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  • Sensory Modulation  ( 16 items )
  • Cognition  ( 5 items )

    Nonlinear Neuro-dynamics

    Embodied Cognition
    One’s unique and embodied cognitive abilities have a significant impact on all areas of functional performance, including behavior. The belief that cognition is embodied requires a radical shift from previous classical Cartesian scientific views to the inclusion of nonlinear approaches afforded by Chaos Theory. Chaos theory includes nonlinear and complexity sciences, and has brought forth the ability to study and model dynamic human system change.

    capraAccording to Fritjof Capra (1996), human beings are embedded in the world and therefore are inter-connected and inter-dependent, open systems. Open systems take from the world and feedback energy and matter in order to survive, communicate and maintain themselves. The mind-brain-body-world is one example of an open system’s interconnectedness and interdependence, and of the dynamic exchanges necessary to sustain the life of the system. Therefore, in order to further the study human system change process, a more dynamic view of cognition is required. freemanIn this way, cognition is believed to be an embodied process and it includes sensory, motor and psychosocial processes rather than viewing them as separate entities. However, to say that cognition is embodied also requires the recognition of the fact that the human nervous system (including the brain) is embedded within the body, which is embedded in the world. Walter J. Freeman refers to this process as nonlinear neuro-dynamics. He is well known for his extensive research and publications on this subject. For more information on Walter Freeman’s work refer to his webpage: http://sulcus.berkeley.edu/

    Neuro-occupation


    These are exciting times in the emergence of nonlinear scientific approaches that will help to validate professions that work to try to help facilitate dynamic human system change. Neuro-occupation has been explored in occupational therapy and it is the amalgamation of the neuroscience, nonlinear science and occupation (Lazzarini, 2004). Pedilla and Peyton (1997) began exploring and publishing on neuro-occupation in the AOTA self-paced course Neuroscience & Occupation: Links to Practice. Dr. Charlotte Royeen also participated in the early conceptualization of neuro-occupation and first offered neuro-occupation as a course at Creighton University. Further, Royeen’s Slagle lecture in 2002 promoted the application of Chaos Theory through neuro-occupation. However, over the last several years, Dr. Ivelisse Lazzarini has been further developing the conceptualization of neuro-occupation by deepening the application of nonlinear science and models in neuro-occupation while teaching the course at Creighton University (Lazzarini, 2004; 2005).

    The following power point presentation is provided to increase the understanding of the potential for the application of nonlinear approaches through neuro-occupation in rehabilitation services. Toward the end of the presentation there is a case application from mental health services, which is an excerpt from a paper by Champagne, Ryan, Saccamando & Lazzarini that has been accepted for publication by the Emergence: Complexity and Organization journal.

    Presentation Title: Neuro-occupation: A Nonlinear Dynamic Approach to Rehabilitation

    Presenters: Dr. Ivelisse Lazzarini, Tina Champagne, MEd, OTR/L & Caroline Luby OTDS

    *This short course was presented at the 2007 Massachusetts Occupational Therapy Association’s Annual Conference

    The Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and Life Sciences
    The Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and Life Sciences (SCTPLS) is an international, multidisciplinary organization, committed to facilitate a scholarly forum to those interested in the research and applications of dynamical systems theory, self-organization, neural nets, fractals, cellular automata, agent-based modeling, and related forms of chaos, catastrophes, bifurcations, nonlinear dynamics, and complexity theories. The SCTPLS website is a valuable resource for people interested in increasing their knowledge in this area. Visit the SCTPLS website at: http://www.societyforchaostheory.org/

    A Glossary of Nonlinear Terms
    The application of nonlinear dynamic systems theory requires the understanding of nonlinear terms. The SCTPLS website contains a glossary of nonlinear terms. For access to this glossary visit: http://www.societyforchaostheory.org/tutorials/00006/GlossaryTerms.html

    ivy1 Dr. Ivelisse Lazzarini is the current president for the SCTPLS and she is the first occupational therapist to hold this position. She has applied nonlinear scientific constructs to advance the development of neuro-occupation. She has presented on state, national and international scales on the subject and some of her related publications include:

    Lazzarini, I. (2004). Neuro-occupation: The nonlinear dynamics of intention, meaning and perception. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67, 342–352.

    Lazzarini, I. (2005). A nonlinear approach to cognition: A web of ability and disability. In, Katz, N. Ed., Cognition & Occupation Across the Lifespan (2nd Ed.). Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association.

    tina_headshot Tina Champagne, M.Ed, OTR/L works primarily in mental health practice settings and is applying NLD concepts to working with dynamic human systems on the scales of developing the practitioner-consumer relationship, assessment and therapeutic intervention applications, and in the facilitation of organizational culture change. As seen throughout the additional pages on this website, this focus has included the restraint reduction initiative, the development and implementation of the Sensory Modulation Program, and a host of other applications. She has integrated concepts from nonlinear dynamics into her clinical practice, lectures, workshops and in several of her publications:

    Champagne, T., Ryan, J., Saccamando, H., & Lazzarini, I. (2007).A nonlinear dynamic approach to exploring the spiritual dimensions of occupation. Emergence: Organization and Complexity, 9, 29-43.

    Champagne, T. (2008). Sensory modulation and environment: Essential elements of occupation (3rd Ed.). Southampton, MA: Champagne Conferences & Consultation.


    Nonlinear Applications in Occupational Therapy
    In addition to the works highlighted above, Zemke and Clark’s book Occupational Science contains two chapters dedicated specifically to the application of Dynamic Systems Theory to occupational therapy. Additionally, several papers and books have been published by various occupational therapists starting to explore the application of nonlinear dynamics to occupation and occupational therapy practice. Further, Dr. Catherine Candler from Texas Women’s University’s occupational therapy department presented on the application of dynamic systems theory to occupational therapy practice at the AOTA annual conference in St Louis in 2007. Thus, it is evident that although nonlinear science is a complex body of knowledge, occupational therapists are recognizing the significance of applying nonlinear scientific principles and approaches to occupational therapy across all areas of practice.


    Assessment Tools

    Over the past decade we have seen an explosion in our knowledge regarding cognition and human system dynamics. Therefore, keeping up with the times requires more than minor adjustments to theoretical frames of reference. While the current paradigm shift toward embracing nonlinear science is underway, the quest by some occupational therapists is to create assessment tools based on nonlinear scientific principles and research.

    The following is a list evaluation tools commonly used by occupational therapists in mental health practice settings to date. While several of these tools offer a host of affordances this list also demonstrates that the majority of the assessment tools used in mental health services (by the surveyed occupational therapists) are those that have been founded upon linear scientific principles. While it will be important to create, update and incorporate tools based upon nonlinear scientific approaches in the future, this list demonstrates assessment tools currently used by a host of occupational therapists surveyed in 2002.

Attendee Comments

Comment from the January 2006 conference:
A Nonlinear Dynamics Approach to Sensory Modulation

Tina Champagne blew me away! She made me proud to be an OT and inspired to get back into psych OT! - Hollie Marron, OTR/L