Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Is Your Brain Ready To Drink Cheap Wine?

red wine brainProf. Baba Shiv, one of our advi­sors, just pub­lished a fas­ci­nat­ing paper on the pow­er of our beliefs to influ­ence brain acti­va­tion, and on how mar­ket­ing can influ­ence those beliefs:

Price Tag Can Change The Way Peo­ple Expe­ri­ence Wine, Study Shows (Sci­ence Dai­ly)

- Accord­ing to researchers at the Stan­ford Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness and the Cal­i­for­nia Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy, if a per­son is told he or she is tast­ing two dif­fer­ent wines and that one costs $5 and the oth­er $45 when they are, in fact, the same wine the part of the brain that expe­ri­ences plea­sure will become more active when the drinker thinks he or she is enjoy­ing the more expen­sive vin­tage.

- “What we doc­u­ment is that price is not just about infer­ences of qual­i­ty, but it can actu­al­ly affect real qual­i­ty,” said Baba Shiv, a pro­fes­sor of mar­ket­ing who co-authored a paper titled “Mar­ket­ing Actions Can Mod­u­late Neur­al Rep­re­sen­ta­tions of Expe­ri­enced Pleas­ant­ness,” pub­lished online Jan. 14 in the Pro­ceed­ings of the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences. (Note: link here)

This Stan­ford arti­cle pro­vides an overview of his research: click Here.

- “The belief in the aca­d­e­m­ic field is that emo­tions are essen­tial to deci­sion mak­ing, oth­er­wise you’ll end up mak­ing bad deci­sions, Shiv says. “But, he adds, explain­ing his huge con­trar­i­an streak, “I can show the oppo­site as well, that Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Exercise for the Frontal lobes: the McKinsey Mind

My first full-time job was as a strate­gic con­sul­tant at McK­in­sey & Com­pa­ny. A very intense 2‑year learn­ing expe­ri­ence.

Their Alum­ni News Ser­vice recent­ly inter­viewed me and pub­lished this great arti­cle on Sharp­Brains. The writer does a superb job of pro­vid­ing an overview of what we do, so I rec­om­mend you read it. I’d like to empha­size the fol­low­ing quotes for any­one look­ing for jobs these days, so that “brain exer­cise” is part of the equa­tion:

  • Alvaro has some very high praise for the men­tal gym­nas­tics that the McK­in­sey expe­ri­ence pro­vides.  Giv­en that the frontal lobes in our brain (behind the fore­head) only mature in our late 20s, he says, the jobs we take in our ear­ly and mid-20s are very impor­tant not only for our career prospects, but also for our brain devel­op­ment fit­ness. This is the stage in our life where, con­scious­ly or not, we can improve our deci­sion-mak­ing, ini­tia­tive and self-reg­u­la­tion abil­i­ties, all of which lit­er­al­ly affect the phys­i­cal growth of our frontal lobes in a sig­nif­i­cant way.”
  • Join­ing McK­in­sey as a BA is lit­er­al­ly like join­ing a brain gym, Alvaro says. “The demands of the McK­in­sey mod­el. Read the rest of this entry »

Good habits, and other memes

Meme: “The term “meme” (rhyming with “theme”), coined in 1976 by the biol­o­gist Richard Dawkins, refers to a “unit of cul­tur­al infor­ma­tion” which can prop­a­gate from one mind to anoth­er in a man­ner anal­o­gous to genes.

If you haven’t read Dawkins’ clas­sic book The Self­ish Gene…it is nev­er too late to enjoy it!

There are some “memes” float­ing now around blog­gers and I have been “tagged” (includ­ed) by 2 of them. So here you have:

1) On good dai­ly habits: this is the orig­i­nal post, and here are Hueina’s My Sim­ply Suc­cess­ful Secrets.

My “Sim­ply Sucess­ful Secrets” habits that I fol­low close to every day, in more or less that sequence:

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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