aging

This Is Your Brain on Stress

Hey there. It’s me, your brain. Thanks for taking me on this walk in the woods, it’s just what I needed. Ah, nature. So lovely. So relaxing. Wait, wow, what was that noise? Over there, coming from those bushes right next to the path? That huge thing covered in black fur, rearing up on its hind legs and baring its teeth? A bear, you say? Okay. No problem. […]

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Tell Your Brain To Take A Hike

Of course, the restorative effects of nature have long been known, if not scientifically proven. What better way to take a break from our harried modern routines than spend a weekend in the country? It may seem obvious, but when science investigates common sense it often yields uncommon insights. Would you have thought, for example […]

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Balance Your Energy … And Your Brain

Calmness and assertiveness are the energies of the two main branches of our autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system plays a major role in sensory awareness, emotions, behaviors and basic organ-system functioning. Its two main branches are the sympathetic and parasympathetic, and they are managed by subcortical brain structures. […]

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Epigenetics: Where Consciousness Meets DNA

The study of epigenetics is illuminating more of the intricacies of how our genes affect, and are affected by, our life. “Epi” comes from Greek, meaning “upon,” “over,” or “near,” so epigenetics is the study of mechanisms “on top of” or “near” the classical mechanisms that affect gene expression. I […]

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Your Brainwaves On Sleep

We all know good sleep is important, but what is sleep? There are some who believe sleep is nothing more than a random waste of otherwise productive time. “Sleep … Oh! How I loathe those little slices of death,” is a quote attributed to Edgar Allan Poe. Increasingly, sleep is being recognized not as “little slices of death” but as essential fuel-up time […]

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Colorful Language: How Synesthetes Perceive Words

Although the phenomenon of synesthesia has been known for centuries, it is only in the last 20 years or so (since scientists developed brain-imaging technology) that synesthesia has been seriously studied. In 1995, Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, a Cambridge University neuroscientist, headed a team that undertook brain-imaging studies […]

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Using Your Brain to Control Stress

The brain is both the source of stress and the key to managing it. Stress is a biological response to a challenging physical or emotional situation. Studies have shown that stress is dependent on the amount of control a person feels she or he has over a situation. People who feel powerless, confused or overwhelmed have much higher than average levels of stress. […]

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Call in the (Cognitive) Reserves!

How many paths does your brain have? Our thoughts run across a massive, diverse network of synaptic pathways, with trillions of synapses that form a staggering number of possible connections. Every human brain has more potential synaptic combinations than there are atoms in the universe […]