Tag Archives: Ph.D.

Personal Brain Management (PSYCTRY 182) is offered at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.

Personal Brain Management begins with a basic overview of brain function, and then moves on to consider some of the “management” methods that exist already, and what the future may hold. Among these topics are new methods for predicting our own futures and modeling ‘what if’ scenarios that might alter risks and benefits of different courses of action, based on our individual genetic background and other elements of personal history and environmental exposures. Key principles from the science of behavior change are introduced, illustrating how important health-related behavioral habits are, and how difficult these can be to change, and why. The course then covers a series of topics that center on personal enhancement of well-being through consideration of stress management, long-term goal and value identification, mapping of long-term goals onto immediate actions, reinforcement learning, meditation, Neurofeedback, and time management. The course emphasizes critical appraisal of tools that are already finding their way to the marketplace, and aims to help students distinguish scientifically validated procedures from those that are not. Final lectures emphasize creative cognition and the concept of “flow”, focusing on what this actually may mean in terms of brain function.

Personal Brain Management Syllabus
1: Course Introduction and Overview
o Personal Brain Management
 why now?
 how is it different from other ‘self-help’ methods?
o Brain orientation
 quick summary of brain evolution
 basic frontal-posterior (output-input) organization
 mismatch detection, resonance and resonance failure
o Neurofeedback
 General principles of biofeedback
 Introduction to MyndPlay system software
o Optional Reading-Homework:
 YouTube video on PBM from TEDx San Diego, 2010: http://youtu.be/rG494qden64.
 Gruzelier, J. (2009). “A theory of alpha/theta neurofeedback, creative performance enhancement, long distance functional connectivity and psychological integration.” Cognitive Processing 10(0): 101-109.
 LaConte, S. M. (2011). “Decoding fMRI brain states in real-time.” Neuroimage 56(2): 440-454.
2: Personal Predictive Modeling
o Predicting health outcomes from genes and biology
o Aging applications and face-aging software
o Predicting health outcomes from behavioral monitoring
o Predicting depression risk
o As easy as it looks?; assessing causal relations, probability calculus, counterfactuals
o Reading-Homework:
 Saphire-Bernstein, S., B. M. Way, et al. (2011). “Oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) is related to psychological resources.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 10.1073/pnas.1113137108
 (optional) Alloy, L. B., L. Y. Abramson, et al. (2006). “Prospective incidence of first onsets and recurrences of depression in individuals at high and low cognitive risk for depression.” Journal of Abnormal Psychology 115(1): 145.
 (optional) Kendler, K. S. and C. O. Gardner (2010). “Dependent Stressful Life Events and Prior Depressive Episodes in the Prediction of Major Depression: The Problem of Causal Inference in Psychiatric Epidemiology.” Arch Gen Psychiatry 67(11): 1120-1127.
 ALSO: Implications of DNA scanning: “My Genome Myself” by Pinker (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/magazine/11Genome-t.html)
 “DNA as Destiny” by Duncan (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.11/dna.html?pg=4&topic=&topic_set=)
3: – Basics of Behavior Change
o Stages of Change model: Prochaska
 Stages: Precontemplative, Contemplative, Preparation, Action, Maintenance
 Matching treatments to stages of change
o Brain-based theories of reward, learning and decision-making
o Reading-Homework:
 Prochaska, J. O. (2008). “Decision Making in the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change.” Medical Decision Making 28(6): 845-849.
 (optional) Rushworth, M. F. S., M. P. Noonan, et al. (2011). “Frontal Cortex and Reward-Guided Learning and Decision-Making.” Neuron 70(6): 1054-1069.
 (optional) Prochaska, J. O. (2008). “Multiple Health Behavior Research represents the future of preventive medicine.” Preventive Medicine 46(3): 281-285.
4: Self-Monitoring: Experience Sampling and Logging
o Mood monitor, c/o Margie Morris
o Affectiva tools, measuring skin conductance and facial expression for marketing, personal development?
o Reading-Homework:
Fletcher, R. R., K. Dobson, et al. (2010). “iCalm: Wearable sensor and network architecture for wirelessly communicating and logging autonomic activity.” Information Technology in Biomedicine, IEEE Transactions on 14(2): 215-223.
5: Brain Training
o Education as brain training
o Psychotherapy as brain training
o Brave new world of on-line brain training exercises – panacea or snake oil?
o See Lumosity, Posit Science, Google “brain training”
o Reading-Homework:
 Jaeggi, S. M., M. Buschkuehl, et al. (2008). “Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105(19): 6829. [see also “Brain Workshop” where you can download and play the game that yielded generalized improvement…]
 Optional Reading-Homework: Bryck, R. L. and P. A. Fisher (2011). “Training the brain: Practical applications of neural plasticity from the intersection of cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, and prevention science.” American Psychologist.
o InBoxZero: a mantra for the multi-taskers of the world (see Merlin Mann website/video)
o Getting Things Done (GTD): David Allen’s system, with a focus on “stress-free” productivity
o How the brain works in responsive (under stimulus control) versus projectional (under volitional control) modes, and how this relates to our inbox loads and fixation on incoming messages rather than our own plans and goal
o Reading-Homework:
GTD – Finding Your Inside Time (PDF), Getting Email Under Control (PDF), and Micro-Managing Your Mind.
 (Optional) try your own Core Dump!
7: Mobile Health and Psychotherapy
o mHealth overview and future directions
o mHealth applications for brain health, psychological health
o Behavioral Activation and Cognitive Therapies
BAT: principles of aligning long-term goals & values with immediate actions
CBT: principles of re-evaluating one’s own thoughts
o Reading-Homework:
Morris, M. E., Q. Kathawala, et al. (2010). “Mobile therapy: Case study evaluations of a cell phone application for emotional self-awareness.” Journal of Medical Internet Research 12(2): e10.
Optional Reading-Homework: Estrin, D. and I. Sim (2010). “Open mHealth Architecture: An Engine for Health Care Innovation.” Science 330(6005): 759.
Optional Reading-Homework: Newman, M. W., D. Lauterbach, et al. (2011). It’s not that I don’t have problems, I’m just not putting them on Facebook: Challenges and Opportunities in Using Online Social Networks for Health, ACM.
8: Buddhism & the Brain
o Developing mind control; the last few eons of experience
o Modern links of Buddhism & neuroscience
o Mindful awareness, brain function, and health
o The Yerkes-Dodson Law: inverted U curve relating anxiety or arousal to performance
o How to find the “sweet spot” of arousal with respect to your proficiency in a given task
 Reading-Homework: Lutz, A., H. A. Slagter, et al. (2008). “Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12(4): 163-169.
9: Brain & Creativity
o Creativity defined: novelty & utility
o Big C and little c
o Dimensions of creative cognition: generation, working memory, response inhibition
o Persistence, Openness, and Dis-Agreeableness – plus the 10,000 hour effect
o Flow and the psychology of optimal experience
o Reading-Homework:
 M. Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, “Enhancing Personal Creativity” (chapter)
 Liane Gabora, Revenge of the ‘Neurds’: Characterizing Creative Thought in terms of the Structure and Dynamics of Memory, Creativity Research Journal (see http://www.vub.ac.be/CLEA/liane/papers/neurds.htm)
 Dietrich, A. and R. Kanso (2010). “A review of EEG, ERP, and neuroimaging studies of creativity and insight.” Psychol Bull 136(5): 822-848.
 Arden, R., R. S. Chavez, et al. (2010). “Neuroimaging creativity: A psychometric
view.” Behavioural Brain Research 214(2): 143-156.
 Seligman, M. E. P. and M. Csikszentmihalyi (2000). “Positive psychology: An introduction.” American Psychologist 55(1): 5-14.
10: You And Your Machines
o Dialectic – Ray Kurzweil (The Singularity is Near) versus Jaron Lanier: You Are Not a Gadget
o Ethical implications of modifying brain function
o Reading-Homework:
 excerpts from “You Are Not a Gadget” by Jaron Lanier
 (optional) Newman, M. W., D. Lauterbach, et al. (2011). It’s not that I don’t have problems, I’m just not putting them on Facebook: Challenges and Opportunities in Using Online Social Networks for Health, ACM

