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Which Side Are You On: Observations of Temporal Lobe EEG Amplitude

  
  
  
  
  
  
describe the imageI am an observational scientist, learning by what I am able to observe. About 12 years ago, having observed many people who exhibited a strongly dominant right temporal lobe EEG amplitude, I noted that they also seemed anxious and quick to respond emotionally in a manner much more pronounced than was called for by the situation. These right-dominant clients would respond by either fleeing  situations that caused them discomfort or by striking out at people whom they blamed for their discomfort. For example, a right-dominant person may go shopping on a busy Saturday before Christmas. They arrive to find the parking lot full and spend some time driving around the lot searching for a parking space. Finally, as they round a corner, they spot a car preparing to pull out of a space just ahead. They position themselves and wait to take the spot, but before they can another driver swoops in from the opposite direction and steals it. Wham! The right-dominant driver either pulls up behind the parking spot thief, honks his horn angrily, rolls down his window and gives the thief a piece of his mind; or, he screeches his tires as he speeds away, possibly to go to a different mall or possibly to go home without shopping at all. Fight-or-flight seemed the response mechanism for these right-temporal-lobe-dominant people. Having a much more pronounced response than the situation called for was also a common train among them.

At about the same time I observed that there were also people who had a strongly dominant left temporal lobe EEG amplitude. Such people often seemed withdrawn or prone to sadness and depression. I noted that these left-dominant clients seemed at times unable to readily respond to situations outwardly. Though they appeared calm and perhaps withdrawn, they had a lot going on beneath the surface. They too would respond to situations in a seemingly inappropriate manner. However, when faced with the full parking lot from the example above, the left-dominant individual would withdraw after he deemed his parking space stolen, blaming himself for failing to find a space, for being unobservant, for going to the wrong mall, for procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to do their holiday shopping. The left-temporal-dominant people also had a much more pronounced response than the situation called for, but theirs was a kind of freeze response. Defeated, the left-dominant individual may continue to drive around the lot for an extremely long time, seemingly frozen in what he was doing.

Eventually as the brain patterns of the right- and left-dominant individuals began to balance between the left and right, inappropriate response mechanisms seemed to diminish altogether. These individuals would begin to demonstrate more healthy and stable responses to their life situations. The balance seemed to enable them to attain happiness they may have never known. This process of facilitating brain’s self-balancing was eventually called Brainwave Optimization®, and today over 60,000 people have used it to seek happiness and wellbeing. Life is short, and we all deserve the ability to seek happiness and wellbeing, an existence filled with appropriate responses and lots and lots of gratitude for being alive.

 

Published in From Lee Gerdes

Newsweek affirms that brain function drives anger, anxiety, stress, and worry

  
  
  
  
  
  

 "Newsweek" magazine published an article describing anger, anxiety, stress, and worry. The article demonstrates two things:

1. These behaviors and experiences are driven by brain function - we know that because when the brain function changed the behaviors vanished..

2. As Brainwave Optimization mirrors the brain back to itself it relaxes, resets, and unwanted behaviors can simply disappear.

We can receive heart transplants, artificial limbs, vision correction lenses, and hearing aids to assist us in creating a greater state of health and well being. Not until technology advances allowed us to view and mirror the brain back to itself with incredible speed did we learn that our brain can achieve a deeply relaxed state quickly as it might after years of meditation practice, and achieve self-correction of unwanted behavior patterns. Self-driven well being - makes sense, doesn't it?

It is likely that 30 to 50 years from now, society will look back on this discovery as we now look back on the horse and buggy, as technology will allow us to help the brain reset itself faster and more robustly than we can now experience. That is AOK, because until then we have an ever advancing technology called Brainwave Optimization that can mirror the brain so the brain itself can achieve near miraculous and here-to-fore unknown mastery of well being, happiness, and positive behavior.

BWO and Insomnia - Independent Study.

  
  
  
  
  
  

Overview of study evaluating Brainwave Optimization (HIRREM) for individuals with insomnia

 

Tegeler, C. H., et al.  2012. Open label, randomized, crossover pilot trial of high-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring to relieve insomnia. Brain and Behavior; 2(6): 814-824.

