Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Forget thinking vs. feeling dichotomy. Think/ feel holistic brain functioning

brain teasers cognitive stimulationMental Math and the Fine-Tuning of Emotions (The Dana Foundation)

“You often hear the word “calculating” used to describe someone who always seems to act deliberately, guided by reason rather than emotion. The idea behind this characterization is that human nature straddles a deep divide between thinking and feeling, but current research suggests otherwise. Brain-imaging studies, in particular, reveal an overlap between the sites in the brain that make it possible for us to perform mental arithmetic and those that enable us to regulate our emotions. In fact, these two dissimilar-seeming functions are housed in the same neighborhood of the cerebral cortex. But they don’t just reside near each other—they actually work together. “It’s possible that training the brain with mental math strengthens the capacity for emotional reappraisal, or perhaps continually running the process of emotional reappraisal increases the ability for mental calculations of other kinds like mental arithmetic.”

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To boost creativity, combine systematic daily effort with diverse emotional states

jazz_creativityMapping Creativity in the Brain (The Atlantic):

“The writer Edith Wharton, a self-professed “slow worker,” dismissed the idea of easy creative triumph. “Many people assume that the artist receives, at the outset of his career, the mysterious sealed orders known as ‘Inspiration,’ and has only to let that sovereign impulse carry him where it will,” she wrote in her 1925 book The Writing of Fiction. The artistic impulse, she continued, was instead achieved through “systematic daily effort.”

But while she championed diligence, Wharton was also driven by Read the rest of this entry »

What Everyone Should Know About Stress, Brain Health, and Dance

-- Dancing to the clapping of bands. Egyptian, from the tomb of Ur-ari-en-Ptah, about 3300 B.C. (British Museum.)

— Dancing to the clapping of bands. Egyptian, from the tomb of Ur-ari-en-Ptah, 6th Dynasty, about 3300 B.C. (British Museum)

Everyone experiences stress at some point in our lives. It is important to know that stress can harm the brain, and also that dance can be a great avenue for a person resist, reduce, or escape it.

Stress can change the physical structure and function of the brain, affecting wiring and thus performance of one’s activities. Read the rest of this entry »

What Educators and Parents Should Know About Neuroplasticity, Learning and Dance

dance

— The Dance for Athletes class at Glen Burnie High School performs a swing piece

Dance. Is it merely art?  Is it just recreation?  Think again.

Dance is now being studied as a pathway to enhance learning.  And, scientists say, educators and parents should take note of the movement.

Recently at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, more than 6,800 attendees paid rapt attention to renowned choreographer Mark Morris as he answered questions about Read the rest of this entry »

10 Brain Transformers: A Poem

brain_mind
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As we enter an era of a transforming cerebrals

there will soon be “Mind­ful” wearables

to concentrate, meditate and self regulate

Did I just see you drop your jawbone at the gate?

Charge yourself to a calming or energizing state

Enhance memory and you are now feeling great

Your life may soon be in a different motion

With Elec­tri­cal and mag­netic brain stimulation

Not just in games or Read the rest of this entry »

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