Sports Science vs Brain Science of Basketball: Where’s the Shot Come From

Sports Science vs Brain Science of Basketball

Where does the Shot Come From?

By

Stephen Dolle

Newport Beach, CA

 

Sports Science of the Basketball Court
Sports Science of the Basketball Court

UPDATE: Sept. 21, 2017

Includes two (2) mobile apps I have proposed: An app that uses your phone/smart watch motion sensor to track & evaluate precise basketball movements, timing, and shooting percentage during training and drills; and an accessory EEG app to evaluate player brain waves (for mindfulness zen state) and compare to shooting percentage, rebounds, and stats, with the intent to teaching the player to identify good vs problematic brain states and help them create productive brain wave states before game time.

Added discussion on techniques to initiate the shot.

My name is Stephen Dolle and I am an experiential neuroscientist & basketball fanatic.

I have been exploring “where” the basketball shot comes from since about 2008. Does it from the body? Or from the mind? Or from some place outside of yourself and this world?

The answers I present here are a mix of sports science, brain science, speculation, mindfulness, mythology, and perhaps even shamanism. Sports science and brain science, in my opinion, does not fully explain what we see in basketball. It seems there may be outside influences such as from God, from myths passed down thru generations about basketball, or from the spirits of Shamans. My efforts in healing, philosophy, athletics, coaching, drumming, and now brain science led me to author this in-depth scientific analysis about basketball.

For fun, I’ve included some mythology on the geometric shapes of the modern day basketball court, with some speculation that the court could have been designed by “celestial powers.” Well, at least it’s fun to consider!

Basketball is in fact more unique than other sports in that it encompasses sophisticated kinesthetics, team brain science, and allows the total effort to be greater than the sum of the individual parts of players. This leads to new possibilities in team-building, leadership, personal growth, and in brain science through such practices as trance heightened states, mindfulness, and shamanism. In analyzing all of this, I believe I’ve found “where” the shot comes from. Biologically, it seems largely related to an area of the brain termed the “Limbic System,” often termed the “emotional brain.”

The Limbic System is often termed the Emotional Brain, and is responsible for Super Skills and the Placebo Effect, yet also Addiction Disorders.

But more broadly, the basketball shot comes from body movement and the rhythmic progression (via memory) of your own unique movement patterns in completing your basketball shot. And from your belief in the shot and your higher power with God or who you see as your creator. The above image of the “Limbic System” identifies the key structures of the brain involved in sensory processing and memory, and how it is coordinated with information with physical movement from the “brain stem” up to our “Frontal Lobe,” which is most responsible for everyday activities and skilled or “executive” functions. I describe this later in more detail.

As basketball is a team sport, it requires that players connect with each other at the highest levels for optimal group play, thru a not yet well understood mechanism termed brain-wave entrainment or BWE. BWE allows a telepathic type of connection between players that allows them to anticipate plays, passes from team-mates, as serves as the emotional bond and belief in the team during play. This group effect then influences each player’s belief in themselves, and then largely affects their success of play. The image below demonstrates the four (4) primary brain wave patterns, where beta waves are predominant during play and during much of the day, but where top players and exceptional individuals can also dip down into the more meditative “alpha” states.

The four levels of brain wave states are shown in this illustration
The four levels of brain wave states are shown in this illustration

It has primarily been my work with drumming or “drum circles,” that led to my work with the science of rhythm & movement, and ultimately to basketball, which I call the No. 1 rhythm & movement sport.

I and many others often term drum circles are a form of group hypnosis in that it can change each participant’s and the group’s mindset. This is based on BWE and connectedness, and one’s belief during play. Basketball very similarly parallels drumming thru very similar timing, coordination, anticipation, and syncopation. Combining drum circle concepts with basketball play I feel makes for a great combination for winning!

Drumming for basbetball workshops aid movement, timing, and on court communications
Drumming for basbetball workshops aid movement, timing, and on court communications

Basketball today is played all over the world, and for a variety of purposes. I examine the sports & brain science mechanisms that lead to successful play, epic performances of top athletes, and offer methods that can be adopted by both players and teams. I also discuss basketball play for health & fitness, and combining drumming with basketball to improve ball handling, shooting, timing of movement, and on-court communications. I recommend basketball drills (and drumming) as a therapy for the short and long term management of concussion, brain injury, and neurological disorders.

Early Mayan Basketball
Early Mayan Basketball
Early Mayan music and drumming
Early Mayan music and drumming

 

 

Health & Science Topics covered in this Blog

1. Sports Science of Basketball

2. Brain Science of Basketball

3. Mindfulness of Basketball

4. Drumming with Basketball

5. Basketball for Health & Fitness

6. Mythology in Basketball

7. My Journey into Drumming & Basketball after Brain Injury

8. Use of Drumming & Basketball in the Treatment of Concussion

Stephen Dolle speaking on STEM3 Educational Techniques with Drums and Rhythm at Wright State University in 2011.

ABOUT ME: I became a neuroscientist following a brain injury in 1992. That led to my research with cognition, music therapy, balance & movement, and drumming or drum circles. By 2008, I had begun to apply my methods to basketball, initially with just balance & movement. But by 2010, this evolved into mindfulness and my search for “where” the shot comes from. My neuroscience study now spans learning, cognition, sensory processing disorders, movement & balance, mindfulness, brain wave entrainment (BWE), and shamanism. I’ve also been involved with medical devices, mHealth technology, and assistive technology.

Clevand Cavaliers home court
Clevand Cavaliers home court
Golden State Warriors basketball home court
Golden State Warriors home court

 

Background of Basketball

Basketball was first introduced in 1891 by James Naismith, a physical education instructor for the YMCA. But the game and basketball court have evolved considerably since its early inception. The ball today measures 9.55 inches in diameter (WNBA 9.23 inches), while the basket measures 18 inches in diameter. At times, the basket appears quite large enough to accommodate the ball. While at other times, the hoop just seems far too small. There are quite a few measurements that govern the different sections of the court. There likely isn’t another sport and playing court with as many sections with separate rules governing each.

There is considerable sports science in basketball as the sport has been around for over 100 years. Below, is a list of the brain & sports science skills involved in basketball.

Sports Science Basketball Drills
Sports Science Basketball Drills

Sports Science & Brain Science of Basketball includes:

1) proprioception of movement, dribbling, passing, shooting, rhythmic progressions

2) shooting the ball, ball angles, trajectory

3) tactile senses handling the ball, and movement of the body

4) spatial awareness of oneself, and others on the court

5) physical strength, conditioning, and endurance of play (kinesiology)

6) on-court (mostly non-verbal) communications

7) team rhythm and brain wave entrainment (BWE)

8) defending of shots, strategy, interpreting intent of opponents

9) mentally execution of plays, improvising adjustments

10) mental mistakes, mus0cues, personal fouls

11) team and player analytics

12) design of the basketball court

13) basketball training mobile apps

 

Sports Science of the Basketball Court

Basketball Court Diagram
Basketball Court Diagram
NBA Basketball Court Dimensions
NBA Basketball Court Dimensions

Basketball has undergone numerous changes since 1891, and today holds few similarities to the original game. The Swish and BRAD slide below identifies the optimal sports science shooting arcs, while the adjacent slide reveals analytics of shooting by court section for the Miami Heat’s 2012 playoff run.

Miami Heat's 2012 floor shooting analytics
Miami Heat’s 2012 floor shooting analytics

Basketball 3pt Angles Swish Brad

Basketball’s 2014-15 season sensation and league MVP, Stephen Curry, is getting all kinds of sports science coverage now for his 3 point shooting style. Not only does he utilize a high shooting arc, but he has a very quick release. He has already broken 3-point shooting records this post-season, with at least 4 games still to play. He is being described as the best pure shooter the game has ever seen, and I am particularly interested in his mindfulness and related brain science disciplines. These methods will help in further development of skills and health applications for basketball, and in my work with drumming for basketball. The sport science slides below depict Stephen Curry’s shooting technique.

Basketball Stephen Curry Shot
Basketball Stephen Curry Shot

This last sports science slide is on the bank shot and best shooting angles, as if you didn’t already know. Hit the correct spot on the back board, and the ball gets deflected into the basket.

Basketball Sports Science Pro Shot

In 2013, Muthu Alagappan, a medical school student at Stanford, got the sports world’s attention when he came up with analytics to help in preparing a roster that optimizes offense and defense on the court. Some of his concepts I think appeared in the movie, Money Ball. Alagappan thinks we need new definitions he calls, “Revealing Basketball’s 10 Hidden Positions.”

Muthu Alagappan’s 10 Basketball Positions

1.Jump Shooting Ball-handler (Stephen Curry) Handles the ball while being a focal point of the offense through deadly jump shooting.

2.Two-way All-star (Kobe Bryant) Elite offensive and defensive player, who can dominate the game on both ends of the court.

3.Inside Outside Scorer (Chandler Parsons) Avoids the mid-range but scores often in the paint and from the three-point line.

4.Mid-range Big-man (Al Jefferson) Skilled rebounder and paint defender who also has midrange jump shooting ability.

5.Defensive Ball-handler (Kyle Lowry) Ballhandler that applies defensive pressure and looks to get his teammates involved on offense.

6.3-Point Ball-handler (Klay Thompson) Ballhandler who features an offensive arsenal highlighted by 3-point shooting.

7.3-Point Specialist (Shane Battier) Role player who’s offensive role is almost solely to shoot 3-pointers.

8.Low-usage Ball-handler (Courtney Lee) Ball-handler who can fit in to various roles on a team but lacks a clear identity.

9.Paint Protector (Larry Sanders) Menacing interior defender that protects the rim and deters opponents from driving to the basket.

10.Scoring Rebounders (Tim Duncan) Big man who serves as a team’s primary scorer and also rebounds with consistency.

Muthu Alagappan has become a consultant to a couple of NBA teams with his methods, which I find well founded in science and mathematics. His conclusions are supported by game analytics, as are the declining analytics of players attempting successful 2nd and 3rd consecutive 3-point shots.

The Physical Science of Dribbling, Moving, and Shooting the Basketball

Drumming for Basketball.ball drills1
Drumming for Basketball.ball drills1

The handling, dribbling, passing, and shooting of the basketball integrates tactile skill of the hands and fingers with kinesiology of skills training, with proprioception of physical memory and recall of the shot (and related court movements).

Tactile skill is the sensation of touching the ball with your hands and fingers, and integrating this with the spatial awareness of your feet and body. This sensation also helps with balance and coordination, as we use our fingers and hands in body movements, i.e. hand/finger movements sprinters use as they run, wrestlers during a takedowns. Tactile sensation during movement is also important as we age, and after a neurological events (as happened to me) affecting one’s balance or movement.

