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  1. #1
    AlexanderBel Guest

    Default Hemoencephalography, Creativity, and the Trading Zone

    Imagine a child diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD). Unable to sustain concentration, ADD impairs school performance, but also interferes with social life. Lowered attention often brings diminished impulse control and unwanted consequences in relationships. Our child, depicted above, is connected to a biofeedback unit that utilizes infrared light to measure small changes in forehead skin temperature that reflect activation of the brain's executive center, our prefrontal cortex. This hemoencephalography feedback controls a movie watched on the computer screen. When attention wanders and the forehead temperature drops as a result, the movie stops. To continue playing the movie, the child must sustain focus. Over time, the child learns to keep the movie going, building concentration muscles.

  2. #2
    AlexeiMoila Guest


    Why is this important? As Kotler notes, heightened concentration and absorption in activity is a gateway to the flow state, the state we know as being "in the zone". He observes an interesting relationship between flow state and creativity: in flow, we have heightened focus, but diminished self-focus. In other words, we turn off our self-critical, self-conscious activities and instead lose ourselves in what we are doing. If our child became frustrated with the movie turning off, for example, and criticized himself for not being able to keep it going, the movie would never recommence. Only a focus on the movie can make the movie move.

  3. #3
    Alexeyma Guest


    I first encountered hemoencephalography (HEG) feedback when I heard of Dr. Jeffrey Carmen's work with migraine patients. Interestingly, shifting blood flow patterns is significantly helpful in controlling migraines. That same technology was helping children with ADD and, I later learned, was significantly helpful in helping autistic children with their executive functioning. As I wrote on this blog, this raised the possibility that HEG feedback could similarly train traders for enhanced attention and self-control, minimizing distractions and impulsive overtrading.

  4. #4
    AlexeySuh Guest


    Kotler's observations go one step further. The zone not only brings greater self-control, but also higher levels of creativity. When we are in a state of enhanced awareness of our world, we see the world in new ways. Patterns and relationships in markets that we would miss when we are self-focused and frustrated with P/L jump out at us when we've quieted the self-critic and redoubled our market focus. I recently wrote on the topic of creativity as a form of play. When we see children immersed in play, we see them immersed--operating in a zone. To play, we both focus and shed inhibitions. The creative scientist engages in long hours of data collection and analysis followed by creative synthesis. It is that synthesis that turns data into knowledge, transforming information into understanding.

  5. #5
    AlexstroyHob Guest


    If we can enhance the cognitive functioning of children with ADD and autism, can we take the normal cognitive functioning of professionals and turn it into an enhanced capacity to operate within the zone? Can we become more consistent in activating flow states and thereby benefit from greater self-control and creativity? This is truly frontier territory for trading psychology.



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