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  #1  
Old 05-06-06, 04:56 PM
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Not Einstein at all Just ADD!

Moderator note: This is a split off portion from "So, how do we really know Einstein was ADHD? Could this be a pop culture myth?" The quotes may not "line up" or be in the post above-apologies! It was a 21 pg / 251 post split!

This is just an every thing mindful, mental, emotional, biological about ADD. What wasn't Einstein-thanks for letting me use your post SB! Every thing= truly the one ADD subject!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scuro
What if...creativity is really just a byproduct of higher intelligence, greater consecutiveness of neurons/ brain structures, and nothing more?
If this is a 'tongue-in-cheek' moment, then ':-)'

If this is a serious question, then 'yes'.

:-)

SB.

Last edited by meadd823; 05-12-06 at 06:20 PM.. Reason: split thread from einstien
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  #2  
Old 05-06-06, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scuro
What if...creativity is really just a byproduct of higher intelligence, greater consecutiveness of neurons/ brain structures, and nothing more?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SB_UK
If this is a 'tongue-in-cheek' moment, then ':-)'

If this is a serious question, then 'yes'.

:-)

SB.


What? Have I actually stumbled onto a concise definition of what Stabile and you believe to be "metalevels"? Say it isn't so, I've sifted through acres and acres of words and this is it? !???!!???

But, what I wrote has little to do with disorders of the brain, because many are creative who are not ADHD. And what does what I wrote, have to do with the next speciation event?

Ahhh!!!, ....perhaps you think that the ADHD really is nothing more then an extraneous term for the hardwiring of the brain to be creative. Well, why didn't you say so ?
-------------
-------------

Off the top of my head, the documented impairments with executive functions of the brain would not fit with this sort of theory. Why should creativity impair our behaviour? Why would our sense of time, that is...planning to act in the future based on what we have learned from the past be impaired by creativity? You hear parents of ADHD kids complain about this all the time, "that kid just doesn't seem to learn". They arn't talkin about algebra, rather that the kid does the same stupid behaviour over and and over again. You can talk till you are blue in the face and they won't frequently internalize what you have told them. You would think that creativity should enhance that brain function.

Furthermore, why would creativity impair internalized speech? You would think that internalized speech would be a tool of creativity yet this ability is impaired in kids with ADHD. Their behaviour is not as well controlled by their internal voice. Why should creativity hamper someone's ability to complete a task? ...or follow directions and rules? ADHDers are living in the moment because their internalized voice is impaired in it's ability to control behaviour in the present. The "lets go ride bikes", joke that is currently making the rounds illustrates this perfectly. Hey kid what does ADHD stand for? Attention deficit...hey, lets go ride bikes!!!

Finally creativity shouldn't hamper our ability to control our emotions. We know that folks with ADHD have great difficulty internalizing their emotions....think road rage. These kids are reacting in the moment with little thought to the consequences of their behaviour. Norms can shield their true feelings from others better. That is a plus in society because frequent displays of anger and frustration do not endear you to your peers. You are overreacting and that is about as desirable a behaviour as frequent farting. ADHDers wear their emotions on their sleeves. What does this have to do with creativity?

These are serious impairments which make life much more difficult for those with ADHD.
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Old 05-07-06, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s'curious
Ahhh!!!
Bbbb!!! Cccc!!! ... ... until ... ... Zeee!!! (where it all goes wrong).
It's Zeddd!!! and not Zeee!!!
And EFff is Zeee!!! and not Zeddd!!!
Do Uccc???

Good ADDers need to know why.
Why is the sky blue?
Why is the grass green?
Why do fools fall in love?
Y O Y ... Ohhh Yyyy ...?

SB.

