"When I was younger," Mark Twain quipped near the end of his life, "I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are de"When I was younger," Mark Twain quipped near the end of his life, "I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened." (1)
Was Du erlebst, kann keine Macht der Welt Dir rauben. (What you have experienced, no power on earth can take from you.) (p. 16)
The human brain is 2 percent of the body's weight but requires 20% of its energy consumption. (23) No single brain cell is separated from any other brain cell by more than six or seven intermediaries. (p. 52)
Forgetting is not a failure at all, but an active metabolic process [of the brain], a flushing out of data in the pursuit of knowledge and meaning. (p. 57) .... The brain eliminates trees in order to make sense of, and remember, the forests. Forgetting is a hidden virtue. Forgetting is what makes us so smart. (p. 60)
A disease is not a thing but a process; it is neither the cause of the problem nor its visible effects - neither the virus infecting the tissue nor the damaged tissue itself - but the interaction between the two (79-80).
While medical science gives us many tools for staying alive, it cannot help us with the art of living - or dying. Life, in its precious transience, is something we can only define on our own terms. With Alzheimer's disease, the caregiver's challenge is to escape the medical confines of diseaseand to assemble a new humanity in the loss. (p. 93)
Prolongation of Morbidity: the extension of life inevitably yields new suffering (p. 164) (by extending our lives, we achieve suffering p. 171) ___________
"Part of the function of any early-stage support group must be to try to make sense of this strange new terrain that lies between healthy and demented. (p. 32) ___________
People who had dementia/Alzheimer's:
E.B. White, author of Charlotte's Web (p. 33) King Lear / Shakespeare Ralph Waldo Emerson ___________
* Estimated 15 million will have Alzheimer's in the U.S. by 2050 (p. 5) and risk increases with age: around half of all people over age 85 have dementia (p. 31). It's not unusual for people to have both Alzheimer's and Parkinson Disease (p. 40). Women are more susceptible to Alzheimer's Disease than men (p. 67), while Cree and Cherokee Indians are less susceptible (p. 68). Half of all caregiver's could suffer from depression (p.88)
* Alzheimer's Disease involves the accumulation of cellular debris in the form of clumpy brown spherical plaques that float between neurons (in the space normally occupied by glial cells, p. 25), and long black stringy tangles that choke neurons from within their own cell membranes, causing the neurons to die and the brain to shrink (21). Neurons infested with tangles may not even have a nucleus (25).
Only 5% of all Alzheimer's cases are caused by a single gene. (p. 151) ___________
Early: "Insidious onset" - no definitive starting point and currently cannot be definitively diagnosed until after death (35) - Short term memory loss, hiccups in logic, fleeting spatial disorientation, trouble with words and arithmetic, some impairment of judgement (28, 36) - Begins in the hippocampus (a structure in the temporal lobe) (p. 37)
Mid-Stage - More severe memory problems - see p. 118, 120
Late Stage - Further cognitive loss
Two Stage Model Awareness stage & Postawareness stage
See p. 122-123 for comparison of child developmental milestones to degeneration of cognitive and other skills in Alzheimer's. __________
Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE): reality orientation assessment, p. 35 The Clock Test, p. 37 Buschke Selective Reminding Test (short term verbal memory) (p. 37) Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (ability to deduce sorting patterns) (p. 37) Trail Making Test (psychomotor skills) (p. 37) Porteus Mazes (planning, abstract puzzle-solving ability) (p. 37) __________
astereognosis - inability to understand the source/meaning of touch (p. 119)
Multi-Infarct Dementia - second most common cause (15%) of senile dementia after Alzheimer's (60%); caused by a series of small strokes (34)
anterograde amnesia - inability to store new memories
cerebral arteriosclerosis - the slow buildup of fat in the brain's arteries over time(p. 73)?
