Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Carnival of Human Resources and Leadership

Wel­come to the Sep­tem­ber 17th edi­tion of the Car­ni­val of Human Resources, the vir­tu­al gath­er­ing, every oth­er week, of blog­gers focused on Human Resources and Lead­er­ship top­ics.

Let’s imag­ine all par­tic­i­pants in a con­fer­ence room, con­duct­ing a live­ly Q&A brown-bag lunch dis­cus­sion.

Q: Can you teach Lead­er­ship in a class­room?
- Wal­ly: Not real­ly. Nei­ther the per­son who aspires to become a leader nor HR depart­ments should see lead­er­ship devel­op­ment as an activ­i­ty to be out­sourced to a class­room set­ting. Lead­er­ship is a life­long appren­tice trade, led by the learn­er himself/ her­self. The most HR depart­ments can do is to archi­tect the right set of expe­ri­ences to enable/ accel­er­ate that devel­op­ment.

Q: Can you teach Social Intel­li­gence in a class­room?
- Jon: Accord­ing to a recent Har­vard Busi­ness Review arti­cle, not real­ly. Daniel Gole­man and Richard Boy­atzis say that “our brains engage in an emo­tion­al tan­go, a dance of feel­ings”. And you learn Tan­go by, well, danc­ing Tan­go. Gole­man and Boy­atzis add that “Lead­ing effec­tive­ly is about devel­op­ing a gen­uine inter­est in and tal­ent for fos­ter­ing pos­i­tive feel­ings in the peo­ple whose coop­er­a­tion and sup­port you need.”

Q: Can you pro­vide an exam­ple of apply­ing social intel­li­gence in the work­place, and train­ing on-the-job?
- Suzanne: Sure. Learn to appre­ci­ate your front line employ­ees. They are the ones who inter­act with cus­tomers every day — which some com­pa­nies seem to ignore at their per­il.
- Denise: anoth­er oneWhat can you do when your team falls apart while you’re gone?.

Q: How can you gen­er­ate pos­i­tive feel­ings, when some­times we get stuck in bad news and con­stant quar­ter-by-quar­ter pres­sures?
- Anna: Adding much need­ed per­spec­tive. Please note: Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Health News Roundup

July is shap­ing up to be a fas­ci­nat­ing month, full of cog­ni­tive health research reports and appli­ca­tions. Here you have a roundup, cov­er­ing food for the brain, cog­ni­tive assess­ments, men­tal train­ing and DNA, and more.

1) Brain foods: the effects of nutri­ents on brain func­tion (Nature Neu­ro­science)

“Brain foods: the effects of nutri­ents on brain func­tion”, by Fer­nan­do Gmez-Pinil­la.

Abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

Neuroplasticity through Mind Hygiene

Stephanie West Allen, our lawyer-blog­ger friend and Dr. Jef­frey M. Schwartz, a research psy­chi­a­trist at the School of Med­i­cine at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Los Ange­les and a neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty expert, have writ­ten a thought-pro­vok­ing arti­cle for The Com­plete Lawyer.

See Arti­cle: Exer­cise Mind Hygiene On A Dai­ly Basis. Excerpt:

- “Here’s an exam­ple of a Gold­en Moment of Choice: You have decid­ed that you are going to keep your promise and get home each evening in time to put the kids to bed. When 7 p.m. rolls around, you rec­og­nize that you can move in one of two direc­tions: you can keep work­ing or get going. Because of your habit of work­ing very late, the synaps­es in your brain have been forged to sup­port your habit, and you feel the urge to stay. This phys­i­o­log­i­cal com­po­nent of your habit­u­al behav­ior is mak­ing your deci­sion dif­fi­cult. Nev­er­the­less, you decide to leave. Now, each time you make this new choice, it will be eas­i­er: You will be lay­ing down “going-home-to-the-kids” synaps­es to sup­port the new behav­ior (and you will be using self-direct­ed neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty).

- Our abil­i­ty to step back and see that we have the choice is key. Often we do not even get that far: 7 p.m. comes and goes with­out our real­iz­ing that it’s a GMC. In order to improve your abil­i­ty to observe your­self and your choic­es, you need to devel­op your self-aware­ness”.

Arti­cle: Exer­cise Mind Hygiene On A Dai­ly Basis

Read­ing this, and with a wife  and 6‑week-old baby start­ing to fall asleep, reminds me of some­thing…

how to say, “Good night, dear Blog!”

A very sharp brain: Prof. Hans Rosling

A few years ago I had the chance to meet, and see in action, Hans Rosling (fol­low the link and play the fas­ci­nat­ing clip if you have 6 min­utes), at a sum­mit by the Schwab Foun­da­tion for Social Entre­pre­neur­ship. He is a Pro­fes­sor of Inter­na­tion­al Health who devel­oped Tren­d­a­lyz­er soft­ware, a tool that brings sta­tis­tics to live with great visu­al and ani­ma­tion tech­niques. Google bought the soft­ware last March. You can find it here now.

The Finan­cial Times today has an arti­cle titled The hid­den beau­ty of num­bers (sub­scrip­tion required), with some great quotes such as “Prof. Rosling works on the premise that the world can nev­er be under­stood with­out num­bers-or with only num­bers” and “He draws an anal­o­gy with music: most peo­ple would find the writ­ten notes dull but love them when they are played. He says he wants to play the sta­tis­tics and is adamant that he has the eye of the user in mind all the time”.

Here is a full pre­sen­ta­tion at TED Talks. Enjoy a much more insigh­ful and fun way to see the world!

Two relat­ed posts:

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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