Here is the follow up to an earlier post on The Royal Institution event:
Here’s an article from the New York Times
The brain, as it traverses middle age, gets better at recognizing the central idea, the big picture. If kept in good shape, the brain can continue to build pathways that help its owner recognize patterns and, as a consequence, see significance and even solutions much faster than a young person can.
Meet Paro. He’s a robotic seal developed by Japanese researchers to help dementia patients feel that they have companionship and a feeling of security, without the responsibilities of a living pet. (Thanks to Suzie Katz for alerting me to this story).
Made to emulate a live pet as much as possible, he can cuddle, nod and blink his big black eyes. Paro is currently being tested with patients in Baden-Baden and there are already 1,000 robot seals deployed in long-term care homes in Japan.
Here’s a restrained and sensitive article from the Scotsman on Claude Wischik‘s work on Alzheimer’s disease. The tone of the article matches the low-key disposition and existential focus of Wischik. Speaking to an Alzheimic patient on a regular basis, I have often used synonyms for the metaphor of “tangles”:
Wischik has spent 24 years studying the neurofibrillary ‘tangles’ that first destroy nerve cells critical for memory and then neurons in other parts of the brain in those suffering from Alzheimer’s.