Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Grand Rounds: Brain and Cognition edition

Encephalon (brain & mind blog car­ni­val, edi­tion ) finally meets Grand Rounds (health & med­i­cine blog carnival).

What a nice sur­prise. Hello. Nice to meet you!

Note: Chronic Babe wins a com­pli­men­tary copy of The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness for basi­cally invent­ing cog­ni­tive sleep ther­apy. Con­grats!

Life and Death

Mind­Hacks dis­cusses an unex­pected surge in brain activ­ity when blood pres­sure drops to zero.

In Sick­ness & In Health suf­fers a death in the fam­ily. Adam shem tov. A man of good name.

Brain­Blog­ger won­ders, is reli­gion a “nat­ural” phe­nom­e­non?

Mind and Empathy

Behav­ior­ism & Men­tal Health finds that every­one can have a men­tal ill­ness — take a look at “Adjust­ment Dis­or­der”.

ACP Internist rein­forces the impor­tance of empa­thy. Novel Patient encour­ages patients to dream big, Flo­re­cen­dot­com high­lights how patients them­selves con­tribute to patient safety. The Hip­po­cratic Oaf dis­cusses the feel­ings of a med­ical stu­dent. Clin­i­cal Cases won­ders what doc­tors  in train­ing carry in their white coats.

Advances in the His­tory of Psy­chol­ogy exam­ines an impor­tant early step in the jour­ney to con­cep­tu­al­ize cog­ni­tion and emo­tion from a neural point of view.

The Fit­ness Fixer empathizes with her feet.

Brain

How to Cope With Pain dis­cusses a con­tro­ver­sial treat­ment for severe pain.

Neu­rophiloso­pher shows how vision (view­ing one’s body) can mod­u­late the senses of touch and pain. Fun exper­i­ments  included. Neu­r­o­critic takes things one step fur­ther, and takes us to the poten­tial future of tat­too removal.

Prov­i­den­tia announces a new NFL Con­cus­sion Com­mit­tee. 300,000 sports-related trau­matic brain injuries occur in the United States alone each year.

Sharp­Brains answers 15 com­mon ques­tions related to neu­ro­plas­tic­ity.

Med­ical Smart­phones Read the rest of this entry »

Neuroscience Core Concepts: What is “It” in Use It or Lose It?

We all have heard “Use It or Lose It”. Now, what is “It”? how does “it” work? why is “it” our best (and too often unrec­og­nized) friend?

The Soci­ety for Neu­ro­science (SfN) has just released a user-friendly pub­li­ca­tion titled Neu­ro­science Core Con­cepts, aimed at help­ing edu­ca­tors and the gen­eral pub­lic learn more about the brain.

Descrip­tion: “Neu­ro­science Core Con­cepts offer fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples that one should know about the brain and ner­vous sys­tem, the most com­plex liv­ing struc­ture known in the uni­verse. They are a prac­ti­cal resource about:

  • - How your brain works and how it is formed.
  • - How it guides you through the changes in life.
  • - Why it is impor­tant to increase under­stand­ing of the brain.”

You will enjoy read­ing the web page explain­ing in detail 8 Neu­ro­science Core Con­cepts:

1| The brain is the body’s most com­plex organ.

2| Neu­rons com­mu­ni­cate using both elec­tri­cal and chem­i­cal sig­nals. Read the rest of this entry »

A User’s Guide to Lifelong Brain Health: BrainFit for Life

As the Brain Fit­ness indus­try con­tin­ues to gain momen­tum, and peo­ple explore all the incred­i­ble brain-training tools being devel­oped, we hope that enthu­si­asts don’t take their eye off the impor­tance of the phys­i­cal health of the brain and all the sys­tems it com­mu­ni­cates with. The brain is unique in that it houses our cog­ni­tive and emo­tional capac­i­ties in the form of the mind. It is a ‘cog­ni­tive’ organ that hungers for stim­u­la­tion from new expe­ri­ences and chal­lenges. Many brain fit­ness pro­grams strive to sat­isfy this need. Yet the brain is also a phys­i­cal organ that plays by many of the same rules as the heart, lungs, liver and kid­neys. To stay healthy and per­form opti­mally it requires qual­ity nutri­tion, phys­i­cal activ­ity and opti­mal sleep. The brain, espe­cially, relies on a healthy vas­cu­lar sys­tem to effi­ciently deliver oxy­gen and key nutri­ents and remove waste. In fact, the brain uses approx­i­mately 20% of the oxy­gen we breathe to sat­isfy its high-energy demands. Given that the brain only weighs about 2% of the body, we can con­sider it an energy hog and we must cater to its needs very carefully.

