Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

it’s ALL about the data…

In Uncategorized on Tuesday, 1 November 2016 at 16:19



a new adventure!

In Uncategorized on Wednesday, 28 September 2016 at 15:15

no longer employed by the public school system, i am free at last, free at last!

to see one of the things i am working on, please visit and “like” my facebook page


i am in the process of getting my 501 c-3 status and will, hopefully, be able to provide advocacy/consultation services free of charge.  the use of an advocate ensure the rights of all children to a free and appropriate education should not be cost prohibitive.  i would like these services to eventually be free to all but for now, am offering it for a small fee to help keep everything going and growing.  advocacy should be for ALL.  i’m going to make that happen.

Dear School Committee: Please Trust Us

In Uncategorized on Tuesday, 7 June 2016 at 11:04

Here in Lewiston, Maine, a small group of experienced elementary school teachers put their thoughts together in an eloquent letter, which they presented to the local school committee on Monday nigh…

Source: Dear School Committee: Please Trust Us

education drama

In Uncategorized on Monday, 15 September 2014 at 15:49

this article has it all. psychometrics. drama in academia. politics. conspiracy theories. a great read. i happen to agree that these tests measure almost nothing, but, even if you don’t, it’s still a good read.


“ A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell where his influence stops.”~Henry Adams

In Uncategorized on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 at 12:16

“Students Matter, a Silicon Valley-based group that brought the suit, argued that these policies make it hard to fire “grossly ineffective” teachers and to retain high-quality junior ones, and that low-income minority students disproportionately suffer as bad teachers are shuttled into their classrooms” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/06/10/a-california-judge-just-ruled-that-teacher-tenure-is-bad-for-students/).

a “silicon valley-based group.” interestingly coincidental since bill gates is THE leader of the education reform (deform) movement AND has given the most money to fund it (over $200 million). not to mention, it’s his idea to have students and teachers wear gsr (galvanic skin response) bracelets to monitor activity (see:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/11-million-plus-gates-grants-galvanic-bracelets-that-measure-student-engagement/2012/06/10/gJQAgAUbTV_blog.html ).  that is so flawed in so many ways.  both moral and quantitatively.  no true validity or reliability.  don’t get me started.

this is NOT the way to reform education. teachers are not the enemy 


not to mention that effective teachers only account for a small percentage of student achievement/success.  

“Research dating back to the 1966 release of Equality of Educational Opportunity (the “Coleman Report”) shows that student performance is only weakly related to school quality. The report concluded that students’ socioeconomic background was a far more influential factor. However, among the various influences that schools and policymakers can control, teacher quality was found to account for a larger portion of the variation in student test scores than all other characteristics of a school, excluding the composition of the student body (so-called peer effects).”


but, instead of using the billions of dollars illustrated in the “common core money flow charts” (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/18442-flow-chart-exposes-common-cores-myriad-corporate-connections) to get food, money, and better conditions for the poor, let’s spend it on a “new and improved,” “educational disruption” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-ravitch/keep-your-disruption-out-_b_3791295.htmlbusiness-based model!  in what world do you not decide to go for the most “return,” but only choose something that might account for a small percentage of your “earnings” (high test scores and rankings).  i don’t get it.

look at the data (arne, perhaps…?) or the actual opinions of those “in the trenches.”  most will tell you (likely if they didn’t fear retribution, and most, do) this is heading down a bad path.  and, in the end, the kids will suffer.


i was nominated for the very inspiring blogger award!

In gratitude, Uncategorized on Wednesday, 4 June 2014 at 08:20



i am completely in awe and so very, very flattered that christine terry, of the terrytutors blog (http://terrytutors.wordpress.com/) has kindly nominated this blog for “the very inspiring blogger’s award”).  please visit her blog as it has a multitude of information regarding the WHOLE child and helping each and every one succeed.

as such, i am following terry’s guidelines as a nominee:

Paying It Forward:

If you’ve been nominated for this outstanding award, take a moment and pay it forward.

Rules & Guidelines:

  1. Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Share seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  5. Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

following the rules:

1.  THANK YOU, TERRYTUTORS!!!  http://terrytutors.wordpress.com/

2.  see above; rules posted

3.  see below:

1.  i am a grammar fanatic (i.e. can’t stand the misuse of their and they’re; all of the sudden/all of a sudden; your and you’re; not realizing the grave importance of the oxford comma; etc.)

2. i do not like writing using capitals (when i am writing casually) as i have never learned how to correctly type so lowercase makes it easier and more able to follow stream of consciousness

3.  i am actively involved in humane education and animal rescue and my dream is that rescue groups and animal control facilities/shelters need not exist in the future

4.  i am a “walking dead” fan and have had a raging crush on andrew lincoln since “love actually”

5.  i have had the pleasure of knowing my soul dog, baloo, and still cry two years after his death but also believe his spirit is still with me and dedicate all my rescue efforts to him and fighting black dog syndrome

6.  i DO NOT like common core and think it will be the ruination of public schools and gravely hurt children and true pedagogy

7.  my two favorite places to be are anywhere in the caribbean or on a rescue facility located on a farm surrounded by all animals

4.  blogs i love and nominate:

  1. http://protectportelos.org
  2. http://themeditativebrain.wordpress.com/
  3. http://drasadonbrown.wordpress.com/
  4. http://tludwiglaw.com/
  5. http://thegratitudegarden.wordpress.com/
  6. http://ipledgeafallegiance.wordpress.com/
  7. http://addadultstrategies.wordpress.com/
  8. http://terrytutors.wordpress.com
  9. http://mrmck.wordpress.com/
  10. http://dianeravitch.net/
  11. http://pittsburghbuddhist.com/
  12. http://tibetreport.wordpress.com/
  13. http://buddhistglobalrelief.wordpress.com/
  14. http://helenwoodwardanimalcenter.wordpress.com/
  15. http://whatwouldmikesay.com/

5. proudly displaying my nomination!


sad but close to the truth…

In Uncategorized on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 at 16:23


ravitch-everything you need to know about common core.

In Common Core, Education, Education advocacy, School Deform, School reform, Uncategorized on Friday, 28 March 2014 at 04:10


Rate of Youth Suicide on the Rise

In Uncategorized on Saturday, 28 December 2013 at 07:23

i am not making any connections, just some personal observations.  i will go with what i personally have experienced.  it appears that anxiety, stress, school phobia, school avoidance, etc., etc. are on the rise.  when did i, personally, start to see this increase?  as the common core and emphasis on “the test(s)” was adopted and put in place. and prior to “the test” that is what your kids are taught: how to take a test, what will be on the test, how to answer based on the test (you get what i am stating here).  i just saw a kindergarten child’s “homework.”  it was a booklet in which they were to ‘practice’ bubbling in answers correctly.  hmm.  if you have to be taught to take a test, wouldn’t it appear the test might NOT be developmentally appropriate (i will not get into how little these tests really show, the unsound research, the pilot studies that were never paid attention to prior to adopting CCSS, etc.).

Here is the mission statement taken directly from the CCSS website (http://www.corestandards.org):

“:The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what studentsare expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”

Here is the “disclaimer” (also from the website: http://www.corestandards.org/public-license):

Representations, Warranties and Disclaimer:


so, basically, here are the standards, all the states must adopt them, they may not accomplish the heady goals and broken promises, BUT…we do not guarantee anything nor are we held liable for the ruination of education, the education “reform” movement, and creating robotrons for the future (but, they WILL know how to bubble in tests!).

Limitation on Liability:


so, this may actually hurt your student (via negligence or “otherwise) but they will not be held liable or, have to fulfill their contract/promises, and hey, if this does hurt your student/s, you are out of luck.  you have tacitly agreed (do you really think they need your ‘permission???) to all above as well as the fact that you have no recourse should anything happen.  Interesting they had to put that in there…

Youth Suicide; Look What We Have Done to Our Young

Introductory Essay By Betsy L. Angert |

Originally Published at EmpathyEducates. December 22, 2013

For youth between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death. Approximately 4600 young lives are lost each year. A nationwide survey of youth in grades 9–12 in public and private schools in the United States (U.S.) found that 16% of students reported seriously considering suicide, 13% reported creating a plan…
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Look what we have done to our young ones. We’ve locked them up in a world of “fun” and turned it upside down. Look what we’ve done to our sons and daughters. It begins at birth; we start to plan. Where are the best preschools? College may be pricey, but preschool will blow your mind, or your budget if you can afford to have one. The pressure is on – not just you, but your child. He or she must perform. Children as young as the age of 4, work to conform.

It may be an A or in the DNA, but whatever it is, it kills us. Oh, we can and do paint pretty pictures. But truth be told Kids ‘absolutely’ feel parents’ stress. Thirty percent [30%] of our young admit that they worry about family finances.

