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A (Very) Brief History of Neuroscience

The great Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle believed that our consciousness, imagination and memory was rooted in the human heart. It was a belief he shared with the ancient Egyptians, whose Book of the Dead endorses carefully preserving the heart of a mummy, but recommends scooping out and discarding the brain. […]

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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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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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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 […]