Aloha Friday: Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom sings No Na Hulu Kupuna

 No Nā Hulu Kupuna

Written by: Amy Hānaiali`i Gilliom
Composed by: Michael Ruff

Kaumakaiwa Kanaka`ole Kanahele
A lawe ‘ia e ka makani/ a  ku’i e ka lono
Ha’ina a’e i nā mo’o ’ōlelo/, nā ‘eha o läkou
 ‘Oiai mau loa aku/ kö läkou nohona
E hea aku i nä mele/ a (Hawai`i) kahiko
O nalohia ka hali’a/o nei mau mele
E kuhi aku i nä mo’o/e külia i luna
A walo aku/ i nä ‘ike ku’una/ i aloha ‘ia

E noi’ina aku/ i kou welo iho
A heakau iä lakou/ no nä ha’ina
Nä akua, nä kupuna/ me nä ‘aumäkua
O ke au këia/no Hawai’i kahiko                              
E hea aku i nä mele/ a (Hawai`i) kahiko
O nalohia ka hali’a/o nei mau mele
E kuhi aku i nä mo’o/e külia i luna
A walo aku/ i nä ‘ike ku’una/ i aloha ‘ia
E noi’ina aku/ i kou welo iho
A heakau iä lakou/ no nä ha’ina
Nä akua, nä kupuna/ me nä ‘aumäkua
O ke au këia/no Hawai’i kahiko                              
E noi’ina aku/ i kou welo iho
A heakau iä lakou/ no nä ha’ina
Nä akua, nä kupuna/ me nä ‘aumäkua
O ke au kë ia/no Hawai’i kahiko
Carried by the wind for all to hear
Tell of there stories, of there pain
For they still dwell here
Less the memories of these mele fade
We must teach the young to rise up
Cry out our cherished ancestral knowledge
Call on them for the answer
Nä Akua, nä Küpuna nä ‘aumäkua.
It is the time, of old Hawai`i

E hea aku i nā inoa/ o nā kupuna o mākou

Call on the names of our Kupuna
Sing the songs of old Hawai`i
Seek your lineage

Virtual Reality and Phantom Pain Treatments

Phantom limb pain occurs to some degree in over 90% of limb amputees, and may be severe. Some theories of the pathogenesis of phantom pain suggest it occurs due to activation of pain systems from a conflict between visual feedback and proprioceptive representations of the amputated limb. Because of this, mirror systems have been used, often successfully, to treat phantom pain via activation of mirror neurons in the hemisphere of the brain that is contralateral to the amputated limb, which may then suppress the release of pain neuron activation that (for unknown reasons) occurs when there is a lack of activation of contralateral sensory and motor areas.

The "mirror box" was invented to facilitate such treatment. It consists of a box in which the patient may view a mirror image of their existing limb in a context which makes it appear to be the missing limb restored. Wikipedia notes that "in a mirror box the patient places the good limb into one side, and the stump into the other. The patient then looks into the mirror on the side with good limb and makes "mirror symmetric" movements, as a symphony conductor might, or as we do when we clap our hands. Because the subject is seeing the reflected image of the good hand moving, it appears as if the phantom limb is also moving. Through the use of this artificial visual feedback it becomes possible for the patient to "move" the phantom limb, and to un-clench it from potentially painful positions." Mere imagery of using the amputated limb does not work--the body must be "fooled" into an active perception that the amputated limb is being used normally once more. This is akin to the difference between imagination and illusion in our perceptions, with different brain activation between the two.

In the study below, augmented reality with the amputated limb appearing restored on the computer video screen, rather than in a mirror of the other limb, was shown in a single patient to work in pain relief in a patient in whom the mirror box had failed. Electrodes on the stump were used to control a video simulation of the missing limb. If this proves also to work in other amputees, it would indicate that one not need move the healthy limb to activate mirror neurons, and indeed since residual stump activation was used, one may not need to use the mirror neurons at all, but rather properly activate the appropriate zones of contralateral primary motor and sensory cortex for the amputated limb region of the body (that part of the homunculi of the brain). In that case, the mirror neurons activated in the mirror box treatment program are just used as a pathway to contralateral cortical activation, as a means, not a end.



Max Ortiz-Catalan, Nichlas Sander, Morten B. Kristoffersen, Bo Håkansson and Rickard Brånemark

Treatment of phantom limb pain (PLP) based on augmented reality and gaming controlled by myoelectric pattern recognition: a case study of a chronic PLP patient

Front. Neurosci., 25 February 2014 | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2014.00024

