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France

The sound of terror 

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When I close my eyes, I hear them scream. I see them running, trying to save their lives. I can also see the 10 children who stood no chance and died.

The terrorism in France scared me. But not just that, it breaks my heart. The 22 of July Anders Behring breivik shot and killed innocent teenagers on Utøya. The tradgey is that there is no time to heal the traumas, since  another act of terror  triggers all who’s lost somebody to terrorist-attacks again. I can not imagine what the ones left behind must be feeling right now. But I can cry. Even if it doesn’t help them, I know the support the families and friends needs, will be provided. Because in even the most horrific situations, there will always be people ready to do all they can to support and help those left behind.

In Norway we tried so hard to not show hate, but love. We wanted to be strong together, and knew that the only thing we could do is to counterattack by the weapons we had available: Our empathy and love. After the terrorism in Norway,  we started to volunteer more. We wanted to do something, we NEEDED to do something. To find meaning in the meaningless. And I do hope many in France will do the same. Because terrorism doesn’t occur in a vacuum. There is a reason that extremist become who they are. France is a hard country to live in for many refugees. They are lonely and desperate and easy targets for ISIS. So they find comfort in what they feel are the only alternative: A group that brainwashes them and provide companionship. Even if it’s hard for me, and others, to accept that people can do evil things, we must not sink to their level. Fear is dangerous and polarize society even more. We can’t think that the solution is to send all refugees home. We must work together to find solutions that bind people together.

Luckily, Norway has been blessed. We have a system that tries to integrate refugees into the society. We try to do something about problems before lonely and angry people goes to the step where violence feels like the only option. We are also blessed with millions who are able to respond with love in the worst circumstance. Because we truly do our best to take care of everyone. There are not many murders in Norway, compared to many other countries, but we do fail to prevent many tragedies too. We have no ‘perfect solution’ that will wipe away all the problems we have. But we try our best.

But before we can start solving our problems we must take time to grieve. Grieve over the ones who lost everything they had. The ones who will never see smile on their children`s face and hold them tight. Only then can we start to make changes, to make the world a better place. Because, even if there has been over 200 terrorist attacks the last year, there could have been more. we don’t need to go far back in time to see this: The Holcost killed so many that it’s unfathomableb. My wish is that we can answer the hate by not hating the people who don’t terrorize others, refugees and citizents who come to us in need. Because most of them mean no harm. At the same time we must protect ourselves, but I honestly believe that the best way to protect is to collaborate and find new solution that bring us closer together. 

 

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Finding ‘lost’ languages in the brain

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Finding ‘lost’ languages in the brain

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An infant’s mother tongue creates neural patterns that the unconscious brain retains years later even if the child totally stops using the language, (as can happen in cases of international adoption) according to a new joint study by scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro and McGill University’s Department of Psychology. The study offers the first neural evidence that traces of the “lost” language remain in the brain.

“The infant brain forms representations of language sounds, but we wanted to see whether the brain maintains these representations later in life even if the person is no longer exposed to the language,” says Lara Pierce, a doctoral candidate at McGill University and first author on the paper. Her work is jointly supervised by Dr. Denise Klein at The Neuro and Dr. Fred Genesee in the Department of Psychology. The article, “Mapping the unconscious maintenance of a lost first language,” is in the November 17 edition of scientific journal Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The Neuro conducted and analyzed functional MRI scans of 48 girls between nine and 17 years old who were recruited from the Montreal area through the Department of Psychology. One group was born and raised unilingual in a French-speaking family. The second group had Chinese-speaking children adopted as infants who later became unilingual French speaking with no conscious recollection of Chinese. The third group were fluently bilingual in Chinese and French.

Scans were taken while the three groups listened to the same Chinese language sounds.

“It astounded us that the brain activation pattern of the adopted Chinese who ‘lost’ or totally discontinued the language matched the one for those who continued speaking Chinese since birth. The neural representations supporting this pattern could only have been acquired during the first months of life,” says Ms. Pierce. “This pattern completely differed from the first group of unilingual French speakers.”

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The study suggests that early-acquired information is not only maintained in the brain, but unconsciously influences brain processing for years, perhaps for life – potentially indicating a special status for information acquired during optimal periods of development. This could counter arguments not only within the field of language acquisition, but across domains, that neural representations are overwritten or lost from the brain over time.

The implications of this finding are far reaching, and open the door for questions relating both to the re-learning of an early acquired, but forgotten, language or skill, as well as the unconscious influence of early experiences on later developmental outcomes.

