Below you can find the full transcript of our engaging Q&A session yesterday on lifelong cognitive fitness, “mental capitalism”, and more, with Alvaro Fernandez, co-author of The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness, moderated by Harry Moody, Director of Academic Affairs at AARP.
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Below you can find the full transcript of our engaging Q&A session today on memory, memory techniques and brain-healthy lifestyles with Dr. Gary Small, Director of UCLA’s Memory Clinic and Center on Aging, and author of The Memory Bible. You can learn more about his book Here, and learn more about upcoming Brain Fitness Q&A Sessions Here.
Perhaps one of the best questions and answers was:
Question: Gary, you’ve worked many years in this field. Let us in on the secret. What do YOU do you, personally, to promote your own brain fitness?
Answer: I try to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic conditioning each day; try to minimize my stress by staying connected with family and friends; generally eat a brain healthy diet (fish, fruits, vegetables), and try to balance my online time with my offline time. Which reminds me, I think it is almost time for me to sign off line. Read the rest of this entry »
By: Dr. Adrian Preda
Dr. Adrian Preda, our newest Expert Contributor, writes today the first in a series of thought-provoking articles, challenging us to think about physical exercise as the best and most unappreciated form of “brain exercise”. A superb article.
And one thing is clear, he points out: “the brain really likes it when it’s asked to be “active”. Passive audiences, which are spoon fed information, score less well when tested on retention and understanding of the presented material than audiences that were kept engaged through the process.”
So, will you write a comment below and contribute to an engaging conversation? Thoughts? reactions? questions?
Don’t ignore plain old common sense.
Brain Lessons Part 1
– By Adrian Preda, M.D.
Let me start with a list of common biases: expensive is better than cheap, free is of dubious value (why would then be free?), rare is likely to be valuable, and while new is better than old, ancient is always best. Which explains a common scenario that is reenacted about twice a week in my office. It starts like this: a patient shows me a fancy looking bottle of the brain supplement of the week: ancient roots with obscure names mixed together in another novel combination which you can exclusively find in that one and only store (rarity oblige!). And not to forget: it ain’t cheap either! Of course, there it is, the perfect the recipe for success: ancient yet new, rare and expensive. It got to be good! But is it, really?
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By: Alvaro Fernandez
Below you have a very insightful article on stress by one of our new Expert Contributors, Gregory Kellet, a researcher at UCSF. Enjoy! (Credit for Pic of Victoria Crater in Mars: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, via Wikipedia).
“My brain is fried, toast, frazzled, burnt out. How many times have you said or heard one version or another of these statements. Most of us think we are being figurative when we utter such phrases, but research shows that the biological consequences of sustained high levels of stress may have us being more accurate than we would like to think.
Crash Course on Stress
Our bodies are a complex balancing act between systems working full time to keep us alive and well. This balancing act is constantly adapting to the myriad of changes occurring every second within ourselves and our environments. When it gets dark our pupils dilate, when we get hot we sweat, when we smell food we salivate, and so forth. This constant balancing act maintains a range of stability in the body via change; and is often referred to as allostasis. Any change which threatens this balance can be referred to as allostatic load or stress.
Allostatic load/stress is part of being alive. For example just by getting up in the morning, we all experience a very important need to increase our heart rate and blood pressure in order to feed our newly elevated brain. Although usually manageable, this is a change which the body needs to adapt to and, by our definition, a stressor.
Stress is only a problem when this allostatic load becomes overload. When change is excessive or Read the rest of this entry »