By: Dr. Pascale Michelon
Have you heard of or read John Ratey’s book “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and The Brain”? According to Harvard Psychiatry Professor John Ratey nothing beats exercise for promoting brain heath.
I am sure you have also heard that exercising your mind promotes brain health.
What is the connection between physical and mental exercises? Do they have additive effects on brain health? Are they redundant?
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By: Alvaro Fernandez
There are several brain fitness topics where we still see a large disconnect between research and popular knowledge, and a major one is the relationship between memory and stress. Caroline and I collaborated on this post to bring you some context and tips.
Our society has changed faster than our genes. Instead of being faced with physical, immediately life-threatening crises that demand instant action, these days we deal with events and illnesses that gnaw away at us slowly, that stress us out and that, believe it or not, end up hurting our memory and brain.
Dr. Robert Sapolsky, in an interview about his book Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, points out that humans uniquely “can get stressed simply with thought, turning on the same stress response as does the zebra.” But, the zebra releases the stress hormones through life-preserving action, while we usually just keep muddling along, getting more anxious by the moment.
What is the relationship between stress and memory? We all know chronic stress is bad for our heart, our weight, and our mood, but how about our memory? Interestingly, acute stress can help us focus and remember things more vividly. Chronic stress, on the other hand, reduce our ability to focus and can specifically damage cells in the hippocampus, a brain structure critical to encoding short term memory.
When is stress chronic? When one feels Read the rest of this entry »