Rather than write a normal review, below are various comments and quotes from this very interesting book.
I have looked up and added references because these were not given by the author, who mentioned author names only. (Page numbers below refer to paperback published in Great Britain 2010)
Ratey, John J & Hagerman, Eric (2008) Spark London: Quercus
The body was designed to be pushed, and in pushing our bodies we push our brains too. Learning and memory evolve in concert with motor functions allowed our ancestors to track down food, so as far as our brains are concerned, if we are not moving, there’s no real need to learn anything.” (p.53)
“the brain activity caused by exercise generates molecular by-products that can damage cells, but under normal circumstances, repair mechanisms leave cells hardier for future challenges. Neurons get broken down and built up just like muscles – stressing them makes them more resilient.” (p.60)
“… stress seems to have an effect on the brain similar to that of vaccines on the immune system. In limited doses, it causes brain cells to overcompensate and thus gird themselves against future demands. Neuroscientists call this phenomenon stress inoculation… Assuming that the stress is not too severe and that the neurons are given time to recover, the connections become stronger and our mental machinery works better. Stress is not a matter of good and bad – it’s a matter of necessity.” (p.61) (italics in original)
“humans are unique among animals in that the danger doesn’t have to be clear and present to elicit a response – we can anticipate it; we can remember it; we can conceptualize it.… There is an important flipside… we can literally run ourselves out of [stress]… we can alter our mental state by physically moving…” (p.63)
People with ADHD “have to get stressed to focus… it’s only when stress unleashes norepinephrine and dopamine, that they can sit down and do the work. The need for stress also explains why ADHD patients sometimes seem to shoot themselves in the foot. When everything is going well, they need to stir up the situation, and they subconsciously find a way to create a crisis.” (p.65)
“… Cortisol isn’t simply good or bad. Little helps wire in memories; too much suppresses them; and an overload can actually erode the connections between neurons and destroy memories.” (p 67)
“Palaeolithic men had to walk five to ten miles on an average day, just to be able to eat.” (p.69)
Helen Mayberg “inserted an electrode into the subgenual cortex in half a dozen severely depressed patients, for whom every other form of medical treatment had failed.… All six patients spontaneously described sensations such as a “disappearance of the void” right there on the operating table, the second the electrodes were switched on. Four of them eventually achieved full remission.” (p133)
“anti-depressants seem to work through a bottom-up chain of events… [They] relieve the physical effects first – we feel more energetic before we feel less sad.… With cognitive behavioral therapy and psychotherapy, we feel better about ourselves before we feel better physically.… The beauty of exercise is that it attacks the problem from both directions at the same time.” (p.134-135)
“… the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for inhibiting impulses, doesn’t develop fully until we are in our early twenties.” (p.158)
“… effects of exercise in ADHD kids… in boys, rigorous exercise improved their ability to stare straight ahead and stick out their tongue, for example, indicating better motor reflex inhibition… Girls didn’t show this improvement… [for] another measure related to the sensitivity of dopamine synapses… Boys fared better after maximal exercise and girls after submaximal exercise…” (p.159)
[Addiction] “Exercise builds synaptic detours around the well-worn connections automatically looking for the next fix.” (p.169)
Olds & Milner found that a rat would return to a corner to be stimulated with an electric shock even when food was placed in a different corner. The rat also learned to push the lever to give itself electric shocks, which it did until the power was switched off, after which it fell asleep. (p.170)
“for the developing substance abuser, the overload of dopamine has tricked the brain into thinking that paying attention to the drug as a matter of life or death.” (P.171)
Once a reward has the brain’s attention the scenario and sensation are remembered and the synaptic connections get triggered – in addiction, the brain has learned something too well – we have a habit. (p. 172)
Gene-Jack Wang quoted “In the Chinese language, a subject is an animal, and an object is a vegetable… You cannot ask a vegetable to jump from here to there. If you don’t move, you are not an animal any more – you become a vegetable!” (p.175 in Ratey & Hagerman)
“A groundbreaking study in 1990 revealed, for instance, that a lot of alcoholics have a gene variation (the D2R2 allele) that robs the reward centre of dopamine receptors, lowering levels of the neurotransmitter. Presence of the D2R2 allele doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up as an addict, but it’s more likely.… Results tell of similar story with gamblers and the morbidly obese… If the reward centre isn’t receiving enough input, your genetically predisposed to be constantly craving, relentlessly searching for a way to compensate for the deficit.… The amygdala gets involved because it thinks survival is at risk… (p. 176)
