Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
The E=mc²
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Sunday, October 13th, 2019
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Catonsville, MD US 21250  


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Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
Photo by  Olav Ahrens Røtne  on  Unsplash
Earlier this month, Psychology Today blogger Harriet Dempsey-Jones wrote a post, " What Happens to Your Brain When You Use Your Feet as Hands? " that reported on a fascinating  study  (2019) she conducted with colleagues at University College London on how neuroplasticity reshapes the brain in foot artists without hands. Remarkably, foot painters' toes are mapped out like fingers in their brains.

By creating brain maps of artists who were born without either arm and use their feet and toes to make art, Dempsey-Jones and colleagues showed for the first time that the human brain has designated areas in the brain (much like monkeys) that evolved to control the fine-tuned movement of every toe. However, in modern-day, shoe-wearing civilization, these brain areas lie dormant. This lack of use causes atrophy and subsequent pruning to keep the brain streamlined.

Most of us use our fingers to navigate life, create music, and make art. Therefore, we typically have extremely well-organized brain areas designated to each of the 10 digits on our hands used to perform these tasks. Conversely, only a few scattered brain areas are typically designated to the dexterity of our 10 toes.

CLICK HERE to see how much of your brain you actually use.

March 26-27, 2020


for the first time
in 8 years

SAME great CONFERENCE in an all new place and all new space. Save the date today and watch #5Thoughts for more information as it becomes available.

If you would like to present with us next year, please fill out the online Call for Presentations Application by

Photo by  Tachina Lee  on  Unsplash
For centuries, the mental world of the mind and the physical world were treated as utterly distinct. While the movement of inanimate objects could be measured and ultimately predicted with the help of mathematics, the movement of organisms — their behavior — appeared to be shaped by different forces, under the control of the will.

About 200 years ago, the German physician Ernst Heinrich Weber made a seemingly innocuous observation which led to the birth of the discipline of Psychophysics  —  the science relating physical stimuli in the world and the sensations they evoke in the mind of a subject. Weber asked subjects to say which of two slightly different weights was heavier. From these experiments, he discovered that the probability that a subject will make the right choice only depends on the ratio between the weights.
For instance, if a subject is correct 75% of the time when comparing a weight of 1 Kg and a weight of 1.1 Kg, then she will also be correct 75% of the time when comparing two weights of 2 and 2.2 Kg  —  or, in general, any pair of weights where one is 10% heavier than the other. This simple but precise rule opened the door to the quantification of behavior in terms of mathematical ‘laws’.

Weber’s observations have since been generalized to all sensory modalities across many animal species, leading to what is now known as Weber’s Law. It is the oldest and most firmly established law in psychophysics. Psychophysical laws describe precise rules of perception and are important because they can be used to obtain mathematical explanations of behavior in terms of brain processes, just like the precise patterns of movement of the planets in the sky were useful to understand gravitation.

CLICK HERE NOW - to learn how the puzzle was solved.
For years, Laurie Branchaud lived in fear of a phone call.
“I was scared every day,” she says. Her son Ryan was struggling with opioid addiction and she dreaded a call from authorities telling her he had overdosed and died.

“I always used to say he would turn around or he would die. There were two options. I never thought of the middle option.”

While Ryan Branchaud did eventually overdose, he survived due to medical intervention but sustained a severe brain injury.
His story and others are featured in the upcoming New Hampshire PBS documentary  ROADS TO RECOVERY: OVERDOSE AND BRAIN INJURY  premiered Thursday, Sept. 5 at 8 p.m. 
The latest in a series of programs on substance misuse and recovery in New Hampshire, this installment investigates how brain injury can result from an overdose and how it can complicate addiction treatment.

A recent increase in brain injuries among overdose survivors is partially a result of improved medical treatment of overdoses. While the injuries are not always severe, they can complicate the treatment and recovery process.

CLICK HERE to watch this important 30 minute film.
What We are Reading We Think
You Might FInd Interesting
Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers,  The Water Dancer  is   a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen.

CLICK HERE to find this book released this week. .
5) Quote We Are Contemplating...

" Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day.”

Photo by  Aaron Burden  on  Unsplash
Stay Safe.
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  Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.