The Brain Science of Fan Behavior in Football, Basketball and Team Sports

Seattle Seahawks prepared for Super Bowl.
Seattle Seahawks prepared for Super Bowl.

This is that time of year we football fans go into withdrawal. First it was college football ending its season. Now, we await next Sunday’s Super Bowl with the NFL’s final game. I love it too for its brain science, brain wave entrainment, and the inspiration it provides in our modern lives. Team sports can bring the best and worst out of its fans too. Whether it be your child’s little league team, local high school, or favorite college team, many fans act out an alter-ego of their personality and have been found to dress up in team colors, and even commit acts of violence (usually with the help of alcohol). Where group viewing enhances brain wave entrainment, alcohol depresses cognition. And a natural consequence of decreased cognition is frustration, anger, and sometimes violence. However, most fans are very civil and games like the College Championship Game between Ohio State & Oregon two weeks ago, brings the best out of viewers. This game was a super-charged brain wave entrainment experience, and it broke ESPN’s previous viewership record of two years ago. The sub-stories were inspirational too.

Ohio State football fans go crazy during 2015 Championship game.
Ohio State football fans go crazy during 2015 Championship game.

Next Sunday, we finish up NFL football with the Patriots vs. Seahawks Super Bowl. But it won’t mean as much to me. These two teams, it seems, are playing more for bragging rights than community and love of the game. There’s an emptyness in their rhetoric too, severing our entrainment built up over the season. For me, the brain science I find most enjoyable in team sports is the connections you develop with players and teams. I love the personal stories of overcoming odds, and relate it to my adversity with illness and everyday life. I draw upon that inspiration and use it as teaching tools to help better myself and those around me. Still, I yearn for truth.

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

Football is perhaps the best brain science sport because it is so team-concentric and detail oriented with instant replay, and affords considerable brain wave entrainment via television, news, and social networking. The resulting connectedness along with enumerable opportunities for discussion via news and local conversation, heightens the connectedness around a common interest. The connectedness, the repetition, the extraordinary use of statistical information – is very healthy for the brain, especially if you suffer from any form of cognitive disfunction. Though the Super Bowl is still to play, I have already turned my attention to NBA basketball, where I am following the league ambassadors. I was watching LaBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers this week, and was reminded that basketball play, the “it,” is not about basketball. It’s about a group of people coming together in pursuit of a common good, a “Pay it Forward” paradym, for team, family, community, nation, and game. Enjoy your emotional roll-a-coaster as we shift our attention from the ending of football, to basketball, hockey, or whatever fires you up.

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

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/

Cool Math use in Music, Science, and Technology for Math Awareness Month

In honor of Math Awareness month #MathAware, here are my cool uses of math in music, science, and technology.

In music, I use math in my percussion with drum circles in the various time structures & types of rhythms. Rhythm is everywhere: in dance & our body physiology, in our brain waves, and around us in nature, the planets, and universe. Do you have a favorite musical rhythm?

In my neurological monitoring work for the disorder, hydrocephalus, I use math by assigning numerical values to a patient’s neurological markers, then I interpret the data into medical discussions and diagnoses. I designed & patented this method back in 1997, and named it the DiaCeph Test. “DiaCeph” is from the Latin root of two key medical words. Do you know which ones? It is still a very relevant method today. You can find it on my web site and SlideShare.net. If I find $100K, or my own software developer, I’ll make it into a really cool mobile app!

Then I use math again in the layouts of many of the reports I write, especially in the formats I create, in logic & reasoning, presentation of subject matter, and analysis and conclusions. Can you think of one of your own reports, where math & reasoning were pivotal?

Lastly, I use math in many of the mobile apps & software I use. My own memory can be poor at times, so I regularly use software and technology to keep myself organized, connected, and productive. And of course, math & logic is at the core of all these apps and software. Which of your favorite apps or software is the most math oriented?

Here’s the web site for Math Awareness Month.
AI Number Code
http://www.mathaware.org/index.html

Enjoy.

Stephen Dolle

New Research Touts Benefits of Medical Marijuana in Neurological Disorders

The Domentary series Weeds by Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN
The Domentary series Weeds by Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN

CNN – Weeds by Dr. Sanjay Gupta

I have provided a brief update on Oct. 31, 2016 to this blog about the CNN TV program Weeds, by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Please see my update and additional links on this topic further below. Dr. Gupta had presented some compelling medical evidence of some benefits of medical marijuana in neurological and seizure disorders, as well as benefits to those undergoing chemotherapy for treatment of cancer.