Your observations are accurate, the explanations offered by EF are inaccurate.
You'll know most of the alter-explanations for your observations from threads long-gone, but just to add, that yes, absolutely, I believe in them to the extent that I can say that they are correct ... :-) ... and so will we all (soon) ... why??? ... because all that is required is a slight shift which'll incorporate all of your suggestions above, that is, on the idea of creativity unlocked through some structural component of ming (*mind* - I can't bring myself to correct this typo), alongside the nature of the structure and the shape of the structure ... and well ... 'That's all folks!!!' ... Bugs dives down through his rabbit hole, only to emerge out of the other end at precisely the same time ... 'No, that's not right' ... 'That's not right, at all' ... ... ...
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Old 05-07-06, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scuro
What? Have I actually stumbled onto a concise definition of what Stabile and you believe to be "metalevels"? Say it isn't so, I've sifted through acres and acres of words and this is it? !???!!???
‘Metalevels’ are just a logical property, and we can’t take any responsibility for their existence. But the way you and a few others use the term, it becomes a general description of the theories we’ve proposed that depend (in part) on an awareness of relative metalevel.

And in that regard, it’s pretty close. The problem many have grasping it is the fact that such a small difference in the way information is organized causes dramatic new properties to emerge.

It doesn’t help that what that emergence reveals doesn’t immediately seem proportionate. The greater implications are appropriately dramatic, a speciation event. But that’s of more interest to future historians, not so obviously dramatic to those living through it.

So (provisionally) yeah, you’ve got a bead in it. It really is pretty simple.


Quote:
But, what I wrote has little to do with disorders of the brain, because many are creative who are not ADHD…
Good question. The short answer is that logical structures define the operation of almost all functions in the brain.*

Fool around with the form, and you can affect almost anything. And we don’t have to use the new logical form universally; we see it applied in lots of different ways, each with it’s own unique effects.

That’s not quite the whole picture; we need to account for the effect of the collection of drives and instincts we call the social impulse, intended to ensure we’re all normal.

Any change in the logical form can activate the social impulse, and the resulting interactions are often what bring about the behavioral and experiential artifacts we associate with disorder.


Quote:
And what does what I wrote, have to do with the next speciation event?
That’s defined by the emergent nature of the effects of adding metalevels to our internal bag of logical tricks.


Quote:
Ahhh!!!, ....perhaps you think that the ADHD really is nothing more then an extraneous term for the hardwiring of the brain to be creative. Well, why didn't you say so ?
Now I know you’re being funny. Who suggested brains are hardwired to be creative?


Quote:
Off the top of my head, the documented impairments with executive functions of the brain would not fit with this sort of theory…
(grins…) Right you are. We’re pretty sure the linguistic framework that includes ‘the executive’ doesn‘t translate into actual neural structures. It was never intended to, anyway. It was supposed to help in analyzing external observable patterns in behavior.

The problem is neural structures don’t work in the way the organization of the original linguistic framework suggests. It was just a convenience, related more to how we view the organization of a hypothetical command structure.


Quote:
Why should creativity impair our behaviour? Why would our sense of time, that is...planning to act in the future based on what we have learned from the past be impaired by creativity?
It doesn’t. But using the newer form of logical structure doesn’t only affect the way we form new models. It also changes the way the models that define behavior work. The models are correct, but different, and the difference activates the social impulse.

The ability to apply metalevels is just a tool. It’s clearly useful in certain situations, but can have the drawbacks that come with adopting anything new.


Quote:
You hear parents of ADHD kids complain about this all the time, "that kid just doesn't seem to learn". They arn't talkin about algebra, rather that the kid does the same stupid behaviour over and and over again. You can talk till you are blue in the face and they won't frequently internalize what you have told them. You would think that creativity should enhance that brain function.
Yup, but it’s not the same application of the tool.

The appearance that AD/HD kids stubbornly or blindly repeat the same self-destructive patterns of behavior is a huge clue. In every example we’ve analyzed, the underlying decisions are correct, but the framework that has developed is skewed. That framework is a product of social interactions during the process of enculturation; in other words, it’s taught.

You might conclude something kept the kid from learning correctly, but in most cases this faculty, too, is functioning in a perfectly rational way. The problem at the root is that we can have two representations of information that are both correct, yet appear different in subtle ways.

