To Remember, the Brain Must Actively Forget

August 8th, 2018 - By jen in Uncategorized

What hasn’t received nearly as much atten­tion from memory researchers is how the brain forgets. “The vast majority of the things that are happening to me in my life — the conscious expe­ri­ence I’m having right now — I’m most likely not going to remember when I’m 80,” said Michael Anderson, a memory researcher at the Univer­sity of Cambridge, who has been studying forget­ting since … Continue reading

Escape to another world

August 2nd, 2018 - By jen in Uncategorized

As video games get better and job prospects worse, more young men are drop­ping out of the job market to spend their time in an alter­nate reality. Ryan Avent suspects this is the begin­ning of some­thing big Read full article: The Econ­o­mist 1843, “Escape to another world.”

Endless Gaming May Be a Bad Habit. That Doesn’t Make It a Mental Illness.

July 23rd, 2018 - By jen in Uncategorized

The World Health Orga­ni­za­tion last month added “internet gaming disorder” to its manual of psychi­atric diag­noses, and the reac­tion was, shall we say, muted.  At a time when millions of grown adults exchange one-liners with Siri or Alexa, the diag­nosis seems years overdue, doesn’t it? Read full article, The New York Times, “Endless Gaming May Be a Bad Habit. That Doesn’t Make It a Mental … Continue reading

Traveling” Brain Waves May Be Critical for Cognition

July 3rd, 2018 - By jen in Uncategorized

The elec­trical oscil­la­tions we call brain waves have intrigued scien­tists and the public for more than a century. But their function—and even whether they have one, rather than just reflecting brain activity like an engine’s hum—is still debated. Many neuro­sci­en­tists have assumed that if brain waves do anything, it is by oscil­lating in synchrony in different loca­tions. Yet a growing body of research suggests many … Continue reading

4 simple exercises to strengthen your attention and reduce distractibility

June 25th, 2018 - By jen in Uncategorized

Our atten­tion gets hijacked by every­thing from the stress in our lives to the ding of our phones. Neuro­sci­en­tist Amishi Jha shows how we can culti­vate the ability to focus on what really matters. “I think, there­fore I am distracted.” Read full article: TEDEd Lessons Worth Sharing, “4 simple exer­cises to strengthen your atten­tion and reduce distractibility.”    

What to Do When a Loved One Is Severely Depressed

June 18th, 2018 - By jen in Uncategorized

Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of…But deep in the comment threads, some have also been debating a more uncom­fort­able ques­tion: What do you do when a friend is depressed for such a long time that you’ve started to feel that that nothing you can do will make a differ­ence, and your empathy reserves are tapped out? There are no easy answers. Read full … Continue reading

Music Lessons Improve Children’s Cognitive Skills, Academic Performance

May 10th, 2018 - By jen in Athletic/Performance Enhancement, Uncategorized

Struc­tured music lessons signif­i­cantly enhance children’s cogni­tive abil­i­ties, including language-based reasoning, short-term memory, plan­ning and inhi­bi­tion, which lead to improved acad­emic perfor­mance. Published in Fron­tiers in Neuro­science, the research is the first large-scale, longi­tu­dinal study to be adapted into the regular school curriculum. Visual arts lessons were also found to signif­i­cantly improve children’s visual and spatial memory. Read full article: Labo­ra­tory Equip­ment, “Music Lessons Improve … Continue reading

The compelling case for working a lot less

April 9th, 2018 - By jen in Uncategorized

Researchers are learning that it doesn’t just mean that the work we produce at the end of a 14-hour day is of worse quality than when we’re fresh. This pattern of working also under­mines our creativity and our cogni­tion. Over time, it can make us feel phys­i­cally sick – and even, iron­i­cally, as if we have no purpose. Read full article: BBC, “The compelling case … Continue reading

Poor grades tied to class times that don’t match our biological clocks

April 2nd, 2018 - By jen in Uncategorized

It may be time to tailor students’ class sched­ules to their natural biolog­ical rhythms, according to a new study from UC Berkeley and North­eastern Illi­nois Univer­sity.  Researchers tracked the personal daily online activity profiles of nearly 15,000 college students as they logged into campus servers. After sorting the students into “night owls,” “daytime finches” and “morning larks” — based on their activ­i­ties on days they … Continue reading

UMass Medical School Creates First Division of Mindfulness

February 24th, 2018 - By jen in Uncategorized

As the bar for research on mind­ful­ness raises dramat­i­cally, a big change at the Univer­sity of Mass­a­chu­setts unites top-tier minds with increased resources to study meditation’s ther­a­peutic poten­tial. Read full article: mindful:healthy mind, healthy life, “UMass Medical School Creates First Divi­sion of Mind­ful­ness.”