The Cause of Internet and TV Addiction?
· Naturally Occurring Substances
"In contrast, arithmetic stimulated brain activity in both the left and right hemispheres of the frontal lobe"
"[Kawashima] compared brain activity in children playing Nintendo games with those doing an exercise called the Kraepelin test, which involves adding single-digit numbers continuously for 30 minutes…
Studies confirmed the high level of brain activity involved in carrying out simple addition and subtraction and that this activity was particularly pronounced in the frontal lobe, in both the left and right hemispheres.
Though it is often thought that only the left hemisphere is active for mathematical work and that the right hemisphere is stimulated by more creative thinking, the professor found that arithmetic produced a high level of activity in both hemispheres.
In subsequent studies, Kawashima established that arithmetic exercises also stimulate more brain activity than listening to music or listening to reading."
What are Catecholamines?
"Any of several compounds occurring naturally in the body that serve as hormones or as neurotransmitters in the sympathetic nervous system [the part of the nervous system that mobilizes the body for action.]."
· "Epinephrine [adrenaline] and norepinephrine [noradrenaline], which are also hormones, are secreted by the adrenal medulla, and
· Norepinephrine is also secreted by some nerve fibers."
"The catecholamines include such compounds as
· Epinephrine, or adrenaline,
· Norepinephrine [or noradrenaline], and
"These substances prepare the body to meet emergencies such as cold, fatigue, and shock…"
"…Norepinephrine [noradrenaline] is probably a chemical transmitter at nerve synapses."
· "Dopamine is an intermediate in the synthesis of epinephrine [adrenaline];
· In addition, a deficiency of dopamine in the brain is responsible for the symptoms of Parkinson's disease . Medical administration of the drug L-dopa, which is presumed to be converted to dopamine in the brain, relieves the symptoms."
"Epinephrine [adrenaline] is used medically
· To stimulate heartbeat and
· To treat
· In the treatment of the eye disease glaucoma."
Note: Norepinephrine is also known as noradrenaline.
What is Norepinephrine?
"A neurotransmitter in the catecholamine family that mediates chemical communication in the sympathetic nervous system [the part of the nervous system that mobilizes the body for action.], a branch of the autonomic nervous system [the nervous system that governs involuntary actions.]."
"Like other neurotransmitters, it is released at synaptic nerve endings to transmit the signal from a nerve cell to other cells."
"Norepinephrine is almost identical in structure to epinephrine [adrenaline], which is released into the bloodstream from the adrenal medulla under sympathetic activation."
Causes of Norepinephrine Secretion
"It is stored in chromaffin granules in the adrenal medulla, in much smaller amounts than epinephrine [adrenaline], and secreted in response to hypotension and physical stress;"
Heart Rate, Blood Pressure
"The sympathetic nervous system functions in response to short-term stress; hence norepinephrine and epinephrine increase the heart rate as well as blood pressure."
"Other actions of norepinephrine include
· Increased glycogenolysis (the conversion of glycogen to glucose ) in the liver,
· Increased lipolysis (the conversion of fats to fatty acids; see fats and oils ) in adipose (fat) tissue, and
· Relaxation of bronchial smooth muscle to open up the air passages to the lungs.
All of these actions represent a mobilization of the body's resources in order to meet the stressful challenge—such a response is often termed the 'flight or fight' syndrome."
"In contrast to epinephrine it has little effect on
· Bronchial smooth muscle,
· Metabolic processes, and
· Cardiac output,
Has strong vasoconstrictive effects [causes
a narrowing of an opening of a blood vessel, maintains or increases blood
pressure] and is used pharmacologically as a vasopressor [a
medication that raises blood pressure], primarily as the bitartrate salt.
· The Brain: Endorphins: Causes of Endorphin Release (Drums, Alpha Rhythm)
Note: I believe that computer addiction, Internet addiction, game addiction, television addiction, etc., are all similar conditions.
"[Kawashima] found that the computer game only stimulated activity in the parts of the brain associated with vision and movement."
"The students who played computer games were halting the process of brain development and affecting their ability to control potentially anti-social elements of their behaviour."
Reading Out Loud
"Stuttering is different from other disorders in that individuals who stutter can become fluent, for instance, by singing or reading aloud at the same time with another individual. We measured their brain activity when they were stuttering and when they were fluent. We then compared them to normal controls doing the same tasks. First we had them read out loud--alone and stuttering. Then we had them reading out loud with another person at the same time. When stutterers read out loud with another person, they are almost completely fluent. We utilized this technique [PET imaging] to see what changes [occur] in individuals who stutter when they are fluent compared to when they are stuttering."
"PT: We understand you traced stuttering to a spot in the left caudate of the brain?
Actually the left striatum, which includes the caudate. We found that activity in this area tends to be low in individuals who stutter, whether they are fluent or not.
They're also low when they are stuttering in the Broca's area, the Wernicke's area and associated areas in the frontal lobe and portions of the cerebellum. They are able to activate or normalize these areas when they are fluent by speaking aloud with another person. When fluent, the cortical areas increase to normal levels, but the striatum remains low. So it looks like low functioning in the striatum is a trait marker.
This suggests that induced fluency through reading aloud with another person activates an alternate speech pathway. However, we have to caution that this is just a preliminary study, although we have built upon our earlier preliminary data with some unpublished material which does confirm this. What's interesting, too, is that we've recently completed an F-dopa PET study which measures the levels of presynaptic dopamine in the brain. We postulate that individuals who stutter may have high levels of dopamine activity. We know that individuals with schizophrenia have low function of the striatum that is increased with antipsychotic medicine. And we know from earlier studies with haloperidol [Haldol] that stuttering is improved with medications that block dopamine, but the side effects are just too great for people to stay on it."
Reading Along with an Audio Book
· Look for audio books that are unabridged. Abridged versions have been edited and only include a portion of the complete work.
· Unabridged audio books can be expensive. You may be able to find audio books at your local library.
Reading: Eyestrain and Fatigue
Reading: Improving Mobility
· "This amino acid is the building block for the nerve chemicals dopamine, epinephrine (adrenaline), and norepinephrine (noradrenaline). These three help regulate levels of arousal and anxiety.
· Stress depletes tyrosine from the blood, which limits the amount available for manufacturing nerve chemicals.
· Supplements of tyrosine might boost memory, but only when there is a deficit caused by stress or aging. Whether supplements improve thinking ability in other people is unknown. (Page 215)"
Book: Somer, Elizabeth, M.A., R.D. Food & Mood. Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 1999.
"Like tryptophan [a building block of serotonin], tyrosine is found in protein-rich foods. Unlike tryptophan, tyrosine levels in the blood and brain rise when a person consumes pure tyrosine or, to a lesser extent, eats a protein-rich meal. The same processes that lower tryptophan levels-that is, high levels of competing amino acids and no insulin-are the very processes that favor tyrosine. Consequently, tyrosine and tryptophan are at odds with one another (Page 16)"
Book: Somer, Elizabeth, M.A., R.D. Food & Mood. Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 1999.