I teach you some set of facts, and you store them in a logical structure. If I find your stored version to be incorrect, I can teach you the material again. But if the difference is only that, a difference, brought about by the method you use to store the information, is letting you store it a second time likely to change anything?

Being different is a big piece of the puzzle, too. But then you knew that.


Quote:
Furthermore, why would creativity impair internalized speech? You would think that internalized speech would be a tool of creativity yet this ability is impaired in kids with ADHD…
In some AD/HD kids, not all. And the definition of ‘internalized speech’ leaves a lot to be desired once you begin to appreciate how neural mechanisms work. It’s likely a derivative artifact of other processes.


Quote:
Their behaviour is not as well controlled by their internal voice.
… and right there is the problem. Control is control; it either exists, or it doesn’t. In terms of the logical function of neural structures, there isn’t any halfway. All neural structures seek the most appropriate response; it’s their only trick. So you can be certain that if they function at all, they’re working correctly.

So it’s the result of a correct operation that appears to be flawed, and looking for how that operation fails to be correct is a waste of time. What we need to determine is why the correct operation of the AD/HD kid’s neural structures resulted in behavior that appears incorrect.

That said, I should say that the concept of the ‘internal voice’ is likely only a slightly skewed representation of the normal activity that gives rise to conscious awareness. This is certainly driven by the social impulse, which is likely the original (and perhaps the only) source.

Its purpose is to allow us to communicate using the common model of reality; the drive to be normal and seek normalcy in others is intimately related to our sense of the stability of reality itself.


Quote:
Why should creativity hamper someone's ability to complete a task? ...or follow directions and rules? ADHDers are living in the moment because their internalized voice is impaired in it's ability to control behaviour in the present. The "lets go ride bikes", joke that is currently making the rounds illustrates this perfectly. Hey kid what does ADHD stand for? Attention deficit...hey, lets go ride bikes!!!

Finally creativity shouldn't hamper our ability to control our emotions. We know that folks with ADHD have great difficulty internalizing their emotions....think road rage. These kids are reacting in the moment with little thought to the consequences of their behaviour. Norms can shield their true feelings from others better. That is a plus in society because frequent displays of anger and frustration do not endear you to your peers. You are overreacting and that is about as desirable a behaviour as frequent farting. ADHDers wear their emotions on their sleeves. What does this have to do with creativity?

These are serious impairments which make life much more difficult for those with ADHD.
Granted, but as I’ve outlined above they don’t really arise in the simple direct way your model supposes.

When we get to the logical level at which behavior (and meaning itself) is defined, brains don’t fail halfway. Neural structures don’t make bad decisions; they make correct decisions based on bad information, which is as likely to be a sense that you don’t care what that decision is (if you’re a parent), or that you do care, but no decision will ultimately be correct in your eyes.

The same complex circumstances apply in school, or at work. And the determination of correctness may hinge only on whether your models are of a different form. Not being normal is often viewed as a more serious defect than outright factual error.

I teach you some set of facts, and you store them in a logical structure. If I find your stored version to be incorrect, is letting you store it a second time likely to change anything?

Nobody said it would be easy….

Tom and Kay


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

* Let’s not jump the gun and assign the disorders we’ve been discussing to physical causes just yet.

Everything we’ve mentioned with regard to AD/HD is defined in terms of externally observable behavior. At best we can only say they reflect the operation of the brain, which when it comes to high-level behavior is obviously defined logically.

That subtle transition from physically to logically defined function puts us in a situation that might very well be affected if we change the form of the structure that defines that logical operation.

We don’t choose to behave in a certain way because neurons fire in a particular pattern; we make the choice based on the meaning of that pattern in the logical context it’s defined. Regardless of whether we appear to choose wisely or poorly, the decision is based on logical function.

Outright failure (which does occur) is obvious: no choice is made. And although it’s possible for physical causes to affect the outcome of the logical operation, it’s difficult to imagine how they would easily account for the delicate effects typical in AD/HD.

The behavioral differences we experience seem huge, but compared to the infinite number of ways things could screw up, they’re almost trivial.

