think-progress:

Big blow to medical marijuana research.

"I’ve spent 19 yrs teaching my daughter how not to be raped. How long have you spent teaching your son not to rape?"

— Read about #YesAllWomen, how feminists have responded to a misogynist mass murderer. (via think-progress)

neurosciencestuff:

Your Brain Is Fine-Tuning Its Wiring Throughout Your Life
The white matter microstructure, the communication pathways of the brain, continues to develop/mature as one ages. Studies link age-related differences in white matter microstructure to specific cognitive abilities in childhood and adulthood.
Most prior studies, however, did not include individuals from the entire life span or evaluated a limited section of white matter tracts. This knowledge gap prompted a new study published this week in Biological Psychiatry.
Dr. Bart Peters, of the Zucker Hillside Hospital, and his colleagues investigated the relationship of age and neurocognitive performance to nine white matter tracts from childhood to late adulthood.
To accomplish this, they recruited 296 healthy volunteers who ranged from 8 to 68 years of age. The participants completed a comprehensive battery of tests designed to measure their cognitive functioning, including speed, attention, memory, and learning. They also underwent a non-invasive diffusion tensor imaging scan, a technology that allowed the researchers to create maps of the 9 major white matter tracts under investigation.
The combination of this data allowed them to identify the neurocognitive correlates of each white matter tract in relation to its unique aging pattern.
They found that, from childhood into early adulthood, differences in fractional anisotropy – a measure of connectivity – of the cingulum were associated with executive functioning, whereas fractional anisotropy of the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus was associated with visual learning and global cognitive performance via speed of processing.
"Our study identified key brain circuits that develop during adolescence and young adulthood that are associated with the growth of learning, memory and planning abilities. These findings suggest that young people may not have full capacity of these functions until these connections have completed their normal trajectory of maturation beyond adolescence," explained Peters.
"Our brain is changing throughout our lives. These changes underlie the capacities that emerge and are refined through adulthood," commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. “There are clues that the steps that we take to preserve our medical health and stimulate our minds also serve to further refine and maintain these connections. For good reasons, attending to brain health is increasingly a focus of healthy aging.”
In addition, many individuals diagnosed with psychiatric disorders suffer with neurocognitive dysfunction as part of their illness, which is particularly difficult to alleviate with currently available treatments. Studies such as this may help to identify specific brain circuits/pathways that could serve as potential targets for treatment interventions.

neurosciencestuff:

Your Brain Is Fine-Tuning Its Wiring Throughout Your Life

The white matter microstructure, the communication pathways of the brain, continues to develop/mature as one ages. Studies link age-related differences in white matter microstructure to specific cognitive abilities in childhood and adulthood.

Most prior studies, however, did not include individuals from the entire life span or evaluated a limited section of white matter tracts. This knowledge gap prompted a new study published this week in Biological Psychiatry.

Dr. Bart Peters, of the Zucker Hillside Hospital, and his colleagues investigated the relationship of age and neurocognitive performance to nine white matter tracts from childhood to late adulthood.

To accomplish this, they recruited 296 healthy volunteers who ranged from 8 to 68 years of age. The participants completed a comprehensive battery of tests designed to measure their cognitive functioning, including speed, attention, memory, and learning. They also underwent a non-invasive diffusion tensor imaging scan, a technology that allowed the researchers to create maps of the 9 major white matter tracts under investigation.

The combination of this data allowed them to identify the neurocognitive correlates of each white matter tract in relation to its unique aging pattern.

They found that, from childhood into early adulthood, differences in fractional anisotropy – a measure of connectivity – of the cingulum were associated with executive functioning, whereas fractional anisotropy of the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus was associated with visual learning and global cognitive performance via speed of processing.

"Our study identified key brain circuits that develop during adolescence and young adulthood that are associated with the growth of learning, memory and planning abilities. These findings suggest that young people may not have full capacity of these functions until these connections have completed their normal trajectory of maturation beyond adolescence," explained Peters.

"Our brain is changing throughout our lives. These changes underlie the capacities that emerge and are refined through adulthood," commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. “There are clues that the steps that we take to preserve our medical health and stimulate our minds also serve to further refine and maintain these connections. For good reasons, attending to brain health is increasingly a focus of healthy aging.”

In addition, many individuals diagnosed with psychiatric disorders suffer with neurocognitive dysfunction as part of their illness, which is particularly difficult to alleviate with currently available treatments. Studies such as this may help to identify specific brain circuits/pathways that could serve as potential targets for treatment interventions.