Retrogenesis - "back to birth"; Alzheimer's as a "second childhood." (p. 124, 127)
GRATUITOUS LIST OF DISEASE NAMES: p. 78-79. I have no idea why the author went on for so long but whatever, I sort of like long lists of diseases __________
Brief summary of disease process, p. 21 Brief history of memory, p. 44 Summary of memory process, p. 47 Semantic memory, p. 48 False memory syndrome, p. 56 Reverse parenthood, p. 66 Freud vs. emerging medical science, p. 76 Bronson Alcott quote p. 83 Caregiver's dementia, p. 88 King Lear, p. 89 The role of denial, p. 115 Neurological development of the infant, p. 124 Assessment, p. 127 Folk explanations for Alzheimer's, p. 138 Systemic senile amyloidosis (p. 146) prion disease (p. 148-)...more
For the purposes of this review, Angelman Syndrome is abbreviated as AS, patients as pts. _______
[Angelman Syndrom is] a severe neurodevelopmental disoFor the purposes of this review, Angelman Syndrome is abbreviated as AS, patients as pts. _______
[Angelman Syndrom is] a severe neurodevelopmental disorder whose features change over time (19), caused by deficient expression of the UBE3A gene (32) on chromosome 15 inherited by the mother.
Families often call their effected loved ones 'angels.' Some caregivers suggest the character 'Dopey' in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has AS (4).
The clinical problems which appear to be most at the forefront include severe developmental delay (and in particular learning difficulties), seizure disorder, sleep problems, & a lack of autonomy/participation in society in relation to intellectual disability, communication impairment, behavioral adaptation & motor problems (148).
- Prevalence: between 1 in 10,000 & 1 in 40,000 (5)
- AS is never diagnosed at birth, rarely in infancy because parents don't often notice a problem (12); 85-90% of cases can be diagnosed through genetic testing (32); around 6-12 months parents usually start looking for a diagnosis because of delayed motor milestones (94)
- 50% show persistent tongue protrusion and drooling, otherwise tongue protrusion and drooling is associated with laughter (16, 93)
- Most pts. with AS have no language, and even if they have a few words, do not use speech as a primary means of communication (86), spoken words are often poorly articulated, with sounds limited to vowels or a few consonants (89)
* Communication is most often used to mand for preferred objects or activities, less often to tact (87)
- Sitting achieved during second year (94); bottom-shuffling 18-24 months (94), and independent walking after age 3-4 (98), although 10% will never walk independently (16)
- Eating Disorders: Pts. with AS may be at increased risk of developing bulimia, pica, and for women especially, obesity (17, 73), preference for foods that don't require much chewing (bananas, bread, pasta) (74)
- Pts. with AS have difficulty achieving coordinated psychomotor skills required for mastering ADLS such as self-help & independence in feeding, dressing, and toileting, although there is a wide variation in self-help skills, may have no sense of danger (71); cerebellar dysfunction contributes to motor impairment (133)
- All people with AS require supervision even as adults (71).
- The inheritance of AS is not typically mendelian (31). Advanced paternal age is a risk factor (39)
*try backward chaining for toileting (71)
"A wealth of studies have indicated that various physiological and pathological rhythmic muscle activities may be a manifestation of oscillations in the central nervous system, and it has been suggested that such oscillations may have a role in motor control." (133) ______
Music Skills Profile
- Visual tracking of moving objects often impaired (78) - Localisation of sound sources may be marginally impaired, although it isn't often a functional problem (78) - Perception of touch does not seem to be grossly impaired (78) - Good skills in spatial navigation and long term memory (84) - Orientation to speaker often impaired (87) - Joint attention and communicative sharing often impaired (87) - Reciprocal exchange in a rhythmic, dialogue-like fashion is difficult and turn-taking is impaired by impulsivity (87) - Most pts. with Angelman Syndrome understand many single words, especially those referring to concrete objects; comprehension of two word phrases may be limited by attention deficits (88) - Expressive skills are often multimodal (90) - Pts. often invite partners into their activity by taking the person's hand (90) - Pts. can often point, although they may use the whole hand or lack accuracy (90) - Pts. can often shake/nod their heads yes/no (90) - Pts. can often learn to choose between communication cards (90) - Most use signs to communicate (91) - Children can develop some skills if they practice, although it rarely generalizes (95) - The mouth is almost constantly open (97) - Oral motor imitation is very difficult (97) - Often use alternative locomotion devices like walkers, wheelchairs, and tricycles to enhance mobility (100) - "The patient's enjoyment in active movement can foster sensorimotor integration." (103) ______
Other Medical Concerns & Facts...