In contrast to what many may think, the true medicinal aspect of marijuana, or cannabis, is not in the THC, the component that makes you high. Rather, it’s in the cannabinoids, a substance found both in the plant and as a neurotransmitter in the human brain. However, a rather complex purification process is required to produce the cannabinoids from the marijuana plant, which is produced as an oil for oral consumption.

One of the big challenges with medical cannabis, in my view, is in determining which strains and forms to use for your own medical challenges. This web site below list information on how to select your cannabis strain. And below, is a chart to assist in selecting a strain.

Sensiseeds.com – How to Select the Best Cannabis Strain for your Medical Condition

Weedmaps Medical Marijuana Ailments Cannabinoids Chart
Weedmaps Medical Marijuana Ailments Cannabinoids Chart

The most well known political victims with the use of cannabis in the last several years was Charlotte, a 2 year old girl living with a progressive seizure disorder. It was her story and the growers in Colorado that really got the cannabinoids out of these plants, and catapulted these new uses in the U. S.

Charlotte’s Story on CNN

This cancer site below has been involved in research studies with cannabis and the role of cannabinoids in the human body.

Role of Cannabinoids in the Human Body

According to the center and published research, there are two different types of cannabinoid receptors in the human body, CB1 and CB2, found in different locations and which do different things. CB1 is mostly found on cells in the nervous system, including certain areas of the brain and the ends of nerves throughout the body, while CB2 receptors are mostly found in cells from the immune system. Because of their location in the brain, it’s thought that CB1 receptors are responsible for the infamous ‘high’ (known as psychoactive effects) resulting from using cannabis.

My Own CBD Oil Trial

In 2016, I underwent my own trial of CBD oil from a recognized supplier over a two month period. This entailed two different blends of CBD: A 4:1 blend of CBD/THC, and a 24:1 blend of CBD/THC. I tried doses between 5-20 drops at a time and placed it (sublingual) under my tongue. Most of my trials were in the morning. But I also tried it in the afternoon and evening. MY RESULT: I had hoped it might help with fatigue and/or sensory (SPD) sound challenges. However, I did not find any “measurable” improvement in my complaints during my trial with these CBD products. Each vial cost me $60. And this was not covered by insurance. I was provided a prescription letter by my neurologist. My purchase and correspondence was done online. And the two vials shipped to me via mail.

As for my other supporting online material on cannabis and other forms of alternative medicine, below is a blog I authored in Sept. 2015 on alternative medicine in addiction treatment, where I discussed cannabinoids and neurotransmitters, plus I’ve written about sensory processing disorder and cognitive accessibility. In the blog below, I also discuss the challenges that addiction and other neurological disorders pose in cognitive accessibility. Further below, is a blog I’ve authored on sensory processing disorder.

Complimentary & Alternative Medicine Methods in Addiction Treatment

Brain Dopamine Seratonin

 New Insights in Sensory Processing Disorder

Drum circle shakers come in all sizes and flavors, including, fruits and vegetables
Drum circle shakers come in all sizes and flavors, including, fruits and vegetables

Below, is my web page on drumming for wellness, which I have found to be very helpful in neurological disorders, movement disorders, stress-reduction, and general wellness. And below that, is a case study I wrote up on my experience with drumming in cerebral palsy and autism.

Drumming for Wellness

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
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

Drumming Therapy experience in Cerebral Palsy and Autism 

As for productivity, my No. 1 blog on this topic is how drumming and drum circles improve brain function and productivity in the workplace.

Drum Circles 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

Now it should come as no surprise that the country who has done the most amount of cannabis research is Israel. And the developed country that has done the least, is the United States. And for good reason, it is illegal to do research on it in the U. S.

Below, is a link to Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the world renowned expert on medical cannabis:

Dr. Raphael Mechoulam

I’m not trying to make a political statement other than to report on what Dr. Gupta is sharing on CNN. The most compelling benefits in his reports have been in seizure disorders in children, which may well be a variant of x-linked hydrocephalus, where the children often have marked developmental and birth anomalies. In addition, many patients with hydrocephalus suffer seizures, with reports ranging up to 1/3 of those with hydrocephalus. It would seem cannabis could offer benefits to these individuals with hydrocephalus.

Lastly, below is a blog I authored in late 2015 on Nootropics, which are vitamin supplements that help to raise levels of neurotransmitters and related chemicals in the brain, as well as improve memory and productivity.

