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Study: Psychedelics can promote neural plasticity in the prefrontal cortex and expand pathways for mental health

– Cred­it: Cell Reports 2018 23, 3170–3182DOI: (10.1016/j.celrep.2018.05.022). Copy­right © 2018 The Authors

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Psy­che­delics in Neu­rol­o­gy: Poten­tial for Improv­ing Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty (Neu­rol­o­gy­Times):

Back in the 1950s, research was prov­ing that psy­che­del­ic agents could be effec­tive in the treat­ment of var­i­ous neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, just as sci­ence was explor­ing their ben­e­fi­cial effects, the coun­ter­cul­ture was explor­ing and embrac­ing their effects. Slow­ly but sure­ly, psy­che­delics were asso­ci­at­ed with rebel­lious youth and the tumul­tuous anti-war move­ment. As a result, the gov­ern­ment shut down most of the research.

The 1990s saw renewed inter­est in psy­che­del­ic com­pounds as a means to address neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders. Research explored the ben­e­fits of MDMA and ket­a­mine to treat mood dis­or­ders and post­trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der. Now, a new study sheds even more light on the promise these agents might pro­vide. Read the rest of this entry »

Kids for life? Pros and cons of lifelong neuroplasticity, as seen via our emotional development

– Win­dows of plas­tic­i­ty in brain devel­op­ment. Adapt­ed from Hen­sch T.K. (2005). Crit­i­cal peri­od plas­tic­i­ty in local cor­ti­cal cir­cuits. Nature Reviews Neu­ro­science, 6(11), 877–888

The Brain’s Emo­tion­al Devel­op­ment (Dana Foundation’s Cere­brum):

Humans are like­ly the most emo­tion­al­ly reg­u­lat­ed crea­tures on earth. Com­pared to oth­er ani­mal species, we can mod­u­late and mod­i­fy emo­tion­al reac­tions and expe­ri­ences, even very intense ones, through a large and sophis­ti­cat­ed emo­tion reg­u­la­tion reper­toire that includes skills of dis­trac­tion, reap­praisal, lan­guage, pre­dic­tion, social inter­ac­tion, sup­pres­sion, and more. At times, these skills require effort, and at oth­er times, they seem reflex­ive and auto­mat­ic. Read the rest of this entry »

Why “Untrained Brains Are A Bit Like Puppies,” And How To Put Together the Building Blocks of a Smarter, Happier Mind

As a child, I was con­vinced that my dad just went to work to play. My father was a neu­ro­sci­en­tist at Bay­lor Uni­ver­si­ty, and his office was full of bright­ly col­ored blocks to test intel­li­gence, books by MC Esch­er to study per­cep­tion, and even a sound­proof room cov­ered in blue foam that I thought was for gym­nas­tics Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Brain training game can improve prospective memory and activities of daily living

virtualweekbVir­tu­al Week’ brain game has poten­tial to help old­er adults remain inde­pen­dent longer (press release):

An inter­na­tion­al team of sci­en­tists has demon­strat­ed that just one month of train­ing on a “Vir­tu­al Week” com­put­er brain game helps old­er adults sig­nif­i­cant­ly strength­en prospec­tive mem­o­ry — a type of mem­o­ry that is cru­cial for plan­ning, every­day func­tion­ing and inde­pen­dent liv­ing Read the rest of this entry »

Transcript: Paul Nussbaum on Meditation, Neuropsychology and Thanksgiving

Below you can find the full tran­script of our engag­ing Q&A ses­sion yes­ter­day on holis­tic brain health with clin­i­cal neu­ropsy­chol­o­gist Dr. Paul Nuss­baum, author of Save Your Brain. You can learn more about the full Brain Fit­ness Q&A Series Here.

Per­haps one of the best exchanges was: Read the rest of this entry »

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