- Some pts. with AS have severe gastrointestinal problems (17) - Vision problems common, often untreated (76) - Hypopigmentation characterized by light skin, reduced retinal pigment (35) - May develop scoliosis in adolescence (17, 93, 96) - mild/moderate deficits in integration of stationary and kinesthetic information (80) - difficulties in anticipating and adapting to postural balance disturbances (80) - Lack of/marked decrease in response to commonly painful stimuli (80) - Reluctance to exercise and reduced mobility in teenage and adult years (95) - Disabling resting tremor may occur in day-long clusters, resulting in loss of the ability to eat or walk (101) - Tendency towards multiple-joint stiffening (132) ______
- Social smiling emerges 4-6 weeks (early/normal age): * reflexive laughter/giggling develop soon after * may foster early social interaction, mask intellectual disability (13); * smiling & laughing prominent in childhood (15), may be hallmark of the condition (65) * Laughter/smiling may sometimes indicate anxiety (66) * Marked social disinhibition (71) * Fear of strangers diminished, but specific phobias (crowds, noise) may be present (71)
- Aggressive behavior is rare in children and adults (71); problematic behavior may serve a communicative function (74)
- People with Angelman Syndrome often have trouble with social control level, social feedback sensitivity, interpretation of peer's behavior or awareness of impact of one's own behavior (72); but do not have a primary deficit of theory of mind (88)
- Often initiate eye contact easily but do not maintain it for significant periods (due to attention deficits) (77) ______
- Visual preoccupation with shiny surfaces, edges of objects, spinning objects
- Attraction to water, sounds of water, hands/feet in water
- Fascination with crinkly papers/plastics
- Activities & sensory items more preferred than food, drink, tangible items
- Preferred activities may include riding a bus, taking a bath, swimming, interacting w/staff, praise, watching TV, listening to music, looking at pictures, browsing books and magazines
Attention, Hyperactivity, & Impulsivity
* Short attention span in children (17, 81), attention span increases with age (81) * Alerting attention does not seem impaired (81) * Orienting attention skills (ability to select specific information from multiple stimuli) are are variable in people with Angelman Syndrome (81) * Executive attention (focused/selective attention) most heavily impaired in pts. with AS (82)
* Easily excited (66) * Impulsivity (difficulty waiting their turn, delaying responses) (67) * Hyperactivity decreases in teens & adulthood (17) * Most often addressed with behavioral approaches (67)
- Motor hyperactivity in children, often features repetitive, purposeless hand movements: (68-69)
* considered involuntary * rhythmic, repetitive, often symmetrical, purposeless movements in fixed & predictable patterns * includes finger wriggling, facial grimaces, bruxism, head shaking/nodding, rocking, jumping, walking back & forth; mostly hand flapping and waving; * appear intermittently for periods of up to several minutes * Often precipitated by fatigue, stress, excitement, or boredom * can include manipulations of objects, or chewing/mouthing of objects * usually, no treatment is required because it causes no harm or significant social impairment to the child * Compulsions include: walking through doorways, shutting all the doors in a particular place, spreading feces on walls, eye rubbing, and masturbation; (eye rubbing requires treatment as it can cause keratoconus)
Comorbid seizure disorder occur in 90% of pts. with AS (9, 105)
* seizure onset occurs between 18 months - 4 years (16)
* seizure disorders may improve in teen years (17, 106), but may worsen in adult years
* myoclonic seizures, generalized tonic-clonic seizures, & atypical absence seizures most common types, and mostly occur in clusters (19, 106)
* frequent seizures can interfere with learning (114) ______
Development often described as frozen or arrested at approximately a certain developmental age: (7)
- General developmental level: 15 months - Gross Motor developmental level: 24 months (93) - Fine Motor developmental level: 15 months (93) - Cognitive arrest @ 24 months (severe to profound intellectual disability) (p. 75)
According to Piaget's Developmental theories, people with AS may not function beyond the sensorimotor stage (typical development between birth - 2 yrs) (83).
