Tag Archives: Human ability

Living with a death sentence

Emily Rapp, a professor of creative writing at Santa Fe University, writes about how a parent deals with the knowledge that their child is dying of an incurable disease. She speaks of the need to parent in the moment, as … Continue reading

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Filed under Chronic illness, Love, Uncategorized

Down, but not Out

Remember watching Lorenzo’s Oil in 5th grade? Well Lorenzo’s father (who discovered a treatment for his son’s degenerative condition), it turns out, has a kindred spirit. Enter, Alberto Costa. When Costa’s daughter Tyche was born with Down Syndrome, he launched himself … Continue reading

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Filed under Chronic illness, Ethics, Love, Neuroscience, Research

If you squint

…your painting might be more convincing. Stereo blindness, or lack of depth perception, may actually be an advantage when it comes to art. Looking at the world through one eye at a time automatically “flattens the scene,” said Margaret S. Livingstone, … Continue reading

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Filed under Arts, History of Medicine

Shadows Bright as Glass

Once again this week we’re addressing the mind-body problem, this time through art. Writer Amy Nutt’s new book, Shadows Bright as Glass displays the artwork of Jon Sarkin, a chiropractor who suffered a severe stroke and found an new identity … Continue reading

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Filed under Literature, Neuroscience

“The surprising truth about what motivates us”

RSA Animate’s thoroughly entertaining look at what really motivates human beings. Hint: it’s not money. CliffsNotes version: sociological and economic studies have shown that increased pay can actually lead to decreased performance. What three factors are real people-movers? Autonomy, mastery, … Continue reading

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Filed under Research

The Other Batman

Daniel Kish was blind from retinoblastoma before the age of two. Today, he uses echolocation to read his surroundings. I accompanied Kish on several occasions as he cruised the busy streets of Long Beach. The outside world is an absolute … Continue reading

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Filed under Cancer

Update: Secrets of a Mindgamer

Quick update on last week’s post “Secrets of a Mindgamer.” The Times has a glowing review of Foer’s new book, Moonwalking with Einstein, on which the article was based. “His narrative is smart and funny and, like the work of Dr. … Continue reading

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Filed under Memory

Secrets of a Mind-Gamer

In 2005, journalist Joshua Foer set out to report on the USA Memory Championship and emerged as a victor in his own right the following year. How can someone of normal intelligence and memory learn to stretch his brain to … Continue reading

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Filed under Memory