Still whether we are broke or with billfolds bulging, we look for the best, the best schools, the best grades, the best video games. And, oh yes, those test scores. In 2013, Washington D.C. charter schools announced that “for the purposes of assessing their academic progress and ranking schools according to the results students ages 3, 4, and 5 will be tested. The standardized exams are not intended to assess social and emotional learning. No, that is thought a frill. Instead let us convince the very young that the thrill is in academic skill.

Success is our societal standard. Regardless of the research and the opines of Developmental Psychologists we move forward leaving our children behind.

Bright lights. Big cities. Guns. Drugs. And Alcohol. Color me mellow, or color me blue. Small towns and the beautiful ‘burbs. Color me serene or color me chartreuse, green with envy, pink for pretty, but not pretty enough. Paint me Black for pride and then steep me in prejudice. Color me invisible in the land of invincibility or paint me like a rainbow and deny me my rights. It’s insane, inane and are we having fun yet?

There are shoes to fill, scores to achieve, careers to choose, college too. And yes, there is the dream. The life of a teen or a tween…It is not what it once was.

This is the new normal. Hypomania, anxiety, and yes the greatest high. I have 5,000 BFFs, 4,000 followers. For a price, you can get more. Yes, the cost may be cyber-bullies and then sadly, what for too many young ones, the cure is suicide. But hey, that is the price we pay. It will be fun – to look like a success, to run with the cool crowd, to have the latest ipad, iphone, to find Instagram fame. Perhaps it will deflect the depression.

Perhaps those were the days. In the 1930s, that is when we as a country were mired in depression or perhaps not. Life was slower then. There was less opportunity for fun. Nonetheless, people were not nearly as numb. A recent study shows, between the years of 1938 and 2007, on average five times as many students surpassed the thresholds set for mental health wellness.

“A few individual categories increased at an even greater rate — with six times as many scoring high in two areas:
– “hypomania,” a measure of anxiety and unrealistic optimism (from 5 percent of students in 1938 to 31 percent in 2007)
– and depression (from 1 percent to 6 percent)

Again we might ask; what have we done, done to innocence, excellence, and the idea of what is essential? We made the world move more swiftly. If this was for the sake of fun, our children say give me a gun, a rope…all I ever wanted was a reason to hope and to live a healthy life. But it seems that possibility is fleeting. Fast and fun can be fetching; it can be depressing. It can leave us guessing. Why might it be that…

1 in 2 teens have Attempted Suicide:Report

By Meghan Neal

Originally Published at The New York Daily News.

June 9, 2012, 12:12 PM

The Attempted Suicide Rate For High School Students Has Risen From 6.3% To 7.8% In The Last Three Years.

Teen suicide is a growing problem, a new study shows. Nearly 1 in 6 high school students has seriously considered suicide, and 1 in 12 has attempted it, according to the semi-annual survey on youth risk behaviorpublished Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More female teens than males have attempted or considered suicide, the survey found. The rate was highest among Hispanic females, at 13.5%, and lowest among white males, at 4.6%. Students struggled with suicide more during the first two years of high school – roughly ages 14 to 16. Rates dropped off slightly when students reached junior and senior year.

Overall, the suicide rate among teens has climbed in the past few years, from 6.3% in 2009 to 7.8% in 2011, numbers which reflect the trend gaining national attention as more teen suicides are reported as a result of bullying.

According to the survey about 20% of high-schoolers said they’d been bullied while at school, and 16% said they’d been ‘cyberbullied’ through email, chat, instant messaging, social media or texting.

As more and more forms of communication spring up, there’s opportunity for bullying to occur, which could eventually lead to an increased rate of attempted suicides, neuropsychologist Dr. Hector Adames told MSNBC.

“What happens with an increase in communication among students is that there’s more pressure. There’s more bullying,” he said. “When adolescence and children feel embarrassed, it’s kind of like the end of the world for them.”

Electronics are encouraging other risky behavior too, the CDC study found.
The majority of older teens admitted to texting or emailing on their mobile phones while driving – 58% of seniors and 43% of juniors.

Considering a typical teen sends and receives about 100 text messages a day, the figures aren’t too surprising, Amanda Lenhart, senior researcher at the Pew Research Center, told the Associated Press.

The CDC anonymously surveyed more than 15,000 high school students in the U.S. over a one-year period, with a 95% confidence rate.

References and Resources…

worm eggs and hot baths…or pina coladas, getting caught in the rain?

In Uncategorized on Friday, 20 December 2013 at 17:33


Gene May Predict Human Response to Antidepressants

In Uncategorized on Friday, 20 December 2013 at 16:47

Gene May Predict Human Response to Antidepressants

 Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, but they don’t work for everyone. What’s more, patients must often try several different SSRI medications, each with a different set of side effects, before finding one that is effective. It takes three to four weeks to see if a particular antidepressant drug works. Meanwhile, patients and their families continue to suffer.

Now researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered a gene that may reveal whether people are likely to respond well to SSRI antidepressants, both generally and in specific formulations. The new biomarker, once it is validated in clinical trials, could be used to create a genetic test, allowing doctors to provide personalized treatment for depression.

Doctoral students Keren Oved and Ayelet Morag led the research under the guidance of Dr. David Gurwitz of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Dr. Noam Shomron of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience. Sackler faculty members Prof. Moshe Rehavi of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and Dr. Metsada Pasmnik-Chor of the Bioinformatics Unit were coauthors of the study, published in Translational Psychology.

“SSRIs only work for about 60 percent of people with depression,” said Gurwitz. “A drug from other families of antidepressants could be effective for some of the others. We are working to move the treatment of depression from a trial-and-error approach to a best-fit, personalized regimen.”

Good news for the depressed

More than 20 million Americans each year suffer from disabling depression that requires clinical intervention. SSRIs such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Celexa are the newest and the most popular medications for treatment. They are thought to work by blocking the reabsorption of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, leaving more of it available to help brain cells send and receive chemical signals, thereby boosting mood. It is not currently known why some people respond to SSRIs better than others.

To find genes that may be behind the brain’s responsiveness to SSRIs, the TAU researchers first applied the SSRI Paroxetine— brand name Paxil— to 80 sets of cells, or “cell lines,” from the National Laboratory for the Genetics of Israeli Populations, a biobank of genetic information about Israeli citizens located at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and directed by Gurwitz. The TAU researchers then analyzed and compared the RNA profiles of the most and least responsive cell lines. A gene called CHL1 was produced at lower levels in the most responsive cell lines and at higher levels in the least responsive cell lines. Using a simple genetic test, doctors could one day use CHL1 as a biomarker to determine whether or not to prescribe SSRIs.

“We want to end up with a blood test that will allow us to tell a patient which drug is best for him,” said Oved. “We are at the early stages, working on the cellular level. Next comes testing on animals and people.”

Rethinking how antidepressants work

The TAU researchers also wanted to understand why CHL1 levels might predict responsiveness to SSRIs. To this end, they applied Paroxetine to human cell lines for three weeks— the time it takes for a clinical response to SSRIs. They found that Paroxetine caused increased production of the gene ITGB3— whose protein product is thought to interact with CHL1 to promote the development of new neurons and synapses. The result is the repair of dysfunctional signaling in brain regions controlling mood, which may explain the action of SSRI antidepressants.

This explanation differs from the conventional theory that SSRIs directly relieve depression by inhibiting the reabsorption of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Shomron adds that the new explanation resolves the longstanding mystery as to why it takes at least three weeks for SSRIs to ease the symptoms of depression when they begin inhibiting reabsorption after a couple days— the development of neurons and synapses takes weeks, not days.

The TAU researchers are working to confirm their findings on the molecular level and with animal models. Adva Hadar, a master’s student in Gurwitz’s lab, is using the same approach to find biomarkers for the personalized treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: Tel Aviv University

Retrieved from: http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/news/2013/12/gene-may-predict-human-response-antidepressants?goback=%2Egde_2514160_member_5816703528286044160#%21


In Uncategorized on Thursday, 17 October 2013 at 18:01


dear horrible person…

In Uncategorized on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 at 14:31

no matter the horrific and evil treatment, that ‘man’ did to him, lucas loved unconditionally and knew unconditional love in the end. i have to keep telling myself karma will ultimately unfold. or this one: “There is an Indian legend which says when a human dies there is a bridge they must cross to enter into heaven. At the head of that bridge waits every animal that human encountered during their lifetime. The animals, based upon what they know of this person, decide which humans may cross the bridge…. and which are turned away.” whatever you believe, he will not be well.


absolute power…

In Uncategorized on Friday, 19 April 2013 at 06:37

corrupts absolutely.


Dealing with Problems | Individualized Education Program – NCLD

In Uncategorized on Saturday, 30 March 2013 at 05:21

Dealing with Problems | Individualized Education Program – NCLD.

How The World Uses Social Media

In Uncategorized on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 at 15:59

How The World Uses Social Media.

