The FDA is considering whether to recognize a game aimed at schizophrenics as a “therapeutic drug.” Does that mean you can overdose on GTA? In any case, it’s interesting finally to see a convergence between the two industries that refer to their audience as “users.”

“In what’s believed to be an industry first, a developer has begun talks with the American Food and Drug Administration to get its game recognized as a therapeutic drug. ‘Brain Plasticity has been fine-tuning a game to help people with schizophrenia improve the deficits in attention and memory that are often associated with the disorder. Early next year, they will conduct a study with 150 participants at 15 sites across the country. Participants will play the game for one hour, five times a week over a period of six months. If participants’ quality of life improves at that “dosage,” Brain Plasticity will push ahead with the FDA approval process.’”

http://games.slashdot.org/story/11/09/27/060223/Developer-Seeks-FDA-Approval-For-Therapeutic-Game

Meanwhile, in other virtual health news:

“Rite Aid today announced it is offering virtual face-to-face physician consultations through an in-store kiosk. The virtual consultation services are currently being tested in the Detroit area, but the company expects they will do well and the virtual consults will expand to other regions. The service costs $45 for a 10-minute physician consultation. Consultations with nurses are free.”

http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/09/27/0541231/Rite-Aid-Drug-Stores-Offer-Virtual-Doc-Visits

But wait, there’s more:

They are the two big tech buzzwords of the moment. Now a combination of 3D printing and augmented reality can help researchers design more effective drugs.

At Arthur Olsen’s Molecular Graphics Lab at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, research teams model biological viruses – including HIV – and attempt to work out what kind of proteins and ligand molecules can latch onto them, to see which might inhibit or disable them.

As Olsen shows in this video, 3D printing allows them to create accurate plastic models of virus segments and the potential drug molecules. With smart use of magnets they can be made to self-assemble, too.

But for calculating which drug will likely connect with a receptor area using the least energy, augmented reality comes into play: using small webcam targets on the model virus, they can map it to a computerised model of itself so the researcher can see it move on screen.

(Via Bruce Sterling)

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/onepercent/2011/10/3d-printed-viruses-meet-their.html

And then there’s Deepak Chopra.

Leela, Deepak Chopra’s debut game for Xbox 360 Kinect and Wii, is part relaxation mechanism, part new age stoner candy.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/vu3zE2BRepc/

Not be outdone, AT&T wants to wire health care into diapers for the young and old. (Shades of Mike Scott’s wearable computing Friend Finder…)

a growing list of people could benefit from connected clothing, says AT&T, which claims ‘the stars have aligned’ for this technology. Prices of clothing sensors have come down; Wi-Fi and wireless networks have become ubiquitous; and mobile apps have become easier to design and simpler to use. ‘For example, parents of babies could cover them in connected clothing to check on their children when they were out of the house … And relatives of elderly people who are “aging in place” in their homes could check on their vital signs and make sure their loved ones haven’t fallen. This could help the elderly stay out of assisted living facilities, as most prefer to do.’”

http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/11/04/2119205/att-pushes-connected-clothing-for-healthcare

Recent research reveals that the bacteria that help us digest food also influence what’s on our minds. The discovery that these microbial partners are our collaborators in cogitation as well as digestion unfortunately coincides with a separate study suggesting antibiotics can kill off gut bacteria permanently.

The good news:

“Hundreds of species of bacteria call the human gut their home. This gut ‘microbiome’ influences our physiology and health in ways that scientists are only beginning to understand. Now, a new study suggests that gut bacteria can even mess with the mind, altering brain chemistry and changing mood and behavior (abstract).”

http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/08/29/2026226/Gut-Bacteria-Exert-Mind-Control

The bad news:

Helpful bacteria in our intestines take a pounding during an antibiotics treatment, but normally recover. Or so we thought. A new study suggests the drugs may permanently alter collections of healthy microbes in pregnant women and young children — for worse.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/KSqAxKXEVQg/

Give linguists 140 characters and they’ll predict whether you’re a guy or girl two times out of three.

