Do you know how media, politicians, economics, and marketing control our brains?

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  • Wire My Brain is about taking back our brains and applying the radical, new science of brain (neuro) plasticity and epigenetics, to take charge of life and our civilization
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by DC on June 29, 2014

in Brain




by DC on June 17, 2014

in Uncategorized

Somethings just don’t require science to confirm! This doggie-toddler schnoodle is flooding both bodies and minds with the bliss of our healthy, naturally occurring brain chemical, oxytocin. When we create it, as we do with anything we really love, it’s easy to wonder why we would settle for the other option, anxiety-charged dopamine, often delivered to us compliments of smartphones and video games! Tenderness, caring and compassion, or stress and violence? Hmmmmmmm??? Nice to know we always have a choice!


In the middle of the night a loud unfamiliar woman’s voice in our bedroom jolted us out of a deep sleep. “Text message from 805 467-9803.” It was 4:30 in the morning. After twenty incredibly annoying minutes fumbling around with endless setting possibilities we discovered that a feature on Mike’s new smart phone had accidentally engaged in “drive mode”.

In addition to yawning and whining, I began thinking about the power of our devices to forcibly interrupt our thoughts, emotions, and activities, to take over our lives. Our mystery voice was a quirky problem, but not all that unusual as random tech-related distractions go. New device, feature or app? Stop. Buy it. Figure it out. Use it. Google Play and Apple’s App Store both have more than 700,000 apps available for download.

Beyond our statistical willingness to compromise health, work and school achievement, relationships, and safety for a media “fix”, just how far will we go to sacrifice time, money, and personal power to the screen gods?

• Are we so distracted by our devices that we’re mindlessly handing legislators a pass on responsible governance?

Absorbed in screen media, has Washington become just one more form of “reality” entertainment – free of any responsibility for authentic accountability?

While our serious issues grow larger and more intractable every day, according to Bloomberg, people over age 15 spend an average of 58 percent of their leisure time watching television, playing games and using the Internet. A Harris Poll reported that even several years ago we were spending 13 hours a week gaming on computers and consoles, and, that anyone over the age of 2 is watching live television an average of 34 hours each week, plus another three to six hours of taped programs (Nielsen Report).

• Are we so distracted by our devices that monumental income disparity between the super-rich and everyone else grows unchecked, without powerful push-back?

Absorbed in our entertainment devices, who has time to take action to change corporate and government policies supporting a continuation of this inequality?

In 2011, the Congressional Budget Office reported that incomes of the wealthiest 1 percent rose nearly 20 percent, whereas the income of the remaining 99 percent rose 1 percent. While the middle class disappears and the poor become poorer, the average user of screen media spends 23 hours a week emailing, texting, using social media and other forms of online communication (LiveScience).

Have our electronic entertainment and communication addictions become modernity’s version of Rome’s “Bread and Circus”, Huxley’s mind-controlling palliative, soma, in Brave New World to control the masses. Or, is this the advent of a new feudal system of consumers, kept quiet with endless electronic distractions, indentured by debt to the suppliers of their entertainment fixes, and unable to think or act on their own behalf. Heads down in our devices, how would we know?


USA Today reports that in America there has been, on average, a mass murder (defined as 4 or more victims) every 2 weeks since 2006. Troubled minds have always made up a predictable percentage of our population. Historically, access to guns in America has been easy. So, what is different now?

No amount of mental health care and gun control (though we need more of both) can stop violence in a population of children trained by hours of media to internalize violence as a way of life. Television and films show aggressive behavior as the appropriate response whenever alienated, disrespected or angry. First person shooter video games are wiring brains and motor skills for carnage; whether they put that training to use of not.

