Friday, July 16, 2010

TGIF - It's International Juggling Day!

I grew up during the infancy of television. At the time, the technology amounted to: a Black & White screen (12 inch), "rabbit ears" for inbound reception, and 4 -5 channels of live, then later, pre-taped programming depending on aforementioned antennae position, weather, and where you lived.

One of the "must see" TV shows was the Ed Sullivan Show. In addition to many celebrities, Ed would have circus acts, animal performers, and magicians as part of the evening.

My favorite were the jugglers. I became fascinated with them. Their ability to keep several things in the air at once - balls, bowling pins, plates - was truly a miracle, I felt. Defying gravity has always been a child's dream ever since the creation of the "Superperson" series - Woman, Girl, Man & Boy.

Women have an innate ability to handle multiple tasks. This has been well documented.

Dr. Christina Williams, the chair of the Psychology Department at Duke University, has done studies with rats, where the male rats have exhibited more “tunnel vision” than female rats (Williams & Meck, 1990). Williams study discovered that female rats use multiple cues, including examining landmarks of the maze and geometry to navigate a maze, while male rats just used geometry. This implies that women use their minds to synthesize multiple cues from the environment, while men would rather use single cues.

Additionally, there is a biological difference. According to MRIs performed, women have a larger corpus callossum (Halpern, 2000). The corpus collossum is the area of the brain that handles communication between the two hemispheres. It is responsible for synthesizing the information from the left and right side of the brain. In women, the corpus callosum is wider than that of men’s brains, which might enable the two sides to communicate better with each other. This is a theory as to why women might multitask more efficiently.

For more on Women and their ability to "juggle" all the things going on in their increasingly complicated lives click here.

Suggested reading: The Nine Rooms of Happiness: Loving yourself, Finding Your Purpose, and Getting Over Life’s Little Imperfections, Lucy S. Danziger, editor-in-chief of SELF magazine, and women’s mental health psychiatrist Catherine Birndorf, MD, founder of Payne Whitney’s Women’s Mental Health Center

Have a delightful, and balanced, weekend!

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