 

Introduction.  Insomnia is the most prevalent sleep disorder and is associated with a significant impact on health and wellness. Up to 50% of the U.S. adult population reports symptoms of insomnia on a weekly basis and approximately 12% meets criteria for a full insomnia disorder.  Approximately 40 – 60% of individuals with insomnia exhibit depressive symptoms, 10 –25% may have clinical depression, and 20 –30% have anxiety disorder. Long-term studies have found that chronic insomnia is a risk factor for heart attacks, depression, and mortality.

 

Brainwave Optimization (known in scientific research as High-resolution, Relational, Resonance-based, Electroencephalic Mirroring, or HIRREM) is a novel, non-invasive, computer-guided technology which supports the brain to relax and thereby move itself toward its own unique patterns of optimized activity.  This occurs on the brain’s own terms, as the electrical activity is simply mirrored in real-time through auditory tones.  As an indirect consequence, the brain may bring itself to greater balance between the two sides, as well as a more optimal ratio between the high and low frequencies.  Use of HIRREM has been associated with successful achievement of a variety of health objectives.  The aim of this pilot clinical trial was to evaluate the role of HIRREM for individuals with insomnia.

 

Methods.  A randomized, wait-list control, crossover study design was used.  20 participants with a diagnosis of moderate or severe insomnia were enrolled and randomly assigned to either the “HIRREM” group or a “wait-list” group.  This randomizing process helps researchers to avoid bias they might have if they assigned individuals to one group or the other.  While the HIRREM group was undergoing sessions, the wait-listed group changed nothing in their daily routine (this is called “usual care”).  After a waiting period of several weeks, the wait-list group was given an opportunity to “cross over” and undergo HIRREM.  Both groups were contacted by phone 4 weeks after the conclusion of their HIRREM sessions to track any ongoing changes in their insomnia symptoms.

 

Results.  Based on the changes in the insomnia severity score, use of HIRREM was associated with a significant reduction in insomnia symptoms.  After the waiting period, the wait-list group still reported symptoms of insomnia.  The standard effect size suggested that as applied during this study, HIRREM was associated with a strong effect.  Based on the late telephone follow-up, the improvements persisted. When crossed over to receive HIRREM, those in the wait-list group showed statistically similar improvements in their insomnia scores, with similar persistence of the effect on late telephone follow-up.  No adverse events or side effects were reported by any participants over the course of the study.

 

Illustrative charts of the results are provided below for the group that was randomly assigned to undergo HIRREM. 

Sleep Study

 

Having Problems Lossing Weight?

  
  
  
  
  
  

Take a look at the list of Fat Triggers below, maybe one or more of these triggers that are impacting your ability to lose weight.   

Fat Trigger #1: Chronic Dieting

Yes, dieting – that thing everyone does to lose weight – actually makes you fat. And the reason is simple: when you reduce your normal daily intake of food, your body enters a “famine state”. When you’re on the type of diet that restricts you from certain types of food, your body becomes deprived of its natural nutrients and enters a “nutritional famine state”.  That is why people how lose weight by dieting end up putting on more weight than before because when you come off the diet your body forces you to keep eating until you consume the nutrients your body is starving for. 

Fat Trigger #2: Lifestyle Stress

You know stress is unhealthy, but did you know it also makes you fat? Regardless of whether your job or personal life is bombarding you with emotional stress, physical stress, mental stress or subconscious stress, your body reacts to it in the same way: it releases a chemical called cortisol into your body, which makes you gain weight AND stops you from losing weight. 

Fat Trigger #3: Emotional Trauma

If you’re not careful, your thoughts can turn to fat. Self-defeating emotions like powerlessness, insecurity and not being able to say no to people result in stress, which in turn releases the fat-promoting chemical cortisol into your body.

How important is your emotional health? Studies show that people who were optimistic – i.e. in good emotional health – were 14 percent more likely to live longer, and 30 percent less likely to die from heart disease compared to those who were negative. 

Fat Trigger #4: Inadequate Nutrition

This one’s no surprise – a bad diet can give you massive weight problems! More specifically, inadequate nutrition leads to a form of insulin resistance that impairs your digestion and thrusts your body into a nutritional famine. When this happens, your body will tell you to keep eating until you get the nutrients you need.

