Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Update: How Stress and Emotions Impact Brain Performance

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Time for the Octo­ber edi­tion of the month­ly Sharp­Brains eNewslet­ter, fea­tur­ing this time sev­er­al arti­cles on the impact of stress, emo­tions, and self-reg­u­la­tion, on our brain’s struc­ture and per­for­mance.

We are pleased to bring to Sharp­Brains read­ers a new 6‑part series on the Neu­ro­bi­ol­ogy of Stress, based on a recent book by Sharp­Brains con­trib­u­tor Dr. Jerome Schultz. The first two parts are already avail­able: Part 1 — The Human Brain and How It Responds to Stress and Part 2 — Gray Mat­ters.

Brain Study Links Emo­tion­al Self-Reg­u­la­tion and Math Per­for­mance: A new study strong­ly sug­gests the need to “help stu­dents reap­praise the sit­u­a­tion and con­trol emo­tions before they even get into a task”. While the study focused on math anx­i­ety and per­for­mance, the impli­ca­tions are rel­e­vant out­side the class­room too.

Reminder: Brain Fit­ness Q&A Ses­sions in Novem­ber: As we announced a few weeks ago, we are hon­ored to present an upcom­ing Brain Fit­ness Q&A Series. The first ses­sion, fea­tur­ing Dr. Gary Small, will take place Novem­ber 1st, 2011, 2–3pm US Eeast­ern Time. Please mark your cal­en­dar and join us at sharpbrains.com then! (no need to do any­thing pri­or to the ses­sion).

Music Train­ing Can Enhance Ver­bal Intel­li­gence and Exec­u­tive Func­tion: Very inter­est­ing new study pub­lished in Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence on the val­ue of music train­ing (vs. sim­ply lis­ten­ing to music).

Gam­ing and Neu­ro­science: Oppor­tu­ni­ties and Chal­lenges: A sum­ma­ry of impres­sions by researcher  Aki Niko­laidis based on his par­tic­i­pa­tion in the recent con­fer­ence Enter­tain­ment Soft­ware and Cog­ni­tive Neu­rother­a­peu­tics Con­fer­ence (ESCoNS) at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia San Fran­cisco.

Fam­i­lies’ Per­spec­tives on ADHD and its Treat­ment: Dr. David Rabin­er presents new data on fam­i­lies’ expe­ri­ence with ADHD and its treat­ment.

Brain Games and Opti­cal Illu­sions @ Nation­al Geo­graph­ic: Sev­eral Sharp­Brains friends rec­om­mend this recent 3‑part Nation­al Geo­graphic TV mini-series.

Math Brain Teas­er for Kids and Adults: Archimedes Grave: A fun puz­zle to exer­cise our brains a bit, sub­mit­ted by new con­trib­u­tor Maria Lan­do. Enjoy!

The Neurobiology of Stress: Gray Matters

(Editor’s note:  below you have part 2 of the 6‑part The Neu­ro­bi­ol­o­gy of Stress series. If you are join­ing the series now, you can read the pre­vi­ous part Here.)

Stayin’ Alive

Under­stand­ing the Human Brain and How It Responds to Stress

Gray Mat­ters

The term gray mat­ter usu­al­ly evokes an image of the cor­tex, because that ’ s the part most vis­i­ble in pic­tures of the brain.  In fact, gray mat­ter makes up not only the cere­bral cor­tex but also the cen­tral por­tion of the spinal cord and areas called the cere­bel­lar cor­tex and the hip­pocam­pal cor­tex.  This dense tis­sue is packed full of neu­ronal cells, their den­drites (branch­ing, root — like end­ings), axon ter­mi­nals (the oth­er end), and those sticky glial cells I men­tioned ear­li­er. The cor­tex is the area of the brain where the actu­al pro­cess­ing of infor­ma­tion takes place.  Because of its rel­a­tive size and com­plex­i­ty, it ’ s easy to under­stand why it plays a key role in mem­o­ry, atten­tion, per­cep­tu­al aware­ness, thought, lan­guage, and con­scious­ness.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Neurobiology of Stress: the Human Brain and How It Responds to Stress

 

Wor­ry is like a rock­ing chair. It gives you some­thing to do, but it gets you nowhere.
— Erma Bombeck

The brain is the con­trol cen­ter for all of our thoughts, actions, atti­tudes, and emo­tions. It ’ s the pilot­house on the river­boat of our lives. It’s Mis­sion Con­trol for all of our ? ights into space or time. It ’ s the air traf?c con­troller that helps us nav­i­gate and reroute our paths based on incom­ing and out­go­ing infor­ma­tion and how we’re feel­ing about it at the time. It’s the John Williams of our per­son­al sym­pho­ny. It ’ s the Moth­er Ship to our Star?eet; it’s … (Uh, sor­ry, I got car­ried away there, but I think you get my point!) Read the rest of this entry »

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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