- Dyssomnias common (125); severe sleep disturbances of multiple types especially common in children age 2-6 (115), this often resolves in teen years and adulthood (16, 17, 125),
- Problems often include: * difficulty settling when tired (118) * difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep * irregular sleep-wake cycles * inappropriate behaviors like screaming/laughing * sleep-related seizure disorder * sleep-related movement disorder (sleep onset may be accompanied by sleep starts (stereotyped movements/muscle twitches), night rhythmias) (118)
Behavioral management recommended: sleep hygiene * safe, reassuring, comfortable, quiet sleep environment * clear and consistent sleep schedule * reinforce time cues * reduce stimulation * tight-fitting sleeping bag (121, 125) * objective is often to reach a compromise rather than solve problems completely (121) because sleep problems resolve with age and children's alertness/activity levels are often not impacted by reduced sleep,
* Children w/AS may have a diminished need for sleep ______
Effects on Parents / Family / Caregivers
- Parents often suffer more from child's sleep disturbances than children, experiencing: * fatigue * irritability * limitation of activities (116)
- Parents may have feelings of: * uncertainty * loss of control * low self-esteem (parents who use active problem solving techniques have higher self esteem) * depression (more of a problem in parents of boys) (64)
Differential Diagnosis, relation to other syndromes / Dx
- AS has some similarities and people are often misdiagnosed with, or co-diagnosed with: autism, cerebral palsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, etc (51)
- Similarities with autism: * hand flapping * absence of speech * impaired use of nonverbal communicative behaviors (facial expression, body postures/gestures to regulate social interaction, decoding of facial expressions) * attention deficits * hyperactivity * feeding and sleeping problems * delays in motor development (54)
- Unlike people with autism, people with AS are often highly sociable from early infancy (70), and have distinctive facial features and a happy disposition (p. 54)
- AS may be considered syndromic autism (55), autism may be a comorbidity with AS, or autism may be characteristic of AS (70). Much of current debate on psychological/behavioral features of AS concentrates on whether or not it is appropriate to consider affected individuals within the autistic spectrum, or whether their frequent smiling and laughing consistently reflect mirth (150).
* Prevalence of AS amongst people on the Autism Spectrum is estimated at 1% (54)
Contributions of single genes to behavior are very limited (64).
A person's behavior, particularly if it is problematic, affects the behavior of other individuals, which in turn may modify the person's behavior. Therefor genetic or biological factors cannot easily be disentangled from environmental influences (64). ______
Special Topics Index
Audiogenic seizures (144) Bayley Scales of Infant Development (83) Behavioral Phenotype (63) Cellular Mosaicism (60) Clinical diagnostic criteria (6) Genetic counseling (39) Gesell's maturational theory (83) Hippotherapy (103) Ketogenic Diet (113) Knockout mice vs. transgenic mice (141) Myoclonias (107) non-REM sleep (115) relation to Autism spectrum disorder (54) relation to Cerebral palsy (53) REM sleep (115) Sleep Architecture (115) Somnambulism (sleep walking) (120) Somniloquy (sleep talking) (120) sound therapy (125) (e.g. white noise to assist sleeping) Theory of mind/metacognition (88) Tonic Vs. Clonic seizures (107) ______
$5-$10 Vocabulary Words
Anathria - loss of the motor ability that enables speech (53)
Apoptosis - process of programmed cell death in multicellular organisms (two ways a cell can die: necrosis or apoptosis) (111)
Bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria - rare neurological disorder characterized by partial paralysis of muscles on both sides of the face , tongue, jaws, and throat (54)
Bradykinesia - slow movement (101)
Bruxism teeth grinding (119)
Congenital - from birth, inborn (p. 53)
Contiguous gene syndrome - a disorder caused by chromosomal micro deletions whose phenotypic manifestations are caused by the involvement of multiple unrelated genes that are physically linked to each other (33)
Corpus Callosotomy - see p. 113
Cortical Dysplasia - congenital abnormality where neurons in an area of the brain failed to migrate in the proper formation in utero, associated with seizures; treatment is to treat symptoms, often surgery to treat seizures (54)
Dialeptic Status Epilepticus - seizures with alteration of consciousness as main ictal feature without any reference to the origin (109); non convulsive
Diplegia - paralysis affecting symmetrical parts of the body (53)
Dysaesthesia - abnormal sensation; unpleasant sense of touch; pain; caused by lesions in the nervous system; may feel like burning, wetness, itching, electric shock, pins and needles; often occurs in the mouth, scalp, skin, & legs (79)
Dysarthria - disorder of speech muscles (53)
Dysmorphic - characterized by malformation (59)
Dysplasia - abnormal growth (136)
Dyspraxia - Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) - affecting fine and gross motor coordination, a lifelong condition (53, 89)
Epigenetic - process by which genetic info is expressed (on a molecular level) without change to DNA (ix)
Evert - turn outward or inside out (59)
Gelastic Seizures - rare type of seizure that involves a sudden burst of energy, usually in the form of laughing or crying, slightly more common in males (66)
Genomic Imprinting - a process that determines differential expression of genes according to their maternal or paternal origin (p. 32) although most autosomal genes are expressed biallelically, around 70 are imprinted, with around 35 coded with the portion donated by the mother expressed and the other approximately 35 autosomal genes are coded with the portion donated by the father; imprinted genes are often highly expressed in the brain, so when one of these is deleted or silenced it can cause neurological problems.... (43).