Drumming and the Brain.diagram

I intuitively developed new methods in tactile movement following my 1992 brain injury. In 2004, when I became involved in hand drumming, these tactile methods evolved to include “rhythmic” movement. My hand and finger movements significantly help my short term memory, balance, and initiation of movement. I feel these methods can not only be applied to basketball, but also to aid balance, cognition, and movement in everyday life.

Basketball Tactile Sensation
Basketball Tactile Sensation

Kinesiology is more a macro science of movement and spans physiological, psychological, and mechanical mechanisms. It encompasses physical and psychological training, on court body mechanics for optimal movement, and techniques to help avoid injury and keep players conditioned.

Proprioception is more the micro science of movement, defined as the sense of relative position of different parts of your body during movement, and spans memory/recall of specific body movements such as dribbling, sprinting, passing, and shooting. It is also referred to as “muscle memory,” as it defines the network of sensors in our joints, tendons, muscles, and ligaments which remember specific task movements. It allows a player to dribble, pass, and shoot with considerable accuracy. Proprioceptive movement also involves key portions of the brain as the slides indicate.

Brain Illustration.Biological Psychology

Keen tactile skill, kinesiology, and proprioception no doubt play and integral part in a player’s skillset and success on the basketball court. I am particularly intrigued by the skillsets and shooting capabilities of finesse players like Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, pictured below. Each has majestic type shooting mechanics and have scored over 50 points in a game.

Initiating the Basketball Shot

A topic this is often the subject of debate and individual teach styles, is how/what do you actually initiate the basketball shot? Let me say it as simple as I can: You kick down/press down your foot on your hand shooting side, and this motion either sends you jumping into the air (jump shot), or a pull up filed goal where you may not come off the ground as high. But it is that kick/press down motion of your shooting side foot that is the “trigger” that begins the shot. The more versatile, creative, and quicker you are with your kick down and subsequent shot and follow through, the more difficult it is for the defense to read and block.

I truly believe you do not require that much of a visual ID of the basket before/during your shot – because it is your brain/body orientation on the court that already knows where you are in relation to the basket. A brief look at the basket before/as you shoot can help to confirm where you are. But that is really more of a confidence thing, meaning, if you think you need a good look, then that is what you “believe.” And that is what you will often need. And that is what the defense will know that about you. Your shooting objective should be to be able to make your shot with the least amount of “look” at the basket. You only need CONFIRM where you are in time & space (see my next section on mythology and celestial shapes of the court).

Now there’s another level in the brain science of basketball and making the shot that ties into mindfulness I discuss in the next section – and it has to do with listening/being in touch with your inner self, your higher power, the basketball Gods – because when you are you will be provided cues as to WHERE & HOW on the court you will make your next shot. When you are in touch with that mechanism – the shot is actually made BEFORE you even release the ball. And in the “guided shot” you really don’t need to see the basket. You see it with your third eye, your high power. You are just simply listening and executing commands. Players who achieve this have entered what is termed in neuroscience as “trance heightened states.” Others may refer to it as “shamanism.”

 

Basketball Stephen Curry
Basketball Stephen Curry
Basketball Kevin Durant
Basketball Kevin Durant

Sports Science vs Mythology: Where does the Shot come from?

There are no doubt scientific factors responsible for players having super-skills on the basketball court. I hope that Stephen Curry & LeBron James can help us answer some of these questions in this 2015 NBA Finals. But, what I am referring to, is beyond sports science. Beyond what we can fully prove. It is the unseen influences in the human condition that is so prevalent sports, and especially so in basketball. It can be viewed in terms of psychology, mindfulness, faith & belief, shamanism, trance states, or perhaps the celestial design of the modern basketball court. Let’s start with the design of the court.

The arc of the 3-point line, where much of the play takes place, appears to resemble the curvature of the earth. The basket is situated at the base of the arc, much like either the sun or the core of the earth. As players move about on the court, they seek to know their orientation to the basket, much as we seek to orient ourselves to the sun and core of the earth. The players’ knowing of their orientation allows them to make accurate shots in the basket. The current field goal shooting space inside the arc was traditionally where the game was played. But in more recent years, it has been expanded beyond the arc in 3-point shooting.

This space beyond the arc is where players yearning to become celestial gods dare to shoot. The space inside the paint is where mythical players look to defy earthly gravity. This court design seems to invite individuals with unique skillsets to try and master these spaces. Many try. But only a select few succeed. The game and court seem perfect! If you look at the geometric shapes on the court, you can see how they mirror the shapes of our planet’s magnetic and gravitational fields. And this gives rise to mythology in basketball and speculation that there is a link between the court and the super-skills of players. Note the shapes of the images in the earth’s magnetic and gravitational fields.

Sun Earths Magnetic Field
Sun Earths Magnetic Field
Earth Lagrangian Gravitational Lines
Earth Lagrangian Gravitational Lines

As a scientist, drummer, and multi-sport athlete, I can attest to something occurring in the brain during your mental preparation, and into your rhythmic progression of the athletic maneuver. I think it closely resembles mindfulness visualization. Coach Phil Jackson wrote extensively on mindfulness. As a scientist, I can say that athlete super-skills would likely occur either as faith and belief based hypnosis, trance states, or shamanism. Super-skills have been scientifically confirmed thru study of “trance heightened states” on fMRI brain scans of individuals. I suspect this would also occur in athletes.

Proprioception and Rhythmic Progression of the Basketball Shot

Illustration on the proprioceptive mechanisms involved in exercise and movement.
Illustration on the proprioceptive mechanisms involved in exercise and movement.

We’ve discussed sports science, shooting angles & trajectories, tactile skill, kinesiology,  and mythology. But where really does the shot come from?

During shooting, you have your own unique rhythmic progression that allows you to store & recall your shot – albeit through proprioception. During a game, there are also opponents pushing and bumping into you, and it disrupts timing and a good “look” of the shot. But it is the exceptional shooter who can alter the mechanics of the progression and shot, and fit it into the tighter spaces created by the defense.

It is your body’s proprioception that allows you to execute these movements with very limited conscious thought, part of your “somatic” nervous system, where movements of your arms, legs, and body can be pre-programmed to rhythmic cues. Rhythmic movement also aids our memory in doing every day tasks like brushing your teeth, washing dishes, and driving your car, which are integrated into your broader tactile awareness and complex movements.

Rhythmic progressions are become a pivotal part of all sports play, plus are found in repetitive activities like drumming, hammering, and most skill trades. I found hand drumming to be uniquely helpful with tactile perception of the hands and fingers, and it can be applied to basketball and activities in everyday life. In addition, rhythmic sports like basketball invoke team brain wave entrainment, or BWE, the same principles found in drumming, or drum circles.

BWE is a mirroring of “brain waves” between members of a group in a heightened and connected similar activity. Brain waves normally occur in five (5) frequency ranges: delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma, as measured by EEG instruments and brain wave sensors available for mobile devices. BWE determines in part how we learn in a classroom, and how we communicate and influence one another in life. BWE is also involved in why women who live or work together tend to synchronize their menstrual periods to the same times. For more on BWE, see my blog on use of “drum circles” in the workplace.

Drum Circles boost BWE & Productivity in the Workplace

Drum circles aid productivity and stress reduction for employees at this area Orange County firm.
Drum circles aid productivity and stress reduction for employees at this area Orange County firm.

BWE methods help with “brain wave” control in movement, timing, attentiveness, communication skill, and stress reduction. The methods actually date back thousands of years. But only more recently, have they been understood. Below, Charles & Kenny do a little drumming during their TNT coverage of basketball.

Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O'Neal do a little drumming in the workplace on TNT Basketball
Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O’Neal do a little drumming in the workplace on TNT Basketball

The amazing thing about basketball, is that its principles and methods can be applied to so many other areas of life such as the workplace, family, friends & relationships, health, and personal discipline as a whole. As such, one of the most important aspects today of the game, is understanding “where” the shot comes from, or the “Mindfulness of Basketball.”

The Mindfulness of Basketball

The Limbic System is often termed the Emotional Brain, and is responsible for Super Skills and the Placebo Effect, yet also Addiction Disorders.

Much of what we’re learning today about the psychology of sports, health, personal relationships, and how well we achieve success in our endeavors has to do with our brain’s “Limbic System.” The Limbic system is a group of structures above the brain stem that processes our sensory information and memory, and also serves as a conduit to our conscious thoughts which are executed by our “frontal lobe.” This lobe of the brain is responsible for most of our day to day skills and decisions, widely referred to as our “executive functions.”

In neurological disorders, learning disorders, and brain injury, the frontal lobe and Limbic region can become compromised, resulting in personality changes, behavioral challenges, cognitive disabilities, and even addition disorders. But in sports and work when these centers are functioning well, you can have skills and abilities like a “high performance sports car!” There are a number of methods and disciplines today that help to optimize these two brain centers, improve mental focus, and reduce stress. The two most popular terms for these disciplines today is meditation and mindfulness. Meditation more defines the type of practice or discipline being used, whereas mindfulness defines the mental or conscious state that you’re trying to achieve. Mindfulness is a lot like “Nirvana,” that place in your mind where you like to go to work everything out. It reminds me of the scence in the Movie, “Happy Gilmore,” where Adam Sandler visualizes all of the good things he would like to have in his life!

In his book about mindfulness in basketball under the title, “Sacred Hoops,” Coach Phil Jackson says that mindfulness methods were largely responsible for his success as a coach. He also was/likely still is a devout practitioner of meditation.

During the 1970s and 1980s, I was changed by a number of books on the mind and philosophy. Perhaps my favorite book of the 1970s was “Zen and the Art of Motocycle Maintenance,” while in the 1980s my most influential book was “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior.” At age 30 and being 6’2”, I had this fascination with gymnastics, and began to delve into visualization and mindfulness. Today I know that these principles are at the core of success in sports and basketball.

Basketball also has many similarities to gymnastics in that the trick or shot is actually done in your head before you execute the shot. It requires visualization, mental focus, confidence, and a keen awareness of your “rhythmic patterns” of movement. And the more you believe in your shot as your execute it, the higher your accuracy.

This IS where the basketball shot comes from…. visualizing, physically connecting, and BELIEVING! It’s a lot like the Disney movie, “Peter Pan.” And in the end, how did Peter fly? Through Happy Thoughts! But, he first had to BELIEVE. I think this is also what drives fans to attend basketball games…. to watch players possibly achieve these out of world performances!

In order to BELIEVE, you must first KNOW. And KNOWING — comes from preparation, and DOING! So you practice the fundamentals of your craft, to put yourself in a position to fly. In your preparation and doing, somewhere along the way you may come to KNOW and to SEE what you need in order to BELIEVE. In the photo below, I caught the sun’s morning rays coming thru at a precise place over my friend Al during his morning shooting drills, that suggested that the role of the spirit in basketball may be more than meets the eye.

Your Basketball Spirit Guide may help more than you know during Shooting
Your Basketball Spirit Guide may help more than you know during Shooting

I suspect this is how Stephen Curry and other top shooters achieve their skilled brain states. In addition, it requires a vision and BELIEVING, as seen in players like LeBron James in leading other players to greatness. It is a philosophy, a practice, and way of life.