In Uncategorized on Monday, 4 February 2013 at 11:51

great post…

Unwrapping Minds

Sometimes you know that some relationships are more toxic than being a support. You understand that it’s a mistake making your life heavy and exhausting . You spend all your energy & happiness meeting the expectations but nothing suffices. In this vicious cycle you lose your personality, identity & the want of living.

Deep down you also know the only solution but refuse to accept it to yourself let alone the world. There could be several reasons for you being in the dysfunctional situation:

  • You are scared of hurting yourself as well as your loved ones.
  • Have become addicted to this relationship and like a substance abuser know the repercussion but doesn’t have the power to come out of it.
  • You even refuse to accept the truth to yourself & live with the hope of a miracle going to happen someday.
  •  Don’t want people to feel sorry for you.
  • The fear…

View original post 190 more words

2012 in review

In Uncategorized on Friday, 25 January 2013 at 07:06

thank you to those who read my blog.  i do not consider myself a writer nor a blogger, really, i just like to share things that i fond interesting or sound off on things, at times.  i am humbled and grateful that there are people who are interested in my posts and what i have to say.  thank you for reading.  i hope to keep you interested…


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


In Uncategorized on Monday, 31 December 2012 at 14:12

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
~T.S. Eliot



In Uncategorized on Tuesday, 25 December 2012 at 11:29

holiday card 2012 2

i have no words right now…

In General Psychology, School Psychology, School violence, Uncategorized on Friday, 14 December 2012 at 17:14



HAL 9000 redux?

In Uncategorized on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 05:45

Scientists See Promise in Deep Learning Programs

By: John Markoff

Using an artificial intelligence technique inspired by theories about how the brain recognizes patterns, technology companies are reporting startling gains in fields as diverse as computer vision, speech recognition and the identification of promising new molecules for designing drugs.

The advances have led to widespread enthusiasm among researchers who design software to perform human activities like seeing, listening and thinking. They offer the promise of machines that converse with humans and perform tasks like driving cars and working in factories, raising the specter of automated robots that could replace human workers.

The technology, called deep learning, has already been put to use in services like Apple’s Siri virtual personal assistant, which is based on Nuance Communications’ speech recognition service, and in Google’s Street View, which uses machine vision to identify specific addresses.

But what is new in recent months is the growing speed and accuracy of deep-learning programs, often called artificial neural networks or just “neural nets” for their resemblance to the neural connections in the brain.

“There has been a number of stunning new results with deep-learning methods,” said Yann LeCun, a computer scientist at New York University who did pioneering research in handwriting recognition at Bell Laboratories. “The kind of jump we are seeing in the accuracy of these systems is very rare indeed.”

Artificial intelligence researchers are acutely aware of the dangers of being overly optimistic. Their field has long been plagued by outbursts of misplaced enthusiasm followed by equally striking declines.

In the 1960s, some computer scientists believed that a workable artificial intelligence system was just 10 years away. In the 1980s, a wave of commercial start-ups collapsed, leading to what some people called the “A.I. winter.”

But recent achievements have impressed a wide spectrum of computer experts. In October, for example, a team of graduate students studying with the University of Toronto computer scientist Geoffrey E. Hinton won the top prize in a contest sponsored by Merck to design software to help find molecules that might lead to new drugs.

From a data set describing the chemical structure of thousands of different molecules, they used deep-learning software to determine which molecule was most likely to be an effective drug agent.

The achievement was particularly impressive because the team decided to enter the contest at the last minute and designed its software with no specific knowledge about how the molecules bind to their targets. The students were also working with a relatively small set of data; neural nets typically perform well only with very large ones.

“This is a really breathtaking result because it is the first time that deep learning won, and more significantly it won on a data set that it wouldn’t have been expected to win at,” said Anthony Goldbloom, chief executive and founder of Kaggle, a company that organizes data science competitions, including the Merck contest.

Advances in pattern recognition hold implications not just for drug development but for an array of applications, including marketing and law enforcement. With greater accuracy, for example, marketers can comb large databases of consumer behavior to get more precise information on buying habits. And improvements in facial recognition are likely to make surveillance technology cheaper and more commonplace.

Artificial neural networks, an idea going back to the 1950s, seek to mimic the way the brain absorbs information and learns from it. In recent decades, Dr. Hinton, 64 (a great-great-grandson of the 19th-century mathematician George Boole, whose work in logic is the foundation for modern digital computers), has pioneered powerful new techniques for helping the artificial networks recognize patterns.

Modern artificial neural networks are composed of an array of software components, divided into inputs, hidden layers and outputs. The arrays can be “trained” by repeated exposures to recognize patterns like images or sounds.

These techniques, aided by the growing speed and power of modern computers, have led to rapid improvements in speech recognition, drug discovery and computer vision.

Deep-learning systems have recently outperformed humans in certain limited recognition tests.

Last year, for example, a program created by scientists at the Swiss A. I. Lab at the University of Lugano won a pattern recognition contest by outperforming both competing software systems and a human expert in identifying images in a database of German traffic signs.

The winning program accurately identified 99.46 percent of the images in a set of 50,000; the top score in a group of 32 human participants was 99.22 percent, and the average for the humans was 98.84 percent.

This summer, Jeff Dean, a Google technical fellow, and Andrew Y. Ng, a Stanford computer scientist, programmed a cluster of 16,000 computers to train itself to automatically recognize images in a library of 14 million pictures of 20,000 different objects. Although the accuracy rate was low — 15.8 percent — the system did 70 percent better than the most advanced previous one.

Deep learning was given a particularly audacious display at a conference last month in Tianjin, China, when Richard F. Rashid, Microsoft’s top scientist, gave a lecture in a cavernous auditorium while a computer program recognized his words and simultaneously displayed them in English on a large screen above his head.

Then, in a demonstration that led to stunned applause, he paused after each sentence and the words were translated into Mandarin Chinese characters, accompanied by a simulation of his own voice in that language, which Dr. Rashid has never spoken.

The feat was made possible, in part, by deep-learning techniques that have spurred improvements in the accuracy of speech recognition.

Dr. Rashid, who oversees Microsoft’s worldwide research organization, acknowledged that while his company’s new speech recognition software made 30 percent fewer errors than previous models, it was “still far from perfect.”

“Rather than having one word in four or five incorrect, now the error rate is one word in seven or eight,” he wrote on Microsoft’s Web site. Still, he added that this was “the most dramatic change in accuracy” since 1979, “and as we add more data to the training we believe that we will get even better results.”

One of the most striking aspects of the research led by Dr. Hinton is that it has taken place largely without the patent restrictions and bitter infighting over intellectual property that characterize high-technology fields.

“We decided early on not to make money out of this, but just to sort of spread it to infect everybody,” he said. “These companies are terribly pleased with this.”

Referring to the rapid deep-learning advances made possible by greater computing power, and especially the rise of graphics processors, he added:

“The point about this approach is that it scales beautifully. Basically you just need to keep making it bigger and faster, and it will get better. There’s no looking back now.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: November 26, 2012

An earlier version of this article misstated the number of molecules analyzed in a contest sponsored by Merck and won by students using deep-learning software. Contestants analyzed thousands of potential molecules, not 15. (There were 15 data files, each containing thousands of molecules.)

Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/24/science/scientists-see-advances-in-deep-learning-a-part-of-artificial-intelligence.html?smid=li-share&_r=0&pagewanted=all

is monogamy/marriage a status symbol?

In Uncategorized on Saturday, 17 November 2012 at 17:53

very interesting commentary on marriage.  i think so many marriages fail because of the romanticized idea/ideal as to what that is.  at any rate, i bet this is a piece that will make you think, at the very least.

To Be or Not to Be Monogamous?.

Things Never To Say To A Teacher

In Uncategorized on Tuesday, 6 November 2012 at 17:11

Things Never To Say To A Teacher.

NIMH · In-sync Brain Waves Hold Memory of Objects Just Seen

In Brain imaging, Brain studies, Neuroscience, Uncategorized on Monday, 5 November 2012 at 12:47

NIMH · In-sync Brain Waves Hold Memory of Objects Just Seen.

and they call it…nomophobia…

In Psychiatry, Uncategorized on Friday, 2 November 2012 at 18:05

Are you Afraid to Be Without Your Phone?

ATLANTA -Do you feel like you can’t live without your phone? You may suffer from nomophobia.

Nomophobia is the fear of being without your cell phone. And before you laugh, there are  support groups for people who say they suffer from it. Doctors say that some people’s anxiety over their mobile devices is starting to cross the line.
If you want to study the importance of our mobile devices in our lives, just spend an afternoon in Centennial Olympic Park and people watch. You’ll see people texting, taking pictures, checking a map, some talking – mostly you will see smartphones in action no matter what you’re doing.

One study by the group SecureEnvoy found that Nomophobia has increased since 2008, from 55 percent of the population to 66 percent in 2012.