Since the logical operation is also subject to logical effects, which are directly related to the delicate behavioral artifacts we observe, a possible logical cause seems a much more attractive explanation.

And since we know the logical differences exist, it also seems reasonable to look at what effects they have, if for no other reason than to eliminate them from the rest of the equation when we look for possible physical causes.
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Old 05-07-06, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SB_UK
Bbbb!!! Cccc!!! ... ... until ... ... Zeee!!! (where it all goes wrong).
It's Zeddd!!! and not Zeee!!!
And EFff is Zeee!!! and not Zeddd!!!
Do Uccc???
That’s the UK version of that song we used to teach our kids, “AhhBeySayDayEeeEffJeeze…” (grins…)

In the immortal words of Fletch, “It’s all ball bearings these days, Vern.”
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Old 05-07-06, 02:08 AM
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Open up a computer and look at the chip under a magnifying glass.
The play 'Doom', and then browse through to the 'Forum' and then fire up 'Word' ... no matter how hard one looks at the chip with a 'looking glass', one will not see the changes which accompany switching between software of markedly different functionalities.
So switching the looking glass would seem sensible, and is all that is being suggested ... in this case, perhaps, switching on the montitor is enough :-)
This is an analogue of brain/mind, where brain is kinda' the chip ... and mind is kinda' the software ... with the analogy to mind/brain centred on different layers of abstraction.

So ... EF, remember the ZelazoZelazi review publication from T'ronto Uni ... remember the Intro sentence ... quote kinda' like --->
-~-
'EF is a poorly defined descriptive framework' "for the stuff that the mind does 'cos at this moment, and I'm being honest here, we don't have much of a clue"
-~-
Software running on hardware ... 'Word' running on a 'Pentium' chip ... is an illustration of different layers ... physical layer and the higher logical layer.
The 'logical' is often called 'virtual' ... the 'virtual' of 'virtual rrreality'.

Higher has nothing to do with a bearded chappie sitting on a cloud, as has recently been suggested.
Logical has nothing to do with spiritual.

Just plain, old sadly, quite boring terms ... the appearance of magic comes later ... through emergence.

SB.
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Old 05-07-06, 10:08 AM
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We have our three little Edward Greenspans. There are points made and then we go off on a tangent, a clever turn of phrase, a play on words, a play on letters...a play on ideas. We have terms that don't relate to anything. In the end we have campy communication, ideas for those in the know. Why did I say our three little Greenspans? Because a lot is said but you are not really sure what was said exactly, clarity would really be appreciated. Man, would I really love to see a paragraph with an opening sentence and three supporting sentences. How about three or more such paragraphs supporting a central idea? Ol' Einstein found a way to communicate complex ideas because he thought that was important. He may have had new ways of thinking about things but in the end he used conventional methods of communication so all could understand. If the goal is to illuminate others, put the light up on high so that you can see it clearly. What good are rays that are obstructed and refracted? That is, unless you are talking in code for the benefit of the exclusive few. Once you get past the counter culture thing and if your goal is to spread your ideas, then your communication should be inclusive to the conventions of the majority.

I will respond to the direct questions. What I have posted can stand by itself.
Quote:
If I am impaired in executive functioning i.e. my executive is like out to lunch then who is at the helm when I am writing this while talking on phone?
EF's is not your total brain. EF's control your behaviour by using learning from the past and projecting behaviour into the future. Most animals don't have EF's, yet they function fine. If your EF's were totally disabled you would live in the moment, as say your dog does.

Quote:
Listening to two different conversations and processing both? If indeed I am executively dysfunctional why is it I can do two task more effectively than a single boring one…If indeed my executive is out to lunch could it be the way to get him back to work is to make it more interesting=multi-tasking=under arousal seeks arousal= day dream=risk taking behavior = the question who is controlling all this internal traffic?
Things in the moment are not governed as much by EF's. Individual functions can be done just fine...and yes more interesting will capture your attention of the moment better. Interesting is more rewarding....it gives you that immediate feedback/ stimulus that ADHDers love.
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Old 05-07-06, 10:40 AM
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I wonder about the effect of ADHD on my executive functions. I am able to read aloud to my class, while checking e-mail, and grading papers when not on meds. While on meds I can only do one of those at a time.

