By: Alvaro Fernandez
We’re having a good conversation among SharpBrains Summit participants, prompted by the blog post Lifelong brain wellness and performance–not medical disease–drives growing demand for digital brain health solutions. In what is a beautiful example of the need to see both the forest and the trees Read the rest of this entry »
By: Andrew Zolli
Over and over again—in natural disasters, after the SARS epidemic, following the loss of a child or spouse—Bonanno’s longitudinal studies on loss and trauma revealed the exact same pattern at the population level. No matter how bad the trauma, rates of PTSD never exceeded one-third, and rates of resilience were always found in at least one-third and never more than two-thirds of the population.
“This pattern of response is so ubiquitous, and so consistent, it begs the question: Why are we, as a species, designed this way?” asks Bonanno.
One possible answer is that the design ensures that there is always at least a sizable minority, or even a majority, to take care of those deeply affected by a trauma. Read the rest of this entry »
If you believe most self-help books, pop-psychology articles, and television therapists, then you probably assume that how people respond to significant life events is pretty predictable. Most of us, according to the “experts,” are affected in just about the same way by a given experience—there is a grieving process that everyone goes through, there is a sequence of events that happens when we fall in love, there is a standard response to being jilted, and there are fairly standard ways almost every normal person reacts to the birth of a child, to being unappreciated at one’s job, to having an unbearable workload, to the challenges of raising teenagers, and to the inevitable changes that occur with aging.
Read the rest of this entry »
By: Greater Good Magazine
(Editor’s Note: we are pleased to bring you this article thanks to our collaboration with Greater Good Science Center).
A Course Correction for Positive Psychology
A review of Martin Seligman’s latest book, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being.
- By Jill Suttie
As president of the American Psychological Association in 1998, Martin Seligman challenged the psychological community to radically change its approach. For too long, he charged, psychology had been preoccupied solely with relieving symptoms of mental illness; instead, he believed it should explore how to thrive in life, not just survive it. He called for a psychology that would uncover what makes people creative, resilient, optimistic, and, ultimately, happy. The “positive psychology” movement was born.
Yet in his latest book, Flourish, Seligman tries to provide something of a course correction for positive psychology. Read the rest of this entry »
By: Alvaro Fernandez
My wife and I just came back from an inspiring Goldman Prize Award ceremony, where seven grassroots environmental changemakers were recognized for their work and resiliency, and shared their passion and purpose with everyone attending the event. We did hear too from Al Gore, Tracy Chapman, Robert Redford, and the founder of the awards 20 years ago, Richard Goldman.
The BBC recently published an Op-Ed by Mr. Goldman on the story behind the Awards themselves: article Here. He explains how…
- “One morning in 1989, as I sat with my daily breakfast and newspaper, I read about the most recent Nobel laureates and wondered if there was a comparable award for environmental work.”
- “We asked a staff member at our foundation to do some research and he found that nothing yet existed to recognise environmental work on an international stage, thus the Goldman Prize was born.”
- “Our choice to focus specifically on grassroots environmental leaders was unique at the time.”
Mr. Goldman, and the seven winners, are clearly helping improve the state of the world.
Now, the “state of the world” does include their very own brains — you may have seen this recent paper on how Volunteer Program Provides Health Benefits To Older Women
- - “She and her colleagues found that EC volunteers showed greater improvements in memory and executive function than those who did not participate in the program. In fact, the older adults with the lowest baseline performance in these areas — those most at risk for health disparities — demonstrated the most significant gains.”
- - “Both studies highlighted above show that everyday activity interventions (e.g., EC) can appeal to older adults’ desires to remain socially engaged and productive in their post-retirement years. Simultaneously, these activities provide measurable physical and cognitive health benefits.”
Of course, those benefits do not accrue only for older adults (or just for women), but may help all of us gradually build Cognitive Reserves through the added novelty, variety and challenge.
Talk about win/ win!
Related articles on social entrepreneurship:
“Everyone a Changemaker”, Ashoka and Google
Richard Dawkins and Alfred Nobel: beyond nature and nurture
By: Alvaro Fernandez
For information on the 2008 Conference, and the discount for SharpBrains readers, visit: Learning & The Brain Conference: discount for SharpBrains readers.
The post below refers to the 2007 Conference:
The organizers of this amazing conference, whose registration is about to expire, just extended their very kind offer to SharpBrains readers: you can register at the reduced price of $475 (right now the normal price is $545) if you do so by February 9nd. You can register here http://www.edupr.com/reg.html, making sure to write SharpBrains1 in the comments section
This is what we wrote about the conference:
Talk about neuroscience applied to education: we will be reporting from a fascinating conference in San Francisco, February 15–17, titled Learning & the Brain: Enhancing Cognition and Emotions for Learning And Student Performance, sponsored by leading universities and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.
- Speakers include a truly “Dream Team” of neuroscientists and educators such as Michael S. Gazzaniga, William C. Mobley, John D.E. Gabrieli, Robert M. Sapolsky, Robert Sylwester, and many many others. You can check the program here http://www.edupr.com/schedule2.htm.
- The description of the event is: “Use this explosion of scientific knowledge to create new, powerful paradigms for teaching and healthcare. Cutting-edge discoveries in neuroscience may soon transform educational and clinical interventions by enhancing memory and cognition. Discover the influences of emotions, gender and the arts. Explore new ways to enhance cognition and to assess potential benefits and pitfalls of using pharmacology, technology and therapy to boost performance.”
By: Alvaro Fernandez
After the carnival, which was fun but a bit of work, I will do an easy post…just came accross a good brief article on how aÃ‚Â Counseling center offers biofeedback to help decrease stress.
We do see stress and anxiety management as integral part of brain fitness. Some quotes from the article
- “The Savannah College of Art and Design Center for Student Counseling and Disability Services offers students a unique opportunity to decrease their stress levels — by using a biofeedback machine called the Freeze-Framer.“
– “College students tend to have high levels of stress as a result of Read the rest of this entry »