Insulin resistance causes extreme highs and lows in your blood sugar, which gives you irresistible sugar cravings and hunger pangs sooner and more often than you would get if your blood sugar was stable.

There are three main nutrients lacking in modern diets: protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and live foods. Not having enough of them is what switches on this particular Fat Trigger.

Fat Trigger #5: Poor Digestion

What you put in your body is one thing – but how it’s processed is another. Poor digestion makes you under-nourished, dehydrated and lacking in friendly bacteria and digestive enzymes, quality Pro-biotic and digestive enzymes are recommended to support your instinctual track.  It is said that your second brain is in your gut.  

Eating foods that are molecularly altered, pasteurized, preserved, microwaved, burnt or over cooked wreak havoc on your digestion and lead to diseases like obesity, thyroid problems, diabetes and heart disease.

Fat Trigger #6: Toxicity

Your body is exposed to toxins every day, and this can make you fat. The majority of harmful toxins come from medication, alcohol, cigarettes, and pesticides found in non-organic produce and manufactured grain products. In other words, many of the things you come into contact with every day.

How does this make you fat? Well when your body can’t eliminate toxins, it stores them in your fat cells. This layer of fat then becomes a buffer between the toxins and your body. And since the fat is protecting your body, your body’s natural reaction is to protect itself by not burning the fat

Fat Trigger #7: Limiting Beliefs

If you’re not at your ideal weight, your beliefs could be the culprit. One of the most common limiting beliefs that can sabotage your weight is having an overweight family member, and believing it’s in your genes to be fat. When you think this way, you’re eliminating personal responsibility and rejecting the possibility of being slim. 

Your beliefs shape your reality – and if you don’t believe you can lose weight on both a conscious and subconscious level, you won’t.

Fat Trigger #8: Harmful Medication

The medication that’s supposed to protect you may also be making you fat. Studies have shown there are over 50 common medications that cause weight gain, including anti-depressants, insulin, cortisol, steroids, hormone replacement and birth control. Sometimes the effect is so intense, you can gain up to 10 pounds a month.

But how can you avoid taking your medication? Many people find that by making a positive change in their diet and lifestyle, and by adopting specific mind-body practices, they’re able to stop relying on medication with no harmful consequences.

Fat Trigger #9: Sleep 

People say sleeping too much makes you fat, but the opposite can also be true. Not getting enough sleep or shallow and interrupted sleep can cause weight gain.

Lack of sleep makes you more irritable, releases cortisol into your system, and makes you prone to negative emotions – another Fat Trigger.

Brainwave Optimization - 101

  
  
  
  
  
  
In January of 2013, a team of researchers from Wake Forest School of Medicine published a paper in the Neurology journal Brain & Behavior describing the methodology of HIRREM™, the process more commonly known as Brainwave Optimization®. The HIRREM methods paper offers a thorough and precise description of the process, what it does and how it does it. It’s an invaluable resource for those who want to learn more about Brainwave Optimization, but be warned: it gets a bit technical. With sentences like, “Relaxation of neural oscillations through HIRREM appears to permit auto-calibration toward greater hemispheric symmetry and more optimized proportionation of regional spectral power” it’s not exactly light reading.
 
Fortunately, you don’t need a degree in neurology to understand how this process works. Everything you need to know is right there in the name HIRREM.
 
HIRREM stands for High-resolution, Relational, Resonance-Based Electroencephalic Mirroring. Let’s take each of those terms one at a time. For the sake of clarity, we’ll be taking them out of order.
 
Electroencephalic – We'll take the biggest, ugliest word first. Electroencephalic refers to the electrical activity generated by the brain in the form of neural oscillations or brainwaves. Like any waveform, brainwaves have a frequency. EEG sensors placed on the scalp are designed to read these brainwaves across a broad spectrum of frequencies.
 
High-resolution – If you’ve bought a digital camera or a television or a computer monitor in the past decade, then you are probably already somewhat familiar with the concept of high versus low resolution. A digital image is composed of rows and rows of tiny squares. Each square is a single color. The more squares you can fit into a smaller space, the higher the resolution. The higher the resolution, the clearer the image. We don’t take pictures during Brainwave Optimization, but our sensors do gather a lot of data about your brainwave activity. To ensure that our computer has the clearest possible image of your brainwave patterns, we collect and analyze that data at the highest possible resolution. It requires extremely sensitive equipment and enormous processing power, but to do what we do we can’t afford to settle for anything less.
 
