Saturday, May 05, 2007

Brain sculpting

I'm not sure I even include Singapore in Asia, but here is another one of those studies...

Importantly, they found no significant difference in the response of this particular visual processing region among young people in the US and Singapore. This, the team says, supports the idea that, over the course of decades, culture shapes how the brain perceives images.

The researchers note that previous studies tracking eye movement have found that East Asians are more likely than Westerners to pay attention to the background of a picture.

Park says her new findings, along with her earlier brain scan work that focused only on elderly volunteers, are "the first studies to show that culture is sculpting the brain".

Oh god. Thank god for scientists. WHA HA HA HA

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

art and activism

Do you consider yourself an artist first, activist second, or vice versa?

When I sit down to write, I consider myself an artist. I'm consumed by craft -- choosing the word with the right mouth feel, reading sentences aloud to sublimate the rhythm, making flow charts of plot, working backward to plant the seeds for a perfectly revealed ending. When I attend a PTA meeting with a plan to reduce the school's carbon footprint, then I'm an activist. It's different work, with more direct expectations and a simpler vocabulary.