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Paul Grobstein's picture

Welcome to the on-line forum for brain and education, associated with Serendip's Brain and Education: New Directions and Brain and Education Resources pages. Like all Serendip forums, this is a place for conversation, not for final words but rather for thoughts in progress. Its a place to leave things and ideas that you think might be useful for other peoples' thinking, and to find things and ideas that might be useful for your own. Can research on the brain be useful for thinking about teaching and teaching experiences be useful for thinking about the brain? Join in, and let's see what new ideas and understandings arise from sharing thoughts.

This is an open forum, meaning that anyone can contribute using the "Post a new comment" form at the end. To avoid letting the forum become cluttered with spam, comments will be reviewed and so appear only after a delay of a day or so. If you think you might like to be a regular participant of this forum, please email Paul Grobstein at with a brief description of your interests, and you will be sent information about registering for this forum. Comments from registered participants who log in with user name and password will not be reviewed and so will appear in the forum immediately.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Sleep deprivation - the brain - and

During a non-stop 3 day river race of 340 miles, the racers begin to have hallucinations throughout the night hours. Mostly visual but some auditory as well. I am trying to do some research into why these hallucinations happen and what we can do to relieve them of this or lessen its affects.

Now we know that caffeine can cause these hallucinations but it's almost imperative to keep them awake.

I am looking for foods to reduce the amount of caffeine needed to keep them awake while knowing the restrictions of limited restroom privileges, to put it nicely. And to find out if there are any foods that can help relieve the hallucinations in the evening and overnight.

We are also trying to find other ways to eliminate the hallucinations when they happen, not sure if a visual shock would knock it out of them such as a piercing bright light or something to look at other than the far off blinking red light amongst all the darkness of the mid night.

Any insight in to this would be really helpful.

Thanks in advance


Holly Zapf, Portland Naturopath's picture

I'm wondering

I'm wondering what people believe about the idea that we are able to significantly modulate neurochemistry by specific thought patterns. I know that that drugs and remedies are faster, but not as long lasting as a change in thought patterns.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Thoughts to become a behavior

We are what we think we are. Scientific data shows a forced habit becomes a behavior as we hard wire in our Neural networks.This is easily done before the 6th birthday and takes 5-6 months to change a behavior laterage groups. All behaviors are related to thoughts about the self in relationship to the proximal environment. Anger is not out side the body, but is a projection of individual,s thought process and bias against a circumstance or individual. Sadness is also a thought process. There is nothing outside the individual. So is happiness. All thoughts trigger or not trigger a brain network to release or release too much of a chemical that creates a brain activity. Happy thoughts naturally are from the midbrain Hippocampus to frontal lobe connections through a chemical pathway with crossing and communication between right and Left brains. Memory is better with the midbrain relaxation. So does the attention span gets better with a happy child, who is internally relaxed in the Hippocampal Gyrus. Positive thoughts will lead to positive responses from the brain. Fear, anxiety, neurosis, anger will lead to scarring of the brain cells and cognitive under performance secondary to this scarring. Adrenaline, Nor Adrenaline and Cortisol, not only affect the Blood vessels, stomach & heart, but cause significant self rejection, and cognitive delays by scarring teh brain cells. Perceptions and thoughts are very importan and should be positive and motivaet teh person to succeed. This can be imparted only by teh primary care takers, who can nurture those brain cells and teh networks. The signals that go to teh 5 senses should be happy and nurturing type.
Please visit both of my web sites to learn more about the role of brain networks , behavior,impact on education, internal relaxation, positive redirections, happy family time, spouse bonding, parental involvement ina child's life will create more focused children and with less health risk behaviors.
web sites
under community servies and you are welcome to study all PP slides
created Human Values Program and Positive thoughts based SAI EDUCARE calendar.
Meean Chintapalli, MD FAAP

NeuroKids's picture

Hi from NeuroKids

Hi! My name is Shennendoah. I am 12. My brother, Bo Erik (he's 9) and I made a website to teach kids what we learn about the brain called We think learning about the brain is fun. We made a program at our school called Week of the Brain and a lot of kids liked it but mostly they think it is important.