“… Fits in high-risk sports like skydiving, display less inhibition and more thrill-seeking behaviour than, say, rowers… Many skydivers don’t experience pleasure from typical daily life. Both skydivers and addicts have a higher-than-normal threshold for excitement… Other research shows that drugs… Damage D2 receptors… The more drugs you take the more drugs you’ll need to feel the same rush.” (p.177)
“… neurotransmitters anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) … Marijuana, exercise, and chocolate all activate the same receptors in the brain.” (p.183)
“… Both exercise and abstinence from alcohol not only stop the damage but also reverse it – increasing neurogenesis and thus regrowing the hippocampus of adult rats.… A group of Australian researchers… measured the effect of a two-month exercise program… [found that] behaviour related to self-regulation took a turn for the better.… [the students] increased “their visits to the gym… smoked less, drank less caffeine and alcohol, ate more healthy food and less junk food, curbed impulse spending and overspending, and lost their tempers less often. They procrastinated less and kept more appointments. And, they didn’t leave the dishes in the sink – at least not as often.” (p.188)
PMS – in another study it was found that women with PMS had an impaired ability to ‘trap’ tryptophan in the prefrontal cortex so that less serotonin was produced, and those with this depletion had an increased tendency towards aggressiveness. (p.194-195)
Catherine Monk “… found that when pregnant mothers with clinical anxiety are asked to participate in a stressful event, such as making a short speech in front of the group, their fetuses’ heart rates are overactive and don’t calm down as quickly as fetuses of mothers without clinical anxiety.” (p.199)
James Clapp found that babies from a group of mothers who exercise during pregnancy were more responsive to stimuli and better able to call themselves following a disturbance. He theorised that physical activity jostles the baby in the womb, and he found statistically significant differences in IQ and oral language skills at five years of age. (p.201)
Similar results are found in rat pups, who had fewer neurons in the hippocampus at birth but had 40% more after six weeks than those born of rat mothers who did not exercise. (p.202)
However, Brian Christie found that brain damage in rats born to mothers who had consumed ethanol could be reversed after birth through exercise. (p.203)
“in the brain, when neurons get worn down from cellular stress, synapses erode, which eventually severs the connections.… the brain is designed to compensate by rerouting information around dead patches in the network and recruiting other areas to help with trafficking.… we’re talking about one hundred billion neurons, each of which might have up to one hundred thousand inputs. It’s a very social network that thrives on making new connections and, as I’ve mentioned, is constantly rewiring itself and adapting – provided there is enough stimulation to spur the growth of new connections.” (p.222)
“The intensity level of strength training seems to affect results, in that moderate weights have been shown to have a more positive impact than heavy weights, at least in a small group of older women. Other research has shown that high-intensity strength training actually increases anxiety levels in both men and women.” (p.259)
Ekkekakis has researched the relationship between exercise intensity and discomfort. “… He has found that once they cross the line [from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism] almost everyone reports negative feelings on psychological tests and high ratings on scales of perceived exertion. It’s your brain putting you on alert that there is an emergency. The point is, if you feel lousy even at lower intensity level, don’t take on interval training in the early stages of your new routine.” (p.260)
Acevedo, Edmund, Ekkekakis, Panteleimon, (2006) Psychobiology of Physical Activity Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers
Christie, Brian R., Redila, Van, Swann, Sarah E., Olson, Andrea K., Mohades, Gisou, Webber, Alina J., Weinberg, Joanne (2006), Hippocampal cell proliferation is reduced following prenatal ethanol exposure but can be rescued with voluntary exercise Hypocampus 16:3 305-311 https://doi.org/10.1002/hipo.20164
Clapp, James (2002) Exercising Through Your Pregnancy Omaha, NE: Addicus Books Inc
Mayberg, Helen S. Lozano, Andres M., Voon, Valerie, McNeely, Heather E., Seminowicz, David, Hamani, Clement, Schwalb, Jason M., Kennedy, Sidney H. (2005) Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression, Neuron 45: 5 651-660 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2005.02.014
Monk, Catherine, Myers, MM, Sloan, RP, Ellman, LM, Fifer, WP (2003) Effects of women's stress-elicited physiological activity and chronic anxiety on fetal heart rate. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. 24: 1 32-8.
