But Why?

Why do people yell at each other and then wonder why their kids are oppositional and defiant to them, or to their friends & their teachers?  “If all the ‘love’ they see at home is in the form of yelling (or hitting) doesn’t it make sense that they think this is how to show their love?”

Why do parents, swear and use sarcasm to each other and then wonder why their kids are such ‘smart-asses’?  “Sarcasm is the most sophisticated form of language, it is saying one thing and meaning another, this takes high level thinking and most children have not formed this level of reasoning and ‘play’ with language until they are much older.  So for a young child to try to experiment with this language technique it comes across funny and cute as a young child imitates their adult role models but as they grow a little more it is as if they are being a ‘smart-ass’”.

Why is this generation of children so much more violent? ” This is a complex answer and I am positive there are many answers from more chemicals in our food (GMO’s) and more ‘noise’ in the environment to less ‘family-time’.  Also we are seeing a surge in electronics, video games, less communication and human contact in play time.  

Longer periods of time ‘pretending’ to shoot and kill people or animals on video games, can desensitize individuals and reinforce cruelty.  Movies are less family entertaining and are mixing humor and violence together giving the impression it is not only ‘ok to be mean’ but it is funny!  The more realistic and scarier a movie is when focusing on ‘doom and threat’ adds fear which also creates a cocktail of chemicals in our brains.  Our bodies respond just as if we are right there in the room with that killer, sweaty palms, increased heart rate and breathing shorter and more shallow.

 There is a fine line between pretend and reality for many people.  They see more and more realistic deaths, with blood and guts spurting across the screen and a ‘real adrenaline rush’ (including a change in Neurochemistry with increased cortisol, and the ‘addictive, pleasure center’ is activated with a dopamine rush.  Creating a false sense of reality because our bodies are responding as if to say “whew, we made it through that one let’s try it again”! 

Experiments have been done for a very long time on the modeling that children witness and how that will dictate the children’s response to others as well as their learned aggression.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr0OTCVtHbU the original Bobo Doll experiment from 1961 (4.08 minutes) helps to describe psychologically what happens with children.  This experiment has been replicated many times in many ways over the years with each new experiment confirming the original findings!

The American Psychological Association has now confirmed http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2015/08/violent-video-games.aspx a link between playing violent video games and aggression. I truly do not believe it is just a few games here and there that causes this violent behavior, I find that a combination of risk factors including the individual’s feelings of loneliness, self-confidence, depression and what they have been modeled at home that can set the perfect scenario for a mental storm for aggression”. 

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Brain Fog Got You Down?

Brain Fog Got You Down?

The Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) is usually the culprit when you feel that brain fog. That feeling of just being ‘bogged-down’ and no clarity. It can be devastating! It slows you down at work and in school, not being able to access the information you know that you know! It might be your medication, lack of good quality sleep or even general overwhelm from stress and anxiety. But the good news is there are ways of lifting that fog, understanding how the brain learns and then ‘retraining’ the brain to be more efficient and effective.

There are many different skills within the PFC and general exercises are awesome, however, the more specific we can get to the actual issue the more applicable or effective the exercises are.

Complete our PFC questionnaire then we will know better whether the issues are in: * decision speed
* focused/flexible attention
* pragmatics of language
* problem solving/critical thinking
* reasoning /deduction
* syntax of the language
* timing/rhythm.

Once we know this information, (plus specific ages), we can pinpoint specialized activities you may want to consider doing. These activities are meant to be ‘fractionated’ or completed in a consistent pattern to make the biggest impact on the learning process of the brain.

Here are a few general iPad activities:

* Decision Speed: Impulse Control, Reactionerd, Speed
* Flexible/Focused attn: Count25, Focus, Fit Brains
* Pragmatics: Between the Lines
* Problem Solving: Mastermind, Figure Analogies, B-Line
* Reasoning /Deduction: Have a Guess, 11+ NonVerbal Reasoning, Brain Trainer
* Syntax of Language: Conundra, Right Word, Words (FitBrains)
* PFC Timing: Dynamo, BeatLeap,

These are just a few but I have hundreds of specialized activities in my eBook series. Starting with our PFC eBook.

http://cognitive-connections.com/index.php/brain-shop/product/6-thinking-with-your-brain-in-mind-ebook

We can also look at other cognitive areas as well as the PFC, just in case some of the concerns are more based in the Temporal lobes, Parietal lobes, Occipital, Basal Ganglia, Cingulate or Limbic areas. If you are interested in a comprehensive look at your unique needs use this link and take our 400q Questionnaire and this will tell us enough information that we can send you a more comprehensive plan of cognitive exercises your brain needs. http://cognitive-connections.com/400Q/400Q.htm

If you should want to discuss personal concerns directly please fill out the contact info on my website and I will get right back to you. http://www.cognitive-connections.com

Loads of BRAIN energy to each of you!
Dr. Lise’

Thinking with Your Brain in Mind; Flexible and Focused Attention…

Thinking with Your Brain in Mind; Flexible and Focused Attention...

