Meditation and daydreaming boosts future learning

A new study from The University of Texas at Austin has shown that daydreaming and resting the mind (which I somewhat equate with meditation) not only helps strengthening memories and their storage, but also improves future learning.The team had participants do two learning taskes that required memorization. One group of participants was free to rest and think about anything between taskes. Those who used the free time to reflect on what they had learned during the day performed better in tests the second time. ...more

Don't wait until cardiac arrest reduces your brain function; Protect Your Brain NOW!

Here are some things you can do NOW to improve brain function later if you or your loved one goes into cardiac arrest:1. Make sure they're getting enough vitamin D. A recent study of patients who were resuscitated after sudden cardiac arrest found that those who were deficient in vitamin D were at higher risk for poor brain function (or death).SOURCE:

Do you struggle with procrastination? Take this test

This is a great piece about Caroline, a woman who struggled with serious procrastination and starting projects only to not finish them. A friend called her "butterfly brain" and her brother would call unfinished projects "a Caroline job."So she contacted the Boston Attention and Learning Lab and they brought her in for brain training. In this case, it wasn't one-on-one cognitive skills training, but rather "zapping" her head with an electromagnet for 8 minutes and some online brain training....more

Decoy drug created new brain connections in adult mice

Big news for the future of blindness, strokes and Alzheimer's (and perhaps many others)!Scientists at Stanford Bio-X created a decoy drug that mimics PirB (a protein), which allowed the brains of adult mice to create new connections in the brain. Besides the obvious implications for stroke and TBI victims, there's also a lot of excitement in terms of Alzheimer's. ...more

The link between gum disease and Alzheimer's

Plaque is plaque when it comes to your body.A new study (2014) corraborated previous studies linking gum inflammation and Alzheimer's.In this study, the researchers found that 2 of the 3 types of bacteria that cause gum disease have also been found in the brain. Apparently, the either hop into the bloodstream or move directly up the nerve that runs from the tooth to the brain....more

Celiac disease may be affecting your brain

A woman in front of me at the grocery store was telling me her son was on the autism spectrum. I mentioned something about the correlation with autism and digestive issues and allergies and she looked shocked. "I've never heard that!" she said. "So kids with autism are more likely to have allergies? And digestive problems?" I was shocked her pediatrician hadn't mentioned it.So when I ran across this article on celiac and the brain, I knew there would surely be some mention of autism (which there is), but I found out some other interesting things, such as:...more

Long-term study on exercise improving kids' cognitive skills

There have been quite a few short-term studies on exercise and improved cognitive skills, but these researchers wanted a long-term study that proved causation (not just association). So they went to an elementary school and recruited 220 kids between 8 and 9. (This is thought to be an important age because it's when the brain "experiences a leap" in executive function.)...more

Fibromyalgia sufferers have hypersensitivity to non-painful events

Yes, it's another post about fibromyalgia. But apparently I hit a nerve (excuse the pun) in a GOOD way when I wrote about some of the latest fibromyalgia research.So here's more research:In a  new study, neuroscientists used fMRIs to look at the brain's response to visual, auditory and tactile stimulation in 35 women with fibromyalgia (and 25 women without it). Most had endured the disease for 7 years and the mean age of the participants was 47....more

Is your child struggling in school? Find out why and how to help.

I just ran across this site with 5 super-short videos (each is between about 40-60 seconds!) that actually have some interesting info on learning struggles.'s a quick summary of the first 2 videos:Video #1 (1 minute, 3 seconds)Question: Why does a child experience academic difficulties?Answer: There are 3 reasons: 1. Content - For example, if families move a lot and a child missed certain material, such as pre-algebra...more

How curiosity makes learning easier

New research in the Oct. 2 issue of "Neuron" explains why the more curious we are about something, the easier it is to learn it.Why? When our curiosity is stimulated, the brain circuit related to rewards has more activity. The researchers also found that when the study participants were curious, they had more activity in the hippocampus (which deals with forming memories) and more interaction between the hippocampus and the reward system....more