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Best predictor of sustained weight-loss? Prefrontal cortex activation

Fig­ure 3. Weight Loss at Month 1 Cor­re­lat­ed with Changes in BOLD in Regions Asso­ci­at­ed with Cog­ni­tive Con­trol. Cred­it: Selin Neselil­er et al

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New research sug­gests that high­er-lev­el brain func­tions have a major role in los­ing weight. In a study among 24 par­tic­i­pants at a weight-loss clin­ic, those who achieved great­est suc­cess in terms of weight loss demon­strat­ed more activ­i­ty in the brain regions of the lat­er­al pre­frontal cor­tex asso­ci­at­ed with self-con­trol. Read the rest of this entry »

Six tips for social-emotional learning (SEL) to transfer into real-world skills

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Social-emo­tion­al learn­ing (SEL) teach­es the key atti­tudes and skills nec­es­sary for under­stand­ing and man­ag­ing emo­tions, lis­ten­ing, feel­ing and show­ing empa­thy for oth­ers, and mak­ing thought­ful, respon­si­ble deci­sions. For five years, I was an edu­ca­tor in the field teach­ing mind­ful­ness and emo­tion­al skills to teenagers at six dif­fer­ent high schools.

Over and over, I saw the pow­er of mind­ful­ness to trans­form the inner lives of stu­dents. Stu­dents became less stressed, more self-reg­u­lat­ed, and more thought­ful toward their class­mates. But I also saw that Read the rest of this entry »

Quick, interactive brain teaser to test your concentration and cognitive flexibility

Here is a fun and inter­ac­tive ver­sion of the famous Stroop test, often used in neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal eval­u­a­tions to mea­sure response inhi­bi­tion and cog­ni­tive flex­i­bil­ity. Per­form­ing well on the test requires strong con­cen­tra­tion and self-reg­u­la­tion. Read the rest of this entry »

Mindfulness or Mind Control at Work?

Richard Davidson at the Mindfulness & Well-Being at Work conference on November 13-14, 2015, in Berkeley, California. Photo: Auey Santos

–Richard David­son at the Mind­ful­ness & Well-Being at Work con­fer­ence on Novem­ber 13–14, 2015, in Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia. Pho­to: Auey San­tos


 

There’s a back­lash brew­ing against mind­ful­ness at work.

Cor­po­ra­tions have jumped on the mind­ful­ness band­wag­on because it con­ve­nient­ly shifts the bur­den onto the indi­vid­ual employ­ee,” write Ron Purs­er and David Loy in the Huff­in­g­ton Post. “Stress is framed as a per­son­al prob­lem, and mind­ful­ness is offered as just the right med­i­cine to help employ­ees work more effi­cient­ly and calm­ly with­in tox­ic envi­ron­ments.” Read the rest of this entry »

Would Warren Buffett be a highly viable Presidential candidate?

BrainLifecycle_web

My col­league Dr. Murali Doraiswamy just wrote an excel­lent opin­ion piece for The New York Times: With Age Comes Wis­dom, and Some Con­cerns For Can­di­dates.

He ends it up say­ing that, “As Hen­ry Ford not­ed, “Any­one who stops learn­ing is old, whether at 20 or 80. Any­one who keeps learn­ing stays young.” We should shift the debate away from wor­ry­ing about the age of our can­di­dates and focus instead on their cog­ni­tive skill set and prac­ti­cal wis­dom.”

I couldn’t agree more with those wise words.

warren-buffetBut, I do dis­agree with the words just pre­ced­ing them: “War­ren Buf­fett, at the age of 85, would still be a high­ly viable can­di­date, should he choose to run.”

To see why I disagree–and why it matters–let me syn­the­size some recent research on brain health, cog­ni­tion and aging. 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 and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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