“The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is probably the most widely used personality test in the world…The only problem? The test is completely meaningless… [Read more…] about Debunking Myers-Briggs personality test: Can we pigeonhole people?
A rare aha moment in 2011 set me chasing new problem-solving research. The study Rational Versus Intuitive Problem-Solving: How Thinking ‘Off the Beaten Path’ Can Stimulate Creativity published in Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts stung me out of a spot of intellectual arrogance. From my perspective, John Dewey’s 19th century step-wise [Read more…] about Why Agile Minds Deploy Both Rational and Intuitive Problem-Solving
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CNN: Aging boomers fuel ‘brain fitness’ explosion: An excellent article via Associated Press exploring why the brain fitness market passed a tipping point in 2007 and predicting future trends building on our market report.
Brain Age: Great Game, Wrong Concept: One reason why we believe the field will keep growing is because we are seeing more tools available than ever before to assess and train a variety of cognitive skills. The bad news (is this really news?) is that we shouldn’t be expecting magic pills and that “brain age” is a fiction. [Read more…] about Brain Fitness Update: Why We Need Walking Book Clubs
We just secured an interview with Ori Brafman, co-author of Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior (Doubleday Business, 2008), to discuss our Dark Side (well, he calls it “different hidden forces” and “psychological undercurrents”).
While reading some reviews about his book, I particularly enjoyed finding, after the usual impressive long collection of endorsements, this “disclaimer”:
*DISCLAIMER: If you decide to buy this book because of these endorsements, you just got swayed. One of the psychological forces you’ll read about in Sway is our tendency to place a higher value on opinions from people in positions of prominence, power, or authority. (But you should still buy the book.)
Dear Mr or Mrs Next US President,
We are glad to welcome you to our blog carnival. After a short hiatus, Encephalon is back and gathering steam. We have prepared this “revival” edition just for you, so you can be well informed and impress us all during the upcoming Sciencedebate 2008.
Without further ado, let’s proceed to the questions posed by 24 bloggers on neuroscience and psychology issues. We hope they provide, at the very least, good mental stimulation for you and your advisors.
Do I deserve to vote even if I don’t have Free Will? (Marc at Neuroscientifically Challenged).
If culture sculpts our brains, what can our brains do to refine our culture first? (Stephanie at Brains On Purpose).
Is God more than a flying brain? (Jessica at bioephemera).
Is Your brain really reading This? (Pete at Brain Hammer).
A Few Intrusive Questions
Do you play any musical instrument? (Megan at SharpBrains).
The New YorkerÃ‚Â April 30thÃ‚Â issue includes a superb article on The Way We Age Now: Can medicine serve an aging population?.Ã‚Â Atul GawandeÃ‚Â provides a great (and a bit depressing) survey on the geriatrics field: more and more need for practitioners, with less and less supply.
now,Ã‚Â a couple of quotes and data points that are very relevant to our efforts around healthy brain aging.
- “for most of our hundred-thousand-year existence—all but the past couple of hundred years—the average life span of human beings has been thirty years or less. (Research suggests that subjects of the Roman Empire had an average life expectancy of twenty-eight years.)”
- “Inheritance has surprisingly little influence on longevity. James Vaupel, of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, in Rostock, Germany, notes that only six per cent of how long you’ll live, compared with the average, is explained by your parents’ longevity; by contrast, up to ninety per cent of how tall you are, compared with the average, is explained by your parents’ height. Even genetically identical twins vary widely in life span: the typical gap is more than fifteen years.”
Fascinating. First, let’s appreciate our incredible life expectancy today; we are literally pushing the envelop of how to maintain healthy brains and bodies. By historical standards, many of us are living on “borrowed” time. Second, there you have some evidence for the importance of our experience and our lifestyle on how long we live. In terms of healthy aging, on average, nurture seems to be at least as important as nature, and the one more in our control to take action today.
You can learn more on the Successful Aging of the Healthy Brain: a beautiful essay by Marian Diamond onÃ‚Â how to keep our brains and mindsÃ‚Â active and fit throughout our lives.
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