The course is offered by Dr. Robert Bilder, Ph.D., ABPP who is Michael E. Tennenbaum Family Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine and Professor of Psychology UCLA College of Letters and Science

Dr. Robert Bilder: Personal Brain Management TedX San Diego (Video)

For more information about Personal Brain Management (PSYCTRY 182) at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, please visit: http://www.summer.ucla.edu/institutes/BrainMindWellness/curriculum.htm

The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D is a brain guidebook for parents. Parents can have a positive and important impact on helping kids develop brain skills. Siegel and Bryson clearly explain how the brain develops, pointing out specific examples of the brain at work in various situations

Your toddler throws a tantrum in the middle of a store. Your preschooler refuses to get dressed. Your fifth-grader sulks on the bench instead of playing on the field. What is happening? It is just their developing brain calling the shots! In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling book Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson demystify the meltdowns and aggravation, explaining the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures.

The “upstairs brain,” which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-twenties. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. No wonder kids can seem—and feel—so out of control. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth. Raise calmer, happier children using twelve key strategies, including

– Name It: Corral raging right-brain behavior through left-brain storytelling, appealing to the left brain’s affinity for words and reasoning to calm emotional storms and bodily tension.

– Engage, Don’t Enrage: Keep your child thinking and listening, instead of purely reacting.
Move It or Lose It: Use physical activities to shift your child’s emotional state.

– Let the Clouds of Emotion Roll By: Guide your children when they are stuck on a negative emotion, and help them understand that feelings come and go.

– SIFT: Help children pay attention to the Sensations, Images, Feelings, and Thoughts within them so that they can make better decisions and be more flexible.

Dr. Daniel Siegel abou the The Whole-Brain Child
Interview with Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.
November 16, 2011

Dr. Dan Siegel speaks with Studio 4 host Fanny Kiefer about Parenting for the 21st Century. Dr. Siegel provides strategies that promote the growth of neural circuits in children’s brains to support well-being, kindness and resilience. The information is designed for parents, grandparents and other adults who work with children and families.

Praise: The Whole-Brain Child
“In their dynamic and readable new book, Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson sweep aside the old models of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ parenting to offer a scientific focus: the impact of parenting on brain development. Parents will certainly recognize themselves in the lively ‘aha’ anecdotes that fill these pages. More importantly, they will see how everyday empathy and insight can help a child to integrate his or her experience and develop a more resilient brain.”
– Michael Thompson, Ph.D.

“The Whole-Brain Child is chock-full of strategies for raising happy, resilient children. It offers powerful tools for helping children develop the emotional intelligence they will need to be successful in the world. Parents will learn ways to feel more connected to their children, and more satisfied in their role as a parent. Most of all, The Whole-Brain Child helps parents teach kids about how their brain actually works, giving even very young children the self-understanding that can lead them to make good choices, and, ultimately, to lead meaningful and joyful lives.”
– Christine Carter, Ph.D., author of Raising Happiness

More information: http://drdansiegel.com/books/the_whole_brain_child/