activity as well as underactive areas. They are helpful to look at strokes, brain trauma, the effects from drug abuse, etc. A normal 3D surface scan shows good, full, symmetrical activity across the br…

THE BRAIN AND EARLY CHILDHOOD

The brain weighs approximately 3 pounds and has been the topic of many a research article. The amount of information in relation to how the brain functions is vast but has not even scraped the surface of understanding. There is so much more to learn but there have been many insights that researchers have uncovered that help us when it comes to teaching the young brain to respond to learning.

During the early years 0-10 the brain is at its most vulnerable stage to change. Parents and educators share a desire to maximise the growth and development of children to ensure a strong foundation as they continue to mature. Providing children optimal learning opportunities and engaging environments can encourage the process of acquiring knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge. Certain methods of learning can be used to help acheive this goal.

Play and the Brain: Play is a complex, lifelong activity. Play usually involves both mental and social skills that promote learning. Here…