“For some people, they might worry that they are going to miss a phone call, an important meeting, miss a contact. For some people, it’s simply their connection to the outside world. It’s a way they read what’s going on with politics. It’s a way to keep up with news. With some people, it’s their security blanket.  It’s just something that makes them feel right at times,” said Dr. Josh Spitalnick.

What about kids? Psychotherapist Suzanne Maiden specializes in treating children. She says a mobile phone for a child is their connection to loved ones and their friends.

“Here we are setting our kids up almost that they have immediate access.  What happens when that stops? What happens if they lose their phone, they drop it in water, it gets broken etc.  Kids can panic,” said Maiden.

Maiden says there are times when you might consider getting treatment for nomophobia.

“If it starts causing problems in your relationships, at work, in your own life — it’s dictating your routines, then maybe talking with someone who treats anxiety disorders is a good thing,” said Spitalnick.

If it has to be treated, it’s is handled like any other phobia.  If it is starting to affect your relationships, starting to affect your daily routine, talk to your doctor about it.

Retrieved from: http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/19958517/people-beginning-to-fear-being-without-mobile-devices?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7902465

happy birthday, glutamate.

In Medication, Neuropsychology, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Psychopharmacology, Uncategorized on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 at 15:20

Twenty Five Years of Glutamate in Schizophrenia

Daniel C. Javitt

Schizophr Bull. 2012;38(5):911-913. © 2012 Oxford University Press

Abstract and Introduction


At present, all medications for schizophrenia function primarily by blocking dopamine D2 receptors. Over 50 years ago, the first observations were made that subsequently led to development of alternative, glutamatergic conceptualizations. This special issue traces the historic development of the phencyclidine (PCP) model of schizophrenia from the initial description of the psychotomimetic effects of PCP in the early 1960s, through discovery of the link to N-methyl-D-aspartate-type glutamate receptors (NMDAR) in the 1980s, and finally to the development of NMDA-based treatment strategies starting in the 1990s. NMDAR antagonists uniquely reproduce both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, and induce schizophrenia-like cognitive deficits and neurophysiological dysfunction. At present, there remain several hypotheses concerning mechanisms by which NMDAR dysfunction leads to symptoms/deficits, and several theories regarding ideal NMDAR-based treatment approaches as outlined in the issue. Several classes of agent, including metabotropic glutamate agonists, glycine transport inhibitors, and D-serine-based compounds are currently in late-stage clinical development and may provide long-sought treatments for persistent positive and negative symptoms and cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia.


The mid-20th century was an exciting period for drug development in psychiatry. Antipsychotics were developed based on the seminal observations of Delay and Deniker and linked to D2 blockade shortly thereafter. By 1971, clozapine, the current “gold standard” treatment for schizophrenia, had already been marketed. Antidepressants were developed based on clinical observations with isoniazid (INH) in the 1950s; benzodiazepines were developed based upon GABA receptor-binding assays in the 1960s; and definitive studies demonstrating efficacy of lithium were performed by the early 1970s. Decades later, these classes of compounds continue to form the core of today’s psychopharmacological armamentarium.

In the midst of this transformational period, initial reports appeared as well for a class of novel sedative agent termed “dissociative anesthetics” exemplified by the molecules phencyclidine (PCP, “angel dust”) and ketamine. In monkeys, these compounds produced behavioral symptoms closely resembling those of schizophrenia, including behavioral withdrawal at low dose and catalepsy at high dose (figure 1). Domino and Luby[1] describe the critical steps by which he and his contemporaries verified the unique clinical effects of these compounds in man. The initial characterizations of PCP as causing a centrally mediated sensory deprivation syndrome and producing electroencephalography changes similar to those in schizophrenia were, in retrospect, particularly critical.

Figure 1.

Effect of phencyclidine (PCP) on behavior in monkey, showing dissociation at low dose (A) and catatonia at high dose (B). From Chen and Weston.12

Although the clinical effects of PCP were well documented by the early 1960s, it took another 20 years to characterize these effects at the molecular level. As described by Coyle,[2] key milestones along the way included the pharmacological identification of the PCP receptor in 1979; demonstration of electrophysiological interactions between PCP and N-methyl-D-aspartate-type glutamate receptors (NMDAR) in the early 1980s followed shortly thereafter by pharmacological confirmation; identification of the glycine modulatory site of the NMDAR in 1987; and confirmation of the psychotomimetic effects of ketamine in the mid-1990s. Although researchers still disagree to the paths leading from NMDAR blockade to psychosis, few currently dispute the concept that NMDAR serve as the molecular target of PCP, ketamine, dizocilpine (MK-801), and a host of other clinical psychotomimetic agents.[2–4]

At their simplest, glutamatergic models predict that compounds stimulating NMDAR function should be therapeutically beneficial in schizophrenia.[2,4] Potential sites for intervention include the glycine/D-serine and redox sites of the NMDAR, as well as pathways regulating glutamate, glycine/D-serine, and glutathione synthesis/release.[4] D-Cycloserine, a partial NMDAR glycine-site agonist, may enhance learning and neural plasticity across a range of disorders, including schizophrenia.[5] In addition to providing new drug targets, glutamatergic models provide effective explanation for the hippocampal activation deficits,[6] positive and negative symptoms, distributed neurocognitive deficits, and sensory processing abnormalities[4] that are critical components of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

Since the original description, several variations have been developed with somewhat different treatment predictions. The term “NMDA receptor hypofunction” was originally developed to describe the vacuolization and neurodegeneration seen within specific brain regions following high-dose NMDAR antagonist administration.[7] In animal models, neurotoxic effects of PCP were reversed by numerous compounds, including benzodiazepines and α2 adrenergic agonists that ultimately proved ineffective in clinical studies. Nevertheless, this model may explain the pattern of persistent frontotemporal neurocognitive deficits observed in some ketamine abusers.[8] Subsequent hyperglutamatergic models focused on the excess glutamate release induced by NMDAR antagonists, particularly in prefrontal cortex, and prompted studies with compounds, such as lamotrigine or metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) 2/3 agonists, that inhibit presynaptic glutamate release.[9] GABAergic models focus on NMDAR antagonist-induced downregulation of parvalbumin (PV) expression in interneurons and resultant local circuit level (gamma) dysfunction, and suggest use of subunit selective GABAA receptor modulators.[10]

More than 50 years after the initial characterization of PCP, and 25 years after the identification of NMDARs as the molecular target of PCP, we still do not know whether the novel pharmacology of dissociative anesthetics can be translated into effective clinical treatments. Encouraging small-scale single site studies have been published with NMDAR agonists, but have not yet been replicated in academic multicenter trials. Encouraging phase 2 results have also recently been reported by Roche with glycine transport inhibitors.[4] Nevertheless, phase 3 studies remain ongoing and results cannot be predicted. Additional beneficial effects may be observed in obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance abuse and Parkinsons disease.[4] Conversely, NMDAR antagonists, such as ketamine, may be therapeutically beneficial in treatment-resistant depression or autism, suggesting complementary pathology across a range of disorders.[11] More than anything else, 50 years of research shows that treatment development in neuropsychiatric disorders is a journey and not a destination, although fortunately one where the end now finally seems in sight.

Retrieved from: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/771599?src=nl_topic


  1. Domino EF, Luby ED. Phencyclidine/schizophrenia: one view toward the past, the other to the future Schizophr Bull. 2012.In press.
  2. Coyle JT. The NMDA receptor and schizophrenia: a brief history Schizophr Bull. 2012.In press
  3. Javitt DC, Zukin SR. Recent advances in the phencyclidine model of schizophrenia Am J Psychiatry 1991 148 1301–1308
  4. Javitt DC. Has an angel shown the way? Etiological and therapeutic implications of the PCP/NMDA model of schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull In press.
  5. Goff D. D-cycloserine: an evolving role in learning and neuroplasticity in schizophrenia.Schizophr Bull In press.
  6. Tamminga CA, Southcott S, Sacco C, Gao XM, Ghose S. Glutamate dysfunction in hippocampus: relevance of dentate gyrus and ca3 signaling.Schizophr Bull. 2012. In press
  7. Olney JW, Newcomer JW, Farber NB. NMDA receptor hypofunction model of schizophrenia J Psychiatr Res.1999 33 523–533
  8. Morgan CJ, Muetzelfeldt L, Curran HV. Consequences of chronic ketamine self-administration upon neurocognitive function and psychological wellbeing: a 1-year longitudinal study Addiction 2010 105 121–133
  9. Moghaddam B, Krystal JH. Capturing the angel in angel dust: twenty years of translational neuroscience studies of NMDA receptor antagonists in animals and humans Schizophr Bull. In press.
  10. Lewis DA, Gonzalez-Burgos G. NMDA receptor hypofunction, parvalbumin-positive neurons and cortical gamma oscillations in schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull In press.
  11. Javitt DC, Schoepp D, Kalivas PW, et al. Translating glutamate: from pathophysiology to treatment. Sci Transl Med. 2011;3:102mr102.
  12. Chen GM, Weston JK. The analgesic and anesthetic effects of 1-(1-phenylcyclohexyl)-piperidine HCl in the monkey Anesth Analg. 1960 39 132–137

i can’t decide if this is just sad. or ironic. or sad and ironic…

In Uncategorized on Thursday, 25 October 2012 at 16:07

i could make many inappropriate comments here…suffice it to say, this is an interesting commentary on society


Background TV…when you’re not even actively watching.