In my personal experiences in shooting on the court, I’ve found a “communion” of sorts in following my higher power’s “direction” in selecting the spots & mechanics for each shot. Even for a very difficult shot. When you follow that “direction,” something magical happens. It’s as though there are “forces” that govern which shots allow the ball to pass thru the basket. You must be in communion. Might it be tied to astrology? I can’t say.

Astrology Chart
Astrology Chart

Exceptional players like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Stephen Curry have evolved into mythical figures. Bryant as the Black Mamba. James as the Chosen One. Curry as the Golden Boy. I can only speculate on their brain, spiritual, and physical mechanisms on the court.

Mythology.Air Jordan

NBA Basketball's LeBron James The Chosen One
NBA Basketball’s LeBron James The Chosen One

Mythology.Kobe Bryant The Black Mamba Wings

NBA's Stephen Curry has been labeled The Golden Boy
NBA’s Stephen Curry is The Golden Boy

Another mindfulness practice that intrigues me is how some athletes can compartmentalize the pain of injury and not let it become a distraction during play. This is counter to what we know about pain and its effect on mental focus & performance. I have personally experienced instances of “spontaneous healing,” where all signs and complaints with an injury or illness have immediately disappeared. So it is more common than you might think. The photo below is from one of my brain shunt surgeries, where I used mindfulness to help manage pain.

In 1988, Isiah Thomas had his best quarter of basketball ever when he shot 14/15 (or something near that) in a game against the Lakers, with a sprained and swollen ankle that hobbled him on the court. It requires mental focus to make difficult shots. Pain would normally be a significant distraction in shooting accuracy. Just look around the NBA and other sports on why players are out. But Thomas played his best basketball ever on one foot. How was he able to do this? Mindfulness/hypnosis? Spirituality? Shamanism? Trance heightened states?

We choose our own discipline(s) to attain excellence in basketball and in life. And some of us are blessed with “genetic predispositions” that aid in our success. But most have to put in the work to learn these. I regularly see genetic predispositions in my work with drum circles. No doubt this can be seen in other practices too. Below, I am interviewed on how drumming can be used to improve your life.

2017 TV Interview: How I Became Involved in Drumming and the Brain Science of Basketball

It was my personal journey following a 1992 brain injury led me to a series of projects in the neurosciences, beginning with medical devices/mHealth and music, and leading me to drumming and the brain. Some of my projects and guidance weren’t by accident either. They came to me “intuitively,” just like your basketball shot when you’re listening to your higher power! I also have a not so common brain skill where I often instinctively know what to do in a given situation, which doctors at UCLA Medical Center found in 1993 following several days of neuropsych testing. In just 6 months, I had created my own “compensatory strategies” to overcome many of my challenges post injury and surgery. They told me they normally put patients thru rehab to learn these things. I found out I was different!

In the years that I followed, I became involved in research with cognition and memory, that I used in the 1997 design of my DiaCeph Test app for hydrocephalus, and then in balance, movement, and sensory challenges. By 2005, I discovered that I had acquired new intuitive or shaman-like skills, and had unknowingly added “rhythmic cues” to my everyday movement, walking, and tasking.

I created finger movements to tap on myself and cue myself as I moved about and initiated everyday tasks. I unknowingly began doing this while driving just a few years after my brain injury in the mid-1990s, and found it helped me better concentrate while driving, especially in busy intersections. Eventually, cuing with my hands and fingers became an everyday part of tasks and movements, much of it I wasn’t even aware of it. I’d tap on myself as I got dressed, at the counter in the kitchen, as I brushed my teeth, and started up my car to drive off. After 20-25 yrs now, I don’t even think about it any more. But I consciously do it today while driving, as it helps me better focus during busy traffic.

Athletes use a lot of personal hand and timing cues too during play. The most notable of these was baseball’s Ricky Henderson, who had unique hand/finger cues he used in base stealing. In the batters box, baseball players can be seen executing unique cues with their hands and feet. In basketball, player cues are most evident during free throws, where each player has their own unique system. Some however, have really struggled at the free throw line, because they had not developed a unique set of cues & rhythms that they believed in! Most of these are big men who don’t move that rhythmically. The shot is all about the rhythm!

At some point, I’ll publish a blog or include in my book, my methods for hand/finger cues when driving an automobile. No doubt this could help a lot of drivers, especially seniors. It’s really just developing methods which allow your body to interact better with your mind. At its core, a string of cued movements or “rhythmic progressions,” helps you maintain your mental focus and to execute the movements & tasks which you have studied and practiced.

On the basketball court, I use these cues to direct my step, dribble, turn, and shoot to deliberate patterns. These “cues” allow me to move about and shoot more effortlessly. Off the court, I have some balance problems and am often in a lot of pain, and am dependent on my hand and finger cues. When I play hand percussion in drum circles, I often play Afro-Cuban rhythms I’ve never studied. I play what comes to me, a lot like the cues.

In everyday life, I utilize hand-finger movements to boost mental focus & cognition. It may seem a bit like gang signs found in hip hop music. But, I don’t follow hip hop. I have no idea where they came from, other than my brain’s compensatory adaptation. And even more unusual, the other day I found myself wanting to howl along with several dogs who were howling to nearby sirens at the super market. No doubt, this arose out of an increased sensitivity to things around me and wanting to be in BWE with the dogs.

The brain science of many of my compensatory methods can be found in scientific papers. Since 2008, I’ve also been using fasting and following calorie restriction methods on eating – to boost health, energy, and mental focus. Today, I also writing about Nootropics vitamins for the brain.

My experiences may seem a bit like Ron Howard’s 1980s anti-aging movie, “Cocoon.” But this is real. Mindfulness, shamanism, and trance heightened states enable the brain to function at significantly higher levels. And it’s confirmed on fMRI brain imaging. It’s allowed me to overcome extraordinary odds, undertake some very unique research, put on innovative drumming workshops, and provide consults in several areas of the neurosciences. This may not sound like everyday occurrences to most. But look at the animal spirit images in the flames of the bonfire below. That’s not everyday either. I’ve had skills as a medical intuitive dating back to 1981. So I’m quite used to it by now!

Animal Spirits at Drum Circle
Animal Spirits at Drum Circle

shoot baskets today for the mindfulness buzz, and it also helps my balance, coordination, cognition, and mental outlook.

Basketball’s health & fitness benefits are also well known for children, teens, adults, and seniors. In addition, it can provide therapeutic benefits to persons with brain, spinal cord, and movement disorders.

From my experiences on the court and in drumming, I created a series of basketball drills, as well as a program for drumming with basketball. There is great synergy between basketball and drumming, as each involves rhythm, movement, syncopation, and brain wave entrainment (BWE). Drumming also improves tactile perception, which can benefit basketball.

 

Hand Drumming helps Tactile Senses of Hands
Hand Drumming helps Tactile Senses of Hands

Drumming for Basketball.kids play at game

 

The Next Frontier in Basketball: Basketball Training Mobile Apps

mHealth Apps

Earlier this year, I purchased the new Samsung S8+ smart phone and Gear 3 smart watch. They synchronize with each other via Bluetooth, data, and WiFi. In fact, my smart watch even has its own telephone number. The handset comes with Samsung’s new Health software, which includes heart rate, SP02, barometric pressure sensor, and motion sensor. The Gear 3 watch has its own integrated motion and heart rate sensors, and can record motion measurements during sleep, and chart this as an indicator of sleep quality.

Timing, Rhythm & Movement App for Basketball: My 1st proposed basketball training mobile app would utilize a smart watch of similar motion sensor to record movement patterns, timing & spacing, and quickness – and graph all this as part of a basketball training app. It would help players study and compare quickness, timing, and movement patterns, and tie this into shooting percentage and other stats in the development of your basketball skills. Someone (a developer & financier) need only develop it.

EEG Brain Wave App for Basketball: My 2nd basketball training mobile app would utilize an EEG accessory device that is already available, but needs software. The EEG reader may also need to be improved to allow it to run the app software accurately. These devices have been available for a few years, but their development has been stalled due to FDA regulatory hurdles and no one wanting to spend the money to address it. In basketball, their use would NOT be medical. So I do not believe the resulting app software would not need to undergo FDA submission, or if so, a minimal submission of guidance. The purpose of the app, would be to evaluate the player’s EEG brain waves (for mindfulness/zen like states) and tie this into shooting percentage, rebounds, and stats, etc., to help teach & condition the player in managing their brain waves for optimum brain wave states and production during basketball play.

My Brain Science Basketball Drills and Training

I’ve got more than seven (7) years of experience in basketball for health and fitness. Below, I share my shooting preparation, and drills and shooting on the court.

Stephen Free Throw

In order to be physically ready to shoot, I do a series of floor and rubber band stretches and mindfulness visualizations for 10-25 minutes. This helps to clear your head and prepare you physically for the demands you’ll be faced with in dribbling, moving, and shooting. It also helps get you “tuned into” your high power for direction on the court.

On the court, I begin with left and right hand, between the legs, behind the back, and closed space dribbling. I make sure my footwork matches anything I do with the ball.

Next, I do dribbling with shots from left to right under the basket. This helps address any stiffness or dizziness. And some days I require more turning and dribbling drills warm-up. I continue shooting under the basket, as I shift between right & left handed shooting. I am left handed. But, I will do as many or more shots under the basket with my right hand.

Next, are my bank shots, where I gradually move to further distances around the court. By this time, I am usually beginning to “feel” the shot and come off the ground a little as I shoot. I allow my body’s momentum to lift me off the ground. I rarely do jump shots as it reduces my shot accuracy.

Once I am fully warmed up, I move to field goals, where I enjoy moving about the court, shooting what my shots and rebounds give me. I listen to my body and to the basketball gods in deciding what my next shot & drills will be.

By now, I’m 20-25 minutes into my workout, and begin free throws, which as anyone knows, can become contentious and mentally challenging. I would like to do some training in psychology of free throws as I can struggle at the line. I know it is usually something on my mind that is interfering. So this often becomes free throw therapy! I mean, we all need some outside help!

Depending on how this goes will determine whether I do layups, or 3-point shots next. Both of these have become a little more difficult over the last year or two (I am now age 60). Still, I follow what my body gives me. Often times with 3-point shots, I’ll do shots inside the arc to warm up my shoulders for the further distances. Since free throws and 3-point shots can be contentious, I sometimes use really different techniques (and two handed) and shots to just stimulate my body and balance. When I can, I’ll let out a shout or two in frustration (which I think is very helpful). But I’m courteous to nearby neighbors.

On layups, I do standard, reverse, and under handed styles. I do as much as my body and mindfulness allows. I used to be able to sprint/dribble back to my house. But not in the past couple of years.