While it is generally a postitive thing to be able to focus on one task, less mistakes that way, I can get more accomplished when multitasking!

Scuro,
thank you for bringing up the idea of organization of thoughts.

I'm like Chameleon in that I am intelligent and able to understand things well. My difficulty is the length and structure of many posts.

Maybe a way to help all who wish to participate would also be to alter the font in some way to note main ideas. When I make long posts, I use smilies to break it up as well as bold and underline my main points.

Although Tammy's posts tend to be long, I find them fairly easy to read because she talks off of her quotes. No offense intended to others, but it is difficult to read some people's posts.
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Old 05-07-06, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chloe516
While it is generally a postitive thing to be able to focus on one task, less mistakes that way, I can get more accomplished when multitasking!
I face that paradox, too.

I'm actually still able to multitask, but it I don't do so automatically as I did before meds. I am much more detailed now & the quality of my work has skyrocketed, but the quantity....
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Old 05-07-06, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meadd823
Now this is a point here……communication is all intercommunication in more whys than one!
…and remember, all communication is by definition bilateral.

It takes two to tangle,

one-for-all-and-all-for-one,

and there is no such thing as secret art…

As my old ballet teacher used to say, “Extension! Extension!


Quote:
P.S. Stabile you son warped math?…
No, he did something much cooler.

In Density Functional Theory (which won Walter Kohn half the chemistry Nobel in ’98) you get away with cutting lots of quantum mechanics calculations to the bone. That made it possible to calculate big stuff, like an entire piece of a crystal, in a few weeks or months on a supercomputer.

Now you can go a bit faster, of course, but Kohn’s method is still required – computers aren’t nearly fast enough to solve the wave functions of macroscopic objects. And the single most important assumption that makes DFT possible is regularity.

Everything has to fit into a regular pattern, so you only have to solve the problem for one small representative bit, a computational ‘cell’ of a few atoms that are assumed to represent the entire structure. So you mostly work with crystals, and only crystals at rest.

If you apply a force to one end, bend the sucker, the regularity goes out the window. This is a knotty problem, and some smart people steered Chris to Penn to work on it. What he did was apply the same obscure math Einstein used to describe the warp of space-time.

He warps the space occupied by the crystal, so that the DFT math thinks it’s still working on a nice regular crystal at rest, with no external stresses, everything lined up in nice rows and columns…
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Old 05-07-06, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scuro
We have our three little Edward Greenspans…
(giggles…) We can take that, no problem. You should have heard what they said about Bohr and Heisenberg, when they went off alone together hiking through the fiords…


Quote:
There are points made and then we go off on a tangent, a clever turn of phrase, a play on words, a play on letters...a play on ideas. We have terms that don't relate to anything…
You’re contradicting yerself here – the relationship is there. You even describe the process, right there in your statement.

It would be more accurate to say you don’t see it, or aren’t willing to accept its validity. But the relationships are certainly there. They’re what we’re trying to communicate, and saying they’re not there is usually just a clever way to avoid the responsibility of holding up your end of the process.

Communication is bilateral, by definition. (grins…)


Quote:
Man, would I really love to see a paragraph with an opening sentence and three supporting sentences...

…(much of the same deleted)…

Once you get past the counter culture thing and if your goal is to spread your ideas, then your communication should be inclusive to the conventions of the majority…
Counter-culture thing? (more grins…) Maybe you spent too much time drinking from unidentified jugs at be-ins, because your references are getting a bit obscure. (grins…)

Attacking other members with silly verbiage won’t further anybody’s understanding. But I think you knew that, eh?

It’s always seemed odd to us that intelligent people would shoot themselves in the foot by characterizing other members’ statements inaccurately. The problem is, the statements you’re flaming are right there for all to see, and pretty much aren’t anything like your characterization.