(via betterthandarkchocolate)

Another special thanks to every supporter and sponsor who made our Mother’s Day Dinner successful, and to Sandy, who inspired this year’s celebration! 

explore-blog:

Bertrand Russell, born on this day in 1872, on construction vs. destruction, human nature, and the key to democracy – exquisite read

explore-blog:

Bertrand Russell, born on this day in 1872, on construction vs. destruction, human nature, and the key to democracy – exquisite read

(Source: explore-blog)

The 3rd Annual Toni’s House Mother’s Day Dinner was a huge success. This year’s keynote speaker was TH alum and a new addition to our board, Jacklyn Rohlick, who delivered an inspiring message about rebuilding one’s family under difficult circumstances. 

Despite the previous night’s windstorm threatening to ruin the day, we gathered on the outdoor patio of founder Monique Westfield’s home and celebrated the accomplishment’s of another year, the blessing of mothers, and the progress made by all of the men and women who live in our houses. 

This year’s honoree was another former resident, Sandy Dillman, who recently moved to Florida to spend the rest of her years with her long lost family! Sandy and Jacklyn’s stories demonstrate the power of positivity, strength, and focus. Nothing is impossible!

The guests were waited on by the residents of the TH Men’s House (as is our tradition), who did an amazing job! Other highlights included the exchanging of many gifts, the attendance of several mothers and children of women in the house, gorgeous cupcakes brought by our friend Nancy, and an a capella performance of “Reunited” in honor of Sandy. 

A special thanks goes to all of our sponsors this year and all of the many people who make our work possible! 

Our inaugural Easter Egg Hunt was a huge success. The women spent the day with their families. We started the morning with the egg hunt, and then we had a church service officiated by minister Nina S. Griffin and Angela Jones, hostesses of the Sunday radio ministry “Save the Lost At All Costs” on KKVV 1060am or www.kkvv.com. Nina also leads the Tuesday evening 7:00 pm Bible Study at T.H. Rick from our Men’s House was our chef on the grill, and the women all pitched in and made the salads. It was a family affair! 

(Source: think-progress)

newsweek:

As potential 2016 candidates gather their policy advisors and begin to isolate their views on key issues, they may want to consider one above the rest — weed. 

You can make stoner jokes all you want, but marijuana policy stands to affect just as many Americans as immigration policy does in the coming years. And while Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have made their views on border control clear, the fast-changing weed landscape (a full 54 percent of Americans now favor legalization) has left Republicans and Democrats all over the map when it comes to toking. 

Some have been altogether mum on the topic — the last time Hillary Clinton spoke publicly about weed policy was during the 2008 campaign. In 2012, it was laughable to think that Colorado would legalize recreational weed. 

Less than two years later, 75 percent of Americans think legalization nationwide is inevitable. Even President Obama has deemed pot no more dangerous than alcohol. 

Suddenly, a majority of Americans are comfortable with their neighbors smoking pot, and politicians will have to decide whether or not they should embrace that or take a more cautious position. 

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer tells The Wall Street Journal, “All of a sudden the ground is shifting, and it’s uncomfortable and complicated. Marijuana has become an issue that candidates have got to pay attention to.” 

Back in October, The New Republic’s Nate Cohn imagined how candidates could use the issue against each other in the primaries: “Many candidates will have incentives to use the issue, whether it’s a cultural conservative using marijuana to hurt Rand Paul among evangelicals in Iowa, or a liberal trying to stoke a progressive revolt against Clinton’s candidacy.” 

So will presidential hopefuls come out joints blazing in 2016? That remains to be seen. Here’s where the candidates stand now: 

Weed Is the Sleeper Issue of 2016 - The Wire

newsweek:

As potential 2016 candidates gather their policy advisors and begin to isolate their views on key issues, they may want to consider one above the rest — weed.

You can make stoner jokes all you want, but marijuana policy stands to affect just as many Americans as immigration policy does in the coming years. And while Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have made their views on border control clear, the fast-changing weed landscape (a full 54 percent of Americans now favor legalization) has left Republicans and Democrats all over the map when it comes to toking.

Some have been altogether mum on the topic — the last time Hillary Clinton spoke publicly about weed policy was during the 2008 campaign. In 2012, it was laughable to think that Colorado would legalize recreational weed.

Less than two years later, 75 percent of Americans think legalization nationwide is inevitable. Even President Obama has deemed pot no more dangerous than alcohol.

Suddenly, a majority of Americans are comfortable with their neighbors smoking pot, and politicians will have to decide whether or not they should embrace that or take a more cautious position.

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer tells The Wall Street Journal, “All of a sudden the ground is shifting, and it’s uncomfortable and complicated. Marijuana has become an issue that candidates have got to pay attention to.”

Back in October, The New Republic’s Nate Cohn imagined how candidates could use the issue against each other in the primaries: “Many candidates will have incentives to use the issue, whether it’s a cultural conservative using marijuana to hurt Rand Paul among evangelicals in Iowa, or a liberal trying to stoke a progressive revolt against Clinton’s candidacy.”

So will presidential hopefuls come out joints blazing in 2016? That remains to be seen. Here’s where the candidates stand now:

Weed Is the Sleeper Issue of 2016 - The Wire