In applying these methods of mindfulness, you become your own psychotherapist on the court. You learn to listen to your body, get out of your head, and be more balanced in your approach to life. And once you’ve cleared your head, you’re rewarded by seeing & feeling the ball go thru the basket (not to mention you don’t have to chase the ball). Your GOAL is being more connected.

The brain and sensory system during cognition.
The brain and sensory system during cognition.

I find opposite hand shooting also helps to balance both the left & right hemispheres of the brain, and a higher sense of calm. I always leave with a better buzz when I’ve done opposite hand shooting and lots of free throws. It improves your poise and balance. These drills can also engage trance heightened state brain activity, though largely dependent on your commitment and discipline.

I have added hand drumming to basketball before and after shooting. I also added basketball to some of my drum workshops with excellent feedback. I would like to share my methods with college and professional basketball programs.

Last, I really like to employ drums & percussion as part of my basketball training, as it gives and audible sound to the time & movement between players. Playing the drums before you shoot, or at court side, really does help you connect!

Drumming with Basketball

Stephen Dolle speaking on drumming and rhythm at Wright State University
Stephen Dolle speaking on drumming and rhythm at Wright State University

Drum rhythms define a very precise pattern and are remarkably similar to an athlete’s movement on the basketball court. If you play or shoot baskets for fun or fitness, you will experience rhythmic progressions in your shooting, passing, and dribbling. This can put you into an altered state of consciousness, or Nirvana of sorts. You might even enter a trance state. The main difference is with drumming, that you can enter into these mind states without being an expert drummer or musician. Trance states and rhythmic patterns are indigenous to us all. You need only find the right discipline. The children below put on a drum circle during half-time at a Bay area basketball game.

Basketball Half Time Kids Drum Circle

In basketball, passing, shooting, and on-court communications largely occur due to syncopation and brain wave entrainment. To aid syncopation, drums have been used in military training and battlefield maneuvers for hundreds of years. Drumming has a long history with African shamans. In some parts of Africa, drums are brought and played next to the basketball court. For these reasons, drumming is a great training tool in basketball.

Drumming and shamanism are very rooted in African culture, where mindfulness and trance heightened states are rooted more in Western civilization. They may be one and the same brain mechanism – arising from different cultures. These disciplines no doubt hold tremendous insight into future human development.

Drumming is an unusually good fit to basketball because of team play, rhythmic movements & beats, and brain wave entrainment or BWE. Drum beats and BWE can help synchronize plays and on-court communications in basketball. It can help in heightened awareness of ball movement and connectedness on the court.

Applications

Drumming with basketball can be adapted to health & fitness and team play.

Health and Fitness

A group is split into (5) parts consisting of: sitting down hand drumming, standing shakers & bells, standing sound shapes, on court ball handling & shooting, standing playing (tapping) on your body. These play parts are about movement and syncopation. Playing and shooting is about moving every part of your body in a coordinated rhythm. Within several minutes, a group rhythm evolve and synchronize between all the parts of the group, and there will become a magical synergy that will aid both those playing instruments, and those with the basketballs.

Team Play

1. Warm up with the above drumming for basketball fitness program

2. Next, 5 players take an instrument and spread out on the court in their respective positions as follows:

-center/power forwards on bass and large djembes

-shooting guards on mid-size djembes

-point guard on either shaker or bell

3. The objective is to communicate and synchronize sound and movement, and take turns leading by position. Each of the instruments offers a unique role in leading a drum circle, as does player roles/skillsets in basketball.

4. The role of the bench is to support the drum circle via misc small percussion, clapping, and vocal calls and chants from the sidelines, where the bench is given opportunity to lead the drum circle both from the bench, and once they enter the game, since their role in syncopation has already been established.

5. Lastly, the role of the basketball drum circle is to continue to play even when you fall out of rhythm, as your commitment to keep playing so as to re-establish your rhythm, is synonymous with staying on your game plan even when you’ve fallen behind and out of rhythm, because eventually you will re-connect. The drum circle and basketball play circle are both very similar and teaches players about team building, trust, believing, and staying together. And sometimes, you need to let it all go, to get your MOJO back!

Drumming & Basketball after Concussion (esp Football)

Drumming and basketball can be used in the treatment of concussion symptoms, and for long term management of concussion symptoms and neurological disorders. Athletes are advised to take it easy and not engage in substantial physical or sensory stimulation activity. Light physical rhythmic moving and shooting basketball meets the post concussion protocol criteria. Adding drumming to basketball helps players relax, and improves spatial awareness, physical coordination, and cognitive skill. The benefits are optimized when shooting or drumming outdoors in a park setting.

I’ve done some research with sensory processing disorder, or SPD, and with difficulty in cognition following brain injury and hydrocephalus. The spectrum of symptoms seen following concussion includes: sensitivity to lights, sounds, and scents (termed SPD dysfunction), migraine, problems with balance, awareness & disorientation, and irritability, which can trigger behavioral outbursts and irrational conduct. The symptoms can render an individual with challenges in cognitive accessibility in terms of reading and understanding written (user) instructions, web sites, mobile devices, and with sound intolerance in public places, and television and radio broadcasts (esp commercials).

I also have an in-depth blog on drumming for football

I can be reached in Newport Beach, California, for basketball consults, training, kinesiology work, and drum circles.

Contact me via the information below. SAVE my JPEG card for future reference.

Stephen Dolle
http://www.DolleCommunications.com

Newport Beach, CA

contact[at]DolleCommunications[dot]com

Tel. (msg) (949) 642-4592

Contact Stephen Dolle
Contact Stephen Dolle

 

 

References & YouTube Links

(YouTube links removed to improve page loading)

Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_basketball

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basketball

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basketball_court#Three-point_line

NBAHoops online: nice historical information
http://nbahoopsonline.com/Articles/History1.html

Court dimensions for various levels
http://www.basketballcourtdimensions.eu/nba-court/

Templates for creating a basketball court

Free Basketball Court PowerPoint Template

Basketball’s hidden positions get an update

Basketball’s ‘Hidden’ Positions Get an Update

John Brenkus and the Sport Science team examine Stephen Curry’s sweet stroke.

Stephen Curry’s shooting form on YouTube

Wall Street Journal: the Science of Stephen Curry’s Sweet Shooting
http://www.wsj.com/articles/stephen-currys-science-of-sweet-shooting-1418766120

Stephen Curry Highlights | Warriors vs Grizzlies | Game 6 | May 15, 2015

Kevin Durant Scores a Career-High 54 Points in Jan. 2014

NBA shooting secrets to improve your jump shot – The Hop

TNT Basketball Broadcasters do Drumming during Halftime Show
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mrloganrhoades/tnt-basketball-crew-gets-in-funky-fresh-groove-with-dank-hal#.vpXyD0R32

Jesus, Basketball and the Homeless – Soupmobile Dallas, Texas
http://www.soupmobile.org/major-events/jesus-basketball-the-homeless

Science calculate the perfect basketball shot (article)
http://gizmodo.com/5928074/science-has-calculated-the-perfect-basketball-shot

Neuroscience: NBA edition – predicting a HOT hand
https://neuroecology.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/neuroscience-is-useful-nba-edition/

Mental Rehearsal & Visualization (mindfulness)
https://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/mental/visualization.html

Coach Phil Jackson – Sacred Hoops
http://books.simonandschuster.com/Sacred-Hoops/Phil-Jackson/9780743545921

Full feature basketball skills training facility in Orange County, CA
http://opengympremier.com/

Basketball shooting Lab in New Jersey
http://www.shootinglaboratory.com/

Harlem Globetrotters
http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/

Mother Tongue Monologues

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Drum Circles to help bring Rain to California in 2015

California's drought has taken a toll on water supplies like Lake Oroville
California’s drought has taken a toll on water supplies like Lake Oroville

On March 16, 2015, as a neuroscientist and intuitve of sorts, and drum circle facilitator, I posted on my Facebook and LinkedIn Orange County Drum Circle groups that I’d like to organize some “Drumming for Rain” drum circles to help bring rain to California. On April 6th, I wrote this blog in support of the spiritual and cognitive neurosciences aspect of the proposal, and since added my supporting experiences. So, this blog has been a work in progress. I haven’t updated since June 2015. but wanted to enclose the links to the two OCDC groups where this began, and which would host content if this ever comes to fruition.

Event on Orange County Drum Circle on LinkedIn

Orange County Drum Circle Group on Facebook (March 2015 post)

Stephen Dolle at Surf 24

I am suggesting three or four coordinated drumming events in all, with the first one beginning as early as June 2015. I renamed this blog, and going forward, it will serve as a key piece of the project’s information platform.

I am reaching out to regional drumming groups, American Indian tribes, and other organizations with an interest in drumming for rain. The format will follow best available spiritual, physical, and entrainment methods in drumming for rain.

This idea originated this past January when I had a vision on how multi-site drumming events just might help bring rain to California, and end the drought we’re hearing so much about in the news. I thought it might become a fantastic idea, organizing groups, calling upon the spirits. Positive human energy! True intent!

I have had passion for various kinds of drumming for more than 10 years, but particularly, drumming with nature, animals, and spiritual causes, and I regularly utilize his spirituality in my drumming events and workshops. I’m following a “vision” on how this project should proceed. Since 2005, I’ve organized over 100 different drumming events, and I feel guided in organizing the various groups to bring this about, and bring rain to drought-ridden California. I was inspired in 2008 when churches in the Southeastern United States organized prayer groups to help bring rain to the five year drought that affected that region. I also written to Goerge Nouri over at Coast to Coast Radio to share these plans.

Some of my past experience in drumming for weather and nature includes a 2007 “Drumming for Snow” event outside the Stefan Kaelin Ski store in Newport Beach. The following morning, it began to snow, and it snowed for four straight days.

Stephen leads a group of drummers at the Stefan Kaelin Ski Store Drumming for Snow event in Dec. 2007
Stephen leads a group of drummers at the Stefan Kaelin Ski Store Drumming for Snow event in Dec. 2007

I have been playing in drum circles since 2004, and organizing drumming events since 2005. My drumming with nature and animals has included: drumming for snow, horses, birds, sea lions, whales and dolphins, neighborhood dogs, and many numerous eco, full moon, and solstice events.

My experiences with the spirit world date back to his youth with American Indian cultural activities in Ohio and Michigan. In high school, I was found to know things he had no way of knowing. This led to his reading books on the mind, philosophy, meditation, and healing. In 1973, I began college in pre-med and became fascinated with psychology. But, my heart was not in medicine per say, so I switched my major to nuclear medicine technology, a branch of medical imaging, where I could continue reading and spiritual interests.

In 1981, I developed the ability to sense illness in my nuclear medicine patients, now termed a medical intuitive. Between 1981 and 1992, while working as a nuclear medicine technologist at numerous facilities around Orange County, California, most of these years with my own company, Certified Nuclear Imaging, I interviewed hundreds of sick and dying patients who shared their inner most thoughts and fears about life and death. What I learned, would astound you. I took an oath not to breach their privacy. But where able to, I would share some key experiences and stories.