Hirschsprung's Disease - congenital disease in which the large intestine has problems passing stool because there are nerve cells missing in the colon (59)
Hypertelorism - abnormally increased distance between two body parts or organs, particularly the eyes (59)
Hypokinesia - decreased bodily movement (89)
Hypospadias - condition in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis instead of at the tip (59)
Hypotonia - low muscle tone (53)
Keratoconus - thinning disorder of the cornea that causes visual distortion (ghosting, multiple images, glare, halos, starbursts around lights) (69)
Maple Syrup Urine Disease – inherited disorder; body unable to process certain amino acids; characterized by sweet odor of urine of affected infants, poor feeding, vomiting, lethargy, developmental delay, if untreated leads to seizures, coma, and death (126)
Melatonin - see p. 123
Microcephaly - small head
Myoclonus - sudden, involuntary muscle jerk (101)
Night Rhythmias - type of parasomnia: stereotyped repetitive movements (body-rocking/rolling, head-banging) that typically occur at the transition between sleeping and wakefulness, or following arousal from sleep, may persist into light sleep; should not be regarded as pathological (118)
Night Terrors (Pavor Nocturnus, Sleep Terrors) – characterized by sudden, extreme distress (apparent fright) with inability to regain full consciousness even when efforts are made to wake the sleeper up; occur during deep sleep (non-REM sleep stage 4); different from nightmares (which occur during REM sleep); subject does not retain any memory of the experience (120)
Nosological - systematic classification of diseases, knowledge of disease (p. 9)
Otitis Media - middle ear inflammation (78)
Paroxysmal - sudden attack or increase of symptoms that occurs over and over (e.g. coughing); a sudden strong feeling or expression of emotion that cannot be controlled (114)
Parenchyma - bulk of a substance, e.g. functional, essential parts of an organ compared to the structural tissue (136)
Paresis - weakness of voluntary movement (p. 53)
Pathognomic (of a sign/symptom) specifically characteristic or indicative of a particular disease or condition (65)
Phototherapy - light therapy (125)
Prognathism - protruding jaw (89)
Prototypical - original model on which something is based (ix)
Schizencephaly – extremely rare developmental birth defect characterized by abnormal slits/clefts in the cerebral hemisphere of the brain; bilateral clefts = developmental delay, speech/language delay, brain-spinal chord communication problems; unilateral clefts = paralysis one side of the body but average/near average intelligence; may have abnormally small head, mental retardation, partial/complete paralysis, poor muscle tone, seizures, hydrocephalus (137)
Sialorrhea - drooling, excessive salivation (15)
Status epilepticus - seizure lasting more than five minutes (17)
Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis – progressive, debilitating, deadly brain disorder; related to measles infection; can occur several years after infection; males more affected than females, generally occurs in children + teens (126)
Subarachnoid Space - between pia mater/cerebral cortex + dura mater/skull bone (136)
Synkinesia - involuntary movement of one body part when moving another (98)
Tetraparesis - weakness in all four limbs (53)
Related disorders (to remind you that really you don't know very much about things)
For only approximately 150 pages this took me an inordinately long time to read.
You see, I am very interested in questions like "why humans like musicFor only approximately 150 pages this took me an inordinately long time to read.
You see, I am very interested in questions like "why humans like music" as individuals but also as a species because I am a therapist who uses a patient's preferred music as a tool to improve non-musical skills and address non musical goals like the reduction of pain, the improvement of gait, or the increase of self esteem and self awareness.
