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Sacks' Humanism, and social development.

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Edited by Daniel Sumner, Monday, 4 Jan 2021, 13:35

The late and always great Oliver Sacks was a humanist as well as a fine neuropsychologist. For Sacks saw behind the unusual manifestations of Neurological issues, the patient who sat in the centre of the turmoil. Reading 'The man who mistook his wife for a hat' one can see the humanism as well as the fascination leap out from the pages.

Central to the process of Sacks was the quote made by Sir WIlliam Osler “Ask not what disease the person has, but rather what person the disease has."

This quote is best exemplified by what physicans would call the 'history' of the patient. As well as a Sherlockian approach to observation, the patient's history taking reveals details in its own right. From exposure to differing toxins to hazards involving allergens, the history may also reveal telling personality changes.

But it is not just the neuropsychologist and physican who benefits by close observation and accurate history taking. We are all social creatures and we can improve our general functioning as social beings by analysing that which we take for granted every day. As a person with Asperger's this can be illustrated with regard to facial expressions.

I have always found it remarkably difficult to determine the feelings of others through facial expressions.

And so some time ago I devoted no small amount of time in researching the work of the excellent Paul Ekman and his study of universal facial expressions and the FACS system. This has helped me immensely to interpret the feelings and thoughts of others. 

It is all too easy to assume that because we have lived as social creatures for a few decades that there is nothing left to learn. But there is a wide chasm between the amateur social sleuth and the person who makes a science of the socially observable.

By studying the works of Sacks and anyone who treats observation as a science we can aid ourselves in all manner of social interactions.


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Happy New Year

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Edited by Daniel Sumner, Monday, 4 Jan 2021, 12:36

Happy New Year!

I hope this New Year finds all of you well.

This year I'm hoping to get a collection of short stories published and continue promoting my debut novel 'Recalling Simon.'

I would also love to connect with other writers. Last year was a difficult one and I'm looking forward to pursuing my BSc in forensic psychology with the OU.

Thanks to Jan who commented below to notify me of the rules regarding promoting one's work. I really appreciate that.



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Hobbies 2021

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Glad to be starting my Latin lessons again: using Wheelock's Latin and watching the 'beginner Latin 101' great courses on Amazon.

Hopefully in 2021 I'll become proficient.

But I'll also be pursuing my Open University BSc in Forensic Psychology starting with the first module: 'Introducing the Social Sciences'.

It's going to be a busy year, promoting my book 'Recalling 'Simon' and continuing work on my new collection of shrpt stories.

I'll keep working on my YouTube channel also. The channel is a place where I help people improve their memory, using the method of Loci technique or more colloquially as 'the memory palace.'

This technique is a profoundly efficacious and I provide step-by-step tutorials. Useful for those studying to enhance recall.

You can find my channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR_GTBCQRY-2ECXd_PoEs3w

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If

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Edited by Daniel Sumner, Monday, 4 Jan 2021, 12:36

Who would I pick as a protagonist for my book, if it became a movie.

If my novel was ever made into a movie I would love if Daniel Bruhl played the lead if he's not too busy.

Loved the Alienist both the books and the series. 

#debutnovel #author #writer #WritingCommunity #psychological #books #writers #RecallingSimon #writing #reading #literature

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Psychosis and feedback

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Interesting research being carried out by scientists at the University of Missouri into the origins of psychosis. Here a key area of the brain seems to be the striatum an area known to be part of a network involved with feedback. The neurotransmitter dopamine also seems to be part of the issue.

 

Researchers used fMRI technology to assess the brains of those most at risk fro psychosis and found that the striatum was not activated when the patient received feedback.

 

This research has also found increased levels of dopamine within the striatum.

 

https://neurosciencenews.com/psychosis-treatment-9062/

 

#medicine #neuropsychology #psychology #science #neurology #mentalhealth #mind #brain  


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The Influencer

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Edited by Daniel Sumner, Friday, 18 Dec 2020, 15:42

Another thousand words done of my latest short story 'The Influencer'.

The themes explored will include ego and narcissism. Part of a collection of stories whose individual stories take place in just ten minutes.



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Recalling Simon

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Edited by Daniel Sumner, Monday, 4 Jan 2021, 12:37

Really thrilled to have my debut novel available now, it's been a hard road to get it finished but it's been well worth the work.

I have read the first chapter on my YouTube channel and this can be accessed here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZb_q-0J68&list=PLW03KpK0HYRo98Sx84WFVToTz0pg0q-at


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Hallucinations and neuropsychology

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A potential result of failing eyesight is the peculiar condition, Charles Bonnet Syndrome.

This syndrome is marked by hallucinations which can be incredibly varied. For some, the hallucinations entail some rudimentary geometric shapes whereas for others it might involve sophisticated images comprised of people.

One risk according to one of Oliver Sacks' books is that this may be confused with dementia and thus Charles Bonnet Syndrome must be considered when reported hallucinations occur within a geriatric population.
What is Charles Bonnet syndrome, the eye condition that causes hallucinations?

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Prosopagnosia and Neurology

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A wonderfully inciteful article on face blindness. I first came across this interesting condition by reading the works of Sacks. This piece captures how crucial the social ability to recongise other people truly is.

Prosopagnosia or face blindness is a problem with how the brain processes faces rather than the eyes. This strange ailment causes the sufferer to forget faces, as if they cannot store the collected details of a face and thus while they don't forget the person they can't remember the face.

Certain coping mechanisms are used, such as trying to remember a beard or glasses or any other details that might aid the sufferer in remembering the individual.

Sacks describes these coping mechanisms with his own conversation of how he suffered with prosopagnosia.

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