Nootropics help improve Brain Function and Productivity

Nootropics boost Brain Function and Performance
Nootropics boost Brain Function and Performance

You be the judge as to whether you think you might benefit from newer strains of cannabis and CBD oil. I would like to see further research done to better understand the types & amounts needed to provide benefits in a range of disorders. Unfortunately for me, this single trial of CBS oil did not produce any measurable benefit. But I feel that it is likely that further research will lead to new information on its use in illness.

 

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

What will you do for Valentines Day? Fight or Kiss? Check out the Brain Benefits

As tomorrow is Valentines Day, it seemed like a good time to talk about the brain health benefits of relationships, of fighting vs. kissing, and in confrontations vs. intimacy. They are actually our strongest emotions, and elicit a variety of chemical and hormonal responses in the brain. In simple terms, they are polar opposites to each other, as fighting or “intimidation” is based on anger & self defense, and “intimacy” is based on love & affection. And there’s a science of each. But first, let’s look at the practical barriers we face in meeting someone, and in eventually getting to that first kiss.

There are “two” energy fields an outsider must penetrate: an outer one for protection, and an inner one for intimacy.

Our outer space extends about 3 feet out from our bodies, and others normally need permission to enter this space, or we allow it when we are standing in a crowded setting. Our inner space then extends about 4-5 inches out from our bodies, and is designed for the intimate exchange of information, albeit private conversation, friendship, or sexual foreplay, the gateway to our heart, mind, and soul. Just as others must be invited into our outer field, entry into this intimate field is by invitation only. And each of us has our own preferences as to how one can gain entry into this intimate space, and it is these practices that comprise our unique identity.

When we kiss, according to research scientist Sheril Kirshenbaum, author of “The Science of Kissing” and a research scientist at The University of Texas at Austin, a spectrum of neurochemicals are released. Lip contact also involves five of our 12 cranial nerves as we engage all of our senses to learn more about a partner.

A passionate kiss acts like a drug, causing us to crave the other person thanks to a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This is the same substance involved in taking illegal substances such as cocaine, which is why the novelty of a new romance can feel so addictive. Dopamine is involved in sensations of reward, making us feel intense desire that can lead to feelings of euphoria, insomnia, and loss of appetite, and it is only one actor in the great chemical ballet happening in our bodies.

And then there are physical changes. A kiss can cause our blood vessels to dilate, our pulse to quicken and cheeks to flush. Our pupils grow wide, which is likely one reason that so many of us are apt to close our eyes. In other words, the body’s response mirrors many of the same symptoms frequently associated with falling in love.

Other scientists have reported on what are termed, pheromones, or naturally occurring odorless substances the fertile body excretes externally, conveying an airborne signal that provides information to, and triggers responses from, the opposite sex of the same species.

Scientists at the Athena Institute for Women’s Wellness identified four types of pheromones, spanning:

1.Human sex-attractant pheromones (Dr. Cutler’s expertise)

2.Mother-infant recognition pheromones – a signal that identifies which mother to suckle from, or which offspring to allow to remain in the nest.

3.Menstrual synchrony pheromones in women – causing women in close proximity to cycle together, menstruating at the same time of the month.

4.Territorial marking animal pheromones – a keep away from ‘my females’ signal.

Now fighting, on the other hand, involves a whole different set of responses and brain chemicals. produce the fight-or-flight response, the hypothalamus activates two systems: the sympathetic nervous system and the adrenal-cortical system. The sympathetic nervous system uses nerve pathways to initiate reactions in the body, and the adrenal-cortical system uses the bloodstream. The hypothalamus tells the sympathetic nervous system to kick into gear, the overall effect is that the body speeds up, tenses up and becomes generally very alert.

At the same time, the hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) into the pituitary gland, activating the adrenal-cortical system. The pituitary gland (a major endocrine gland) secretes the hormone ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). ACTH moves through the bloodstream and ultimately arrives at the adrenal cortex, where it activates the release of approximately 30 different hormones that get the body prepared to deal with a threat.

With Valentines Day coming up, you need to think through which effect you would like to experience: intimacy & kissing; or fight & flight.

I’ve enclosed some links and a cool video for kissing in case you need convincing.

As for me, I am a neuroscience researcher and specialize in drum circles for the brain, cognition and cognitive accessible designs, neuro-diagnostic programs, and hydrocephalus monitoring.

Enjoy.
ips

CNN’s feature on kissing:
http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/14/opinion/kirshenbaum-science-kissing/

The Athena Institute on Kissing:
http://www.athenainstitute.com/pherodef.html

If you choose to fight, read this:
http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/fear2.htm