In Education, School Psychology, Special Education, Uncategorized on Sunday, 7 October 2012 at 07:22

U.S. kids exposed to 4 hours of background TV daily

By Michelle Healy

A number of studies have found evidence that too much television is bad for children’s development, even when it’s playing in the background and kids are not watching. Now a study has tracked just how much background TV kids get and it’s a lot — 232.2 minutes or nearly 4 hours worth every day.

The average amount is even greater among some, especially children who are younger, African-American or from the poorest families, finds the study in today’sPediatrics.

The nearly four hours of background TV exposure “easily dwarfs” the 80 minutes of active TV viewing the average child in this age group absorbs daily, says the study.

“You’re looking at three times the amount, which is enormous,” says Matthew Lapierre, one of the study authors, an assistant professor of communication studies at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. “It’s really kind of shocking,” he says.

The study was presented in May at a meeting of the International Communication Association. It was conducted using a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,454 parents with at least one child between the ages of 8 months and 8 years old.

Among questions that parents were asked: how often their TV was on when no one was watching; whether their child had a TV in their bedroom and the number of TVs in the home.

It found that in addition to actual TV viewing, children under age 2 and African-American children were exposed to an average of 5.5 hours a day of a TV playing in the background; children from the poorest families were exposed to nearly 6 hours per day.

The finding among African-Americans “wasn’t unexpected,” says Lapierre noting that statistically, their households “are often found to be more TV-centric,” compared with other groups, with more TVs per household and more of those TVs in bedrooms.

He suspects that the high rate of background TV among very young children may have to do with parents and caregivers leaving the television on, even when they’re not actively watching, to “break up the monotony” of being with an infant or toddler for long stretches of the day.

The study notes that background television exposure has been “linked to lower sustained attention during playtime, lower quality parent-child interactions, and reduced performance on cognitive tasks.”

Heather Kirkorian, an assistant professor of human development and family studies a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who has published studies on background television’s impact on both parent-child interaction and children’s play patterns, says “until now we could only guess at the extent of the impact in children’s day-to-day lives.” The new study “documents just how great the real-world impact may be, particularly for very young children.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under age 2 not be exposed to any television.

To reduce background TV exposure, the study recommends turning off the TV when no one is watching and at key points during a child’s day, such as bedtime and mealtime.

Retrieved from: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/10/01/background-tv-viewing-pediatrics/1599995/

rock the vote!

In Uncategorized on Wednesday, 3 October 2012 at 16:55

be informed, people…and rock the vote. otherwise, you don’t get an opinion.


Ideally, when the curtain rises on the first presidential debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday night, President Barack Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will spar over the issues shaping this election with honesty and clarity.

But let’s face it, the debates are yet another chance to deliver campaign talking points in 60-second, uninterrupted bursts—pitches, according to a recent Y!/Esquire poll, which many Americans think stray from the truth.

In anticipation of the spin, we’ve rounded up some of the debate’s top topics and fact-checked the candidates’ tropes in advance.


Romney: Before either candidate muddles this up, ere are the key planks of Romney’s tax plan:

–       Bush-era income tax cuts and capital gains tax cuts become permanent.

–       All income tax rates are cut by an additional 20 percent.

–       The Alternative Minimum Tax and the estate tax are repealed.

To paraphrase Bill Clinton at the DNC, the problem is arithmetic: While Romney denies this,FactCheck.org notes the idea that his plan can somehow “slash individual income tax rates without losing federal revenue or favoring the wealthy remains at best unproven and, in our judgment based on available evidence, impossible.”

GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan recently had to dance around this fact when pressed on it by Fox News. Exasperated, he sighed and said, “I don’t have time—it would take me too long to go through all the math.”

Romney should probably have a better answer ready—he’s likely to be grilled on the plan thanks to his recently released 2011 tax return, which revealed a 14 percent tax rate. Obama has questioned whether that’s a fair rate, claiming Romney pays less in taxes than many middle- and low-income Americans (a claim that itself is true only if payroll taxes are included in the comparison).

The president will likely try to paint the 14 percent tax rate as an omen of things to come under Romney’s plan, alleging that it would benefit the wealthy.


Romney: As soon as you hear the former Massachusetts governor assure you of his plan to create 12 million jobs in only four years, remember this: Moody’s Analytics and Macroeconomic Advisors predict that no matter who wins this election, broader economic factors ensure that level of growth by 2016.

Romney is dressing up an apolitical projected figure as something his jobs plan could uniquely generate. It’s a bit like promising a plan to keep the Earth rotating around the sun for the next four years.

Obama: The president, for his part, will take credit for creating an impressive “4.5 million jobs.” He’s playing a bit fast and loose to get that number, however, citing only private-sector job growth, and only over the past couple of years, without mentioning the job losses on his watch.

Obama has actually presided over a net increase of about 300,000 private-sector jobs and, including the straggling public sector, a net decrease of about 300,000 total jobs. But you probably won’t hear that from him onstage tonight.



Romney: The GOP’s “Medicare raid” meme alleges that Obama is about to rob Medicare to the tune of $700 billion in order to pay for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This line earned Ryan a storm of jeers at a recent AARP conference—but Romney may still try to float it for its sheer scare value.

In fact, the oft-cited $700 billion figure represents the savings the ACA yields over 10 years by reducing Medicare spending, and it’s chiefly the providers rather than beneficiaries who pony up to finance the long-term spending cut.

Obama: If during the debate, however, the president starts bashing the “Romney-Ryan plan” on Medicare, claiming it costs seniors an extra $6,400, know that he’s actually referring to the obsolete Ryan budget from 2011, not the plan backed by the Republican ticket. The actual plan shares the Democrats’ goals of capping Medicare spending.


Health care

Romney: Ever since the Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional, Romney has backed off from his more hyperbolic criticisms of the law, now stating that he’ll repeal it and keep the good bits. He has yet to say, however, how he’d pay for those select parts.

Also during the debate, Romney will likely try to fuse Americans’ concerns over jobs with lingering doubts about the ACA by repeating the old, standard line that “Obamacare” is “killing jobs in small business.” As FactCheck.org notes, this line is a serious misreading of a report by the Congressional Budget Office, which actually says that due to the subsidies provided by the ACA, about 800,000 workers will retire earlier or juggle fewer jobs.


Obama: The president is correct when he says that he “inherited the biggest deficit in our history,” as he recently told Steve Kroft on “60 Minutes.” But he tends to use that fact as a shield against any Republican criticism about his own contributions to the deficit, which are considerable. To both Kroft and the AARP he stretched the premise to its limit, claiming that all his policies, from the stimulus to the rebooted war in Afghanistan, account for only about 10 percent of the nation’s deficit over the past four years. He blames the rest on President Bush.

That’s what some would call a whopper—but because Romney is probably eager to hammer the president on runaway spending, Obama might end up slipping this line into the debate anyway. The facts, however, are these:

–      In fiscal year 2009 Obama was responsible for adding at most $203 billion to the deficit, which in the end topped $1.4 trillion that year. But FactCheck.org reminds us that “this was just the first of four years of trillion-plus deficits.”

–      The last three budgets fall squarely under Obama. And, during that time, the federal government ran up deficits of “$1.3 trillion in 2010, $1.3 trillion in 2011, and about $1.2 trillion in the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30—for a total of nearly $5.2 trillion in deficit spending,” also according to FactCheck.org.



Obama: The president likes to say he’s “doubled” a lot of things, most notably the generation of renewable energy and, in the long term, fuel efficiency of cars and trucks—and is likely to do so again on Wednesday night. These boasts will sound great, but unfortunately for him, they’re heavily exaggerated.

Since Obama took office, only a certain division of renewable energy, that of wind and solar power, has doubled; overall, the increase in capacity is under 30 percent. And while the EPA is indeed raising fuel standards for increased efficiency by 2025, FactCheck.org has noted that, contrary to the president’s rhetoric, our cars will hardly take us “twice as far” by that point.

Romney: The GOP nominee has his own favorite talking points on energy, starting with his misleading claim about what the president has “doubled”: gas prices. This statement is technically true, but should be qualified by the fact that prices were extraordinarily low when Obama took office due to the recession.

