The Power of Intuition

Intuition is what geniuses are made of. It is derived from the subconscious which processes all the possibilities to come to the right conclusion. People who can tap into their intuition will always say and do the right thing. Intuition still remains a mystery and people seem divided by it. We still do not know how exactly the mechanism of action intuition comes from. It would be extremely important to know though because the greatest scientists have been more intuitive geniuses than intellectual geniuses. Albert Einstein was an intuitive genius.


Kay Tye and Optogenetics

Kay Tye is an Assistant Professor at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She does pioneering research on how environmental stimuli affect behavioral responses. She tries to understand the underlying neurophysiology behind the formation, revision, and extinction of associative memories. One tool she uses to help her understand the above processes is optogenetics. Optogenetics is a fairly new neuroscience technique utilizing light to control neurons after they have been sensitized to it. Dysfunctions in the neurophysiology of reward processing, fear, motivation, memory or inhibitory control have been seen to lead to substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and attention-deficit disorder. They also show high co-morbidity with each other suggesting they are related and also reinforce one another.

Kay Tye’s research

A Tribute to Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin is perhaps the female scientist I most look up to. It was her work that allowed the discovery of the structure of DNA. She was an expert x-ray crystallographer. Her picture of the structure of DNA was considered to be “amongst the most beautiful X-ray photographs of any substance ever taken” by J.D. Bernal. The picture of DNA was shown without her permission to Watson and Crick. They quickly deduced that the structure of DNA was a double-helix and quickly published their findings. They won the Nobel prize for their findings. I am pretty sure she would have been able to deduce the structure of DNA if given enough time. After that she did pioneering work on the tobacco mosaic and polio viruses. She died really young at age 37. Her use of x-ray crystallography is said to be a possible factor in her ovarian cancer.


Flow is the state of consciousness when we are feeling and doing our best. It frequently occurs when we participate in work that we love and feel passionate about. As a result, all aspects of our performance are heightened, including creativity. Concentration becomes razer-sharp. There are even changes in the neurobiology of people who are in the state of flow. Their brainwaves move from fast moving beta waves of normal consciousness to the far slower borderline between alpha and beta waves.

There’s a Ted Talk on the subject by the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

I’m currently reading this book. It’s a fantastic memoir about a former Olympian who goes into the Air Forces for World War II. His crew and their bomber crash land in the ocean. They get stranded for many weeks in the middle of the ocean. They start starving and getting dehydrated. Then they come across land occupied by the Japanese. Not much is known about the Japanese war crimes of World War II in the west but they were pretty heinous. Anyway Louis Zamperini, the main character, becomes a POW along with his friend and crewmate Russell Allen Phillips. The Japanese subject them to biological experiments and repeatedly try to make them lose their dignity. The book is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit. Louis survives and later tells his story to us. I just love books like this.

Science is about passion

Having a passion for science. Knowing that what scientists are researching also help people is great. I don’t think anyone can last in the scientific field as a scientist without having a passion for it. Scientists may develop this passion in various ways. They may have a genuinely inquisitive or curious nature. Or they may have parents who instilled a love of learning in them. Or they could have had experiences in life that helped them develop this passion. They could have all three, two or one.


Inspiration linked to bipolar disorder risk

Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison has spent her life’s work researching the supposed link of creativity and mood disorders. Inspiration is the generation of ideas that form the basis of creative works. People at higher risk of bipolar disorder report stronger experiences of inspiration than those who are at low risk. The students who were at high risk for bipolar disorder consistently scored high on inspiration judged to be coming from themselves. I read a book on motivation before, intrinsic motivation is much more stronger than extrinsic motivation.


An Unquiet Mind by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison.

“I long ago abandoned the notion of a life without storms, or a world without dry and killing seasons. Life is too complicated, too constantly changing, to be anything but what it is. And I am, by nature, too mercurial to be anything but deeply wary of the grave unnaturalness involved in any attempt to exert too much control over essentially uncontrollable forces. There will always be propelling, disturbing elements, and they will be there until, as Lowell put it, the watch is taken from the wrist. It is, at the end of the day, the individual moments of restlessness, of bleakness, of strong persuasions and maddened enthusiasms, that inform one’s life, change the nature and direction of one’s work, and give final meaning and color to one’s loves and friendships.”

That’s a quote from the memoir An Unquiet Mind by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison. I recently read her memoir. She’s a full professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. She also has bipolar disorder and is one of the world’s experts on the disorder. I thought the book was very insightful and Dr. Jamison is an excellent writer. Through this book, it is clear that Dr. Jamison has an extensive support system and while she was reluctant to take her lithium at first, she is now very much compliant. She definitely has enigmatic personal qualities that attract people to her. Her research and life have lowered the stigma of mental illness.

Grit – Angela Lee Duckworth

Angela Lee Duckworth is a psychologist affiliated with University of Pennsylvania. She has done pioneering studies on how character relates to achievement. Her research has won her prestigious awards such as the MacArthur Foundation “genius” award. Another psychologist, Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison has won the same award. Basically she states that self-control and grit moreso than talent and IQ may hold the keys to a better life.

This is a link to an article by National Geographic on Angela Lee Duckworth and her “grit” research.

This is her Ted Talk on the subject.



My first blog post at The Ohio State University!

Hi everyone! This is Kristin Zhong and I’m almost done with my second semester (Spring 2015) of my Master’s program at OSU. It’s been a great experience so far. The last two weeks have been really busy for me with numerous assignments due. It wasn’t that stressful for me because I made sure to take breaks and I paced myself fairly well. Plus, I really enjoy learning while doing the assignments. I think that really helps me with the assignments that I do in this program. I’m really excited for next semester! Summer 2015 appears to be drastically different from the previous two semesters, it seems way more hands-on.

The program has been great so far, I got to learn from professors who were leaders in their field especially in Pharmacology or Pharmacy. I was really looking forward to learning from the Pharmacology/Pharmacy professors because I plan to go into that type of field for my career in doing research. I was not disappointed!