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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 […]

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The Violent Brain: Ingredients of a Mass Murderer

Researchers have posed the same questions and, with recent scientific advancements, have been able to note personality-based, neurological and even genetic-based commonalities in these violent individuals. Most experts will agree that there isn’t a single determining factor that creates a mass murderer, but when multiple triggers are combined, a killer is born. […]

aging

The Mind Always Grows

“Grams, are you still growing?” my 4-year-old grandson recently asked me. Did his parents tell him that when you get older you stop growing, i.e., that you don’t get taller? Or did he think that because one of his grandparents had passed away a few weeks earlier […]

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Meet Your Brain’s GPS: The Hippocampus

Your brain probably doesn’t enjoy waking up early anymore than you do — a complicated task of taking in the first daylight and establishing your surroundings, just before you check your alarm clock and realize you’ve got about a half hour until your morning commute. From then on, there’s probably a hundred other decisions […]

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Tuning in to the Earth’s Natural Rhythm

Do you feel generally happier and more peaceful when you’re out in nature, away from noise, traffic jams and neon lights? It is not just that you left the city behind. Or that you’re a person who likes nature. In nature, your body more easily tunes into the Earth’s frequency and can restore, revitalize and heal itself more effectively. […]