Also hyped up is the nominee’s talk about Keystone XL, the pipeline project to transport oil from Canada to plants in the Gulf Coast. The Romney refrain is that Obama botched a crucial energy project by wholly trashing the plans to import more oil from our neighbor to the north.

What Obama did was delay the assembly of the northern part of the new pipeline that was set through Nebraska’s Sandhills, and he did so with bipartisan support from the state’s lawmakers. A new, more environmentally sensitive route is set to be approved in a few months, and the whole thing should be up by 2015.


Romney: When the hot-button issue of immigration rears its head, be ready for the candidates to resort to political hit-and-runs. Romney is likely to toss out the charge that Obama “did nothing” to tackle immigration in his first three years. But while the Obama administration certainly hasn’t reached a comprehensive plan, the president lobbied for the DREAM act—which would qualify undocumented youth for a conditional path to citizenship—while the Democrats controlled the House and was met with opposition once the Republicans took over.

Romney might also complain that Obama’s deferred-action plan—granting some children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants a reprieve from deportation—doesn’t offer a permanent solution for aspiring immigrants. Yet in his own plan only young illegal immigrants who join the military would have access to that solution.

Obama: Meanwhile, Obama may claim that during the Republican primary season Romney endorsed Arizona’s controversial SB1070 law—requiring police to determine detainees’ immigration status, some argue through racial profilingand called the law a “model for the nation.”

But Romney was actually talking about Arizona’s e-verify law, which more modestly requires employers to check a job candidate’s immigration status on an online database.

get up! get moving!

In Fitness/Health, Uncategorized on Wednesday, 3 October 2012 at 16:24


affordable health care, korean-style.

In Uncategorized on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 at 18:44

kamsa hamnida!


coming soon to a bookstore near you!

In ADHD, ADHD Adult, ADHD child/adolescent, Neuropsychology, School Psychology, Uncategorized on Monday, 24 September 2012 at 16:47

Psychometric Analysis of the New ADHD DSM-V Derived Symptoms

Ahmad Ghanizadeh

BMC Psychiatry. 2012;12(21) © 2012 BioMed Central, Ltd.

Abstract and Introduction

AbstractBackground Following the agreements on the reformulating and revising of ADHD diagnostic criteria, recently, the proposed revision for ADHD added 4 new symptoms to the hyperactivity and Impulsivity aspect in DSM-V. This study investigates the psychometric properties of the proposed ADHD diagnostic criteria.
Method ADHD diagnosis was made according to DSM-IV. The parents completed the screening test of ADHD checklist of Child Symptom Inventory-4 and the 4 items describing the new proposed symptoms in DSM-V.
Results The confirmatory factor analysis of the ADHD DSM-V derived items supports the loading of two factors including inattentiveness and hyperactivity/impulsivity. There is a sufficient reliability for the items. However, confirmatory factor analysis showed that the three-factor model is better fitted than the two-factor one. Moreover, the results of the exploratory analysis raised some concerns about the factor loading of the four new items.
Conclusions The current results support the two-factor model of the DSM-V ADHD diagnostic criteria including inattentiveness and hyperactivity/impulsivity. However, the four new items can be considered as a third factor.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common behavioral disorders in children and adolescents. Its rate in community samples is variably reported. A study reported the rate of 5.29%.[1] Meanwhile, the rate of its screening symptoms is much higher, reaching up to 10.1% in school age children.[2] This high rate of ADHD prevalence emphasizes the need for accurate identification and diagnosis of ADHD.[3]

There has been a recent significant argument or controversy regarding the necessity of reformulating and revising ADHD criteria.[1,4,5] For example, recent criticism of the current ADHD subtypes and the suggestion of including age-specific ADHD criteria in DSM V should be considered.[6] In addition, the current ADHD subtypes are frequently criticized.[3] Some researchers are interested in introducing ADHD-inattentive type as a learning disorder.[7] Furthermore, there is a debate whether oppositional defiant disorder should be considered as a type of ADHD.[8,9] Girls with ADHD are underdiagnosed in the community.[6] Moreover, the impact of the change in the age of the onset has been investigated.[10]

Given that the proposed DSM-V criteria for ADHD are available and would be implemented in the near future,[11] it is advised that their psychometric properties and modifications be studied before their clinical application. To the best of the author’s knowledge, there are no published studies investigating the psychometric properties of the proposed ADHD diagnostic criteria for DSM-V.

DSM-IV defines ADHD as a cluster of symptoms; the patient must have at least six or more out of the 9 symptoms of inattention and/or six or more out of the 9 symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity.[12] The proposed revision of ADHD by American Psychiatric Association added 4 new symptoms to the Hyperactivity and Impulsivity aspect in DSM- V. These four symptoms are: “Tends to act without thinking, such as starting tasks without adequate preparation or avoiding reading or listening to instructions, may speak out without considering consequences or make important decisions on the spur of the moment, such as impulsively buying items, suddenly quitting a job, or breaking up with a friend”, “Is often impatient, as shown by feeling restless when waiting for others and wanting to move faster than others, wanting people to get to the point, speeding while driving, and cutting into traffic to go faster than others”, “Is uncomfortable doing things slowly and systematically and often rushes through activities or tasks”, and “Finds it difficult to resist temptations or opportunities, even if it means taking risks (A child may grab toys off a store shelf or play with dangerous objects; adults may commit to a relationship after only a brief acquaintance or take a job or enter into a business arrangement without doing due diligence)”.[11]

The aim of this study was to investigate the psychometric properties of the proposed ADHD symptoms in DSM-V. In the first step, factor analyses were conducted to assess the loadings for the symptoms. Then, the convergent and discriminative validity of the categories of inattentiveness and hyperactivity-impulsivity of DSM-V ADHD symptoms were assessed. Finally, the internal reliability of the inattentiveness and hyperactivity- impulsivity was calculated.


106 children, who were consecutive referrals to a university affiliated Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic in Shiraz, Iran, participated in this study. All of the children and adolescents were interviewed face to face by a board certified Child and Adolescent psychiatrist. In addition, at least one of their parents or caregivers was interviewed face to face as a collateral information resource.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, DSM-IV diagnostic criteria was used to make psychiatric diagnoses.[12] Interviews were conducted according to the Farsi version of the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children.[13]

Parents reported ADHD symptoms by completing the ADHD checklist of child symptom inventory-4.[14–16] The ADHD checklist of child symptom inventory-4 includes 18 symptoms. The symptoms are categorized into two groups of inattentiveness and hyperactive/impulsivity symptoms. The inattentiveness symptoms category consists of 9 symptoms according to DSM-IV. The category of hyperactive/impulsivity symptoms consists of 9 symptoms according to DSM-IV as well. In fact, the symptoms are the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. There is a 5-point Likert response scale for the symptoms. The responses ranged from “never,” “sometimes,” “often,” to “almost always”. Scores 0 and 1 were assigned to the categories of “never” and “sometimes”, respectively. The categories of “often” and “almost always” were assigned to 2 and 3, respectively. The range of scoring for each of inattentiveness and hyperactivity-impulsivity categories was from 0 to 9. The Farsi version of this checklist has enough reliability, convergent and discrimination validity[15] and has been used in many studies.[17–19] The internal reliability of this checklist for ADHD-inattentive type, ADHD-Hyperactive impulsive type, and combined type of ADHD is 0.81, 0.85, and 0.83, respectively.[14]

The four new items proposed by DSM-V to be added to ADHD diagnostic criteria were translated into Farsi and back translated into English by a bilingual child and adolescent psychiatrist and a psychologist. Every effort was made to preserve the concept of each symptom. After a pilot study on children referred to the clinic, the final version was used in the current study. The responses to these symptoms were in the Likert scale ranging from “never,” “sometimes,” “often,” to “almost always”.

The children and parents or caregivers gave their assent or informed written consent for voluntary participation in this study. This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences.


SPSS statistical software was used to analyze the data. A factor analysis with varimax rotation was conducted to examine the factor structure of the ADHD DSM-V symptoms. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure and the Bartlett’s test of sphericity were conducted. Internal consistency was examined using Cronbach’s tests.

One-, two-, three-factor models of confirmatory factor analysis were also conducted using LISREL 8.54 software. The convergent and discriminative validity of ADHD symptoms were analyzed using Pearson’s r correlation coefficient.

Another factor analysis was also conducted including the four newly proposed symptoms to examine item loading of the 13 symptoms of DSM-V derived hyperactivity- impulsivity symptoms. Here, the symptoms of inattentiveness were not included in the analysis. This analysis was conducted to examine whether the 13 items could be divided into two categories of hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Another factor analysis was conducted including the DSM-IV derived inattentiveness symptoms and the four new symptoms proposed in DSM-V. The symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity of DSM-IV were not included.


The sample included 84 (79.2%) boys and 22 (20.8%) girls. The age range of the children and adolescents was 5.5 to 17years. Their mean age was 9.1(SD = 2.5) years.