“Remember when the Gay Girl in Damascus revealed himself as a middle-aged man from Georgia? On a platform like Twitter, which doesn’t ask for much biographical information, it’s easy (and fun!) to take on a fake persona but now linguistic researchers have developed an algorithm that can predict the gender of a tweeter based solely on the 140 characters they choose to tweet. The research is based on the idea that women use language differently than men. ‘The mere fact of a tweet containing an exclamation mark or a smiley face meant that odds were a woman was tweeting, for instance,’ reports David Zax. Other research corroborates these findings, finding that women tend to use emoticons, abbreviations, repeated letters and expressions of affection more than men and linguists have also developed a list of gender-skewed words used more often by women including love, ha-ha, cute, omg, yay, hahaha, happy, girl, hair, lol, hubby, and chocolate. Remarkably, even when only provided with one tweet, the program could correctly identify gender 65.9% of the time. (PDF). Depending on how successful the program is proven to be, it could be used for ad-targeting, or for socio-linguistic research.”

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/07/28/2244236/Linguists-Out-Men-Impersonating-Women-On-Twitter

This result follows a recent spate of articles in the mainstream media arguing that language reflects how you think. While emphasizing cultural rather than gender divergences, some of this research suggests profoundly different worldviews. For example, the Pormpuraaw people of aboriginal Australia speak of “my southwest foot” instead of “my left foot.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703467304575383131592767868.html

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=21c0e6da1ab7be6b447910b9959a1abc via Byline

… psychologists have discovered that some of the most hallowed advice on study habits is flat wrong. For instance, many study skills courses insist that students find a specific place, a study room or a quiet corner of the library, to take their work. The research finds just the opposite. In one classic 1978 experiment, psychologists found that college students who studied a list of 40 vocabulary words in two different rooms — one windowless and cluttered, the other modern, with a view on a courtyard — did far better on a test than students who studied the words twice, in the same room. Later studies have confirmed the finding, for a variety of topics.

The brain makes subtle associations between what it is studying and the background sensations it has at the time, the authors say, regardless of whether those perceptions are conscious. It colors the terms of the Versailles Treaty with the wasted fluorescent glow of the dorm study room, say; or the elements of the Marshall Plan with the jade-curtain shade of the willow tree in the backyard. Forcing the brain to make multiple associations with the same material may, in effect, give that information more neural scaffolding.

“What we think is happening here is that, when the outside context is varied, the information is enriched, and this slows down forgetting,” said Dr. Bjork, the senior author of the two-room experiment.

Varying the type of material studied in a single sitting — alternating, for example, among vocabulary, reading and speaking in a new language — seems to leave a deeper impression on the brain than does concentrating on just one skill at a time. Musicians have known this for years, and their practice sessions often include a mix of scales, musical pieces and rhythmic work. Many athletes, too, routinely mix their workouts with strength, speed and skill drills.

Bookmark this category

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Fa3g3-h6mvA/Chinese-Internet-Addiction-Boot-Camp-Prison-Break

UgLyPuNk writes “A group of inmates at the Huai’an Internet Addiction Treatment Centre decided they’d had enough of the ‘monotonous work and intensive training.’ Working together, they tied their duty supervisor to his bed and made a run for it. The 14 patients, aged from 15 to 22, hailed a taxi to take them to a nearby town — but were uncovered when the driver took them to the police station instead, suspicious of the identically dressed young men who were unable to pay the fare.”

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Fa3g3-h6mvA/Chinese-Internet-Addiction-Boot-Camp-Prison-Break

UgLyPuNk writes “A group of inmates at the Huai’an Internet Addiction Treatment Centre decided they’d had enough of the ‘monotonous work and intensive training.’ Working together, they tied their duty supervisor to his bed and made a run for it. The 14 patients, aged from 15 to 22, hailed a taxi to take them to a nearby town — but were uncovered when the driver took them to the police station instead, suspicious of the identically dressed young men who were unable to pay the fare.”

Much of the thinking is abstract, but the approach does help connect intermedia art to practices in other disciplines–like the idea of a “pattern language” popularized by architect Christopher Alexander and picked up by Permaculture designers. The broad strokes can be seen in the InterMedia Toolkit.

science

Much of the thinking is abstract, but the approach does help connect intermedia art to practices in other disciplines–like the idea of a “pattern language” popularized by architect Christopher Alexander and picked up by Permaculture designers. The broad strokes can be seen in the InterMedia Toolkit.

science

Intermedia MFA students might be interested in the InterMedia Patterns blog. Here artists Jack Ox and Paul Herz aim to provide a foundation for intermedia artists drawn from cognitive psychology.

Much of the thinking is abstract, but the approach does help connect intermedia art to practices in other disciplines–like the idea of a “pattern language” popularized by architect Christopher Alexander and picked up by Permaculture designers. The broad strokes can be seen in the InterMedia Toolkit.

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