Maybe this can explain some of the problems children from abusive homes, can have. Even if they don`t remember what happened, the body still keeps the score decades later.

The study was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture, the G.W. Stairs Foundation and the Centre for Research on Brain Language and Mind.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lara J. Pierce, Denise Klein, Jen-Kai Chen, Audrey Delcenserie, and Fred Genesee. Mapping the unconscious maintenance of a lost first language.PNAS, November 17, 2014 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1409411111

The original article 

The sound of us opening our eyes

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English: A sleeping male baby with his arm ext...
English: A sleeping male baby with his arm extended (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all know the importance of balance, but we struggle to achieving it. One of the most important issues related to harmony and balance, is parenting. The same rule applies to parenting as many things in life: Neither too much or too little.

I found a really interesting article on the subject, that I had to share since we have to open our eyes to the peril of “curling-parenting”; Where you remove every obstacle so that children don`t learn and become competent and empathic. In other words: Children who never met resistance, don`t develop emotion regulation skills necessary for surviving today.

Some have said we are creating a society of narcissist, which reminds me of a quote from a Norwegian therapist:

“We`re a society of people who want to be seen, and none left to see.”

By 

As a new mom and a recent MSW graduate, I can’t help but analyze, question, and sometimes fear the ways in which my parenting choices will affect my son.

During the few months I was home with my baby, I joined a moms group. Now that the babies are three or four months old, the conversations sound like “my baby will not sleep in the crib,” “my baby wakes up every three hours,” “my baby needs to be held all day.”

From a recommendation, I readBringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting when I was pregnant. The 2012 book is written by Pamela Druckerman, an American mom raising her baby in Paris.

At first glance, I thought the book was a witty tongue-in-cheek story about neurotic Americans and cool Parisians. On second glance (and a second reading after I birthed the child), I realized this book unlocked the secrets of raising a happy, resilient adult.

Ms. Druckerman charmingly explains the many ways in which French children differ from American children. On the surface, it appears that American children are less patient, less polite and throw more tantrums. American parents may think it’s cute and innocent; their kids will grow out of it. And it is true, the child may eventually stop the behavior, but the coping skills (or lack of) have been firmly set in stone.

Why You Should Let Your Baby Be FrustratedI do not believe Druckerman was writing a book on human development, but to a social worker, it seems her observations directly relate to why so many American adults seek therapy. Therapists’ offices are filled with adults who suffer from anxiety,depression, anger management issues, eating disorders or marital problems. Any psychoanalyst would tell you that many of these issues are deeply rooted in childhood.

American parents seem overly worried that if their child hears “no” they will become angry and experience frustration and disappointment. On the contrary, the French believe that “no” saves children from the tyranny of their own desires. Caroline

Thompson, a family psychologist in Paris whom Druckerman interviewed, stated what seems to be the overall view in France: “making kids face up to limitations and deal with frustration turns them into happier, more resilient people.” Isn’t that what every parent wants for their child?

“French parents don’t worry that they’re going to damage their kids by frustrating them. To the contrary, they think their kids will be damaged if they can’t cope with frustration. They also treat coping with frustration as a core life skill. Their kids simply have to learn it. The parents would be remiss if they didn’t teach it.”

Druckerman interviewed pediatrician and founder of Tribeca Pediatrics, Michel Cohen, a French doctor practicing in New York City. “My first intervention is to say, when your baby is born, just don’t jump on your kid at night,” Cohen says.

“Give your baby a chance to self-soothe, don’t automatically respond, even from birth.” “Le pause,” as Druckerman coins it, is one of the main ways to gently induce frustration. The French believe “le pause” can start as early as two to three weeks old.

Although “le pause” may sound like tough love for a infant, most American parents end up surrendering to the “cry it out” method at three to four months because their baby never learned to self-soothe. “Le pause” worked for me, although I did not consciously subscribe to this method. I think it was a combination of sleep deprivation and C-section recovery that created “le pause,” but it worked! “Le pause” creates babies who are content to snuggle alone in their cribs, babies who at a very young age learn to soothe themselves.

And hopefully “le pause” creates adults who can cope with frustration, a skill that is extremely useful and necessary for success in work and relationships and dealing with the overall stressors of everyday life.

Norwegian links:

Psykopatiserie del 8 – Samfunnsmagasinet

SUPERMARIE – – Vi ser ikke ut lenger, vi ser kun oss selv – Side2

Livsstrategi: Se og bli sett

English links:

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Topnotch uppage corner =)

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