Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Icon

Sleep: A Memory Booster?

What’s going on in the brain while we sleep? A lot! Specif­i­cally, processes sup­port­ing the con­sol­i­da­tion of mem­o­ries. This Dana Foun­da­tion arti­cle reviews fas­ci­nat­ing stud­ies in which mem­o­ries are reac­ti­vated dur­ing sleep thanks to either an odor or an audi­tory cue. Results sug­gest that such reac­ti­va­tion leads to bet­ter memory:

reac­ti­va­tion dur­ing slow-wave sleep sup­ports the trans­fer of the mem­ory rep­re­sen­ta­tion from the hip­pocam­pus to long-term stor­age in the neo­cor­tex, and also strength­ens it

one pos­si­ble appli­ca­tion of such find­ings could be to over­write unwanted trau­matic memories

another appli­ca­tion would be to use the deep-sleep reac­ti­va­tion to enhance mem­o­ries in stu­dents, or in elderly peo­ple Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Science: “Brain Rules” Podcast

We are fans of the Brain Sci­ence Pod­cast series hosted by Gin­ger Camp­bell, so are pleased to announce that Dr. Camp­bell will start offer­ing to Sharp­Brains read­ers, peri­od­i­cally, the high­lights of her most inter­est­ing pod­casts. Below, her first post. Enjoy!

- Alvaro

———–

In a recent inter­view on the Brain Sci­ence Pod­cast, Dr. John Med­ina, author of Brain Rules: 12 Prin­ci­ples for Sur­viv­ing and Thriv­ing at Work, Home, and School shared some of the prac­ti­cal impli­ca­tions of recent neu­ro­science research.

We talked about the impor­tance of exer­cise and sleep and we dis­cussed why appre­ci­at­ing how our mem­ory and atten­tion sys­tems really work could change how we run schools, busi­nesses, and even our daily lives.

For exam­ple, Read the rest of this entry »

Sleep, Tetris, Memory and the Brain

As part of our ongo­ing Author Speaks Series, we are hon­ored to present today this excel­lent arti­cle by Dr. Shan­non Mof­fett, based on her illu­mi­nat­ing and engag­ing book. Enjoy!

(and please go to sleep soon if you are read­ing this late Mon­day night).
————

Two years ago I fin­ished a book on the mind/brain, called The Three Pound Enigma: The Human Brain and the Quest to Unlock its Mys­ter­iesShannon Moffett-Three Pound Enigma . Each chap­ter pro­files a leader in a dif­fer­ent aspect of mind/brain research, from neu­ro­surgery to zen Bud­dhism, from cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science to phi­los­o­phy of mind. One of my sub­jects was Dr. Robert Stick­gold, a zany, hyper-intelligent men­sch of a Har­vard sleep researcher. When I met him, I was in med­ical school and hav­ing a grand old time—I’d exacted an exten­sion of my tenure beyond the cus­tom­ary four years, so I had enough time to write the book, do my course­work, and have a life. I was busy, but still got enough sleep, had time to exer­cise daily, and even went for din­ner and a movie some­times. Although I found Stickgold’s work inter­est­ing, there was a part of me that just didn’t get it.

Fast-forward to the present, when I am a res­i­dent in emer­gency med­i­cine at a busy inner-city trauma cen­ter; I have two-year-old twins and a hus­band with a 60-hour-a-week job of his own. I do not exer­cise. I do not eat unless I can do some­thing else pro­duc­tive at the same time, and even when I do get to sleep in my own bed, my slum­ber is frac­tured by the awak­en­ings of two cir­ca­di­anly dis­parate tod­dlers. It seems to take me twice as long to “get” new con­cepts as it used to, and I never feel like I’m func­tion­ing at top speed. In short, I am a mess. And NOW I get what Stickgold’s work is all about, and under­stand that he is both quan­ti­fy­ing and explain­ing exactly what I’m feeling.

Read the rest of this entry »

Random Learning? the 8 Random Facts Meme

Orli from Neu­ron­tic tagged me with a new meme –writ­ing about 8 Ran­dom Per­sonal Facts– that is cir­cu­lat­ing among sci­ence blog­gers.  Well, I will hap­pily write about 8 facts that appeared in unex­pected ways yet, seen with per­spec­tive, seem to be a type of non-random ran­dom­ness, if that makes sense…  

  1. As the old­est child, I was the most responsible/ serious/ with best grades…you get the pic­ture. One of my youngest sib­lings spe­cial­ized in teas­ing me and mak­ing my life dif­fi­cult (from my per­spec­tive then). At some point, I real­ized that my auto­matic men­tal reac­tion to any­thing sus­pi­cious that hap­pened in my life (my bike is not where I left it, there are 2 books miss­ing…) was an angry “this must have been my brother!” fol­lowed by intra-family con­flict and the need for UN peace­keep­ers. Let’s say he was respon­si­ble for only 40% of such events…so I real­ized my atti­tude made no sense and it was some­thing I needed to con­trol. So, at some point, I devel­oped the men­tal habit of mak­ing fun of my own stu­pid­ity when­ever that auto­matic reac­tion appeared, and pro­tect­ing a more ratio­nal approach to solv­ing the problem.
  2. Around the same time, at a rou­tine meet­ing between my mother, school staff and myself, some­one made a com­ment along “Alvaro has spec­tac­u­lar grades, but he must under­stand that suc­cess in life does not depend on grades alone”. Fas­ci­nat­ing, I remem­ber think­ing, how can that be pos­si­ble? What may that mean? Is it not “fair” and self-evident that if I have great grades every­thing good will fol­low in life? Maybe this opened my mind to under­stand­ing that “intel­li­gence” goes well beyond IQ…
  3. For many years I kept a journal-like doc­u­ment with brief “lessons learned” and “concepts/ say­ings / real­i­ties I don’t under­stand yet”. Some­thing like a “diary of learn­ing and things to be learned”. I don’t keep such a doc­u­ment anymore…and cer­tainly not because now I under­stand everything.
  4. My last 2 years in high school were extremely social, hav­ing relo­cated to a Read the rest of this entry »

Learn about the 2014 SharpBrains Summit in 2 minutes

Watch Larry King’s interview

» Click HERE in the USA, or HERE else­where (opens 28-min program)

Enter Your Email and Sub­scribe to our free Monthly eNewslet­ter:
Join more than 50,000 Sub­scribers and stay informed and engaged.

Welcome to SharpBrains.com

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Jour­nal, CNN and more, Sharp­Brains is an inde­pen­dent mar­ket research firm track­ing health and well­ness appli­ca­tions of brain science.
FIRST-TIME VISITOR? Dis­cover HERE the most pop­u­lar resources at SharpBrains.com

Sponsored ad

CLPT-SharpBrains

Follow us via

twitter_logo_header