Relational – Not a commonly used word, but the root should look familiar—relate. So, the question is, what is being related to what?  Brainwave Optimization matches (or relates) a given dominant brainwave frequency to a particular musical tone. During a Brainwave Optimization session, you listen to these musical tones. In essence, you are hearing your own brain activity in real-time.
 
Mirroring - When you hear your own brain activity in real-time, the effect can be compared to a mirror. The brain now has away of perceiving itself, its own activity, its own function. if you've ever used a mirror when styling your hair or shaving, then you know what useful tool a mirror is for self-maintenance.

Resonance-Based – We may not use the term very often, but resonance is all around us. Think of the way a church bell continues to hum long after being struck. We even speak symbolically of a work of art or an idea resonating within us, as if we are a bell which has been struck. When physicists discuss resonance in terms of waveforms, this is the phenomenon they are describing. When we talk about resonance as a component of Brainwave Optimization, we are talking about the way that the frequency of the musical tones interact with the frequency of brainwaves. A resonance loop is created and the brain and its auditory reflection begin to harmonize with each other. This is where the change occurs and brain function is optimized.

This Process is Rated G: Appropriate for All Ages!

  
  
  
  
  
  

We're sometimes asked, who is Brainwave Optimization® designed to help? We sometimes joke that it's designed to help people with brains, but that's actually not an inaccurate statement. Anyone can benefit from Brainwave Optimization sessions. As a non-invasive, non-pharmacological, non-medical modality, Brainwave Optimization is a safe and holistic option for anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background.

Brainwave Optimization has been provided to clients as young as 2 years old and as old as 98. The process does require the client to set still for extended periods of time and to be able to follow simple instructions, but an experienced technologist can make necessary accommodations for nearly any client.

While the process itself remains largely similar regardless of client, the effect on the brain is somewhat different for children than it is for adults. Brainwave Optimization relies on an attribute of the brain called neuroplasticity. The brain has an amazing capacity to "rewire" itself to meet new challenges or demands. Throughout our lives and even over the course of any given day, our brain is continually creating new connections, forming new neural pathways.

Our brain is most plastic (able to change) when we are young. Have you ever wondered how you were able to learn and retain so much knowledge as a child while, as an adult, you can't even seem to be able to remember an email password? With age, the brain has a tendency to become less plastic, more set in its ways, more resistant to change. Part of this tendency is simply nature of aging, but another contributing factor is the effect of trauma on the brain. When one experiences a trauma, whether large or small, experienced in one sudden instant or accumulated bit by bit over a lifetime, the brain adjusts compensate and to cope. Under ideal circumstances, the brain will naturally return to its pre-trauma state once the traumatic moment as passed or the immediate threat has been removed. Often, however, the brain remains to some degree in its post-trauma condition long after the moment has passed. Brainwave Optimization facilitates the brain's auto-calibration, its self-adjustment toward more optimal function. 

Children enjoy a certain advantage over adults where Brainwave Optimization is concerned. Since their brains are more plastic and, for most, thank goodness, their exposure to trauma has been limited, Brainwave Optimization has a particularly dramatic effect on children. We have seen amazing results working with children suffering from focus issues, attention deficiencies, and learning challenges. Improvement is often observed after only a couple of sessions. Results for adults may be slower coming and less pronounced, sometimes not becoming fully apparent until two to three weeks after the completion of the Brainwave Optimization Intensive.

Don't you wish you were a kid again?

Cancer and the Brain

  
  
  
  
  
  

Lee Gerdes invented Brainwave Optimization® after a decade long fight with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. His invention helped him to reclaim his life and he devoted himself to refining and sharing this technology with others. In April 2013, Lee was faced with a new challenge for which no one can be prepared and one far greater than any he had previously faced--cancer.