So it’s shooting yourself in the foot, like I said, and the interesting question to us is, what set you off this time?

There’s a world of distance between this:


Quote:
What? Have I actually stumbled onto a concise definition of what Stabile and you believe to be "metalevels"?
and this:


Quote:
We have our three little Edward Greenspans…
Smugness is usually ugly, but I think this is silly enough to avoid the big splotch.

Nevertheless, the question still stands: what set you off this time? Subtract the silly non-statements and all we have left is the pique, no real information about what you’re objecting to. Kind of like an intentional example of what you’re accusing others of doing, and that’s an interesting pattern we’ve all seen before, too.

Was it the fact we deprecate the concept of the ‘executive’ and support that opinion with factual statements? We’ve all (lots more than three, incidentally) noticed that you often don’t respond to actual factual statements, particularly when you want to push a pet idea, and particularly when it’s the so-called ‘executive’.

Although it’s not discourse, your refusal to respond civilly at odd times still communicates volumes. We just don‘t believe you’re actually committed to communicating what it looks like on the surface.

We’ve never seen any profit in assuming someone has bad intentions. It’s not because it’s counterproductive; it’s because we’ve actually never found it to be true. Except in rare circumstances, everybody wants to be nice, and works at it as best they can.

So the question, for the third time: what set you off this time? You were asking intelligent questions, and we were answering and then Bam! Nothing but the same tired effusive abusive silliness…

Do you have any thoughts on the matter? We’re being perfectly serious, despite the intentionally light tone. We want to understand what you think you’re seeing in the words posted by us and others, so we can figure out how to reach past that block for you.

Remember, we didn’t ‘invent’ metalevels; they’re a logical property, not our responsibility at all. We’ve described them concisely many times, in a few sentences, often because you’ve made a challenging statement about our use of the term.

We know you don’t really believe we’ve failed to be concise, if for no other reason than we can count our own sentences. And nobody really has any trouble grasping the idea, because an inherent understanding of logic is built in to all of us. It’s the tool by which we identify and organize patterns, the root of all information of any kind.

So when we hear you complain that we haven’t explained ‘metalevels’, or of not being concise, we know there’s something else going on in there.

And we’d like to understand it, particularly since it seems important enough to you that you keep bringing it up.

Whatca’ think? Can we wrestle something useful from this mess this time?

I think Einstein would have tried; he was a compassionate dude, interested in communicating his ideas clearly, just as you mentioned.
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Old 05-07-06, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chloe516
I wonder about the effect of ADHD on my executive functions. I am able to read aloud to my class, while checking e-mail, and grading papers when not on meds. While on meds I can only do one of those at a time.

While it is generally a postitive thing to be able to focus on one task, less mistakes that way, I can get more accomplished when multitasking!
Many of us have noticed that effect. But it’s something you can learn to control; once you get the trick, you’ll find it’s more like the drugs give you a choice about when and how you multitask. They don’t necessarily keep you from doing it.

Some find it easier to switch back and forth without the drugs after some experience, too; our son Bryan pretty much avoids drugs now except at rare moments like taking tests, but he’s able to do most of what he learned with them.

It doesn’t seem to be a permanent change in the brain so much as a learned familiarity with the modes of thought that bring about the effect. But heck, that’s a permanent change anyway, isn’t it? (grins…)


Quote:
I'm like Chameleon in that I am intelligent and able to understand things well. My difficulty is the length and structure of many posts.

Maybe a way to help all who wish to participate would also be to alter the font in some way to note main ideas. When I make long posts, I use smilies to break it up as well as bold and underline my main points.
(grins…)

My technical writing professor had a particular bug about that. Research shows that underlining, bolding, changing fonts and the like only detract from readability.

Comprehension and speed are both impacted, and a significant percentage of the population finds the distraction annoying.

We certainly do, but enforcing style in a casual forum like this would be unfair, so we don’t usually mention it. We do remove the unnecessary formatting when we quote text, though, so it won’t detract from what we’re presenting.


