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Interesting findings regarding dyslexia

18 Oct

Selfie as I wore my dyslexia t-shirt which reads (although it's in French) "sodilarity with the dyslexic"Today, the part of the Internet which I pay attention to was abuzz about the recent findings about “Left–right asymmetry of the Maxwell spot centroids in adults without and with dyslexia” published today in The Royal Society, and the work on a lamp that probably cancels or enhances the blue in question, to help override the anomaly (good luck with shining that light in digital media!) See the appendix for the article’s abstract.

I’ve had dyslexia all my life (duh, as though it could be a virus), well before I knew what it was. And today I learned a new characterisation: “visual and phonological deficits“.

Testing

So I looked out a window at something in particular among the brightness of the outside, for at least 10 seconds so that the image of that thing printed itself at the back of my retina. Then I looked away, closed my eyes and put my hands on them. While keeping my eyes closed, I removed a hand and covered my eye again then removed the other hand and covered my eye back. I did that for a bit, assessing which eye had the clearer retinal persistence. This is a technique to determine which is your dominant eye. Retinal persistence in my case was as clear in one eye as in the other. No surprise.

A decisive joke!

A pal I hang out with on IRC suddenly made a candid but decisive joke, “so you need to close one eye!” And I thought, why not? and I did.

I read the same bit of text I had been reading before and found the process of reading much much smoother. It was so incredible that I suspiciously chose text I wasn’t familiar with at all and again, found the process of reading with just one eye much faster and fluid.

Sensory handicap paradox

It is counter-intuitive, in case of a sensory handicap to narrow-down the sensory input, but in this case I was happily surprised. Similarly to when I discovered many years ago that in order to best depict in 2D on paper something I was looking at in 3D, all I needed to do was close an eye and draw.

I’m glad I work from home. Nobody will see me when I read while wearing the eye-patch a friend of mine gave me for Halloween years ago.

Appendix

Here is a quote of the abstract of the article Albert Le Floch and Guy Ropars from the University of Rennes published:

In human vision, the brain has to select one view of the world from our two eyes. However, the existence of a clear anatomical asymmetry providing an initial imbalance for normal neural development is still not understood. Using a so-called foveascope, we found that for a cohort of 30 normal adults, the two blue cone-free areas at the centre of the foveas are asymmetrical. The noise-stimulated afterimage dominant eye introduced here corresponds to the circular blue cone-free area, while the non-dominant eye corresponds to the diffuse and irregular elliptical outline. By contrast, we found that this asymmetry is absent or frustrated in a similar cohort of 30 adults with normal ocular status, but with dyslexia, i.e. with visual and phonological deficits. In this case, our results show that the two Maxwell centroid outlines are both circular but lead to an undetermined afterimage dominance with a coexistence of primary and mirror images. The interplay between the lack of asymmetry and the development in the neural maturation of the brain pathways suggests new implications in both fundamental and biomedical sciences.

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#inktober days 11-15

17 Oct
[Inktober: 31 Days 31 Drawings, following a prompt list.]

Day 11: ‘run’. Pen and ink drawing of a naked man running.
Pen and ink drawing of a naked man running

Day 12: ‘shattered’. Grey India ink brush pen and white pigment pen drawing of a shattered mirror and reflection of a screaming woman.
Grey India ink brush pen and white pigment pen drawing of a shattered mirror and reflection of a screaming woman

Day 13: ‘teeming’. Ink drawing of one of the Shibuya Crossing streets in Tokyo, flooded with pedestrians.
Ink drawing of one of the Shibuya Crossing streets in Tokyo, flooded with pedestrians

Day 14: ‘fierce’. Ink drawing of a dragon, some highlights using India ink soft brushes.

Day 15: ‘mysterious’. Black ink drawing of Ezio from video game Assassin’s Creed.
Black ink drawing of Ezio from video game Assassin’s Creed

Inktober’s prompt list:

Inktober prompt list

When the job gets physical

22 Sep

I have a rather sedentary job which involves computer work, a lot of typing, listening, thinking, talking, storing a lot of information to be able to throw it up at the right time, in the right form, or to connect the right people or the right dots, etc. I no longer travel very much and don’t get to meet people a lot to conduct my work. I do not have any RSI hurting my wrists to prevent me from typing, and I love my job and care enough that I happily spend hours at my keyboard. I have a lot of stamina.

But the other day, I had been at my desk for several hours reading feedback and input on Social Media on some very controversial work that the W3C recently completed, when it hit me: shaky hands, heart beating a little too fast steadily, and the dizziness. That slight tingle in the back of my throat and nose, the faint metallic taste and smell. It lasted a few seconds. I didn’t faint, but I know the signs. Oof!

I carried on with my day but later thought that my job had gotten physical :)

Memory of my memoir

7 Sep Some perpetual movement with this Escher drawing I copied

My Dad reminded me tonight of that time, just before my twenties, when I had to write a memoir for the end of my studies –a two-year secretarial degree. I had worked as an intern twice a few months in the same Hilton hotel in Cannes, doing admin at the HR office the first year, and doing admin for the CEO the second year.

When it came to writing the memoir about what I had done there, I invented something, because otherwise there wasn’t a lot of glory or interest.

So I came up with a study to enhance efficiency throughout the various departments. The study was genuine; I had witnessed first-hand how the hotel worked and there was room for optimisation. The write-up was coherent and made sense. And I got away with it!

The following year, the hotel manager contacted me to get my approval for a group of local students at a business school to use my work and reorganise the hotel accordingly, which I happily gave. I was quite honoured they had kept it, were considering it seriously, and called to ask!

Anyway, I guess my Dad’s point was that even then I was doing some Comm work, and he went on recalling when years later I was offered to join the W3C Comm team and refused several times because I had no idea what comm work was, and he said “look at you now.” I figure my dad is proud of my ‘career’, as he puts it. And maybe people see in me more than I do.