As part of this Drumming for Rain project, I’ve reached out to two American Indian friends who are percussionists for their input and guidance. And I am contacting others with experience in drumming for rain. Then I’ll write up the suggested format for the events, to be shared with interested groups. I anticipate anywhere from 5 to 25 or more drumming, American Indian, and other groups will join this project, and play “sychronously” at the set times. I feel the synchonicity and energy could help produce the needed spirit call for rain in California. The locations shall be determined in the next several months by the area groups. I’ll post it here, on my Facebook & LinkedIn groups, and share the various web site and groups who will be participating. Follow your spirit guide as to where to play.

Likely Dates: The 1st event could be as early as mid June 2015, with 2-3 others scheduled Sept-Dec to reach into the rainy season. Each location/group can then tailor the drumming format to their own drumming practices and level of familiarity. Follow your spirit guide as they say!

Below, I am seen playing to sea lions along the Pacific Coast near Carmel in 2014.

Stephen Dolle plays calming drum rhythms to a large group of pinnipeds in Carmel, CA.
Stephen Dolle plays calming drum rhythms to a large group of pinnipeds in Carmel, CA.
Our ability to effect social change is rooted in God, the Holy Spirit, and in Brain Science.
Our ability to effect social change is rooted in God, the Holy Spirit, and in Brain Science.

In the unusual 2009 photo taken at a large full moon drum circle, there are thought to be spirit images or animal spirits, in the flames of the bonfire. I would regularly attend and often lead this drum circle, and would channel my energies to heal others in the world and around us.

Animal Spirits surround Stephen Dolle at this 2009 Full Moon Drum Circle in Laguna Beach, CA.
Animal Spirits surround Stephen Dolle at this 2009 Full Moon Drum Circle in Laguna Beach, CA.
This drum circle brought spirit images to this group of teens at this area drum circle.
This drum circle brought spirit images to this group of teens at this area drum circle.

On numerous occassions, I’ve witnessed drummers leave their present state of mind enter into likely “trance heightened states.” There are documented medical studies of musicians, monks, people who fast, and others in disciplines where they can channel themselves into “trance heightened states.” SEE the Power Point from 2011 I delivered at Wright State University. I believe when athletes get “in the zone” and deliver amazing on field play, they too are in trance heightened states. Many credit God too!

My American Indian influences began as a young child growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I became exposed and fascinated with American Indian culture, practices, and traditions as early as age 3. In the summers, I would travel with my family to Northern Michigan, where I was exposed to American Indian culture. Ohio and Michigan had very deep and positive American Indian historical connections. In the forest by where I grew up, we named a particular hill and lookout “Indian Flats,” and regularly hiked to this site. At Summer camp, I made Indian crafts and clothing. At night, I would wander about with my brothers and kids from the neighborbood, and this is really where I honed my nightime telepathic skills. Between ages 5 and 16, I spent a considerable amount of time in the forest. At 16, I had my first documented intuitive, or paranormal, experience of knowing things. By 21, I was able to call upon these abilities without outside assistance.

Music facilitates the development of intuitive abilities in the brain
Music facilitates the development of intuitive abilities in the brain

In the photo below, I am seen speaking at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, on drumming for the brain concepts in STEM3 education.

Stephen Dolle speaks on drumming for the brain at Wright State University
Stephen Dolle speaks on drumming for the brain at Wright State University

If you’re interested in drumming, you should start by taking a basic class or workshop in your area. There are plenty of instructors and stores which sell instruments today, and community drum circles to get started. Eventually, you might find yourself playing to the weather, to animals and eco events, on stage, or at a healing event or ceremony.

To learn more on my drum circles and drumming for the brain, visit my web site and web pages on drum circles.

http://www.dollecommunications.com/Drum-Circles.htm

Drum Circle Facilitation by Dolle Communications
Drum Circle Facilitation by Dolle Communications

Our Capacity for Change is Rooted in your Higher Power, Free Will, and Social Media

Our ability to effect social change is rooted in God, the Holy Spirit, and in Brain Science.
Our ability to effect social change is rooted in God, the Holy Spirit, and in Brain Science.

The power of FREE WILL is a brain science supported mechanism to enable change within ourselves, and to further change proposed by others. Change can occur in small or even very large groups in almost an instant. Change occurs by movement, sharing, and adoption of collective thought. In neuroscience terminology, it begins via a process in the brain termed “brain wave entrainment,” and messages are received and assimiliated from others.

The four levels of brain wave states are shown in this illustration
The four levels of brain wave states are shown in this illustration
A schematic showing how brain wave entrainment occurs.
A schematic showing how brain wave entrainment occurs.

The brain wave entrainment can come from a friend, a stranger, a parent, a teacher, or even an individual during a violant assault. The change is best adopted and sustainable when done via “free will.” But it doesn’t necessarily have to be. There are many people undergoing psychotherapy treatment today for actions and emotions “forced” them months and years earlier, to which they seem to have no free will to change. This typically is a rebound response to a traumatic event that the individual was forced to entrain with, and have become confused as to how & why they entrained with the messenger.

Young children captivated by their play in a drum circle
Young children captivated by their play in a drum circle

Since the beginning of time, persons in positions of authority have acted to control others, using a variety of teaching and team-building methods that have been passed on in families, among populations, and among professions, including, churches. Entrainment is both a genetic, and a conditioned mechanism. We generally control it by whom we associate with. And as modern life and personal protections have evolved, we’ve generally had more rewarding experiences with this, and increasing quality of life. At it’s best, change is most effective if done freely and under conditions of “free will.” And free will must be permitted culturally in terms of accepted social and religious traditions, and in accordance with governing laws and regulations.

Drumming and the Brain.diagram

I believe religious traditions in particular carry tremendous weight in granting permission to participate in certain types of activities. And when these barriers are removed, one can truly exercise FREE WILL to receive and assimilate information from others via brain wave entrainment, and ultimately, to CHANGE and grow from this experience. In a nutshell, we learn by engaging and assimilating outside information.

I have been putting on group drum circles, or “drumming,” since about 2006. Free form assimilation of drum circle play in an “impromptu” setting occurs through improvisation, listening, assimilating, and playing of the instruments. The neuroscience mechanism by which this occurs is termed “brain wave entrainment.” Studies have shown that in a free form or impromptu drum circle, participant’s brain waves will begin to act alike in as little as 8-10 minutes. If it is a prearranged and rehearsed piece, it could potentially occur sooner. This occurs in group activities like sports too, where entrainment is furthered through “coordinated movements,” particularly ones with a set pattern and timing. The fascinating aspect of brain science and learning, is that we are designed to process information in patterns, especially, reproducible “rhythmic” patterns, as human brain waves move across the brain in patterns. The more order and pattern our information is, the easier the assimilation and ultimately, learning.

Early Mayan Basketball
Early Mayan Basketball
Basketball Kevin Durant
Basketball Kevin Durant

However, brain wave entrainment occurs in everyday life far more than you might realize. In order to process information around us into our five senses, we must assimilate the information into recognizable brain wave patterns, or create new ones so we may understand and store it. We entrain while reading a book or working on a project. We entrain in conversations with others, particularly persons we love and trust. Familiarity greatly improves entrainment because we would already have permission to entrain, and this permission makes it more likely that the assimilation will be done under free will. If we believe and accept what the individual is sharing, entrainment occurs much more readily.

The inspiration for writing this blog originally came while writing a blog on how group drum circles can be helpful in reforming the behavior of gang members. After I finished it, I had dwelled and apparently, “prayed” on trying to understand the brain mechanism that binds gang members together. And then it occurred to me how easily we can be “tricked” or coerced into doing things that we might otherwise not normally do. And then it was a revellation of sorts where I understood the mechanism, and first wrote this blog. In my initial publishing, featured the design of the human brain as done by our creator, or God. And then I applied this to present day where social media is now used in brain wave entrainment. It is a matter of debate or conjecture whether it was a creator, or God, or evolution that helped up develop brain wave entrainment so that we could communicate, work as a group, and be more fit to survive. Since this idea initially came to me like a revelation, I kept that theme in much of this piece.

Combating Gang Violence thru Group Drumming and the Psychology of Human Behavior Members

In my revelation, there was no sensation of religion or religious practice. It was more about seeing what is possible thru group thought and behavior. I applied analysis from what I know of science, physics, and human behavior and work in the neurosciences, especially, my work with drum circles. I felt coming together in collective thought under conditions of FREE WILL was the most determinnig factor for change and learning.

I reasoned how we are free to love, to hate, or empathetic, and a gamut of many other thoughts and feelings. But I felt our most powerful learning environment is when we come together for mutually agreeable reason. Our defenses are down. We’ve offered our attentiveness. And now all this is remaining is sharing the information, and assimilating it into action. In free will, results can also be tragic too. People are often misled into agreeing to activities and relationships that end up very badly. It is often difficult to know this will be the outcome as it is occuring, freely entrained with another individual or group of individuals. This has occured in religious sects and churches too. Ultimately, it is free will and our choices that define our connections in life, and possible connections with a higher power.

Prosperity is based on sound information.
Prosperity is based on sound information.

What I find truly fascinating is the study of human behavior and human potential when given free will to ACT without constraint, without consequence, and without coersion, in which path each would choose. There IS irrefutably a connectedness force on earth amongst us that when we assemble in large numbers, we can greatly influence one another. With all of our advances in technology and now social networking, this effect can occur without a group of people physically being together. The power for change is in our collective thought, and today is now possible thru the power of social media. For good or worse, change still comes down to our ability to have free will.

Let’s switch reasoning for a moment and speak about about how this cause & affect and free will applies to LOVE. When we freely act to express love w/o any expectation of something in return, other than the feeling of that moment, we are acting selflessly out of love. I believe this also applies to the power of faith, when you believe in something unknown without any expectation of getting something in return. Perhaps just feeling the connection is all we are seeking. But I believe there’s more.

Great pic NHF members affected by hydrtocephalus at a 2015 Orange County fundraiser.
Great pic NHF members affected by hydrtocephalus at a 2015 Orange County fundraiser.

There has to be a reward for expressing ourselves freely, through a mutual action to unite and collectively change each, to change others, and affect change around us thru a collective thought and “knowing.” In a lifetime, if this happens to you once, or even twice, you are lucky. It is that powerful. Some say it is connecting to the Holy Spirit. Others say it is extraordinary brain activity now termed trance states. But since the beginning of time, this thrill has been perhaps the most elucive experience in life. And has led many a person to do things they later regret.

I recently felt that this collective power of thought and free will to experience life is the communion that God wants for us in life, to “complete” him (or her). I believe this is why we are here, to learn to complete this en route to a greater mission. This free will of human behavior is what sets us apart from every other bit of life here on earth. We are the only ones with free will, the wherewithall to assemble knowledge, and the ability to freely act upon it. It is truly powerful when we come together and collectively choose the same thought or action, which can be for good or evil. Evil is powerful too as it can trick us into entrainment and collective thought. But evil relies on deception, or a “false connection.” Still, evil finds power over victims via human connectedness.

