Monday, December 31, 2007

BPR3 - Blogging about Peer-Reviewed Research Reporting

Blogging on Peer-Reviewed ResearchI just stumbled across BPR3 (Bloggers for Peer-Reviewed Research Reporting). GREAT idea. As readers of my blog know, the majority of my posts deal with comments about published journal articles.

Count me in. I'm going to try to get into the habit of using the BPR3 icon in such posts...hopefully their system will do what it says it will.

Kudos to the BPR3 concept.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mental timing and dyslexia - another study

Another article (Jamkowski & Rusiak, 2008; Psychological Research journal) investigating the role of temporal processing in reading and reading disabilities (click here for prior related posts). The literature review (intro) is worth a read just to get a quick overview of the potential role of temporal processing in a number of clinical disorders and human cognitive functioning.

(italics added by the Time Doc blog dictator)
  • Hari et al. (Brain 174:1373–1380, 2001) demonstrated that dyslexics showed a sluggish attention capture in both visual hemiWelds. Additionally, they indicated a left–right asymmetry in the perception of temporal order of two visual stimuli (they performed worse than controls only if the stimulus in the left hemiWeld preceded that in right hemiWeld). They suggested that a left-sided minineglect is associated with dyslexia. We hypothesized that if a kind of neglect syndrome is responsible for the asymmetry they found, dyslexics should not only show a left–right asymmetry in temporal order judgment of two laterally presented stimuli but also perform equally well as controls when the stimuli are vertically aligned. Our results indicated that in both tasks dyslexics performed generally worse than normal readers. The results suggest that dyslexics suffer from a more general problem of order discrimination.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The important brain clock strikes again: RAS training and Parkinsons

I recently made a post about the impact or RAS (Rhtymic Auditory Stimulaltion) on improved gait (check out this link for a great animation of walking gait) performance in patients with CP. Someone just sent me a link to a boat-load of similar article abstracts, most dealing with the positive benefits of RAS with individuals with Parkinson's disease. The references and abstracts can be found by clicking here.

As I've blogged before, there is a considerable body of evidence linking temporal processing (mediated by the internal brain clock) and Parkinson's disease. RAS is clearly dealing with underlying temporal processing/brain clock mechanisms.

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Improved brain clock improves student performance: Media coverage

Today's edition of the Daytona Beach News-Journal includes an interesting report on a private schools use of a synchronized metronome tapping (SMT) intervention (viz., Interactive Metronome) with elementary school-age children. The article speaks for itself, with the staff reporting positive improvement in behavior and academics for students using the IM method.

As you will notice, myself, and my friend/colleague (Dr. Gordon Taub) were interviewed for the article. We were interviewed as the reporter read our recent journal publication in Psychology in the Schools, an article that reported positive reading improvement after the IM intervention.

This is one of my handful of experiences in being interviewed by a reporter. After spending at least one hour on the phone with the reporter, and sharing all kinds of information, it is interesting to see what comments I (we) made the survived the final cut. I'm pleased that the information attributed to Dr. Taub and I was accurate.

Be sure to watch the video that accompanies the will give you a good feel for the basics of the IM (SMT-based) intervention.

As I've reported before, my involvement in the IM study with Dr. Taub was the impetus for my recent interest in temporal processing, mental/interval time-keeping, and the concept of an internal brain clock. It is why I started the IQ Brain Clock blog.

[See conflict of interest disclosure statement re: my role as a Scientific Advisor to IM]

Just in case this on-line article is ever pulled from the net, I've made a pdf copy available for viewing.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Can brain games prevent Alzheimer's?

The GNIF Brain Blogger has made an interesting pro/con post on the potential benefits of the brain fitness "brain game" (neurotechnology) market.

If readers want more information, I recommending visiting what I think is the best web resource on the whole brain game/fitness market/research. Check out one of my favorite blogs at Sharp Brains.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Brain clock misc.--nice overview of select concepts

  • Temporal processing
  • Frontal-striatal circuits
  • Scalar Timing Theory
  • Internal Pacemaker.
  • Interval timing and Parkinson's Disease
  • Dopamine
What do these terms have in common? They have all been mentioned, at one time or another, in my blog posts and brain clock related presentations for being involved and/or related to the idea of a central temporal processing internal brain clock (check out term index for this blog for these terms and links to prior posts). Also, they are all mentioned in a very nice literature review in an article dealing with mental timing and Parkinson's Disease. Although the guts of the article was not that important to my current activities, I found the introduction to this article to be a very nice overview of some of the central constructs/concepts in the brain clock literature. Readers might want to check out this article for the same reason. Those with a specific interest in Parkinson's and temporal processing may find the entire article of great interest. The article is by Smith et al. (2007) and was in a recent issue of Brain and Cognition.

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Controlled attention, working memory and brain clock

Central to my thinking regarding the temporal brain clock is the notion of working memory. A number of models of working memory have been proposed, with the first and most prominent being the working memory (WM) model of Baddeley and Hitch (1974).

Myself....I've been very interested in the controlled executive attention (CEA) model of WM of Engle, Kane, and Conway. For readers who have kept up with this blog, and/or those who have heard me present on the IQ Brain Clock (see on-line viewable PPT slide section of this blog page), it is clear that I believe that there is a strong link between the brain clock's temporal processor and the construct of working memory....esp. the shared link in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the central role that CEA plays in the brain clock, working memory, and temporal processing based timing interventions.

Today I skimmed a very nice and concise explanation/definition of the CEA model of WM. The following was in the introduction of an article by Colflesh and Conway (2007) Psychonomic Bulletin and Review:

  • According to the CEA model of WM "there is a domain-general component of WM responsible for guiding attention as well as domain-specific components responsible for maintenance of task-relevant information. Individuals who score high on tests of working memory capacity (WMC) therefore may do so because of greater controlled attention and/or because of better use of domain-specific skills and strategies to aid maintenance. Engle and colleagues have argued that the domain-general controlled attention ability is related to both higher-level cognition, such as fluid intelligence, reading comprehension, and problem solving, and lower level cognition, such as performance of simple visual and auditory attention tasks that require cognitive control."

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