Olds, James & Milner, Peter (1954) Positive reinforcement produced by electrical stimulation of septal area and other regions of rat brain. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 47: 6 419-427
Wang, Gene-Jack – unable to trace a publication in which the comment about Chinese language appeared
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In Hay (2012) I proposed 4 elements to autonomy:
“awareness - being in the here-and-now, knowing who we and others really are
alternatives - having several options for how we might behave, being able to choose what to do
authenticity - knowing that we can be our real selves and still be OK, not having to wear a mask
attachment - being able to connect and bond with other people” (p. 16)
Prompted by students at a workshop in Hertford, I have picked up on material by Drego (2006) and Moodie (2005) and added a fifth that reflects ‘responsibility’ to the original Berne (1964) version of awareness, spontaneity and intimacy:
accountability – accepting responsibility for our own behaviour, recognising that we act based on our own decisions (and that we can change previous decisions)
Drego (2006) had commented on a workshop that had been run by Moodie (2005) about the way that early social responsibility had developed in Scotland, and wrote that Berne's (1972) three-handed position of "I'm, OK, You're OK, They're OK" envelops both individual and social freedoms. It spans both individual wholeness and mutual responsibility [italics added] between individuals and between groups. (p. 90).
Recently, a colleague mentioned how Richo (2002) and Yacovelli (2008) present the components for mindful loving and emotional fulfilment (respectively), and that prompted me to think that we need to add more about ‘the other side’ of autonomy. In his original description of autonomy, Berne mentioned spontaneity, awareness and intimacy - only intimacy has a focus on ‘the other’.
I can see that a more cocreative view of autonomy might include:
I prefer not to use appreciation or approval, as both of these imply that our sense of OKness is dependent on the opinion of someone else. However, affection, attention, and acceptance seem to me to be useful additions to how we think about autonomy.
These ideas stimulated me to look at the five elements I had already to think about how each of these might be presented in a cocreative manner – below is the result:
Berne, E (1964) Games People Play, New York: Grove Press
Drego, P (2006) Freedom and Responsibility: Social Empowerment and the Altruistic Model of Ego States Transactional Analysis Journal 36: 2 90-104
Hay, J (2012) Donkey Bridges for Developmental TA Hertford: Sherwood
Hay, J (2014) Extending the Donkey Bridge for Autonomy IDTA Newsletter 9:1 8
Moodie, A. (2005, 8 July). Robert Burns, the Scottish enlightenment & TA. Workshop presented at the World TA Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland
Richo, David (2002) How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Relationships Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications
Yacovelli, Dyan (2008) The 5 “As”: Acceptance, Affection, Appreciation, Approval, and Attention: The Journey to Emotional Fulfillment. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse Inc
© 2018 Julie Hay
Julie is a fan of open access publishing, so feel free to reproduce any of these blogs, as long as you still attribute it to her.
Since I've started blogging regularly, I've realised I actually have blogs posts I did for other people many years ago. So, here are links to some of my old blog articles from around the web.
Published on the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Marketing) website:
Hay, J. (2013). How to make change happen [online] Ipa.co.uk. Available at: http://ipa.co.uk/blog/search/how-to-make-change-happen-/10160#.WhKt00pl-Uk
Hay, J. (2013). Improve your client agency relationships [online] Ipa.co.uk. Available at: http://ipa.co.uk/page/improve-your-client-agency-relationships-with-professor-julie-hay-#.WhKv40pl-Uk
Hay, J. (2013). Are you and your client on the same wavelength? [online] Ipa.co.uk. Available at: http://www.ipa.co.uk/blog/careers/are-you-and-your-client-on-the-same-wavelength/10332#.WhLV_kpl-Uk
Hay, J. (2013). What's your working style? [online] Ipa.co.uk. Available at: http://www.ipa.co.uk/blog/careers/whats-your-working-style/10331#.WhLX8Epl-Uk
Hay, J. (2013). Different strokes for different folks [online] Ipa.co.uk. Available at: http://www.ipa.co.uk/blog/careers/different-strokes-for-different-folks-/10211#.WhLkHEpl-Uk
Published on the BREFI group website:
Hay, J. (1993). Change & the competence curve. [online] Brefigroup.co.uk. Available at: http://www.brefigroup.co.uk/articles/julie_hay.html
© 2018 Julie Hay
Julie is a fan of open access publishing so feel free to reproduce any of these blogs as long as you still attribute it to her.