Living plants tend to speak for you letting you know everything is OK.
Living plants tend to speak for you letting you know everything is OK.

Brain wave entrainment happens with plants & animals too. Plants have been shown to respond to human words, thoughts, and touch. Human & animal brains are equally capable of entrainment and influence thru group behavior. In group behavior, we mirror other’s thoughts & actions, sometimes unaware what we are doing. Entrainment is exciting. Entrainment becomes addictive! People and animals can get caught up in group brain wave entrainment, and do things they ordinarily wouldn’t do. This is termed “group hypnosis.” Most of the time it’s a good thing. But sometimes it isn’t. The difference between good and bad behavior is similar to a drug getting you high versus your natural endorphins. One is organic, while the other is cause & affect.

Drumming in the Workplace

Drum circles help to reduce stress and stimulate the brain for optimal function in the workplace
Drum circles help to reduce stress and stimulate the brain for optimal function in the workplace

I have had many great experiences during my drum circles where drummers freely come together & play, not knowing what we’ll play. We trust the process, and the music and spontaneonity just happens. This also widely occurs at sporting events, parties, war, rioting, prayer, and even mourning.  The real power in free will is coming together in communal agreement to change or create ideas and product. When done this way, what’s produced is often self-sustaining. But evil & trickery has benefits too, in controlling others. But it uses a false premise and connection, and it will collapse on itself when put under stress, i.e. why criminals often turn on each other.

Drumming for Wellness

Stephen Dolle facilitates a drumming for wellness workshop at a private home in Orange County
Stephen Dolle facilitates a drumming for wellness workshop at a private home in Orange County

FREE WILL is the most powerful force known to man. But are yet to put it to the test! We’ve only been in communal world thought now for the last 50-75 years. With advances in social media, we will be able to harness communal thought for great social change. I hope that it is for the good. Let’s hope that it is done freely, as that is God’s will for us.

If you are interested in contacting me, please contact me via the information below.

Stephen Dolle

Dolle Communications

Email: contact [at] dollecommunications.com

http://www.dollecommunications.com/

Fun Web Site for Hydrocephalus features Super-Heroes and Art

Tribute to EMI Records and Godfrey Houndsfield for invention of the CT Scanner
Tribute to EMI Records and Godfrey Houndsfield for invention of the CT Scanner

In 2013, I obtained the HydroPowered.org domain and created a basic web site for sharing of fun, art, and culture on a technology platform for individuals and families affected by hydrocephalus. The image at top was created from one of my MRI brain scans, with editing from the Pic Say Pro app. I then added a tribute to Godfrey Houndsfield for his engineering vision, and EMI Labs (a division of EMI Records), for funding his project that led to the invention of the CT scanner – arguably the greatest medical invention we have to date.

I do all of this on a shoe-string budget. Still, I feel I could offer those affected by hydrocephalus a new and fun way to connect on art and fun topics.

I acquired the HydroPowered.org web site by researching domains that were available with the word “hydro,” short for hydrocephalus, which means water on the brain.

HydroPowered.org Share the Passion for Hydrocephalus
HydroPowered.org Share the Passion for Hydrocephalus

I created the above “blue swirl” image as my first logo from one of my MRI brain scans using the Pic Say Pro mobile app. Then, on my web site and Facebook group, I added additional art with the water or “hydro” theme, including, the Schick Hydro razor. The links below go to my web site and Facebook pages of “hydro” art.

Facebook “Hydro” Art

“Hydro” Art and Designs for Hydrocephalus on HydroPowered.org

Hydrocephalus Awareness Month 2014
Hydrocephalus Awareness Month 2014

I am hoping to create fun and cool art for hydrocephalus, separate from the disabiling realities of the condition. This came together one evening in May 2013, though my original idea started back at a hydrocephalus conference in the year 2000. Since 2013, I’ve added HydroPowered art and super-hero stories, and am looking to add more stories and characters.

Hydrocephalus HydroPowered Super-Heroes

Spiderman Super Hero for Hydrocephalus stories at HydroPowered.org
Spiderman Super Hero for Hydrocephalus stories at HydroPowered.org

I want to expand on the “super-hero” theme. I’ve written a few tie-in super hero stories on HydroPowered.org. I actually envision a series of HydroPowered super hero characters. I’ve also created a Facebook Fan Page so other “hydros” (that’s a term we often call each other) can post/share their art and stories.

I continue to brain storm ideas to get this out to the masses without having to spend a lot of money or time. I have made custom T-shirts and polo shirts at Vistaprint online. I’d even be willing to try a “daring PR stunt” if that would bring awareness to this cause.

Drumming workshop for balance and movement challenges in living with hydrocephalus
Drumming workshop for balance and movement challenges in living with hydrocephalus

On Thursday Sept. 24, 2015, I along with HydroPowered.org will feature two drumming workshops for hydrocephalus to address balance, cognition, and movement at the NHF Patient Power conference at the Sheraton Park Hotel in Anaheim, CA. SEE registration info in the flyer. The workshops are free. But there’s a $50 conference fee.

In addition, I am trying to put together a “Drum-off for Hydrocephalus” to help raise awareness and funding for hydrocephalus.

Drum-off for Hydrocephalus

Great pic NHF members affected by hydrtocephalus at a 2015 Orange County fundraiser.
Great pic NHF members affected by hydrtocephalus at a 2015 Orange County fundraiser.

In July 2015, I put together a photo collage with my NFL lookalike, JJ Watt, of the Houston Texans. Check out the similarities below of JJ to my photos at his age.

Photo look-alike collage of Stephen Dolle & JJ Watt of the Houston Texans
Photo look-alike collage of Stephen Dolle & JJ Watt of the Houston Texans

I am hoping this look-alike photo collage might create some social network interest in this cause. It was two years ago that I realized JJ & I look alike like. And he seems a lot like me too, with both of us growing up in the Mid-West. So, for Throwback Thursday, I put together this photo collage, and put it on several of the social platforms, hoping to bring attention to hydrocephalus and my efforts with HydroPowered.

Since 1985, I’ve provided quite a bit of outreach & CSR to Orange County area organizations. During the 1980s, my outreach and fundraising efforts were in little baseball, AYSO soccer, the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce, Hoag Memorial Hospital, community theatre, and arts in Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach. But since the late 1990s, my focus has shifted to hydrocephalus, and a variety of community causes I’ve undertaken with drumming, or drum circles. I also headed up the drumming Meetup, Orange County Drum Circle.

Stephen Dolle in Washington, D.C. for 1999 STAMP Conference
Stephen Dolle in Washington, D.C. for 1999 STAMP Conference

Since 1995, I’ve been a patient advocate for hydrocephalus, and have been answering patient, medical, CNS shunt, and FDA guidan questions on hydrocephalus. In 2009, I began offering consults in monitoring, since my DiaCeph Test for monitoring never became available. For several years, I was also a board member for the National Hydrocephalus Foundation, and helped with PR and fundraising.

In drum circle facilitation, I own enough instruments to put on drum circles for groups as large as 100 people. And I have facilitated groups as large as 250 drummers. I’ve been organizing and facilitating these drum circles over the last 7-8 years in spite of my own health challenges with hydrocephalus and CNS shunt brain surgeries from a 1992 auto accident, which now total 12 surgeries. But, it hasn’t stopped me from giving back, from being involved in CSR and being a pivitol part of Orange County area outreach.  Come Sept. 2015, I’ll be putting on two drum circles at the National Hydrocephalus Foundation conference in Anaheim, CA.

Hydrocephalus Awareness Month 2014
Hydrocephalus Awareness Month 2014
Stephen Dolle receives award at Costa Mesa Chamber event.
Stephen Dolle receives award at Costa Mesa Chamber event.

Back in the 1980s for several years, I served as an independent consultant and helped in sponsorship of a number of area sporting and community events, including, the 1992 Great American Race. 1998 was my first big fundraising endeavor after my injury, where I headed up field sponsorship for the Foothill High School baseball program. Still today, I feel I understand cause marketing, though I always appreciate others’ feedback. If I had not gotten in an auto accident in 1992 and developed hydrocephalus, my plan was to leave health care completely and transition into sports & entertainment agent services.

Drumming for Wellness at the UCI Women's Wellness Day
Drumming for Wellness at the UCI Women’s Wellness Day

There comes a time when even the best of us become recipients of outreach. Since 2012, I’ve been overwhelmed by complications with my hydrocephalus. In March 2015, this led me to I put my own case study and complications up on my blog, knowing all too well I could face scrutiny for it. I felt like I had no choice. I was between a rock and a hard spot, struggling with my health, and struggling to work and take care of myself. You can find it under March 2015 topics.

Pain management and mindfulness in Shunt Revision
Pain management and mindfulness in Shunt Revision

I’d like HydroPowered.org to be a different take on hydrocephalus outreach, more about fun, cool, a mix of art, technology, and culture – with a super-hero theme too. I felt the platform might be helpful in fundraisers too much as the 2014 Summer ALS ICE Bucket Challenge that became a mainstream hit.

Since 2013, I have been brain storming and scouring the web for HydroPowered art and photos. It now includes hydropowered racing boats, monster waves, hydropowered damns, the Schick Hydro razor, and basketball. I’m an avid shooter and have even written a special blog on my insights into basketball.

Sports vs. Brain Science of Basketball

Your Basketball Spirit Guide may help more than you know during Shooting
Your Basketball Spirit Guide may help more than you know during Shooting

The plight of hydrocephalus, the stories, the data, and outcomes remain troubling today. It is the leading neurosurgical procedure in children, and affects individuals from in utero to very late in life. CNS shunts, which first came into use as its primary means of treatment in the 1950s, are still standard treatment today. Outcomes are often followed by disability, many numerous shunt malfunctions, and corrective surgeries. The average life of a shunt today is still about 5 years. Several leading programmable shunts in recent years have also been plagued with bizarre programming failures that added to the chaos. In fact, my own shunt implanted less than two years ago, has already been recalled. So hydrocephalus really needs a make-over!

As for famous individuals with hydrocephalus, the Reverand Billy Graham lived with NPH, a form of hydrocephalus, and a shunt for the last 8-10 years of his life. Rock & Roll guitarist, Dick Wagner of Alice Cooper, who passed away this past July, lived with hydrocephalus for several years. And former San Francisco 49ers player, George Visger, developed hydrocephalus after a series of concussions from football.

