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Decoding Human Thoughts may help people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Mind-wandering is typically characterised as thoughts that stray from what you're doing

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Toronto, November 2, 2016: If you think your mind stops wandering when you’re doing nothing, think again. Canadian researchers have developed a new framework for understanding how human thoughts flow, even at rest and thus help people with various mental illness like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Mind-wandering is typically characterised as thoughts that stray from what you’re doing.

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“Mind-wandering is not an odd quirk of the mind. Rather, it’s something that the mind does when it enters into a spontaneous mode. Without this spontaneous mode, we couldn’t do things like dream or think creatively,” said lead author Kalina Christoff, Professor at University of British Columbia, Canada.

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The study published in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience proposed that the flow of thoughts is grounded in the interaction between different brain networks and flows freely when the mind is in its default state — mind-wandering. Yet two types of constraints — one automatic and the other deliberate — can curtail this spontaneous movement of thoughts.

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However, spontaneous thought processes — including mind wandering, but also creative thinking and dreaming — arise when thoughts are relatively free from these deliberate and automatic constraints, the researchers said.

“Understanding what makes thought free and what makes it constrained is crucial because it can help us understand how thoughts move in the minds of those diagnosed with mental illness,” Christoff said.

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“Everyone’s mind has a natural ebb and flow of thought, but our framework reconceptualises disorders like ADHD, depression and anxiety as extensions of that normal variation in thinking,” added Zachary Irving, postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley.

According to Irving, “we all have someone with anxiety and ADHD in our minds. The anxious mind helps us focus on what’s personally important, whereas the ADHD mind allows us to think freely and creatively.” (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google, Facebook face greater scrutiny in Australia. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?