Some recent coaching prompted me to think about how a manager might use the concept of discounting to provide feedback in as effective a way as possible.
Apart from a discussion about the relative benefits and disadvantages of using Functional Adult ego state, which might sound too logical, versus Controlling Parent ego state, which as a behavioural option is appropriate when we want to appear to be firm (rather than overdoing it and sounding authoritarian), I was prompted to produce the following notes about how we might use my model of steps to success.
1. Talk to them neutrally about what you have noticed in terms of their behaviour, so that you can check that they do realise/accept that you have observed them accurately. It may be that they have a different perception of what they are doing or there might be some other explanation that you are not aware of, or you might be being selective and not noticing other things that they do. Letting them tell you about the other things does not mean that you cannot continue to talk about the aspects that are a problem – it just means that they can't justify to themselves that you just don't know what they are really doing.
2. Talk to them, again neutrally, about why the way they are behaving is leading to problems. If you can get them to identify the problems the following steps will be easier. If they are discounting the problems, then you will need to describe the results of their behaviour in a way that shows how the outcomes are not useful for the organisation. Perhaps it means that their relationships with colleagues and customers are not good enough, or is costing the company money. You need to be able to state some definite and significant negative outcomes arising from what they are doing – if you cannot do this, then maybe you are just objecting to the way they behaved because you don't like it. Again, they need to accept that the problems are there and that the problems are significant. You are 'walking them up the steps 'so that they are no longer discounting.
3. If you cannot get them to agree about the steps 1 and 2, you need to revisit them. Once they have accepted the same perspective as you, then you can move on to step 3 and start discussing solutions. It is obviously better if they can come up with the solutions but beware of assuming discounting when someone really does not know anything different. You can check this out – if you offer a tentative solution, do they consider it or do they play Yes but. Be ready for them to object that they do not have the skills or that the solutions will not work – this at least means that they are no longer discounting the situation and the significance of it.
4. Hopefully by now you can be talking to them about whether they have the skills needed for whatever options are required. You may need to help them realise that they already have the skills, which they may have demonstrated in some other circumstances and may genuinely not realise are transferable. Alternatively, maybe they need to learn some additional skills, so they need to be offered some training or coaching.
5. Having sorted out the skills, the next level of discounting is usually that the person feels that they cannot put together any plan of implementation. For example, they are too busy to start with this new way of working now, or it would need additional resources that they do not have, et cetera. This step is about working out the strategy, putting together an action plan that is measurable, manageable and motivational – in other words, that passes the test of Parent, Adult and Child ego states – the outcome can be measured in some way, it is realistic for them to achieve, and there is something worthwhile to the individual about the outcome. No vague statements about doing more of something, no expectations of outcomes that they do not have the skills or resources to achieve, and no expecting them to put effort into something from which the outcome has no value to them – or even worse, will just cause them problems somewhere or with someone else.
6. The final step might be called Success but might also be labelled Sabotage. This is where you might prompt them to consider how they can make sure that they implement the plan. What support will they need, from whom can they get it, and particularly what stroking will result when they start to behave differently – at this point, you should already have worked out how you will ensure that they receive strokes for the changed behaviour. This is particularly important because other people are likely to be giving them negative strokes in an unconscious effort to keep them behaving in the same old way that other people expect. This is also the step where you might help them realise that we all sabotage ourselves sometimes, maybe through limiting beliefs, so that they might recognise their own unhelpful habits (or where you might realise that their personal/professional issues are such that they need counselling).
© 2018 Julie Hay
Julie is a fan of open access publishing so feel free to reproduce any of these blogs as long as you still attribute it to her.