Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Exploring the human brain and how it responds to stress (1/3)

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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 flights into space or time. It’s the air traf­fic 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 Starfleet; it’s … (Uh, sor­ry, I got car­ried away there, but I think you get my point!)

As I was work­ing on the drafts of my lat­est book book, my own brain was very active, to say the least. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s anticipate the potential misuse of neurological data to minimize the risks–and maximize the benefits

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The per­ils of open­ing the mind (Boston Globe):

For­get the joy­stick. Today you can use your mind alone to nav­i­gate vir­tu­al envi­ron­ments or fly real-world drones. You can buy sleek head­bands that read your brain sig­nals and help you med­i­tate or stay focused. Or you can get them for your kids to make sure they’re work­ing, not day­dream­ing Read the rest of this entry »

Five profound ways physical exercise shapes your brain and mind

We’ve all heard that exer­cise is good for us—how it strength­ens our hearts and lungs, and helps us pre­vent dis­eases like dia­betes. That’s why so many of us like to make New Year’s res­o­lu­tions to move more, know­ing it will make us health­i­er and live longer.

But many peo­ple don’t know about the oth­er impor­tant ben­e­fits of exercise—how it can help us find hap­pi­ness, hope, con­nec­tion, and courage.

Around the world, peo­ple who are phys­i­cal­ly active are hap­pi­er and more sat­is­fied with their lives. They have a stronger sense of pur­pose and expe­ri­ence more grat­i­tude, love, and hope. They feel more con­nect­ed to their com­mu­ni­ties, and are less like­ly to suf­fer from lone­li­ness or become depressed.

These ben­e­fits are seen through­out the lifes­pan, includ­ing Read the rest of this entry »

New book suggest ways to understand behavior and boost happiness in light of human evolution

We humans evolved to be social crea­tures. By gain­ing the skills to coop­er­ate with oth­ers, we were able to stave off preda­tors, eat more con­sis­tent­ly, and care for each other’s young, allow­ing our genes to car­ry for­ward.

So, why do we still strug­gle at times to get along—even to the extent that we war on one anoth­er? And how can under­stand­ing our evo­lu­tion­ary her­itage help us have bet­ter rela­tion­ships and more hap­pi­ness today? Read the rest of this entry »

Epigenetics research opens potential door to prevent neurodevelopmental disorders

Sai Ma, for­mer Vir­ginia Tech bio­med­ical engi­neer­ing Ph.D. stu­dent, and Chang Lu, the Fred W. Bull pro­fes­sor of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing at Vir­ginia Tech. Cred­it: Vir­ginia Tech

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Epi­ge­net­ic Changes Guide Devel­op­ment of Dif­fer­ent Brain Regions (Dana Foun­da­tion):

It’s one of the great­est stand­ing mys­ter­ies in neu­ro­science: Giv­en that each cell in the human body con­tains the same DNA, how, exact­ly, does the brain devel­op into dis­tinct func­tion­al regions, sup­port­ed by dif­fer­ent cell types? And how might that devel­op­men­tal pro­gram go awry, result­ing in neu­rode­vel­op­men­tal dis­or­ders like schiz­o­phre­nia or autism? The answers may be the epigenome Read the rest of this entry »

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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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