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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 »

Meta-analysis finds value in teaching the science of neuroplasticity, especially for math achievement among at-risk students

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The ‘Brain’ in Growth Mind­set: Does Teach­ing Stu­dents Neu­ro­science Help? (Edu­ca­tion Week):

Teach­ing stu­dents the sci­ence of how their brains change over time can help them see intel­li­gence as some­thing they can devel­op, rather than innate and unchange­able, finds a new analy­sis of 10 sep­a­rate stud­ies online in the jour­nal Trends in Neu­ro­science and Edu­ca­tion.

Teach­ing stu­dents the con­cept of neuroplasticity—the abil­i­ty of the brain to make new neur­al con­nec­tions as a result of experience—is a com­mon tac­tic in help­ing stu­dents devel­op a so-called “growth” rather than “fixed” mind­set … on aver­age, such inter­ven­tions improved stu­dents’ moti­va­tion, they par­tic­u­lar­ly ben­e­fit­ed stu­dents and sub­jects which pri­or stud­ies have shown are at high risk of devel­op­ing a fixed mind­set. Read the rest of this entry »

Update: 200 common prescription medications increase depression risk

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Dear read­er,

Time for Sharp­Brains e-newslet­ter.

It’s been a busy month, once again bring­ing to the fore­front the lim­i­ta­tions of our cur­rent health­care sys­tem and, on the pos­i­tive side, the grow­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to improve Brain Health and Men­tal Health for all, if we pay atten­tion to (and act on) lat­est research, think­ing and tools.

New tools:

 

Final­ly, we invite you to tease your mind with these four opti­cal illu­sions. Sur­pris­ing, aren’t they?

Have a great month of July,

 

The Sharp­Brains Team

Wearable brain scanners to enable broader, easier, cheaper access to neuroimaging

Cred­it: Uni­ver­si­ty of Not­ting­ham

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This Brain Scan­ner Is Way Small­er Than fMRI but Some­how 1,000% Creepi­er (Giz­mo­do):

It may look like some­thing befit­ting Halloween’s Michael Myers, but the device pic­tured above is actu­al­ly a break­through in neuroscience—a portable, wear­able brain scan­ner that can mon­i­tor neur­al activ­i­ty while a per­son is mov­ing Read the rest of this entry »

Mind-wandering may help enhance creativity, job performance and general well-being, studies show

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When writ­ing a song or a piece of prose, I often choose to let my mind wan­der, hop­ing the muse will strike. If it does, it not only moves my work along but feels great, too!

That’s why I was trou­bled by stud­ies that found an asso­ci­a­tion between mind-wan­der­ing and prob­lems like unhap­pi­ness and depression—and even a short­er life expectan­cy. This research sug­gests that focus­ing one’s thoughts on the present moment is linked to well-being, while spac­ing out—which I per­son­al­ly love to do—is not.

Now, new stud­ies are bring­ing nuance to this sci­ence. Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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