I have a masters degree in this and my perspective and approach to this subject most certainly comes from that of a musician first and also a mental health / allied health clinician.
The author, on the other hand, is obviously a journalist and science reporter first. As a result, this book on why HUMANS like music focuses in large part on animal studies. Sometimes these animal studies are on rats, which have pretty different brains than humans in a lot of ways. So it seems a little short sighted to based too many conclusions about a complex human matter like music based on studies of rat brains and behaviors.
In some cases, the author neglected to mention major researchers in the field and their theories, so for example I never caught a reference to anthropologist Alan P. Merriam's work and his proposal that there are 10 functions of music across the globe. Even though the book spends quit e bait of time talking about the possible functions of music, they never mention this. They do mention Steven Pinker's infamous audio cheesecake comments. Now and then a few composers are briefly quoted, or works are mentioned.
The chapter on Music Therapy, in my opinion, is woefully deficient to the point of sometimes being laughable. I say this, remember, as a board certified music therapist who works full time doing music therapy and has a masters degree on the subject............
So one of the things that was laughable was that the author spent a large amount of time talking about an intervention for snoring. The thing is, the intervention requires playing didgeridoo - an Australian traditional/folk instrument, and furthermore requires that the patient learn to do circular breathing. And the book never mentions how difficult it is to learn to do this and how musicians often practice and study for years to learn to do it. The author doesn't use the technical term - circular breathing - and doesn't mention how difficult it is.
There are some good things.
Animal studies are interesting in their own right. There are about two paragraphs that describe unique approaches to MT popular in Italy. I am not sure if I can trust the validity of this author's descriptions but it's interesting. ________
"Musicians generally have a larger quantity of grey matter in a part of the auditory cortex called Heschl's gyrus." (p. 43)
"Music is not a monolithic ability that you either have or don't have." - Canadian neuroscientist Isabelle Peretz (p. 46)
"In our ability to understand music there is something innate, that is influenced by culture, education, and exposure to music of a certain kind (88)
"I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to." - Elvis Presley (p. 152) ________
The ear matures when the fetus is 20 weeks, and from then the fetus slowly begins to hear the sounds, noises, and voices around it. (90)
Babies listen more attentively to their mother's singing than to her words. Babies remember the music for a long time, employing musical abilities that are similar in many ways to those of adults. And in certain specific activities, these abilities exceed those of adults." (86)
* Babies prefer the voices of adult females over any other (93) * Babies are able to distinguish consonant and dissonant intervals, and prefer the former to the latter. (86) * From the age of 5 months, babies recognize melodies even when transposed. (86) * Babies, like adults, recognize melodies even if they are played faster or slower. (86) * Babies prefer melodies played in diatonic scales (86), but show no preference for major, minor, eastern, or western scales (87) * Babies learn the perfect fourth and fifth most easily, and at 6 months, are already quite good at recognizing the alteration of a semi-tone in one of these two intervals (but not in other intervals). (86) * Babies can memorize their own names and those of family members often before 7 months (94) * For newborns, music might function as a mood regulator (96).
"From the baby's point of view, music and language are not as far from each other as they are for adults." - Jenny Saffran (95)
Two types of music parents sing to children: lullabies and playing songs; all songs intended for children share the use of few elements and many repetitions (93)
"No one is born with a natural sense of rhythm. (87) <--???? ________
Analogy vs. Homology, p. 56 Whale songs, p. 69 Musical acculturation p. 89 Musical memory of newborns, p. 91 Motherese, p. 92 Music and alcohol sales, p. 108 Music and religion, p. 112 Reasons to believe music is the result of an adaptation, p. 120 Autism & Williams Syndrome, p. 121 synesthesia, p. 122 musical hallucinations, p. 124-125 Musicogenic epilepsy, p. 126 Congenital amusia, p. 127 Mental health of historical musicians (p. 132) Music medicine, p. 135 Mozart effect, p. 141 ________
archicembalo - 16th century instrument with 31 divisions of the octave (p. 32)
tonotopic - a pitch-sensitive distribution of nerve endings in the auditory processing parts of the brain (p. 41)
Silbo Gomero - whistled language in the Canary islands
musical agnosia - inability to recognize music (p. 116)
clavecin oculaire (visual harpsichord) - instrument created by Louis-Bertrand Castel in mid 18th century
amusia - unable to hear music as anything other than a series of juxtaposed sounds; not "tone deafness", don't notice if an out of tune note is inserted into a short melody, able to distinguish between "sad" and "happy" music and whether a phrase is interrogative or affirmative; often have serious difficulty with singing; amusia affects up to 5% of the population (p. 126-128)...more
I am by no means well educated in astrophysics, and I read this in 2014 knowing full well it is out of date. But Hawking is a fSubjective impressions:
I am by no means well educated in astrophysics, and I read this in 2014 knowing full well it is out of date. But Hawking is a fantastic teacher in some instances, and while I didn't understand a great deal of this book I had many "a ha" moments. Sometimes it is difficult for me to visually imagine or picture something I have not visually studied intensively, but Hawking introduced some concepts or vocabulary in such a way that I felt I got it and could imagine it in my mind and manipulate the image or idea.
