Thursday, February 2

Virginia's State of Mind: What are Eli Manning, Tom Brady and Pat Sajak Thinking?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a study with proven results that weight loss is vital for morbidly obese patients with Type II diabetes. I know the researchers and their parents were very proud of their work so I didn't want to say anything, but I think we all know that weight loss is vital for morbidly obese patients. Additionally, for morbidly obese patients who suffer from further medical issues such as Type II diabetes, weight loss is extra, extra vital.

Self-evident research studies like the importance of weight loss continue to be published under the guise that the supposition must be proven by laboratory tests. The BBC recently published one such study concluding what I have known for many years. The BBC article, titled "Science decodes 'internal voices'" describes research that will allow scientists to one day turn thoughts of words into actual words. I have been able to decode the voices in other people's heads for most of my adult life.

According to the BBC article, scientists said, "A technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging to track blood flow in the brain has shown promise for identifying which words or ideas someone may be thinking about." I have never required magnetic resonance imaging to identify the ideas someone may be thinking about. When my children skulk around the kitchen cabinets in the afternoon it's clear to me that the voices in their heads are saying "Grab the cookies when Mommy isn't looking." I actually have eyes in the back of my head (at least that's what I tell my children because I don't want them to know I can hear the voices) and I know they are going for the cookies before they even get there.

I can even decode the voices of people that aren't near me. For example, when I saw the Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff miss a field goal in last week's NFL playoff game, I clearly heard the expletives shouting in his head.

I have an extraordinary ability to decode the voices in my husband's head and in fact I can hear them before he even thinks them. He strongly disagrees and believes that my decoding is inaccurate. It's not surprising then that my husband claims to be missing the ability to decode the voices in my head.
Luckily, there is now hope for those suffering with the inability to identify what someone else may be thinking. Researchers told the BBC that, "Several approaches have in recent years suggested that scientists are closing in on methods to tap into our very thoughts." I bet Eli Manning would like to tap into Tom Brady's thoughts right about now.

I must admit that there are times when even my decoding skills fail me. For example, I tried very hard to figure out what game show host Pat Sajak was thinking when he told ESPN, "Vanna and I would go across (the street) and have two or three or six (margaritas) and then come and do the last shows and have trouble recognizing the alphabet."

A few days later Sajak told ABC News Radio, "I hate to put an end to this drinking thing because we've gotten a lot of mileage out of it, but it was probably a half a dozen times we went across the street and had a margarita." I don't think any amount of magnetic resonance could help me figure out what the voices in Sajak's head were telling him.

I'm looking forward to the day when we can all identify the thoughts and decode the voices in each other's heads. My only concern is that I don't need my husband to tap into all of my thoughts, just the thoughts I believe he should have decoded.


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