■ Brain improvement isn’t only for grown-ups. Nickelodeon, the cable channel for kids, features Brain Surge, a show where kids compete in three levels of challenges, like figuring out which soda can in a row of four was shaken up (so it can be poured on a grown-up’s head!). A wrong answer could mean a trip down the Brain Drain, or a “Face Wall” suck!
You can also play Brain Drain games online to test your memory and speed, with such unusual competitions as a nose-picking game (which of the students in the class is not picking his/her nose) or a bird-drop game, where you must figure out how many times a bird pooped on the women in the beach chair.
To watch: nick.com/videos/clip/episode-123-clip.html
To play: nick.com/games/brainsurge-games
ON THE WEB
BRAINBLOGGER.COM: Topics from Multidimensional Biopsychosocial perspectives
■ Brain Blogger aggregates health news and articles from a biological, psychological, sociological, technological and economical perspectives. Dr. Shaheen Lakhan serves as editor of Brain Blogger and executive director of the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation (GNIF). Contributors include psychotherapists, parents, neurosurgeons, patients, nurses, lawyers and scientists. Recent topics include:
• Why Some Human Brains Become Leaders, While Others Followers?
• “I Feel Your Pain”—The Neural Basis of Empathy
• The Evolution of Depression
• Speaking in Tongues—A Neural Snapshot
• Is Your Doctor Happy or Burnt Out?
For example, in “The Neurobiology of Social Anxiety Disorder,” by molecular biologist Divya Mathur, PhD: “Clinically it is not difficult to diagnose SAD [Social Anxiety Disorder] but its causes are not yet clearly understood. The cortico-limbic and cortico-striatal circuits are composed of the temporal brain structures such as the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and striatum. They are responsible for a range of cognitive and affective processes regarding attention, memory, judgment and interpretation about self and others. It is believed that in people suffering from SAD, these circuits send distorted assumptions in response to random images of human faces, suggesting a system sensitive not only to harmful stimuli but also to stimuli that are considered affectively neutral.”
For more information: brainblogger.com
ON THE RADIO
■ Want to test your brain when you’re listening to the radio in the car—or on your iPod? Tune in to (or download) National Public Radio’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, the weekly hourlong quiz program where you can test your knowledge against people in the news and entertainment world. Try to discern what’s real and what is made up just for fun.
Questions include news items like this one: “More tough news for the airline industry. On top of volcanic ash clouds and carry-on luggage charges, it seems most of airliners in the world are…what?”
• Near or past technical obsolescence dates
• Rusting through in undercarriage areas
• Wasting 70 percent more of their jet fuel
• Held together with duct tape
Answer: *Held together with duct tape (called “high-speed tape” in the industry).
Play along: npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=35
Download the podcasts: npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=5183214