A variety of treatments have been historically used to alleviate phantom limb pain (PLP) with varying efficacy. Recently, virtual reality (VR) has been employed as a more sophisticated mirror therapy. Despite the advantages of VR over a conventional mirror, this approach has retained the use of the contralateral limb and is therefore restricted to unilateral amputees. Moreover, this strategy disregards the actual effort made by the patient to produce phantom motions. In this work, we investigate a treatment in which the virtual limb responds directly to myoelectric activity at the stump, while the illusion of a restored limb is enhanced through augmented reality (AR). Further, phantom motions are facilitated and encouraged through gaming. The proposed set of technologies was administered to a chronic PLP patient who has shown resistance to a variety of treatments (including mirror therapy) for 48 years. Individual and simultaneous phantom movements were predicted using myoelectric pattern recognition and were then used as input for VR and AR environments, as well as for a racing game. The sustained level of pain reported by the patient was gradually reduced to complete pain-free periods. The phantom posture initially reported as a strongly closed fist was gradually relaxed, interestingly resembling the neutral posture displayed by the virtual limb. The patient acquired the ability to freely move his phantom limb, and a telescopic effect was observed where the position of the phantom hand was restored to the anatomically correct distance. More importantly, the effect of the interventions was positively and noticeably perceived by the patient and his relatives. Despite the limitation of a single case study, the successful results of the proposed system in a patient for whom other medical and non-medical treatments have been ineffective justifies and motivates further investigation in a wider study.

Aloha Friday: a stroll in the garden, with camera.

Taken during a 10 walk on the property's front and back yards today, while packing at home for a trip to the mainland.

Fodor on emergence in consciousness

Maybe the hard problem shows that not all basic laws are laws of physics. Maybe it shows that some of them are laws of emergence. If that’s so, then it’s not true after all that if Y emerges from X there must be something about X in virtue of which Y emerges from it. Rather, in some cases, there wouldn’t be any way of accounting for what emerges from what. Consciousness might emerge from matter because matter is the sort of stuff from which consciousness emerges. Full stop.
It would then have turned out that the hard problem is literally intractable, and that would be pretty shocking. The idea that the basic laws are the laws about the smallest things has been central to the ‘scientific world-view’ ever since there started to be one. On the other hand, as far as I can see, it’s not any sort of a priori truth. I suppose one can imagine a world where all the big things are made out of small things, and there are laws about the small things and there are laws about the big things, but some laws of the second kind don’t derive from any laws of the first kind. In that world, it might be a basic law that when you put the right sorts of neurons together in the right sorts of way, you get a subject of consciousness. There would be no explaining why you get a subject of consciousness when you put those neurons together that way; you just do and there’s the end of it. Perhaps Strawson would say that in such a world, emergence would be a miracle; but if it would, why isn’t every basic law a miracle by definition? I have my pride. I would prefer that the hard problem should turn out to be unsolvable if the alternative is that we’re all too dumb to solve it.
--Jerry Fodor, "Headaches Have Themselves," London Review of Books, Vol. 29 No. 10 · 24 May 2007

On determinism and the variances of scientific data.

Here's Mark Balaguer (philosopher at California State University) writing in Methode's ( sublime free will issue (Vol 2, Number 3, 2013) this past year, summarizing the argument against compatibility of free will and determinism:

Let P0 be a complete description of the world at some time in the distant past, before any humans were born;

Let L be a conjunction of the laws of nature; let P be a complete description of the
world at some moment when someone made an ordinary decision that we would
ordinarily think of as free (e.g., for specificity, let’s suppose that at the relevant moment,
Jay decided to order chocolate ice cream rather than vanilla); and let N be
an operator such that ‘N(X)’ means something like ‘X is true and no one has ever
had any choice about it being true’. 

Given all of this, the consequence argument
can be formulated as follows:

(1) N(P0^L).
(2) If N(P0^L), and if determinism is true so that P0^L entails P, then N(P).
(3) If determinism is true, then N(P).
This argument is obviously valid, and the conclusion seems to entail incompatibilism,
so the only real question here is whether (1) and (2) are true.

Of course, in the most accepted version of quantum mechanics, (2) is not an appropriate assertion, because P0^L does NOT in reality entail any exact later description P.  For example, consider the indeterministic decay of the nuclei of radioactive isotopes.  Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope of carbon which makes up about 1 in a trillion of carbon's atoms on earth. According to, there are about 10^20 kg of carbon in the earth's crust, so that there are about 10^11 kg of radioactive carbon in the crust, of which perhaps 10^7, or 10 billion kg, is liable to decay per year. Thus, if at P0 the world contains a certain number of carbon-14 atoms, then it is not determined and cannot by humans ever be predicted exactly how many kg of carbon-14 atoms there will be in the earth a year from now.

The world is thus microscopically indeterminate. And the microscopic thus underdetermines the macroscopic. Whether or not there is provably free will, there is certainly plenty of room for it.

Laws of averages, with the resultant bell curve, often apply here. But true determinism seems false by most interpretations of current physics.

Let's therefore rewrite the above argument:

(1) N( P0^L ).
(2) If N( P0^L ), and if determinism plus a stochastic indeterministic factor,
 then N( P +/- a factor which has a sigma > 0 ).
(3) So we do not have determinism, but continual variation somewhere near a deterministic mean.

The above seems to fit real experience and actual scientific data far better than determinism ever could.

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