Hi Friends,

This season we see all sorts of problems from sleeping to remembering where we left our keys!

Do you ever get an idea stuck in your head without being able to drop it? Or do you find it is uncomfortable switching or changing plans at the last minute?
I bet I can help with this!

If it is difficult to shift approaches or you find it hard to pay attention to two things at once or maybe you feel focusing and paying attention is more difficult than it should be then maybe your brain is having difficulties with Flexible and Focused Attention skills!

Some people need prompting to get things completed, they may have an issue with getting lost in the middle of a thought or they may even leave out very important details of a story or process.

I know this can be frustrating and sometimes embarrassing when your brain isn’t working as fast and efficient as you would like it to work! But, do not fear…I know how to help you with theses kinds of PreFrontal Cortex (PFC) concerns!

Attention Deficits can show in brain imaging as a neurological dysfunction and in an EEG as reversed cortical activity. The low slow activity is prevalent while eyes are open and the fast cortical activity increases when closing eyes and trying to relax. This keeps the person feeling brain drained as if they are working overtime.

At Cognitive Connections, I have developed a program that helps people learn about these important skills our brain does (even without us knowing it is doing it)! But it isn’t enough to know what it is supposed to do…it is necessary to know how to help yourself or your child learn these skills when they are not working as they should be!

The PFC’s Function: Focusing Attention, Organizing thoughts, Problem Solving, Foreseeing and weighing the possible consequences, making predictions, forming strategies and planning, impulse control and delaying gratification, modulating emotions…

Do you or someone you love need help with…

Flexible & Focused Attention
 Mental Flexibility,
 Shifting Approaches
 Switching Gears
 Staying Focused
 Holding onto several thoughts at one time
 Losing track in the middle of a thought
 Miss important details
 Get an idea stuck in your head

A few iPad games you might want to try if you think you might have some issues with this area of the brain are:
* The Stroop Effect
* The Tower of Hanoi
* Observation
* 4 Attention

I have 100’s of games want to learn more?

Look for our Volume 1 in the Series of 7 eBooks entitled “Thinking With Your Brain in Mind; A Look Into the Prefrontal Cortex…from Function to Remediation”

Just Another Thought from Dr. Lise’…

Thinking with your Brain in Mind…Brain Speed

Thinking with your Brain in Mind...Brain Speed

Do you have slow reaction time? Or do you find it is difficult to think fast enough to respond before others do?

I know how to help you with this!

If it is difficult to ‘think on your feet’ or if you find you just tire easily then perhaps you are experiencing problems with the Prefrontal Cortex. A place in your brain that is responsible for Decision Speed.

Some people have a difficult time getting started with a task, some may find it hard to work through the task quickly! I have even found some people will procrastinate and come up with reasons for why they cannot get started or complete a task. If these sound like you, then YOU are in luck!

Our ‘thinking part’ of the brain, sometimes referred to as the CEO of the brain, lies just behind the forehead. This area helps us modify our behavior, deciding what is appropriate therefore, letting us use our best behavior. It take in ALL the information from the rest of the brain and then determines what our thoughts and actions should be to achieve our goals.

Focusing Attention, Organizing thoughts, Problem Solving, Foreseeing and weighing the possible consequences, making predictions, forming strategies and planning, impulse control and delaying gratification, modulating emotions…

At Cognitive Connections, I have developed a program that helps people learn about these important skills our brain does (even without us knowing it is doing it)!

But it isn’t enough to only know what your brain is supposed to do, like most other manuals and eBooks tell you. It is necessary to know HOW to help yourself or your child to learn these very specific skills when they are not working as they should be!

Interested in helping yourself?

Look for our Volume 1 in the Series of 7 eBooks entitled “Thinking With Your Brain in Mind; A Look Into the Prefrontal Cortex…from Function to Remediation”

Coming to a website near you SOON!!! Follow our blog and find the answers to your brain questions and concerns.

Do You Agree the Prefrontal Cortex is ‘Shut-Down’?

Do You Agree the Prefrontal Cortex is 'Shut-Down'?

When the brain is not fully functioning due to stress, lack of sleep, head trauma or a birth defect, we find that the ‘thinking part of the brain’, the prefrontal cortex, (PFC) shuts down and is not able to reason, deduce, problem solve or make appropriate decisions in a timely manner. Instead the brain makes impulsive decisions, that have not been thought through or planned out with a rational ending as a goal. These individuals also become emotional rather than ‘intelligently passionate’ making decisions based on what they ‘feel’ rather than thinking through what is the most effective outcome. They lack social skills and do not empathize. They do not understand how their actions will effect someone else.

I came across this article written in the New York Times, that comedian, Andy Borowitz wrote a few days ago. I have to say it reminds me of the pre-teen brain that hasn’t mastered the use of the Prefrontal Cortex.

