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Gerard Senehi's Unusual Career Path

Gerard Senehi: My name is Gerard Senehi and I’m a mentalist who likes to evoke mystery and a mystic who likes to seek truth.

 

Question: What does a mentalist do?

 

Gerard Senehi: There’s different labels to a mentalist but the label that I like for mentalist is that it’s someone who invokes mystery. There are some mentalists who manipulate people’s thoughts and have the ability to hypnotize people and I like to create mystery and invoke that in people.

The mystic element is that the mystic represents seeking truth. So, I’m a seeker of truth and I like to take people along with me through the entertainment to explore truth.

 

Question: What’s the difference between a mentalist and magician?

 

Gerard Senehi: A mentalist is someone who relies more on abilities of the mind whether it be the reading of the people, body language, psychology, influencing their thinking or some people would say even psychic abilities and abilities to predict the future whereas the magician will use more props and slide of hand. That’s the distinction.

 

Question: How did you become a mentalist?

 

Gerard Senehi: I had a psychic experience early on when I was in high school and I have a few different ones but there was one in particular that really struck me so that intrigued me and in started to inquire and look at my experience and experiment with it.

There was no training but it’s more you experiment with different ways of doing things and you just see if it works and most of the time it doesn’t work but then you just keep experimenting and when it works it often catches you by surprise but then you reflect back and you go, “Okay, what was it that happened that it actually worked?”

 

Question: Who has inspired you?

 

Gerard Senehi: There was a German mentalist named Ted Lesley who in the early days, when I was just starting out, I met him through my travels and he told me something really interesting that intrigue me and that impacted me quite a bit. He said that 99% of your success as a mentalist has to do with your…how you are rather than what you do and I was more leaning towards doing incredible things but that impacted me quite a bit. He is no longer alive but he was really on to something there.

 

Question: What have you taken from this advice?

 

Gerard Senehi: Well I think it brings the inner and the outer together because I think when you…when one starts in performance you tend to relate to that you’re putting something out that it’s either a skill that you’re putting out or knowledge or an ability that you’re putting out but then you realize that actually what you are really putting out is your self and you’re also putting out a skill and a performance but it’s a vehicle to put yourself out and so I learned that early on because when I started performing, I was actually performing on the streets in Tel Aviv, and so there I had to put myself into it because otherwise I wouldn’t get much response.

If I was just putting out something and my tendency was, has been to just play it safe and not to put my self out but to put out something cool or fancy or impressive and then I think what I’ve learned is that you have an opportunity to put your self out and then says who we are has boundless depth then you can always go deeper in putting out who you are because there is always more it’s not just it’s not just too dimensional. You’re not just someone who enjoys messing with people’s minds there is more depth to it than that and part of it is sometimes you’re just in to with that and then you have to dig deeper to find out what that actually means.

 

Recorded on: June 4, 2009

 

The mentalist explains why he wanted to become a mystic.

Does conscious AI deserve rights?

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A new hydrogel might be strong enough for knee replacements

Duke University researchers might have solved a half-century old problem.

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  • Duke University researchers created a hydrogel that appears to be as strong and flexible as human cartilage.
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Hints of the 4th dimension have been detected by physicists

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Predicting PTSD symptoms becomes possible with a new test

An algorithm may allow doctors to assess PTSD candidates for early intervention after traumatic ER visits.

Image source: camillo jimenez/Unsplash
Technology & Innovation
  • 10-15% of people visiting emergency rooms eventually develop symptoms of long-lasting PTSD.
  • Early treatment is available but there's been no way to tell who needs it.
  • Using clinical data already being collected, machine learning can identify who's at risk.

The psychological scars a traumatic experience can leave behind may have a more profound effect on a person than the original traumatic experience. Long after an acute emergency is resolved, victims of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) continue to suffer its consequences.

In the U.S. some 30 million patients are annually treated in emergency departments (EDs) for a range of traumatic injuries. Add to that urgent admissions to the ED with the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. Health experts predict that some 10 percent to 15 percent of these people will develop long-lasting PTSD within a year of the initial incident. While there are interventions that can help individuals avoid PTSD, there's been no reliable way to identify those most likely to need it.

That may now have changed. A multi-disciplinary team of researchers has developed a method for predicting who is most likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic emergency-room experience. Their study is published in the journal Nature Medicine.

70 data points and machine learning

nurse wrapping patient's arm

Image source: Creators Collective/Unsplash

Study lead author Katharina Schultebraucks of Columbia University's Department Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons says:

"For many trauma patients, the ED visit is often their sole contact with the health care system. The time immediately after a traumatic injury is a critical window for identifying people at risk for PTSD and arranging appropriate follow-up treatment. The earlier we can treat those at risk, the better the likely outcomes."

The new PTSD test uses machine learning and 70 clinical data points plus a clinical stress-level assessment to develop a PTSD score for an individual that identifies their risk of acquiring the condition.

Among the 70 data points are stress hormone levels, inflammatory signals, high blood pressure, and an anxiety-level assessment. Says Schultebraucks, "We selected measures that are routinely collected in the ED and logged in the electronic medical record, plus answers to a few short questions about the psychological stress response. The idea was to create a tool that would be universally available and would add little burden to ED personnel."

Researchers used data from adult trauma survivors in Atlanta, Georgia (377 individuals) and New York City (221 individuals) to test their system.

Of this cohort, 90 percent of those predicted to be at high risk developed long-lasting PTSD symptoms within a year of the initial traumatic event — just 5 percent of people who never developed PTSD symptoms had been erroneously identified as being at risk.

On the other side of the coin, 29 percent of individuals were 'false negatives," tagged by the algorithm as not being at risk of PTSD, but then developing symptoms.

Going forward

person leaning their head on another's shoulder

Image source: Külli Kittus/Unsplash

Schultebraucks looks forward to more testing as the researchers continue to refine their algorithm and to instill confidence in the approach among ED clinicians: "Because previous models for predicting PTSD risk have not been validated in independent samples like our model, they haven't been adopted in clinical practice." She expects that, "Testing and validation of our model in larger samples will be necessary for the algorithm to be ready-to-use in the general population."

"Currently only 7% of level-1 trauma centers routinely screen for PTSD," notes Schultebraucks. "We hope that the algorithm will provide ED clinicians with a rapid, automatic readout that they could use for discharge planning and the prevention of PTSD." She envisions the algorithm being implemented in the future as a feature of electronic medical records.

The researchers also plan to test their algorithm at predicting PTSD in people whose traumatic experiences come in the form of health events such as heart attacks and strokes, as opposed to visits to the emergency department.

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