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From Me to We

It's more fun to play when we're on the same team Positive, safe social connections develop through shared synchronicity that comes from facial expressions, eye contact, attunement, activating mirror neurons, and moving rhythmically with others. When synchrony is surreptitiously produced in experimental situations it breeds feelings of ‘liking’ another person and one’s self, cooperation, and compassion, as well as success in collaborative action. Studies show that more synchronized movement...

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Audiovisual Synchrony

People on the autism spectrum live in a synchronized world. When Ami Klin, Ph.D. was the director of Yale’s Child Study Center Autism Program, he and Warren Jones, a CSC neuroscientist, pioneered the use of eye-tracking technology in autism research. They developed an apparatus that allowed them to surreptitiously track eye movements in infants and toddlers. They discovered that children and adults with autism see the world differently than typically developing subjects, often ignoring...

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Mirror Neurons

Giacomo Rizzolatti is a neurophysiologist at the University of Parma in Italy. In 1995 he was leading a team of researchers as they mapped the activity of the F5 area of the brain in macaque monkeys. F5 is in the premotor cortex and contains millions of neurons that specialize in ‘coding’ for specific motor behaviors of the hand: Grasping, reaching, holding, and bringing objects (food) to mouth. During a quiet break in monitoring, while the monkey was waiting for the next experiment to begin,...

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Affiliation Equals Safety

The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) is a small strip of the brain located deep within the frontal cortex and is part of the complex alarm system that was known primarily for picking up the distress of physical pain. Surprisingly, the dACC also lights up in response to social pain and isolation, even to simply being ‘left out’ of a game.  The more emotionally distressing the social pain or isolation is to someone, the more the dACC is activated. To our brains, the pain of being...

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CalmConnect™, Safety, and the Vagus Nerve

Social connection is an essential part of what it means to be human; to survive and to thrive. Our safety was rooted in tribes and extended families as we cared for, and kept each other safe. That need for connection is hardwired into our bodies and our cells. Our very survival might depend on connections that we are able to forge with complete strangers. (Lieberman, 2013) Deep social connections alter the way that DNA is expressed within our cells, affecting our health and well-being. These...

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The Science of Fight or Flight

Beginning in the 1990’s sports and military psychologists examined the performance-limiting effects of ‘undesirable emotions’ like fear and anxiety. They looked at a fundamental question: Is the fear that you feel in combat the same fear that you feel when taking a test or avoiding a bully? Surprisingly, the answer is yes.  The most important role of the brain is to keep us safe, at all costs. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) has two branches (sympathetic and parasympathetic) that play an...

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Optimizing Learning Outcomes: Proven Brain-Centric, Trauma-Sensitive Practices

Chapter ThreeMulti-Sensory Movement for All:Changing Our Physiology, Behavior and Performanceby Roberta Scherf and Chris Bye We’re pleased to announce the publication of a new book on trauma-informed care, edited by William Steele,Ph.D. The book includes a chapter on CalmConnect™ efficacy, released in 2017 by Routledge. Abstracts: Book: There is no doubt that movement can help allstudents with regulation in ways that allow them tofocus and engage those cognitive processes neededto learn. When...

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CalmConnect™ Reduced Off Task Behavior 48% in NYC Schools

New York City Public Schools studied the impact of CalmConnect™ in reducing off task behavior in the classroom during the summer session of 2017. CalmConnect™ was used in two schools and two classrooms. The classrooms consisted of children in grades 4 and 5; and grades 6, 7, and 8. The two classrooms were special needs students with autism and intellectually disturbed. Observations were completed the week before CalmConnect™ was introduced to the classroom and after it was introduced over a...

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CalmConnect™ Reduced Off Task Behavior 58% in St. Paul Schools

St. Paul Schools measured CalmConnect™ efficacy in reducing off-task behavior in the spring of 2017. Prevent staff, school counselors, and school social workers observed students in eight classrooms, four in each of two schools. The classrooms consisted of three levels 1 Montessori room (grades 1-3), three first grade, one second grade, and one fifth grade. Observers catalogued each incident, which included the following behaviors: Not following instructions, distracting others, talking out of...

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CalmConnect™ Reduced Off Task Behavior in Wayzata MN Elementary Schools by 80%

Wayzata School District is an award-winning district encompassing multiple communities in the western suburbs of Minneapolis. Recently named the #1 school district in MN by Niche, the Wayzata school district educates 5,029 elementary-aged students, and utilizes 8 elementary schools and 1 early learning center. Study Objective and Design: The objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of CalmConnect™ in reducing off-task behavior in elementary, neuro-typical classrooms. The study design was a...

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