Republicans Shut Down Prefrontal Cortex
By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker
09 October 13

The article below is satire. Andy Borowitz is an American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author who satirizes the news for his column, “The Borowitz Report.”

n an escalation of the stalemate gripping Washington, House Republicans voted today to shut down the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls reasoning and impulses.

The resolution, which passed with heavy Tea Party support, calls for a partial shutdown of the brain, leaving the medulla and cerebellum, sometimes referred to as the “reptilian brain,” up and running.

The Tea Party caucus cheered the passage of the bill, which was sponsored by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who called the measure “long overdue.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) offered no timetable for restarting the prefrontal cortex, telling reporters, “It will most certainly remain shut down during any negotiations with the President. That’s the only leverage we have.”

Representative Bachmann agreed: “The President can go ahead and put a gun to our heads. There’s nothing there.”

While the G.O.P.’s decision to shut down the prefrontal cortex rattled Wall Street, the neuroscientist Davis Logsdon said it should be seen as little more than a symbolic vote, noting, “It’s actually been shut down since the 2008 election.”

In case you know someone that needs a little PFC help…I do have some pretty significant exercises to retrain the brain.

Just Another Little Thought by Dr. Lise’

The Prefrontal Cortex… What Havoc it Can Cause!

The PFC... What Havoc it Can Cause!

Do you know anyone that just seems to be in slow motion?

They may have a difficult time getting started with a task; some may find it hard to work through the task quickly! I have even found some people will procrastinate and come up with reasons for why they cannot get started or complete a project. Hmmm…sound familiar?

Our ‘thinking part’ of the brain, sometimes referred to as the CEO of the brain, lies just behind the forehead. This area helps us modify our behavior, deciding what is appropriate therefore, letting us use our best behavior. The PFC takes in ALL the information from the rest of the brain and then determines what our thoughts and actions should be to achieve our goals.

Focusing attention, organizing thoughts, problem solving, foreseeing and weighing possible consequences, making predictions, forming strategies and planning, impulse control and delaying gratification, modulating emotions…

Questions to Ask Yourself these about Decision Speed:

Do you have difficulties with…

• Slow reaction time
• Responding with speed
• Tiring Easily
• Speeding through carelessly or respond too slowly
• Perseverating (repeating actions or comments w/o awareness)
• Procrastinating
• Starting a task
• ‘Thinking on your feet’
• Response Inhibition (self-control)

+ 3 if this is ALWAYS a problem
+2 if this is SOMETIMES a problem
+1 if OCCASIONALLY a problem

Add together, If your total is 7 or more you may benefit from a specialized NeuroCognitive Skill enhancement protocol from Cognitive Connections!

10 Inexpensive Games That Will Help Your Brain!

10 Inexpensive Games That Will Help Your Brain!

We all want to stay competitive at work, we want that ‘edge’ above the others that will keep us sharp and cognitively fit!! Or we want our children to be able to stay focused and attentive in class.

There are even several relatively expensive online game sites that give you a short ‘test’ and then you are the proud recipient of a few generic games to play over and over to strengthen your brain.

I specialize in using games to remediate and strengthen the learning process in the brain! I want you to know…you can find FREE iPAD & Android apps and inexpensive board, card and hand-held games that will do the same brain conditioning or even better when played for the ‘right’ reason!

Here are 10 OLD but effective & FUN games, that WORK…

1. Simon- Auditory and Visual Sequential Memory
( iPAD, Android, PC, Hand-held)

2. MasterMind- Executive Function- Reasoning, Deduction, Critical Thinking, PFC (prefrontal cortex)
(iPAD, Android, Hand-held, Jr and Adult)

3. Guess Who- Executive Function, Reasoning & Deduction
(iPAD, Android, PC, Board game)

4. TriBond- Auditory Association, Auditory Reception
(Comes as a JR for children and an Adult Version)

5. Impulse Control- PFC, Impulsivity, Visual processing, cognitive ‘switching & flexibility’
(iPAD, Android, PC)

6. Scattergories- PFC, Auditory Reception, Auditory Association, Auditory & Visual Memory
(PC, Board games, JR and Adult)

7. Sound Pairs or (Henry, by Tiger)- Auditory Discrimination, Auditory Memory, Visual Memory
( PC, iPAD, Android, hand held)

8. Logical Journey of the Zoombini’s- PFC, Reasoning, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving
( PC, ages 8+ )

9. Symbol Simon- Visual Discrimination, Reasoning, Switching & Flexibility, Language Processing
( card game- University Games, 8+)

10. Chess, Backgammon, 9 Man Morris, or Quattro- Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Reasoning, Deduction
(PC, iPAD, Android, Board Games)

There are so many AWESOME & FUN games (hundreds and hundreds) that it was hard to ONLY pick 10!!! In my webinar courses that I give I train parents, educators, and therapists on how to use games to retrain the brain. Join me in learning a new way of teaching the basic skills! 925-478-0615