Incredible Hulk Inspires Kids and others with Hydrocephalus
Incredible Hulk Inspires Kids and others with Hydrocephalus
The DiaCeph mobile phone app would improve greatly improve hydrocephalus care Worldwide. But the U.S. lags in mHealth development.
Android DiaCeph App for Hydrocephalus would improve hydrocephalus care worldwide

As a neuroscientist who provides hydrocephalus monitoring and consults to families in this space, I am adament that CNS shunt technology, and all of its FDA regulations, are in need of an overhaul. We need to change the dynamics and philosophy of the medical field in hydrocephalus care, from “can’t do” to “yes, we will do!” Today, hydrocephalus care & CNS shunt technology remains dominated by a handful of old guard philosophy medical companies and physicians who have resisted the kind of progress we need for many years. Today we need more free-thinkers, more doers! More of an Apple or Google mindset. The same place, same thing, is not producing the kind of advances we need.

I also realize hydrocephalus research is in need of funding, and I believe the HydroPowered platform can play a pivitol role in this going forward. I can compare our plight a bit similar to that of spinal cord injury (SPI) at thetime actor Christopher Reeves became paralyzed. In his case, he almost single-handedly changed the dynamics & funding of SCI. In his brilliant campaign, he initially “called out” the old guard of SCI work that was holding back progress, and then went on to raise money & create progress in SCI treatment that’s not really been seen in any other disorder outside of AIDs.

For several years back in the 1990s, Christopher Reeves had been one of the highest paid speakers in the world, with both political parties vying for him to appear at their conventions. Those were “wow” moments in PR and cause marketing! Today, football players living with SCI, owe vastly improved outcomes to the dynamic efforts of Christopher Reeves.

Below, is my HydroPowered web site & Facebook links. Take a moment to read over it.

HydroPowered.org

HydroPowered Facebook Group

SpiderMan Movie Trailer

Contact me if you would like to speak with me. 

Stephen Dolle
Dolle Communications
Email: contact [at] dollecommunications.com
Tel. (949) 6424592
Dolle Communications

HydroPowered.org

Stephen Dolle Headshot in a Suit
Stephen Dolle Headshot in a Suit

Drum Off for Hydrocephalus Awareness

Drumming workshop for balance and movement challenges in living with hydrocephalus
Drumming workshop for balance and movement challenges in living with hydrocephalus

OK. This Thursday Sept. 24, 2015 I will feature two drumming workshops for hydrocephalus to address balance, cognition, and movement at the NHF Patient Power conference at the Sheraton Park Hotel in Anaheim, CA. SEE registration info in the flyer. The workshops are free. But there’s a $50 conference fee.

Notre Dame Drumline Friday Afternoon Drummers Circle

I am offering to organize a “DRUM OFF FOR HYDROCEPHALUS” and have it VIDEOTAPED and posted on YouTube. Then, I’d be looking for others around the world affected by hydrocephalus, or interested in helping the cause, to organize their own drum circle with instruments of their culture and region, and post a video of their DRUM-OFF on YouTube – so we may have an international conversation on hydrocephalus. I’ve enclosed the video of the Notre Dame drum off for breast cancer as an example.

I had hoped to do this at the 2015 NHF Conference on Sept. 24th or 25th in Anaheim, CA. But I’m informed the schedule cannot fit it in. We have hydrocephalus groups around the world, and in remote places like Nigeria. I’d love to involve our global “hydro brothers & sisters” in a global “drum off for hydrocephalus.” I envision it as a bit like “Playing for Change” too. And if someone wanted to edit some of the drum segments and create one master song, I’d be very excited for that.

Along with the Drum-off for Hydrocephalus, I’d like to also feature the web site HydroPowered.org – which I created two years ago to further hydrocephalus awareness, and to allow those affected by hydrocephalus to come together to share art, technology, super hero stories, and fun stuff separate from their medical stories.

My Story on HydroPowered.org

I have personally been living with the disorder hydrocephalus since 1992, and I would be participating in this as organizer, drummer, facilitator, and affected patient. As a patient advocate, I’ve been involved in advocacy, public policy, and the development of mHealth technology hydrocephalus. Still today it remains complicated by a lack of medical research and innovation in new treatments, CNS shunt and diagnostic technology, and awareness.

HydroPowered.org Share the Passion for Hydrocephalus
HydroPowered.org Share the Passion for Hydrocephalus

So I need an alternative 2015 venue to hold the Drum-off for Hydrocephalus if I want it done this year. I have enough instruments for 75-100 people, though we ideally only need 30-50 playing. And I will invite 10 or so experienced drummers to help in supporting the drumming. I need to have someone be responsible for videotaping the performance, and perhaps some interviews. I and others I know have video cameras, or even a phone camera might do. But editing the video takes some skill. I can only do basic editing for posting on YouTube. I will also need to have a banner made (VistaPrint) saying “Hydrocephalus Drum-Off, Orange County, CA.” And this can be displayed with the video on YouTube. Once I have a date and location selected, I can post updates here and on http://www.HydroPowered.org site and Facebook group.

I will still be offering two drumming workshops at the National Hydrocephalus Foundation PATIENT POWER conference on Sept. 24th 2015. This would allow individuals and families affected by hydrocephalus to come together and experience the POWER of the drum, and the POWER of connectedness for hydrocephalus.

National Hydrocephalus Foundation (NHF)

NHF Logo
NHF Logo

NHF PATIENT POWER Conference Agenda

https://www.facebook.com/events/1471103479847030/

Below, is a video from a drum circle I put on in 2012 for Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease, and it was part of the 2012 Young Onset Parkinson’s Conference in Orange County, CA.

OC Conference 2012 030.MOV

 

Drumming for wellness helps seniors and those facing chronic illness
Drumming for wellness helps seniors and those facing chronic illness
Drum Circles make for great Children's Activity as young as age 3.
Drum Circles make for great Children’s Activity as young as age 3.

Hydrocephalus effects about 1 in 1000 infants & young children, and occurs in seniors as the disorder NPH (normal pressure hydrocephalus), and it also occurs to others following head trauma, hemorage, tumor, cyst, and often occurs secondary to spina bifida, Dandy-Walker, Arnold-Chiari, and meningitis. In children, it is the most commonly performed neurosurgical procedure. It poses numerous diagnostic challenges to physicians, families, and those living with it. Hydrocephalus is treated the same around the world, mostly by implanting a CNS shunt. So, a mHealth mobile or software app would help individuals in the U.S. as well as developing countries like Africa & S. America.

Seniors came alive to play and dance during this 2010 drum circle at the Costa Mesa senior center.
Seniors came alive to play and dance during this 2010 drum circle at the Costa Mesa senior center.
Drumming is a great tool in teambuilding and in engaging those around you
Drumming is a great tool in teambuilding and in engaging those around you

In developing countries, hydrocephalus is even more tragic and fatal. Doctors without borders and other organizations, often travel to developing countries to perform initial surgeries. But since shunt failure is a common occurance, follow up diagnostics and availability to corrective surgery presents additional challenges. The availability of a mobile software app to collect and document developing patient status information would help save lives and minimize shunt complications. A diagnostic mobile app could offer early critical diagnostic information on device function and patient status.

Stephen Dolle in Washington, D.C. for 1999 STAMP Conference
Stephen Dolle in Washington, D.C. for 1999 STAMP Conference

The purpose of the “Hydrocephalus Drum-Off” is to raise awareness of hydrocephalus, and to help with fundraising and funding of hydrocephalus research in the U.S. and worldwide.

Related Blogs and Information

Spread Awareness of Hydrocephalus on Rare Disease Day 2015

Cause Marketing Web Site for Hydrocephalus uses Super-Hero Theme

Fundraising for Hydrocephalus: Follow the Creators of the Ice Bucket Challenge

Hydrocephalus Monitoring Method Hopes to be new mHealth App

How the Internet is like one big DRUM CIRCLE

Contact me through my web site my information here. 

Stephen Dolle

Dolle Communications

How the Internet is like one big DRUM CIRCLE

Internet Access Screenshot

Have you ever viewed the Internet as a big DRUM CIRCLE? Think again.

Drummers play and perform at this drum circle every Sunday at Pier Plaza in Huntington Beach, CA
Drummers play and perform at this drum circle every Sunday at Pier Plaza in Huntington Beach, CA

In this TED talk, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Internet gives his view of a world-wide & open Internet, with free and open participation on the web. I’ll take the Internet a step further, and equate it as one massive “drum circle,” where each user freely makes their own contribution, and then the whole is more than the sum of the individual parts. Some of the TED Talk comments here support my reasoning. Still others describe the Internet further as an integral part of the “noosphere,” the collective thought of all people on Earth.

Prosperity is based on sound information.
Prosperity is based on sound information.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee TED Talk

Additional resources on his vision

Description of the Noosphere

Internet controlled drum circle at Calit2, University of California in Irvine

Drumming is based on brain science!

This music and the brain illustration depicts the areas of the brain involved in listening and playing music
This music and the brain illustration depicts the areas of the brain involved in listening and playing music

Drumming in the Workplace

Drum circles aid productivity and stress reduction for employees at this area Orange County firm.
Drum circles aid productivity and stress reduction for employees at this area Orange County firm.

Drumming for Wellness

Seniors came alive in this 2010 drum circle for wellness and movement.
Seniors came alive in this 2010 drum circle for wellness and movement.

Drumming Case Study in Autism

Drumming with Children aids Movement and Coordination
Drumming with Children aids Movement and Coordination

Contact me for more information.

Stephen Dolle
Drum Circle Facilitation
Dolle Communications
Email: contact[at]dollecommunications[dot]com
Tel Office (949) 642-4592

Basketball helps homeless thru rhythm and the brain

Drumming for basbetball workshops aid movement, timing, and on court communications
Drumming for basbetball workshops aid movement, timing, and on court communications

I gave a basketball lesson to a homeless man @ my area park today. And he really got made. Research shows basketball, drumming, and other physical movement activities can help the homeless. In addition, the resulting dialogue from the activity further aids the brain & mental health.

I shoot at the court twice a week and run a series of movement, balance, and applied kinesiology (AK) drills to help with health issues due to my hydrocephalus (brain) and stress. I normally don’t like to shoot or involves others, as it can be a distraction from a good work out, esp. homeless people who frequent this park. Sometimes I also incorporate drumming too. But without instruments, I incorporate my rhythm & movement thru timing of footwork, dribbling, moving, and shooting. So when this homeless guy walked up today hoping to play, he didn’t realize he was walking into my basketball CLASS!

Activities such as basketball, and drumming too, highly involve muscle memory, or proprioception. Though movement originates in the brain, once started and the body engaged, your body and muscle memory take over thru rhythmic movement, patterning, footwork, and shooting. An auto-pilot of sorts of body movement with little thinking (ideally). If you follow sports, you will hear a lot of experts speak about the importance of footwork. And footwork along with dribbling is something I work rigorously on the court, and which I worked with this gentleman today.

In the homeless population, activities like basketball and drumming are ideal for confidence, self-esteem, and managing stress. It is widely recognized that movement engages the hemispheres of the brain, and quiets the mind. And in these regards, basketball, drumming, and rhythmic movement are then good for mental health. Back in 2011-12, I put on drumming at the Friendship Shelter in Laguna Beach for just these reasons, and sharing my knowledge.

