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The Alchemy of Language

There is real evidence that learning a language improves our cognitive abilities, promotes intelligence, improves memory, as well as problem solving and attention skills — all simultaneously (according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages), and may even help prevent age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. [ … ]

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Own Your Health!

We tend to see a doctor at the last possible moment — when we feel we’re too sick to brave the morning commute, or when we have to be rushed to the ER. If we’re feeling depressed, we usually just hope we can feel better soon … or may not give it any thought at all. [ … ]

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Learning to Eat Less

When you think about getting healthier or losing weight, tricking your brain probably isn’t on the list of things you’ve chosen to do. But it might be the most important. Research shows that a lot of how you eat and drink affects the way your brain processes that information and how it subsequently asks the rest of your body to treat it. [ … ]

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(Anti-)Social Media: How Social Networks Affect Our Neural Networks

We like to think we are fairly rational and sensible beings, unable to be puppeteered by the internet, but neuroscientists are quickly unveiling how social media networks significantly affect our neural networks and motivate certain behaviors. One candidate in particular understood how to use this hook to his advantage, and built a campaign on rage instead of reason — garnering millions of supporters along the way. You might not have seen it coming, but the science of social media did. [ … ]

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The Inward Eye: Imitating the Brain

Some time ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Daniel Amen — author, brain-disorder specialist, and psychiatrist who founded Amen Clinics — who reminded me that the brain is perhaps the only organ that specialists almost never have physical contact with, let alone that they see. “Psychiatrists are really the only practitioners who never look at the organ they treat,” he told me, “and because of that, they hurt people.” [ … ]

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Finding Yourself: Body Schemas and More

Somewhere in our heads, a constant mental narrative tells us where we are, if we’re upside down, where our physical self stops and where the surrounding world begins. Body awareness, also called the body schema or corporeal awareness, is essential for a host of functions that don’t get much attention [ … ]

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The Neuroscience of Lying

Lying is natural. It’s actually pretty necessary for our survival. Can you imagine always having to tell the truth? “How old do you think I am?” or “Do you like my cooking?” are questions we don’t always want to answer honestly, and so we don’t. While additional inquires are often suspended after [ … ]