That said, I didn't really understand a LOT of the graphs and visual aids. I am looking forward to in 10 years when I have a better handle on this.
I also feel it has contributed to the foundation of my understand about the world in such a way that other astrophysics related concepts and information will now be more accessible to me. I would like to read the update to this book next year, and explore some of the recommended reading for lay people.
Also, now and then, he's unexpectedly funny. ____________
A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations. (9)
Any physical theory is always provisional, .... No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. ... you can always question the competence of the person who carried out the observation. (10)
In practice, what often happens is that a new theory is devised that is really an extension of the previous theory. ____________
Concepts & Terminology
antinomies (p. 7) Newton's 1st/2nd Laws (16) Newton's Law of Gravity (17) Absolute space (18) Theory of the propagation of light (19) Special Theory of Relativity (28) Geodesic (29) Doppler Effect (38) Singularity (46) Steady State Theory (47) Penrose's Theorem (50) Doctrine of Scientific Determinism/Determinism (53) Quanta (54) Quantum Hypothesis (54) Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle (55, 56) Occam's Razor (55) Neutron (64) Electron vault (measurement) (66) Spin (of a particle) (66) Pauli's Exclusion Principle (67) Positron (68) Antiparticle (68) Four categories of force carrying particles (69) The Gravitational Force (70) The Electromagnetic Force (70) The Weak Nuclear Force (71) Massive Vector Bosons (71) The Strong Nuclear Force (72) Confinement (72) Grand Unified Theory (GUT) (74) Probable life of a proton (75) Formation of a star (82) The Chandrasekhar Limit (84) White Dwarf (84) Neutron Star (84) Weak Cosmic Censorship Hypothesis (88) Wormhole (89) "Kerr" Black Holes (91) Quasars/Quasi-Stellar Objects (93) Pulsars (93) Entropy (102) Second Law of Thermodynamics (102, 103) Cerenkov Radiation (111) Hot Big Bang Model (116) Dark Matter (117) Formation of the galaxy (118-120) Formation of the Earth (120-121) The Anthropic Principle (124) The Weak Anthropic Principle (124) The Strong Anthropic Principle (124) The New Inflationary Model (131) The Chaotic Inflationary Model (132) Euclidian Space-Time (134) Imaginary Time (143) The Unification of Physics (155) Renormalization (157) Supergravity (157) Graviton (157) Superparticle (157) String Theory (159) Heterotic String (162)
General Theory of Relativity describes the force of gravity and the large-scale structure of the universe (11, 20, 50-51, 115)
Quantum Mechanics deals with phenomena on extremely small scales (11, 55)
Different varieties of Quarks: up, down, bottom, top, strange, and charmed (65)
Three Arrows of Time: The Thermodynamic Arrow of Time (p. 145, 147, 152) The Psychological Arrow of Time (145, 147) The Cosmological Arrow of Time (145) ____________
Philosophy & Theosophical Concepts ... Hawking makes several suppositions or hypothesizes about the nature of god according to different perspectives and theories in the history of astrophysics.
Some people dislike the book for this reason. I enjoyed his theosophical musings because god is an emotional sort of concept that everyone is familiar with to some degree or another, so it relates these big picture daunting galaxies of information to something that is a little warmer and more personal or organically human, rather than talking of gravitons....
Turtles all the way down (p. 1) Commentary (9) Commentary (41) ____________