So, when decided to let this homeless guy join me today, he became part of my class, and I proceeded to give him tips and direction on shooting. The move I gave him, the move he wanted to know. It was an off day for me as I’m not feeling that great. But still I was able to shoot well enough that he saw I know what I’m talking about. And it is cool to watch this at work. As the guy began to improve and complete some shots, his success drew happiness, appreciation, and dialogue, and then he began to reminisce about his father growing up, and playing sports in high school. I bet he hadn’t seen his family in a long time. He had a friend with him too, but this man was not sober or well enough to join us. But he seemed to benefit from our positive energy and his friend’s joyfulness on the court.

Boss BR-8 includes a full 50 selection Metronome
Boss BR-8 includes a full 50 selection Metronome

Please SEE my 2002 cognitive neuroscience study on sound and sound processing in sensory processing disorder, or SPD, where I employed a Boss recorder and metronome a conducted a review of some 50 rhythmic patterns. I later correlated improved tolerance to white noise sound from participation in group drumming.

In June 2015, after initial publish of this blog, I authored an in depth related blog:

Brain Science vs. the Sports Science of Basketball

I’ve also undertaken some efforts with cognitive accessibility with the following domain which currently points to the cognitive accessibility page on my web site:

Cognitive Accessibility.org

Cognitive Accessibility.org currently under construction
Cognitive Accessibility.org currently under construction

DolleCommunications Blog on Cognitive Accessibility and Sound Sensory Processing

Here is a cool story of outreach using basketball to help the homeless, entitled

Jesus, Basketball, and the Homeless

Contact me for more information on speaking, consulting, or to schedule a drum circle.

Stephen Dolle
Dolle Communications
Drum Circle Facilitation, Neurological Hydrocephalus Consults, mHealth
Email: contact[at]dollecommunications[dot]com
Telephone (949) 642-4592

Justice Department rejects Disability Complaint on Sound Accessibility at YMCA of Orange County, Similar Venues

Complaint to the U. S. Justice Dept for sound sensitivity accomodation for loud music and screaming at YMCA of Orange County
Complaint to the U. S. Justice Dept for sound sensitivity accomodation for loud music and screaming at YMCA of Orange County

This blog discusses my disability rights complaint to the U.S. Justice Department Civil Rights Division, and request for a sound sensory accommodation from loud music and screaming broadcast all over my YMCA of Orange County fitness center where I was a member. I had been a member from 2007 to 2011. But it was in the later part of 2010 that a new fitness director was hired, who began putting on zumba classes with loud music and screaming, which was then broadcast all over the gym. Being exposed to this in the adjacent rooms then made me ill.

I undertook numerous remedies to bring a resolution to this. I was eventually asked WHY I couldn’t tolerate it, that loudness levels were within limits set my their national organiozation, and was told to where ear plugs when in the facility – which I tried for a while. But I kept having to take them out when a nearby member spoke to me. Other members (esp seniors) I was told discontinued their membership due to the unhealthful noise. Earlier in 2007, I had abandoned my 25 year membership at 24 Hour Fitness after they began playing loud overhead music. This YMCA gym could have, and should have, made the necessary accommodation I requested. In their ruling, DOJ rejected my complaint in its entirety and instructed me to seek other (esp. civil) remedies. In my opinion, both were legally and morally in the wrong! But there’s very little advocacy for SPD and sound sensory disabilities.

YMCA’s practices effectively barred me and other members with sensory processing disorder from using their fitness facility. The loud music and screaming gave me headaches, nausea, made me dizzy, and irritable – not unlike motion sickness. This is a known medical response for affected individuals to this type of sound sensory stimuli. And it gets better. After I filed my complaint to DOJ, the fitness director created a fake incident alleging I was disturbing other members, where I was told my membership was no longer good. I left and never returned!

Prior to filing my complaint with DOJ, I verbally and requested in writing to management for a change in their music broadcast policiesYMCA declinded to make any accommodation or modification. This was also after I had done volunteer work (music therapy) for this YMCA, and after others (affected seniors) had donated money.

It took DOJ two years to respond with a “no.” My complaint was filed with the “Disability Rights” division, who has jurisdiction over public and private facilities for disability rights accommodations. My complaint asked DOJ to draft new language of protections applicable to public and private venues across the U.S. where loud music or machinery poses unhealthful consequences to persons with neurological and sensory processing disorders.

Mostly what this YMCA needed do as an accommodation – was keep the door of the Zumba classroom closed. But management decided it more important to leave the door open, despite the room already having numerous open windows to the outside that brought in fresh air, and instead chose to broadcast the loud music and screaming through the rest of the facility.

Below is my complaint to DOJ and request for accommodation to the YMCA of Orange County, both of which were denied. These parties theated sound sensitivity and sensory processing disorder as though it were a “comfort” issue, rather than health issue.

Brain centers involved in SPD or sensory processing disorder, courtesy of UCSF
Brain centers involved in SPD or sensory processing disorder, courtesy of UCSF

A large segment of the U.S. population suffers from sensory processing disorder as a result of either autism, post TBI, PTSD, ADHD, hydrocephalus, post tumor, post stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, migraine disorder, dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and more. Affected individuals become very sensitive to loud/erratic sound, from music, machinery, loud raucious TV commercials, and other types of sound which carries elements which are problematic to affected individuals. The affected Americans account for 15-20 percent of the population. These unhealthful sound levels for many, are often protected by years old standards of the decibel scale & chart below. But, these acceptable limits are coming under fire as I share further below.

Standard decibel chart approved many years ago before much was known about the brain or sensory processing.
Standard decibel chart approved many years ago before much was known about the brain or sensory processing.

The above chart has been coming under fire. OSHA, the primary authority over unhealthful sound in the workplace, still agrees with the more liberable interpretation above.

The decibel chart offers some additional insight to how the readings are made. Today mobile apps also provide decibel readings.
The decibel chart offers some additional insight to how the readings are made. Today mobile apps also provide decibel readings.

This next chart illustrates the decibel levels of common machinery.

This decibel chart provides decibel readings from many common machinery.
This decibel chart provides decibel readings from many common machinery.

Now we’re getting a little more current science with this next chart, which factors in reporting by persons exposed to what were thought of as otherwise safe decibel levels. And none of this yet takes into consideration the loss of sensory processing function by persons with neurological injury and disorders, and related SPD. When affected individuals are unable to tolerate these sound/noise levels, that raises ACCESSIBILITY to public and private facilities. Such facilities would include health clubs, restaurants, night clubs, churches, schools, malls, art & music venues and events, fairs, parks, and the like.

Study of group response to decibel levels otherwise considered safe by the decibel scale.
Study of group response to decibel levels otherwise considered safe by the decibel scale.

The image below illustrates the critical brain areas in volved in sensory processing.

Drumming and the Brain.diagram

In 2016, technology has made decibel meters available as mobile phone apps. I use the Smart Tools decibel app. However, what is needed is an app and new sound standard to measure the EQ mix of sound and its likely effect on sound processing. Such data would then lower the effective healthful range of sound.

Choose the right decibel app.
Chosing the right mHealth App can be confusing.

In individuals such as myself, I will have good days and bad days, where my sound intolerance can vary and leave me in a pickle if I ignore the early warning signs. As an affected individual, you need to be aware at any given time of the status of your sensory intolerance, so you can make your optional adjustments as needed. However, there still needs to be new efforts in mitigating the hap-hazard broadcast of sound and noise as so many people are effected, with many more becoming affected who aren’t aware.

As for regulatory actions against noise, the only one that comes to mind is Congress 2012 ruling on the CALM Act – intended to prevent volume raising of TV commercials. But nothing has changed. Obnoxiously loud and ridiculous TV commercials continue on almost all channels. And on radio too. While the science in support of sensory processing disorder and affected neurological disorders exists, the U.S. government and DOJ have acted to deny the science, accommodations, and disability rights protections, while advocating for bizarre new and usual protections for special interests groups. I challenge those who deny this, to play such sounds at an official’s or company office. You will likely be thrown out! So WHY is this exposure OK for the general public? I discuss this in more detail in my 2015 blog on Tips and Information on sound related Sensory Processing Disorder below.

New sound standards and measurements must occur for there to be progress. There first needs to be a revision to current safe decibel scale, to revise it to reflect the health needs of persons with SPD disorders. Next, I am advocating a NEW decibel scale to include a “sound processing component” to account for how the human brain processes sound. Examples of difficult sounds are machinery with fast unbroken patterns, TV & radio commercials where a person is talking fast or screaming with music playing at full volume, and music with people screaming and yelling.

Cognitive Accessibility in SPDs.Hulk Destroys Tree Shredder
Cognitive Accessibility in SPDs.Hulk Destroys Tree Shredder

Since this blog was authored in 2013, I have added a new web page of information for sensory processing disorders and cognitive disabilities at CognitiveAccessibility.org, as well as several new blogs which I discuss below.

Cognitive Accessibility.org

In 2015, I authored this important blog on tips and new information on sound related sensory processing disorder, or SPD, which includes updated supporting blogs and web content on this important subject. I am hoping to find the time and energy to build a complete web site for CognitiveAccessibility.org to advocate and share science on sensory processing disorder and cognitive disabilities. In this blog below, I also share some of my efforts with drumming and drum circles that can raise one’s level of intolerance, and improve over well being.

Tips & Information on Sound related Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Drumming Therapy helps Children with Autism, ADHD, and ADD with Focus and Initiation of Action.
Drumming Therapy helps Children with Autism, ADHD, and ADD with Focus and Initiation of Action.

We have supporting science. Now we simply need to connect it to protections and managing in everyday living thru accommodations, technology, and awareness.

Earlier in 2002, I undertook an important study on sensory processing disorder, which is also discussed in the above updated blog:

 2002 Study in Support of Sound related Sensory Processing Disorder 

If you would like me to speak on my efforts with sensory processing disorder, workplace drumming or therapeutic drumming, please contact me via the information below. Feel free to CLICK and SAVE my contact JPEG card.

Stephen Dolle
Neuroscientist & Drum Circle Facilitator
Dolle Communications
Email: contact[at]dollecommunications[dot]com
Tel. (949) 642-4592

Contact Stephen Dolle
Contact Stephen Dolle

Free drum circle and Q&A on drumming and healing at Temple of Light Healing Fair

Free drum circle and Q&A on drumming and drumming and healing at the Temple of Light “Holistic Healing Fair” on Sept. 8, 2012, from 12-5pm.

I will provide information & the opportunity for visitors to play hand percussion instruments and learn about drum circles, and drumming and healing. This is normally a $20 class, but is free during the Holistic Healing Fair. Drum Circle is 2-4pm.

Event information on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/377148545686561/

Stephen Dolle

http://www.dollecommunications.com