Nutri­ents play key roles in brain func­tion. Sev­eral have shown effi­cacy in clin­i­cal tri­als treat­ing cases of mood dis­or­ders, cog­ni­tive decline and of course ben­e­fit­ing the phys­i­cal health of the brain. Nutri­ents are both the raw mate­ri­als employed in cre­at­ing new neural con­nec­tions and Read the rest of this entry »

Manage Stress for Your Brain Health

We just received this very insight­ful essay on stress man­age­ment and brain health writ­ten by Lan­don, a home­schooler and par­tic­i­pant in Susan Hill’s writ­ing work­shop. Susan asked Meditation School Studentsher stu­dents to write about impli­ca­tions of recent brain research.

Enjoy the arti­cle and the long week­end (at least here in the US) and Relax…

———————

Stress Man­age­ment for Your Brain Health

– By Lan­don N

Thou­sands and thou­sands of web-like neu­rons linked together form a spongy mass inside a skull. This mass, called the brain, is what con­trols the body and the thoughts that run threw it have a notable effect on the heath of an indi­vid­ual. In addi­tion to thoughts, fear, stress, and emo­tions also have a strong effect on health. So then, health depends on more than just eat­ing right and exer­cis­ing; it depends on our men­tal state as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

Top Ten Tips for Women Who Lead Men

Thinking menEllen recently wrote a nice post titled Top Ten Tips for Men Who Lead Women, and asked for vol­un­teers to offer a com­ple­men­tary per­spec­tive. I hope you enjoy!

  1. We men know we are hard to lead, and that can be stress­ful for you and for us. You should know that stress affects short term mem­ory, so it is impor­tant to be able to man­age stress well, with med­i­ta­tion or other meth­ods. Check here your level of stress to see how much this point applies to you. Please remem­ber, laugh­ing is good for your brain.
  2. Don’t think too much–we don’t. If we do, we try to find ways to self-talk us out of that uncom­fort­able state.
  3. Please remem­ber our hum­ble ori­gins. We are tool-using ani­mals, which is why we like play­ing with all kinds of toys, from a car to that blackberry.
  4. When we are stub­born, you are enti­tled to remind us that even apes can learn–if you help us see the point. Show us that change is pos­si­ble at any age. Believe it or not, we can lis­ten.
  5. Espe­cially if we can find com­mon ground: what about chat­ting about sports psy­chol­ogy?.
  6. Please moti­vate us to lis­ten and be open minded to learn with wise words. If that doesn’t work, please per­se­vere with nice words. Please don’t ever say that we are worse than pink dol­phins–if we feel attacked, we’ll just disengage.
  7. Some­times we don’t coop­er­ate enough?. Please give us time for our brains to fully evolve, we have been try­ing for a while!
  8. You can help us grow. For the next lead­er­ship work­shop, buy us copies of the Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain book. You may think we don’t need this… but at our core we really want to get bet­ter at Grat­i­tude and Altru­ism. We want to be able to play with the ulti­mate toy: our genes!
  9. If that book is sold out, we could also ben­e­fit from read­ing Damasio’s Descartes Error and dis­cover how emo­tions are impor­tant for good decision-making. Or help us improve our abil­ity to read emo­tional mes­sages. As long as we believe we can some­how ben­e­fit from it, we’ll try!
  10. If you lead some­one with Bill Gates-like Frontal Lobes, con­grat­u­late him for his brain. If you don’t, encour­age him to fol­low track. Please be patient

Now, any tak­ers for Top Ten Tips for Women Who Lead Women or Men Who Lead Men?

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