Neuroanatomy Figure 1: Highly simplified depiction of a vertebrate brain (lateral view), illustrating its main parts. (The terms brainstem and rhombencephalon are used by some authors in a wider sense than is the case here.) Neuroanatomy deals with the structure of the nervous system. All nervous systems consist of astonishingly similar elements, the nerve cells or neurons. The Illusion of Asymmetric Insight The Misconception: You celebrate diversity and respect others’ points of view. The Truth: You are driven to create and form groups and then believe others are wrong just because they are others. Source: “Lord of the Flies,” 1963, Two Arts Ltd. In 1954, in eastern Oklahoma, two tribes of children nearly killed each other. The neighboring tribes were unaware of each other’s existence.
Egocentrism Egocentrism is the inability to differentiate between self and other. More specifically, it is the inability to untangle subjective schemas from objective reality; an inability to understand or assume any perspective other than their own. Egocentrism and absolutism differ in the sense that an egotist's opinion must always allow everything to center around themselves, while an absolutist can form an opinion that does not center themselves, yet believes their idea and opinion is non contest. Although egocentric behaviors are less prominent in adulthood, the existence of some forms of egocentrism in adulthood indicates that overcoming egocentrism may be a lifelong development that never achieves completion.
Mirror neuron A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting. Such neurons have been directly observed in primate species. Birds have been shown to have imitative resonance behaviors and neurological evidence suggests the presence of some form of mirroring system. In humans, brain activity consistent with that of mirror neurons has been found in the premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area, the primary somatosensory cortex and the inferior parietal cortex. The function of the mirror system is a subject of much speculation. Discovery Further experiments confirmed that about 10% of neurons in the monkey inferior frontal and inferior parietal cortex have "mirror" properties and give similar responses to performed hand actions and observed actions. Origin
Empathy, Mindblindness, and Theory of Mind In a 2001 research paper , Simon Baron-Cohen describes Theory of Mind as "...being able to infer the full range of mental states (beliefs, desires, intentions, imagination, emotions, etc.) that cause action. In brief, having a theory of mind is to be able to reflect on the contents of one's own and other's minds." For many of those with autism or Asperger's , mindblindness, or lack of Theory of Mind creates major barriers to communication and closeness. These barriers often lead to those nearest to the individual feel, whether real or perceived, a lack of empathy from the individual. When I think of Theory of Mind, I think of an amusing, but of course very inaccurate, belief I harbored as a young child.
Brain Figure 1: MRI slices of the human brain (of Dr. Eugene M. Izhikevich). The brain is encased in the head, the part of the body which in most walking, flying or swimming animals is the leading end of the moving body (with few exceptions: starfish, cuttlefish, humans, penguins when they are not swimming). The obvious risks which this localization entails are apparently compensated by the advantage of direct short connections with the sense organs localized in or on top of the head (olfaction, taste, vision, audition, vestibular sense), which together with the brain could be seen as something like the cockpit of the animal, or the pilot if one prefers. Function of the brain
Dunning–Kruger effect The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is. Psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger attributed this bias to a metacognitive incapacity, on the part of those with low ability, to recognize their ineptitude and evaluate their competence accurately. Their research also suggests corollaries: high-ability individuals may underestimate their relative competence and may erroneously assume that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others. Dunning and Kruger have postulated that the effect is the result of internal illusion in those of low ability and external misperception in those of high ability: "The miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."
Schizophrenia Schizophrenia (/ˌskɪtsɵˈfrɛniə/ or /ˌskɪtsɵˈfriːniə/) is a mental disorder often characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to recognize what is real. Common symptoms include false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, auditory hallucinations, reduced social engagement and emotional expression, and lack of motivation. Diagnosis is based on observed behavior and the person's reported experiences. Genetics and early environment, as well as psychological and social processes, appear to be important contributory factors. Some recreational and prescription drugs appear to cause or worsen symptoms. The many possible combinations of symptoms have triggered debate about whether the diagnosis represents a single disorder or a number of separate syndromes.
Philosophy of mind A phrenological mapping of the brain – phrenology was among the first attempts to correlate mental functions with specific parts of the brain Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness, and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain. The mind–body problem, i.e. the relationship of the mind to the body, is commonly seen as one key issue in philosophy of mind, although there are other issues concerning the nature of the mind that do not involve its relation to the physical body, such as how consciousness is possible and the nature of particular mental states. Mind–body problem Our perceptual experiences depend on stimuli that arrive at our various sensory organs from the external world, and these stimuli cause changes in our mental states, ultimately causing us to feel a sensation, which may be pleasant or unpleasant.
Inside and Out: A Few Words about Empathy By Nicole Nicholson on August 17th, 2011 Got empathy? I do. And from all the testimonies I have read and heard, so do many other individuals on the autism spectrum. Shocking? It might be, if you’ve believed up to this point that Aspies and other folks on the spectrum lack the capacity to empathize with other people – in other words, if you believe that we cannot feel or care about your pain.
Cosmic consciousness Cosmic consciousness is a book published by Richard Maurice Bucke in 1901, in which he explores the phenomenon of Cosmic Consciousness, "a higher form of consciousness than that possessed by the ordinary man", a consciousness of "the life and order of the universe". History In 1901 Canadian psychiatrist Richard Maurice Bucke published Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind, in which he explores the phenomenon of Cosmic Consciousness, "a higher form of consciousness than that possessed by the ordinary man", a consciousness of "the life and order of the universe".
Category mistake A category mistake, or category error, is a semantic or ontological error in which "things of one kind are presented as if they belonged to another", or, alternatively, a property is ascribed to a thing that could not possibly have that property. Thomas Szasz argued that minds are not the sort of things that can be said to be diseased or ill because they belong to the wrong category and that "illness" is a term that can only be ascribed to things like the body; saying that the mind is ill is a misuse of words. Another example is the metaphor "time crawled", which if taken literally is not just false but a category mistake. To show that a category mistake has been committed one must typically show that once the phenomenon in question is properly understood, it becomes clear that the claim being made about it could not possibly be true.
Emergency psychiatry Emergency psychiatry is the clinical application of psychiatry in emergency settings. Conditions requiring psychiatric interventions may include attempted suicide, substance abuse, depression, psychosis, violence or other rapid changes in behavior. Psychiatric emergency services are rendered by professionals in the fields of medicine, nursing, psychology and social work. The demand for emergency psychiatric services has rapidly increased throughout the world since the 1960s, especially in urban areas. Care for patients in situations involving emergency psychiatry is complex. Individuals may arrive in psychiatric emergency service settings through their own voluntary request, a referral from another health professional, or through involuntary commitment. Definition Delivery of Services
Asperger syndrome: the triad of impairments What is the triad of impairments and how can parents work with schools to help overcome them? In addition to the core impairments of the triad, many students with Asperger syndrome will have difficulties with fine and gross motor co-ordination and organisational skills. They can also be affected by underlying fears and phobias, often (but not always) related to sensory sensitivities.