Do you have good suggestions or games or activities that we can do and share with our friends at school? We did Stroop and illusions and some water adaptation and stuff like that. We did neurons in playdough and made posters and labeled the brain but we want to do more fun games and stuff that is more fun than just learning new facts and words.

Can you help us give more materials to our school? What is brain layer curiculom?

Bye for now,

Miss Geneva E. Tolliferreo, M.Ed.'s picture

All My Boxes...

...this is a great name for a Serendip Soap Opera!

Hello Friends. A special greeting to the Brain and Behavior colleagues I shared this past Summer's session with (2007).

Soooo much has happen since I was last with all of you. The details I realized are my boxes and I thought these experiences (in part) may be interesting to post.

I was blessed to have sponsors to send me to Guyana, South America for a mission trip with my church. Little did I know how rewarding the experience would be, knowing I would be going to a 2nd world country. A proud people in the face of health, employment, nourishment, housing, and financial challenges...these issues know no color. Governed by Hindu, the additional races include African, Portuguese, and Indian...all Americans...South Americans.

In brief, and sticking to the issue of Education, children learn as teachers teach in conditions that are clean and equip with almost antiquated desks and chairs, small classrooms, used and reused materials, limited texts and resources, and limited clothing including uniforms. The children, oh the children, are bright, intelligent, happy, and very eager to come to the United States of America for what they believe will be a much better life filled with opportunities. They seem oblivious to the devastations of crime, in that they are willing to take a chance on making here since they overcome so much in their home land.

A beautiful country, it starves for attention to 21st (even 20th) century trash, garbage, and recycle collection; proper water filtration and drainage; substantial public transportation (buses instead of vans hauling in the midst of small cars and trucks beeping horns in every direction everywhere and horse drawn flatbeds hauling people and things). Landscaping is a non-essential need, except for the parks and private properties which manage to secure workers as needed often enough to maintain for the most part.

This is there home. They are proud of it, take care of it, respect it, and love it. The Guyana natives truly believe, "little is much because God is in it". The smiles of the people are endearing. They could not do enough to make our stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our stay was pleasant and truly was.

We, as a world of humans, share so many boxes. We take pride in what is ours. We are willing to share what we have with others. We share our heartaches as well. And isn't that what family does? We are all a part of this global family and if we embraced we each other, everywhere, as the Guyana people embraced our mission contingency, this world would be free of hate, crimes, theft, lies, and all of the other ills of the world, such as no universal health care, the classes, and excessive tuition at 'the universities' that seek to keep the less fortunate due to finances and race outside of their hallowed courts.

As I complete work on my Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and Ministry, I chose not to take the shots that were recommended. Upon my return I suffered an bout with malaria and meningitis. This had me down for weeks, and I mean really down. Just as I began to rally back, I came down with the shingles. By this time I felt as though I had truly been beat up. The shingles, oh how painful. I take comfort in that fact that I had ‘a mild case’ of them. Well if a worse case is worse, and I’m sure it me I am counting my blessings!

I did finally breakdown and go to the hospital, because I was just that sick, so much so that I could not fully diagnose my own ailment. Although, I was close with my preliminary findings.

I was able to go to the hospital. A clean, bright, well equipped, fully staffed, state of the art medical facility, where everyone will be seen whether they have the money to pay or not. Sure you’ll get billed, but the more and most important issue is that you will get treated.

As a box with privileges that is connected to a country of boxes with very limited connections, all of my boxes come together in grief. It is inhumane to not grieve. How can I not grieve? Even now, just to submit this monologue, all the bittersweet memories flood back to the forefront of my soul’s memory. A wonder filled trip filled with humility and raised consciousness.

Wondering how I could help, how I could contribute to offering the people of Guyana an even greater hope in the future, I learned of The College of Biblical and Business Studies being established at this very moment. Normally I would not extend an invitation for financial support via this forum, but due to the severity of the need I am responsible to do just that. Contributions may be sent as follows:
New Covenant Church of Philadelphia
New Covenant Campus
7500 Germantown Ave.
Phila., PA 19119-7500
Attn: Mr. Albert Blackstock, Comptroller
Memo: Guyana College – Grannum
…thank you.