 

On October 24th, 2013, Lee will share his personal story of hope and survival, from the devastating diagnosis, through the debilitating radiation and chemotherapy treatments, to his ongoing return to health. During this very special live presentation, Lee will open not only his heart, but also his brain, sharing actual brain scans from throughout his illness and recovery. He will show how the traumas inflicted by the cancer and by its treatments affected his brain activity and will explain how Brainwave Optimization® once again helped him to overcome the challenge of a lifetime.

Lee Gerdes, Brainwave Optimization Calgary, Brain and Cancer

Depression and Brainwave Optimization Calgary

  
  
  
  
  
  

Depression is not a sign of weakness.  It is a result of an imbalance in the brain. Depression refers to a persistent sad mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in most activities. 

Some symptoms include the following: 

•  Apathy about things, people or activities that were once satisfying

•  Changes in appetite or weight

•  Restlessness or decreased activity noticeable to others

•  Loss of energy or feeling tired all the time

•  Difficulty in concentrating or making decisions

•  Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt

•  Haunting thoughts of death or suicide 

Of course, life includes problems we don’t anticipate or enjoy, and these problems can sometimes trigger depression.  But sometimes depression seems to sneak up on us out of nowhere.  Additionally, we know that for some people at certain times, depression can actually be a tool which their brains use to be more creative.  Many masters in various fields (music, art, science) throughout history have been depressive types of individuals – using depression to prepare their brains to be in a more creative state from time-to-time.  The good news is there is another way to enhance creativity and get one out of the state of depression at the same time. 

What about medications?  Pharmaceuticals used to treat depression work on the entire brain, when actually only a small part of the brain may need to be tuned-up in the depressed person.  Thus, drugs for depression may create side effects that are new problems to the individual user, and one problem is simply replaced by another.  

In many cases, Brainwave Optimization has been reported to enhance or replace anti-depressants, making the road to depression recovery much shorter.  A high percentage of our clients with depression have reported success after their Brainwave Optimization experience.

How Does Brainwave Optimization Work!!

  
  
  
  
  
  

Shocking!!!

When I first started providing Brain Wave Optimization (TM), I was working with an 11 year old girl who struggled with sleep difficulties, attention problems, anxiety, and a diagnosis of Asperger’s. During her first session, the anxiety was quite apparent; she had a million questions about what we were doing which were precipitated by a million worries flying around in her head.

Over and over and over, she would ask “Are you going to shock me?” even though by the fifth protocol it should have been apparent that wasn’t going to happen. (Or ,at least I thought so; it’s been a long time since I’ve been eleven.)

Finally, I asked her, “Why do you think I’m going to shock you?”

“Because you are putting electrodes on me. Electrodes mean electricity!” she said. Ok, that’s a pretty good rationalization, especially if you are 11.

Now, fast forward to two weeks ago. I was working with a 47 year old woman and the SAME question came up! Repeatedly! For several days, despite what I felt like were pretty thorough explanations, she expressed concerns about being shocked. (Ok, so this worry is not limited to 11 year olds.) She was afraid of what the sensors were “doing to her”. At one point, she told me that she was afraid that the process could give her cancer.

By this point, I was completely blaming “American Horror Story: Asylum”, “Clockwork Orange”, and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” for everyone’s anxiety about brain training. What to do?

In the interest of helping everyone feel safe and secure about the process of Brain Wave Optimization, I decided to do a little bit of electrode education here on the blog today.

When a person comes for either a Brain Wave Optimization assessment or training session, they are hooked up to our computer through five small sensors (electrodes). Our 11 year old was partially right about the meaning of the word electrode in that the function of it does involve electricity. However, where her error occurred was her assumption that the electrode was producing electricity. It is actually the opposite. The client is producing electricity. That’s right, YOU are producing electricity all the time, in the form of brain wave activity.

What the sensors are doing is reading the electricity that comes off the client. That data is then sent from the electrodes to the computer, which then analyzes the brain wave activity. That information is then provided in a report to the technologist in order to help him or her determine the appropriate training protocols to select for the next session.

Now, we get to the part where we answer the 47 year-old’s question: What are the sensors doing to you? The answer is nothing. When you come in for brain training neither the sensors, myself, nor the computer are doing anything to you.

So what’s going on then, if no one’s doing anything to you? Why would you come for sessions at all? What happens during brain training is this: After the data (in the form of electricity) is received from the sensors and analyzed by the computer, the technologist determines which brain waves need to be played back to the client.