The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure was 0.76. It shows the adequacy of sampling. The Bartlett’s test of sphericity was less than 0.001. These results indicate that the data are suitable for factor analysis. The factor loading of the principal component analysis is indicated in Table 1. The factor of Hyperactivity-Impulsivity explained 30.4% (eigenvalue = 6.7) of the total variance. The factor of Inattentiveness accounted for 12.1% (eigenvalue = 2.6). Nearly all of the symptoms of inattentiveness were loaded in one factor. All of the Hyperactivity-Impulsivity symptoms were loaded on another factor. Three out of the four newly proposed ADHD separate symptoms were loaded on the factor including inattentiveness symptoms.


Table 1. Principal component analysis of the ADHD DSM-V checklist by rotated method of varimax

Component DSM-V symptoms Hyperactivity- Impulsivity
ADHD- item 1- makes careless mistakes −.049 .600
ADHD- item 2- sustaining attention .032 .731
ADHD- item 3- listening when spoken to .323 .319
ADHD- item 4- follows instructions .354 .515
ADHD- Item 5- organizing tasks .164 .775
ADHD-Item 6 – sustained mental effort −.097 .784
ADHD- item 7- loses things .185 .527
ADHD- item 8- distracted by extraneous stimuli .223 .536
ADHD- item 9- forgetful in daily activities .157 .486
ADHD- item10- fidgets with hands .532 .227
ADHD- item11- leaves seat in classroom .657 .206
ADHD- item 12- runs about .638 .178
ADHD- item 13- playing or leisure activities .864 −.013
ADHD- item 14- often “on the go” .800 −.008
ADHD- item 15- talks excessively .726 .152
ADHD- item 16- blurts out answers .663 .134
ADHD- item 17- awaiting turn .625 .335
ADHD- item 18- interrupts or intrudes on others .713 .086
ADHD- item 19- act without thinking .272 .412
ADHD- item 20- impatient .431 .330
ADHD- item 21- uncomfortable doing things slowly and systematically .358 .430
ADHD- item 22- difficult to resist temptations or opportunities .236 .399

Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.

In order to test which of the various models gives the best fit to the data, three confirmatory factor analyses were conducted. A one-factor model was not a good fit (Chi- square = 384.65, df = 209, P value 0.0001, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) = 0.098, Non-normed Fit index (NNFI) = 0.96, Comparative Fit index = 0.96.).

A two-factor model fit well. The results of two-factor model confirmatory factor analysis showing the correlation between inattentiveness and hyperactivity/impulsivity factors that was .56 are displayed in Table 2.

Table 2. The two-factor model of Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the ADHD DSM- V Checklist

Component DSM-V symptoms Hyperactivity- Impulsivity
ADHD- item 1- makes careless mistakes .49
ADHD- item 2- sustaining attention .71
ADHD- item 3- listening when spoken to .53
ADHD- item 4- follows instructions .73
ADHD- Item 5- organizing tasks .81
ADHD-Item 6 – sustained mental effort .66
ADHD- item 7- loses things .57
ADHD- item 8- distracted by extraneous stimuli .63
ADHD- item 9- forgetful in daily activities .56
ADHD- item10- fidgets with hands .64
ADHD- item11- leaves seat in classroom .72
ADHD- item 12- runs about .71
ADHD- item 13- playing or leisure activities .84
ADHD- item 14- often “on the go” .81
ADHD- item 15- talks excessively .76
ADHD- item 16- blurts out answers .69
ADHD- item 17- awaiting turn .76
ADHD- item 18- interrupts or intrudes on others .72
ADHD- item 19- act without thinking .49
ADHD- item 20- impatient .62
ADHD- item 21- uncomfortable doing things slowly and systematically .58
ADHD- item 22- difficult to resist temptations or opportunities .51

Chi-square = 384.65, df = 209, P valu < 0.0001, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) = 0.098, Non-normed Fit index (NNFI) = 0.96, Comparative Fit index = 0.96.

However, a three-factor model of confirmatory factor analysis also fit well and it was better than the two-factor model (Table 3).

Table 3. The three-factor model of Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the ADHD DSM-V Checklist

Component Newly DSM-V symptoms Hyperactivity- Impulsivity
Inattentiveness added items
ADHD- item 1- makes careless mistakes .49
ADHD- item 2- sustaining attention .71
ADHD- item 3- listening when spoken to .52
ADHD- item 4- follows instructions .72
ADHD- Item 5- organizing tasks .82
ADHD-Item 6 – sustained mental effort .67
ADHD- item 7- loses things .57
ADHD- item 8- distracted by extraneous stimuli .63
ADHD- item 9- forgetful in daily activities .56
ADHD- item10- fidgets with hands .65
ADHD- item11- leaves seat in classroom .74
ADHD- item 12- runs about .73
ADHD- item 13- playing or leisure activities .86
ADHD- item 14- often “on the go” .83
ADHD- item 15- talks excessively .78
ADHD- item 16- blurts out answers .71
ADHD- item 17- awaiting turn .78
ADHD- item 18- interrupts or intrudes on others .74
ADHD- item 19- act without thinking .63
ADHD- item 20- impatient .80
ADHD- item 21- uncomfortable doing things slowly and systematically .78
ADHD- item 22- difficult to resist temptations or opportunities .66

Chi-square = 31.84, df = 206, P valu < 0.0001, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) = 0.077, Non-normed Fit index (NNFI) = 0.99, Comparative Fit index = 0.99.

The factor loading of the second component analysis including only the symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity of DSM-V is displayed in Table 4. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure was 0.83. Bartlett’s test of sphericity was less than 0.001. It shows that all of the symptoms of the ADHD DSM-IV derived are loaded in one factor. Meanwhile, the four new symptoms proposed in DSM-V are loaded in another factor.

Table 4. Principal components analysis of the hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms of ADHD DSM-V Checklist

Hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms
1 2
ADHD- item10- fidgets with hands .566 .123
ADHD- item11- leaves seat in classroom .666 .214
ADHD- item 12- runs about .629 .225
ADHD- item 13- playing or leisure activities .834 .111
ADHD- item 14- often “on the go” .771 .157
ADHD- item 15- talks excessively .753 .154
ADHD- item 16- blurts out answers .682 .112
ADHD- item 17- awaiting turn .574 .396
ADHD- item 18- interrupts or intrudes on others .717 .132
ADHD- item 19- act without thinking .207 .496
ADHD- item 20- impatient .208 .794
ADHD- item 21- uncomfortable doing things slowly and systematically .187 .755
ADHD- item 22- difficult to resist temptations or opportunities .022 .781

Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.

The principal component analysis including the DSM-IV derived inattentiveness symptoms and the four new symptoms proposed in DSM-V indicated the two factor loading (Table 5). This analysis indicates that all of the inattentiveness symptoms are loaded in one factor and the new symptoms proposed in DSM-V are loaded in another factor.

Table 5. Principal component analysis including the DSM-IV derived inattentiveness symptoms and the four new symptoms proposed in DSM-V

Inattentiveness symptom of DSM-IV and new proposed symptoms in DSM-V
1 2
ADHD- item 1- makes careless mistakes .676 −.045
ADHD- item 2- sustaining attention .780 .079
ADHD- item 3- listening when spoken to .486 .122
ADHD- item 4- follows instructions .551 .322
ADHD- Item 5- organizing tasks .686 .386
ADHD-Item 6 – sustained mental effort .667 .192
ADHD- item 7- loses things .414 .341
ADHD- item 8- distracted by extraneous stimuli .450 .367
ADHD- item 9- forgetful in daily activities .579 .057
ADHD- item 19- act without thinking .275 .565
ADHD- item 20- impatient .069 .785
ADHD- item 21- uncomfortable doing things slowly and systematically .136 .793
ADHD- item 22- difficult to resist temptations or opportunities .058 .750

Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.

The convergent and discriminative validity for the whole 22 symptoms proposed for ADHD in DSM-V were calculated. The range of convergent validity for the symptoms of inattentiveness was from 0.504 to 0.772 and that of discriminative validity for the symptoms of inattentiveness was from 0.017 to 0.427. Also, the range of convergent validity for the symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity was from 0.42 to 0.770 and that of discriminative validity for the symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity was from 0.12 to 0.39.

The alpha coefficient for the whole 24 symptoms of ADHD in DSM-V was 0.88. The alpha for the DSM-V hyperactivity-impulsivity was 0.87. It was 0.80 for DSM-IV inattention.


To the best of the author’s knowledge, this is the first study investigating psychometric and factor structure of ADHD DSM-V derived symptoms. So, it is not possible to compare the current results with those of other studies. Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the proposed two-factor loading of inattentiveness and hyperactivity/impulsivity for the new ADHD DSM-V criteria. However, the three-factor model of confirmatory factor analysis showed that the four new items can be considered as the third factor.