In conclusion, as I have written in this forum before, yes we are our ‘boxes’ keeper. Whether you are supporting a box in Guyana, your family, or your community…there is always more to do. As long as there are ‘boxes’ with needs, there is more to do. Our ‘boxes’ are inter and intra connected and we all affected and effected by how we support all of our ‘boxes’. The more support the stronger.

Well, as my intra ‘boxes’ heal, my inter ‘boxes’ need to heal. I am more well. I am less ill. Guyana afforded me the opportunity to get ‘it’ more right and less wrong. The children of Guyana ‘get it’, that Education is a way to enable and empower them to help build up and support their country. Their hearts' desire is to earn a United States or British education and return to Guyana to help their country.

Proof of this was a Black doctor who came to treat two of the young ladies that became very ill during the trip. She was educated in North America, with the intention of returning to her native South America to aide her country via her profession. Bravo!

Thank you for reading the story of ‘all my boxes’.

Paul Grobstein's picture

upcoming meeting

Learning and Brain:
Where Are We and Where Do We Need to Be?

The first of a continuing series of workshops and discussions on this topic, sponsored by the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, is being held in Aurora, Illinois on 20 October 2007. For further information see announcement/program and beginning thoughts.

dwong's picture

drawing from neuroscience and classroom observations

 Here's a recent publication that reviews the current developmental aspects of children in learning, in case it is of interest.

Available on the National Academies Press for a free online read

or request it from Swarthmore

Description of book:

What is science for a child? How do children learn about science and how to do science? Drawing on a vast array of work from neuroscience to classroom observation, Taking Science to School provides a comprehensive picture of what we know about teaching and learning science from kindergarten through eighth grade. By looking at a broad range of questions, this book provides a basic foundation for guiding science teaching and supporting students in their learning. Taking Science to School answers such questions as:

• When do children begin to learn about science? Are there critical stages in a child's development of such scientific concepts as mass or animate objects?

• What role does nonschool learning play in children's knowledge of science?

• How can science education capitalize on children's natural curiosity?

• What are the best tasks for books, lectures, and hands-on learning?

• How can teachers be taught to teach science?

The book also provides a detailed examination of how we know what we know about children's learning of science about the role of research and evidence. This book will be an essential resource for everyone involved in K-8 science education teachers, principals, boards of education, teacher education providers and accreditors, education researchers, federal education agencies, and state and federal policy makers. It will also be a useful guide for parents and others interested in how children learn.

Anonymous's picture


is getting 6 hours a night at year 11, gonna damge my brain in the future???

Anonymous's picture


You have a good question there - the answer is that bio-individuality will ultimately dictate how much sleep you actually need; however, I would caution that one's perception of the needed amount of sleep may be at odds with one's parents' view of how much sleep one needs. In conclusion, you must feel alert and energetic after only six hours sleep and be able to perform at your absolute best in all fields without the assistance of caffeine drinks (these drinks may provide the consumer with the impression that s/he is fine when it's the caffeine talking!)

Logic Computer Services's picture

I wonder about sleep

how much of being tired and needing sleep is a psychological condition through conditioning as we grow up.. being told that we "must be tired" or "we will be tired after walking so far" etc etc

Purely Life's picture

Lack of sleep can have disastrous consequences.

Without adequate rest, the brain's ability to function quickly deteriorates. The brain works harder to counteract sleep deprivation effects, but operates less effectively: concentration levels drop, and memory becomes impaired.
Similarly, the brain's ability to problem solve is greatly impaired. Decision-making abilities are compromised, and the brain falls into rigid thought patterns that make it difficult to generate new problem-solving ideas. Insufficient rest can also cause people to have hallucinations. Other typical effects of sleep deprivation include:

heart disease
slower reaction times
slurred speech

Serendip Visitor's picture

Without sleeping

I wonder when technology and science will progress to a high level that we will not need sleeping at all.