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Saccade conduction glasses as nootropics

"speed readers" follow their finger rather than the usual moseying about of reading. this version has people repeatedly glance at a laser glyph on a page
  [vote for,

Ive tried speed reading. It actually works. immediately a person can jump up to well over 1000 WPM (3000 wpm(?(??))) Yet its just peculiar. I tried the complimentary software where you actually try a quiz on the material viewed. The comprehension was similar.

I read the casual way though as "speed reading" feels really strange.

This item permits people to speed read while gradually teaching them to appreciate it. (possibly) Basically a laser dot appears on the page then you just place your focus there. The computer also views your eye to see about where you are at. Hurried along to more eye movements you absorb much more material. The computer gives you little "hurrah"s as you follow along ever more rapidly until your style is over a few thousand WPM.

This would make plausible software at augmented reality glasses as well.

Also it could create a completely different improvement of social intelligence. Imagine going to a formal networking event. the casual "unamplified" person notices a few people. The person following the blue dot acquires social cognition of dozens of people which then affects their perception of the group as well as their socialization options. They are speed reading a social occasion.

Now although this is the .5b I will describe a genetic possibility as well. Reading speed is associated with natural spontaneous saccade speed which may have physiological variation between people. Finding people with higher saccade rates might actually find a non CNS improved cognition gene. Rather strangely non CNS medications that increase saccade speed may also improve reading speed or social comprehension thus be a kind of nootropic. One possibility could be mere caffiene attached to a bunch of glycines such that it stayed at the body side of the blood brain barrier causing more rapid eye movement without CNS stimulation.

beanangel, Jun 13 2011


       Well, [+].   

       But don't exhaust that poor word. "Nootropic" hasn't been out much recently, and it's in danger of suffering overexposure. Nice word though, up there with zoonoses. (Actually, Toxoplasma is arguably a nootropic zoonose.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 13 2011

       yeah this was nearly a tawdry excuse to provide a link to the list of 70 or more new nootropics described at rec.drugs.smart under the name treon verdery   

       also wow I didn't know there were nootropic diseases people caught from nonhumans.
beanangel, Jun 14 2011

       ******* HB making me look up yet another word I'll never use... waste of brainspace... oh.
FlyingToaster, Jun 14 2011

       //I didn't know there were nootropic diseases people caught from nonhumans//   

       Arguably, Toxoplasmosis increases risk-taking but also speeds perception in a Tourettish-way (although more subtly).   

       Thinking about it, there ought to be lots of parasites and viruses that have evolved far enough to have a beneficial effect on their host. As long as they are propagated by a living host (as opposed to a dead one), it's in the parasite's interest to keep the host alive and well, if not super-well.   

       (sorry - going at a tangent here).   

       Suppose (to take it to extremis) that a contagious virus slowed ageing, increased cognitive functions, or made people happy and gregarious. Such a virus would have a distinct advantage, no? So, why are there no such viruses? Or are there?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 14 2011

       I can see how //gregarious// might increase viral replication, and maybe //happy// if you narrow the definition of "happy" to "unafraid of predators," but longevity and, especially increased cognitive function seem more useful to the host than to the parasite.   

       Anyway, the maladaptive trait of pathogenicity, in a virus or bacterium is typically explained away by supposing the parasite found its niche only recently, and hasn't yet fully adapted to it.   

       At the other end of the spectrum, consiger gut commensals, and that classic example of a reformed former parasite, the mitochondrion.
mouseposture, Jun 14 2011

       //longevity and, especially increased cognitive function seem more useful to the host than to the parasite//   

       I disagree. A well-adapted parasite, if it does not depend on the death of the host for propagation, depends on the survival of its host. The longer the host lives, the longer the parasite's environment survives, and the more opportunities it has to spread to other hosts. The mitochondrion is an extreme example, but follows the same rule in its own way.   

       There is a potential Michael Chritonesque novel here somewhere. Someone* discovers that giant tortoises all carry a parasite which confers longevity. Modifies the parasite to infect humans. Much hilarity and derring-do ensues, as people divide into pro-parasite and anti-parasite groups, and it is eventually discovered that the parasite causes people to kill eachother over lettuce.   

       (*probably an earnest young researcher whose work is hijacked by a money-grubbing arrogant professor who doesn't understand chaos theory or the balance of natural ecology.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 14 2011

       Well, yes, exactly. A well-adapted parasite is no longer a parasite, it's a commensal. The really well- adapted ones are symbiotes.   

       Anyway, what about parasites whose life cycle depends on the host getting eaten? Would Cysticerca benefit from longevity in pigs?
mouseposture, Jun 15 2011

       I wonder if I could interest the WHO in my theory that smallpox enhanced the intelligence of those who survived it in childhood.
mouseposture, Jun 15 2011

       Technically, parasites are symbiotes. The term for a symbiotic relationship where both organisms benefit is mutualism.   

       1. Parasitic: A benefits, B suffers.   

       2. Commensal: A benefits, B is unaffected.   

       3. Mutualistic: A and B benefit.   

       All 3 are symbiotic.
spidermother, Jun 15 2011

       Actually, I think self-powered gyms have been done before on the Halfbakery. (note: I speed-read this idea, so apologise if I've missed a few nuances).
hippo, Jun 15 2011

       //Technically, parasites are symbiotes// Citation needed. Shall I quote the OED at you?
mouseposture, Jun 15 2011

       I just moments ago read about a variation on mitochondria that makes people live two decades longer. http://tinyurl.com/3pat2wp   

       The graph is amazing
beanangel, Jun 16 2011

       The WHO?
RayfordSteele, Jun 17 2011

       [mouseposture] I'm always glad to have the OED quoted at me.   

       I could simply pull rank, by pointing out that I have a biology degree, but Wikipedia (symbiosis) has "The symbiotic relationship may be categorized as mutualistic, commensal, or parasitic in nature."
spidermother, Jun 23 2011

       Like most dictionaries, the OED gives multiple definitions. Confusingly, the definitions given are inconsistent with each other. The first is the one I used (a mutually beneficial relationship). The second includes both a mutually beneficial relationship, and also one in which one organism benefits, and the other neither benefits nor suffers. The first two definitions explicitly exclude parasitism. The third definition, described as rare, is the one you used. The entry cites several technical works which use the word as you do.   

       So, you're correct to use the word as you do, but incorrect to criticise others for using it otherwise. I now think I was incorrect for using the word at all, since, with such confused definitions, it doesn't do a very good job of conveying meaning.   

       (And please believe me when I say that I have very extensive personal experience indicating that biology degrees do *not* stop one talking through one's hat.)
mouseposture, Jun 23 2011

       Sorry, I wasn't trying to criticise. By 'technically', I meant in technical usage; for instance, ecologists make the distinctions I enumerated, and my biology background biasses me towards the same usage. I'm aware that popular usage differs.
spidermother, Jun 24 2011


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