Quote:
Although Tammy's posts tend to be long, I find them fairly easy to read because she talks off of her quotes. No offense intended to others, but it is difficult to read some people's posts.
Everybody has difficulty with some styles, and it’s nice you feel comfortable with Tammy’s.

It’s changed a lot in the time we’ve known her, incidentally; it used to be a lot more like ours, but with fewer paragraphs. Stream of consciousness be thy name…

Then SB started playing games with words and letters, and she hasn’t been the same since. (grins…)

Style is personal, and it would be impossible for all of us to write like Tammy, or anyone else, for that matter. We’re individuals, and most of us are pretty stubborn about it.

Generally, when you want to get to the information presented, style doesn’t stop anybody.

Being openly critical about a particular style is a little rude, like publicly saying you don’t like certain individuals because of the color of their skin. Fortunately, you don’t have to face that sort of thing in these forums; we’re all equal here…
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Old 05-07-06, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by barbyma
EF is impaired, not absent. Also, EF is not what you are referring to in your examples…
We were going to post something about that, to the effect that what Tammy’s asking about isn’t really what researchers mean when they talk about the executive.

I think a lot of the confusion would dissipate if we could drop the false impression that the executive must represent real neural structures. There certainly isn’t any need for that connection in discussing the effects researchers connect with a ‘flawed executive function’.

A discussion in context would probably be useful to some of us. I had plenty of interesting conversations about behavior and the executive functions (there are more than one) back in the late Sixties, with some of the people that originally participated in coining the term.

We just need to stop pretending we’re talking about a part of our brains. Even if this would prove to be true, we don’t have any clear evidence for it now. (It would sure surprise the heck out of us, but anything’s possible.)


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There's a whole school of thought in my field that intelligence = creativity…
In a lot of other fields, too. Philosophers particularly love arguing the point.

The definition of both terms is always a little dicey, but sociologists and anthropologists have long fallen back on this connection, particularly in field work. Creativity can be quantified in a restricted sense by looking at such things as use of tools, variety of form in social interactions, and like that.

And in science fiction it’s assumed. That doesn’t mean the assumption automatically turns science into fiction, of course…
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Old 05-07-06, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by scuro
EF's is not your total brain. EF's control your behaviour by using learning from the past and projecting behaviour into the future. Most animals don't have EF's, yet they function fine. If your EF's were totally disabled you would live in the moment, as say your dog does.
‘Living in the moment’ in that sense doesn’t depend on any ‘executive’, present or not. There’s quite a bit of work on this sort of thing out there; look for the models of consciousness that characterize it as a sort of play or movie.

There’s an interesting article in the April 2006 Scientific American (Why Are Some Animals So Smart? pp. 64 – 71) about the evolution of intelligence in Orangutans. It touches on the way the internal model of reality develops, and how it becomes stretched beyond the moment through the process of social interaction.

Saying that animals don’t have executive functions is not a universally accepted interpretation, even among aficionados of the construct. Many of the elements of an executive are demonstrated by other species in certain circumstances.

There’s been serious discussion of morality in animals over the past several years. Some experimental subjects have shown a sense of how short-term self-denial can have long-term benefits.

Mothers instinctively plan ahead for the needs of their offspring, but they can adapt to a changing situation in doing so. That clearly requires an ability to apply several of the executive functions we commonly discussed in the Sixties: control of immediate behavior, control of long term goals, control with regard to the interests of the group, etc.

* * * * *

There’s something that always cracks us up about all this.

Our original interest in ‘executive functions’ was brought about when the people we were consulting in our work noticed that they seemed to require a sort of logical ‘view from above’, similar to one of the hallmarks of the differences in communication we were trying to understand.

Of course, we eventually realized (thanks to mathematician David Hilbert) that the ‘view from above’ implies operating on a different (usually higher) logical metalevel than the phenomena being viewed.

In effect, executive functions involve jumping up a metalevel to look down at the problems or processes you want to control, like a general planning a battle by pushing little figures around a big map.