In minds, desensitized to killing, the linkage between media deaths and the unbearable suffering of real life bloodshed is a blur. In unstable minds, like Elliot Roger and the sad list of murderers before him, that line can disappear entirely. High on our naturally occurring opioid, dopamine (think amphetamines and cocaine), pumped out by, among other things, pathological anger, or entertainment generated violence, mass murders are enacted by minds out of touch with reality and humanity. Flooded with dopamine, brains are cut off from the higher reasoning of the prefrontal cortex, center for impulse control and compassion, and are instead dominated by the mammalian brain’s animal-like behavior.

How will Elliot Roger be psychologically diagnosed, posthumously? Why are gun laws becoming increasingly lax? Does his father’s involvement with the production of the brutally violent Hunger Games, based kids hunting down and killing kids, reveal anything about Elliot’s upbringing? Was this Santa Barbara shooter influenced by anything more than the pervasive U.S. culture of violence?

There are some things of which we can be certain. This is not a question of freedom of speech. Our courts draw the line on freedom of speech when it turns into hate crimes and bullying. Offenders are charged with lawsuits and given prison sentences, even when no physical harm has been done. How can the providers of films, games and music, which inspire violent ideas, teach violent behavior, provide the practice to deeply ingrain the skills of violence, or supply the armament, not be held responsible for their part in the human disasters they encourage?

This is not a question of gun control. It is about maintaining a civil society. We should not have to fear for our lives when we go home, to a film, a class, or a shopping center. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the “right of people to be secure in their persons . . . against seizure”, and “An intentional shooting of a free citizen is a “seizure.” Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest Winter/Spring 2005.

Seat belts and air bags have been mandated by law. Tobacco and alcohol are highly regulated. All are committed to making life safer and healthier. How many more times will we hear about mass murders before we demand accountability – from the entertainment industry and those who make and sell guns?

It is a fact that we will always have the mentally unstable among us. Is it reasonable for us, or fair to them, that we provide the guns and violent media environment that put all of us at risk?


No amount of mental health care and gun control can stop violence in a population of children trained by hours of media to see violence as a way of life. First person shooter games are turning out young killers whose brains and motor skills are wired for stalking and killing. Winning is based on the player’s kill rate. In young minds there’s no connection between the animated massacres and the pain and unbearable suffering of real life.

Parent’s guidance and supervision are the only answer. No money for the purchase of violent video games. No time on computers for violent video games. Parental networking and support to eliminate the “everyone does it”, and “if they don ‘t do it here, they’ll do it somewhere else”, excuses.

Loving parents cannot justify training children to be killers. Allowing violent video games to be part of young people’s lives is like leaving a loaded gun in the house. Most will never misuse it, but some will, because it’s so familiar and they’ve become virtual experts at using it.



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  Examining an immense data set — everyone born in Sweden from 1973 until 2001 — the researchers documented a compelling association between advancing paternal age at childbearing and numerous psychiatric disorders and educational problems in their children, including autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, suicide attempts and substance abuse problems. Academic problems included failing grades, […]

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Acetaminophen During Pregnancy Linked to ADHD in Children

February 27, 2014

 Date: February 25, 2014 The UCLA researchers used the Danish National Birth Cohort, a nationwide study of pregnancies and children, to examine pregnancy complications and diseases in offspring as a function of factors operating in early life.  The researchers studied 64,322 children and mothers who were enrolled in the Danish cohort from 1996 to 2002. […]

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Growing Number of Chemicals Linked with Brain Disorders in Children

February 16, 2014

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November 8, 2013

First, we can maintain our original DNA in most of our body, while in some cells it’s different in very significant ways. This means that we have several different genotypes within us! Second, some of our genetic mutations, which were previously assumed to be unique to each individual genome, occur in unrelated people. This could […]

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November 5, 2013

REWIRING OUR BRAINS WITH NEW ECONOMIC THINKING CAN RESOLVE global crises in finance, food, fuel, water, resource scarcity and poverty. As these problems serious enough to capture our attention, they open new possibilities for personal and societal renewal. The entry point for solutions is to ask ourselves some basic questions – Why do our actions […]

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