… The Imperial study was one of a spate of clinical trials launched over the past few years using illicit psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and MDMA (3,4‑methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as molly or ecstasy) to treat mental-health disorders, generally with the close guidance of a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. The idea has been around for decades — or centuries in some cultures — but the momentum has picked up drastically over the past few years as investors and scientists have begun to champion the approach again. [Read more…] about Next: Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy?
In the early days of COVID-19, we faced many difficult decisions in everyday life: trying to weigh risk and decide whether to meet up or stay home, send kids to school or visit the gym. Now that my home state of California has its “shelter in place” order—and many other cities and states are in various stages of lockdown—a waiting period has taken shape.
In some ways, this is a relief—our minds get decision fatigue in the face of so many choices. Now we have our instructions, which are restrictive but useful to our brains. But many other types of uncertainty still remain, about things like our jobs, whether we will get sick even while taking precautions, or when we will see our loved ones and return to some normal routines.
Dr. Adrian Preda, our newest Expert Contributor, writes today the first in a series of thought-provoking articles, challenging us to think about physical exercise as the best and most unappreciated form of “brain exercise”. A superb article.
And one thing is clear, he points out: “the brain really likes it when itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s asked to be Ã¢â‚¬Å“activeÃ¢â‚¬Â. Passive audiences, which are spoon fed information, score less well when tested on retention and understanding of the presented material than audiences that were kept engaged through the process.”
So, will you write a comment below and contribute to an engaging conversation? Thoughts? reactions? questions?
DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ignore plain old common sense.
Brain Lessons Part 1
– By Adrian Preda, M.D.
Let me start with a list of common biases: expensive is better than cheap, free is of dubious value (why would then be free?), rare is likely to be valuable, and while new is better than old, ancient is always best. Which explains a common scenario that is reenacted about twice a week in my office. It starts like this: a patient shows me a fancy looking bottle of the brain supplement of the week: ancient roots with obscure names mixed together in another novel combination which you can exclusively find in that one and only store (rarity oblige!). And not to forget: it ainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t cheap either! Of course, there it is, the perfect the recipe for success: ancient yet new, rare and expensive. It got to be good! But is it, really?
A fun article from the BBC highlights some of the latest entries to the 2.5 billion-word database of words in the Collins English Dictionary, 9th edition.
We were of course biased and happy to see “brainfood” as a newly minted word. According to Webster’s New MillenniumÃ¢â€žÂ¢ Dictionary of English, they define “brain food”:
Part of Speech: n
Definition: any food that is considered to aid intelligence, memory, or creativity; by extension, any intellectual sustenance
We’d like to add SharpBrains to the list of brain foods! If you need some puzzles to pick up your mental metabolism, see how you do on these. Or maybe delve into some science and see if that expands your mental waistline a bit. Just save room for dessert!