Come again?

Yep, all that happens during brain training is that you listen to your own brain waves being played back to you in the form of musical tones. And what happens with that is truly amazing: your brain is able to “hear” the imbalances and corrects those imbalances on its own!

This is what “non-invasive” means. Nothing is happening to you during your sessions. There is no electricity being sent to you, no particles or chemicals being introduced into your system, and no modifications being made to you by someone else . Your brain is simply being shown what it is doing and then given the opportunity to correct itself of its own volition.

So, that’s the purpose of electrodes in Brain Wave Optimization. Nothing painful, nothing scary, and the only thing that’s shocking is learning that listening to your own brain can completely change your life for the better!!

*Have more questions about the process of Brain Wave Optimization? Shoot me an email at glenna.reid@shaw.ca or through the Contact Page and I would be happy to answer them!

What Eating Too Much Sugar Does to Your Brain?

  
  
  
  
  
  

I guess added sugar isn't so sweet after-all!!

The damage added sugar does to our bodies begins in our brains.

By David DiSalvo of Psychology Today
Overeating, poor memory formation, learning disorders, depression—all have been linked in recent research to the over-consumption of sugar. And these linkages point to a problem that is only beginning to be better understood: what our chronic intake of added sugar is doing to our brains.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average American consumes 156 pounds of added sugar per year. That's five grocery store shelves loaded with 30 or so one pound bags of sugar each. If you find that hard to believe, that's probably because sugar is so ubiquitous in our diets that most of us have no idea how much we're consuming. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) puts the amount at 27.5 teaspoons of sugar a day per capita, which translates to 440 calories—nearly one quarter of a typical 2000 calorie a day diet.

The key word in all of the stats is "added." While a healthy diet would contain a significant amount of naturally occurring sugar (in fruits and grains, for example), the problem is that we're chronically consuming much more added sugar in processed foods, generally in the rapidly absorbed form of fructose.

That's an important clarification because our brains need sugar every day to function. Brain cells require two times the energy needed by all the other cells in the body; roughly 10% of our total daily energy requirements. This energy is derived from glucose (blood sugar), the gasoline of our brains. Sugar is not the brain's enemy—added sugar is.

Research indicates that a diet high in added sugar reduces the production of a brain chemical known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Without BDNF, our brains can't form new memories and we can't learn (or remember) much of anything. Levels of BDNF are particularly low in people with an impaired glucose metabolism—diabetics and pre-diabetics—and as the amount of BDNF decreases, sugar metabolism worsens.

In other words, chronically eating added sugar reduces BDNF, and then the lowered levels of the brain chemical begin contributing to insulin resistance, which leads to type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which eventually leads to a host of other health problems. Once that happens, your brain and body are in a destructive cycle that's difficult if not impossible to reverse.

Research has also linked low BDNF levels to depression and dementia. It's possible that low BDNF may turn out to be the smoking gun in these and other diseases, like Alzheimer's, that tend to appear in clusters in epidemiological studies. More research is being conducted on this subject, but what seems clear in any case is that a reduced level of BDNF is bad news for our brains, and chronic sugar consumption is one of the worst inhibitory culprits.

Other studies have focused on sugar’s role in over-eating. We intuitively know that sugar and obesity are linked (since sugar is full of calories), but the exact reason why eating sugar-laden foods seems to make us want to eat more hasn’t been well understood until recently.

New research has shown that chronic consumption of added sugar dulls the brain’s mechanism for telling you to stop eating. It does so by reducing activity in the brain’s anorexigenic oxytocin system, which is responsible for throwing up the red “full” flag that prevents you from gorging. When oxytocin cells in the brain are blunted by over-consumption of sugar, the flag doesn’t work correctly and you start asking for seconds and thirds, and seeking out snacks at midnight.

What these and other studies strongly suggest is that most of us are seriously damaging ourselves with processed foods high in added sugar, and the damage begins with our brains. Seen in this light, chronic added-sugar consumption is no less a problem than smoking or alcoholism. And the hard truth is that we may have only begun to see the effects of what the endless sugar avalanche is doing to us.

Full article here: http://bit.ly/Xi8DFQ

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