That doesn’t really mean that we have an ‘executive’ working away inside our heads that makes use of metalevels. It’s only a reflection of the use of metalevels by those who originally created the linguistic framework.

Truth is, no matter how hard we try, we can’t come up with a need for any discrete ‘executive’.

Every behavioral artifact we’ve looked at only requires the same general neural architecture that defines the structures in the cerebellum, the visual processing that barbyma studies, the generation of that internal movie that corresponds to conscious awareness, anything you can think of.

When we look at the behavior that arises (and the associated experiential gestalt), we see patterns that look like an executive at work. But there isn’t anything actually in there doing it. It’s a kind of logical artifact, generated by the process of our perception of the patterns.
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Old 05-08-06, 03:22 AM
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The problem of comparing computers and brains has been discussed efore. I won't reiterate the entire discussion, but there are a numer of reasons why the comparison simply breaks down except at the most general levels. The biggest difference, though, is development and evolution. Computers were invented and improved upon, and a computer is built entirely before being turned on. The brain evolved over hundreds of millions of years, progressing and adapting, but each progression had to build from pre-existing structures. The brain is also not built all at once and then turned on, but develops through fetal stages and into childhood, and thus is working while it is still being built. These two issues cause the brain to differ dramatically from computers in their makeup.

There is another important thing to mention in this whole "mind vs. brain" issue. The brain is built from the same material as the rest of our bodies, it develops from the ectoderm, just like our skin does. Its makeup is determined genetically. The mind obviously develops later on through interactions with environment. The fact that certain behavioral disorders have a genetic link that functions even in situations of adoption and such, where the child is being raised outside of the environment of the parents implies a problem with brain structure, not mind. There are several studies linking the DRD-4 gene, and a DAT-producing gene with ADHD. There are several studies showing statistically significant likelyhood of developing ADHD based on whether one or oth parents have the disorder. These things point to a genetic neuroiological origin.

Finally, your points:

Quote:
-1-
ADHD is a graded characteristic, and a test for ADD status will not be possible.
One does not follow from the other. The ADD traits may occur on a continuum, with people displaying different levels of disability, ut this doesn't invalidate testing. In fact, most ADD tests measure the level of impairment and rate scores of impairment aove a specific level as being statistically significant.

Quote:
-2-
Extent of an individual's feelings of ADD (usually akin to impeded thought) vary with age (more importantly though view age as nurture, experience, development of mind). This idea is most clearly observed (from a personal persepective) in one's mid thirties.
Could also be explained neurologically, since the prefrontal cortex is one of the later-developing regions. However, I don't doubt that experience and coping strategies also play a role.

Quote:
-3-
Individuals at 5, 15, 25, 35 and 45 ... if it were possible for them to describe their thought processes simultaneously would have roughly similar experiential perspectives for their ADD ... since ADD is (as stated above), the personal experiential perspective of wielding a novel structure of mind which is (at these various ages), at different stages of construction.
Dunno, too speculative.

Quote:
-4-
ADD represents the final stages of a speciation event which began when man first adopted abstraction ... the ability to represent something with another something, which wasn't that something.
Highly unlikely for a number of reasons. For starters, speciation generally requires two things: reproductive isolation, and time. ADDers aren't reproductively isolated, so there's plenty of gene flow oth ways. Without reproductive isolation, ADDers genes and non-ADDers genes will mix, keeping speciation from occurring. Secondly, time is important. Speciation, at least in humans, requires a good bit of time. Far more than the 10,000 years speculated here. The peoples of the Americas were reproductively isolated from the rest of the human population for at least this long, possibly longer, and yet they are not a separate species, no speciation occurred. Ditto with Australian Aborigines. You need reproductive isolation and time in most situations. There are a few special circumstances, but they're not applicale here for a number of reasons.

Finally, I'd like to point out that if ADD is a condition of mind and not of neurobiological origin, how does this explain the efficacy and method-of-action of medication? Medication works at the neurobiological level, its method of action and efficacy are well-explained under a neurobiological definition of ADD. Why should your explanation be accepted as being more valid?
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