The results indicate that convergent and discriminative validity for ADHD DSM-V derived inattention symptoms are sufficient. Although the symptoms of hyperactivity- impulsivity are discriminated from inattentiveness symptoms, the convergent validity of the four newly proposed symptoms in DSM-V is not as high as that of the 9 symptoms derived from DSM-IV. The three new criteria for hyperactivity/impulsivity were loaded in inattentiveness factor rather than in hyperactivity-impulsivity factor. These may not support the fact that the 4 proposed symptoms for revision of ADHD exactly describe hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms. However, the internal consistency and reliability of the inattentiveness and hyperactive/impulsivity symptoms are high.\

Considering the factor loading of the four newly proposed symptoms added to DSM-V, there is a concern that inattentiveness symptoms may falsely increase the diagnosis of ADHD-hyperactive/impulsive type or combined type of ADHD. It means that the symptoms which are loaded as inattentive symptoms may lead to subthreshold ADHD- hyperactive/impulsive type using DSM-IV, while fulfilling criteria of ADHD- hyperactive/impulsive type using DSM-V.

With respect to the fact that the better diagnoses and classification of children with ADHD could lead to a better treatment, more discussion and justification about the new items are required. Probably, future studies should investigate the neuropsychological functioning of children with ADHD for the classification of the subtypes of ADHD. The current results indicated that continued research is required to reach accurate diagnostic criteria for making accurate ADHD diagnoses.

There is some overlap between ADHD symptoms and ODD in DSM-IV.[20] ODD symptoms are properly differentiated from ADHD. However, two items of the ADHD including “Often has trouble organizing activities” and “Often runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate” are loaded in the oppositional defiant disorder component rather than ADHD component.[20] Another concern is whether the new added symptoms in DSM-V are well differentiated from ODD symptoms. This needs further studies.

There are some limitations in this study which need to be considered. This study was conducted on a clinical sample of children and adolescents with ADHD. Further studies with larger sample size including community sample with a wider age rage are recommended. The children and their parents were the sources of information. Including other informants such as teachers is also recommended. This study is based on one sample in a specific geographical area. In addition, the use of translation instead of the actual questionnaire is another limitation. A multi-site approach with a more limited age range would be required to appropriately assess the psychometric properties of the proposed items of a classification used worldwide.

Despite the above-mentioned limitations, this is the first study that assesses psychometric properties of ADHD DSM-V derived symptoms. In addition, the children, adolescents and parents were interviewed face to face using a well known semi- structured interview. Moreover, all the interviews were conducted by a Board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist.


The findings of present study support the two-factor model of the DSM-V ADHD diagnostic criteria including inattentiveness and hyperactivity/impulsivity. Nevertheless, the four new items can be considered as a third factor.


  1. Rohde LA: Is there a need to reformulate attention deficit hyperactivity disorder criteria in future nosologic classifications? Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am 2008, 17(2):405–420.
  2. Ghanizadeh A: Distribution of symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in schoolchildren of Shiraz, south of Iran. Arch Iran Med 2008, 11(6):618–624.
  3. Bell AS: A Critical Review of ADHD Diagnostic Criteria: What to Address in the DSM-V. J AttenDisord 2010.
  4. Ghanizadeh A: Is it time to revise the definition of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? Ann Acad Med Singapore 2010, 39(2):155–156.
  5. Swanson JM, Wigal T, Lakes K: DSM-V and the future diagnosis of attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Curr Psychiatry Rep 2009, 11(5):399–406.
  6. Ramtekkar UP, Reiersen AM, Todorov AA, Todd RD: Sex and age differences in attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms and diagnoses: implications for DSM-V and ICD-11. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2010, 49(3):217–228. e211–213
  7. Milich R, Balentine AC, Lynam DR: ADHD combined type and ADHD predominantly inattentive type are distinct and unrelated disorder. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 2001, 8:463–488.
  8. Poulton AS: Time to redefine the diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder. J Paediatr Child Health 2010.
  9. Ghanizadeh A: Should ADHD broaden diagnostic classification to include oppositional defiant disorder? Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 2011, 47(6):396–397.
  10. Polanczyk G, Caspi A, Houts R, Kollins SH, Rohde LA, Moffitt TE: Implications of extending the ADHD age-of-onset criterion to age 12: results from a prospectively studied birth cohort. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2010, 49(3):210–216.
  11. DSM-5 development [http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=383]
  12. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders Fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 1994.
  13. Ghanizadeh A, Mohammadi MR, Yazdanshenas A: Psychometric properties of the Farsi translation of the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Present and Lifetime Version. BMC Psychiatry 2006, 6:10.
  14. Ghanizadeh A, Jafari P: Cultural structures of the Persian parents’ ratings of ADHD. J Atten Disord 2010, 13(4):369–373.
  15. Alipour A, Esmaile EM (Eds): Studying of Validity, Reliability, and Cutoff points of CSI-14 in the School Children Aged 6 to 14 in Tehran In Tehran Exceptional students’ Research Center 2004.
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  18. Ghanizadeh A: Psychiatric comorbidity differences in clinic-referred children and adolescents with ADHD according to the subtypes and gender. J Child Neurol 2009, 24(6):679–684.
  19. Ghanizadeh A, Khajavian S, Ashkani H: Prevalence of psychiatric disorders, depression, and suicidal behavior in child and adolescent with thalassemia major. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2006, 28(12):781–784.
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Retrieved from: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/764516

listen willya

In Education, Pedagogy, Uncategorized on Sunday, 23 September 2012 at 14:20

nicely done.

Autism and other disorders may not be linked to the age of the mother…

In Uncategorized on Sunday, 16 September 2012 at 11:35

Dad’s age, not mom’s, may drive autism, schizophrenia, other disorders

Posted on August 22, 2012 by Stone Hearth News

REYKJAVIK, Iceland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–deCODE Genetics, a global leader in analyzing and understanding the human genome, in collaboration with Illumina, a global leader in the making of instruments to analyze the genome, reported today in the journal Nature that a father’s age, not a mother’s, at the time a child is conceived is the single largest contributor to the passing of new hereditary mutations to offspring. The findings come from the largest whole genome sequencing project to examine associations of diseases with rare variants in the genome.

“Strikingly, this study found that a father’s age at the time a child is conceived explains nearly all of the population diversity in new hereditary mutations found in the offspring,” said study lead author Kari Stefansson, M.D., Dr. Med., CEO of deCODE Genetics. “With the results here, it is now clear that demographic transitions that affect the age at which males reproduce can have a considerable impact on the rate of certain diseases linked to new mutation.”

To better understand the cause of new hereditary mutations, the deCODE team sequenced the genomes of 78 Icelandic families with offspring who had a diagnosis of autism or schizophrenia. The team also sequenced the genomes of an additional 1,859 Icelanders, providing a larger comparative population.

On average, the investigators found a two mutation per-year increase in offspring with each one-year increase in age of the father. The average age of the father in the study was 29.7 years old. Also, when specifically examining the genomes of families with autism and schizophrenia, the authors identified in offspring mutations in genes previously implicated in the diseases. They also identified two genes, CUL3 and EPHB2, with mutations in an autism patient subgroup.

“Our results all point to the possibility that as a man ages, the number of hereditary mutations in his sperm increases, and the chance that a child would carry a deleterious mutation that could lead to diseases such as autism and schizophrenia increases proportionally,” said Dr. Stefansson. “It is of interest here that conventional wisdom has been to blame developmental disorders of children on the age of mothers, whereas the only problems that come with advancing age of mothers is a risk of Down syndrome and other rare chromosomal abnormalities. It is the age of fathers that appears to be the real culprit.”

Epidemiological studies in Iceland show the risk of both schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders increases significantly with father’s age at conception, and that the average age of father’s in Iceland (now 33 years-old) at the time a child is conceived is on the rise. The authors noted that demographic change of this kind and magnitude is not unique to Iceland, and it raises the question of whether the reported increase in autism spectrum disorder diagnosis is at least partially due to an increase in the average age of fathers at conception.

About deCODE

Headquartered in Reykjavik, Iceland, deCODE genetics is a global leader in analyzing and understanding the human genome. Using its unique expertise and population resources, deCODE has discovered genetic risk factors for dozens of common diseases ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer.

In order to most rapidly realize the value of genetics for human health, deCODE partners with life sciences companies to accelerate their target discovery, validation, and prioritization efforts, yielding improved patient stratification for clinical trials and essential companion diagnostics. In addition, through its CLIA- and CAP-certified laboratory, deCODE offers DNA-based tests for gauging risk and empowering prevention of common diseases. deCODE also licenses its tests, intellectual property, and analytical tools to partner organizations. deCODE’s corporate information can be found at http://www.decode.com with information about our genetic testing services at http://www.decodehealth.com and www.decodeme.com.


In Uncategorized on Saturday, 8 September 2012 at 17:40

very apropos as we head into the election…