University tries out "walking" seminars to boost learning

Leave it to Sweden to try a healthy, mature approach to learning!When the computer science faculty was challenged to increase physical activity, a professor at KTH Royal Instiute of Technology in Stockholm decided to try a "walking seminar."Professor Olle Balter began with 10 students, who he taught media technology as they walked through a wooded park near campus. He said he immediately noticed a difference in participation, especially when the class was split into smaller groups....more

OTC sleep aids linked to dementia

Over the last few years, you may have heard about the dangers of Ambien (a prescription sleep aid), but new research now says that over-the-counter sleep aids have their own downside: they're linked to dementia.Research from the University of Washington School of Pharmacy in Seattle found a significant correlation between an increased risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's and high use of anitcholinergic drugs. These drugs include OTC sleep aids and the antihistamine Benadryl....more
I read about this too! The first thing I thought about was - if something as simple as these OTC ...more

New research say eating fish during pregnancy may BOOST, not impair, development

When I was pregnant, I ate a limited amount of certain fish (like tuna) with mercury in it. I took DHA instead, at the insistence of my mother, who is a Registered Dietician.But a newly released study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has the FDA and international agencies revising guidelines related to fish consumption during pregnancy....more

Can these 6 foods make you smarter?

I ran across this article in The Telegraph (UK) called "Brain food: 6 snacks that are good for the mind" (with a subtitle "What can you eat to make you smarter?") I agree with the 6 foods they listed, I have three issues:1. I'm not sure I'd consider salmon to be a snack. (Well, maybe some smoked salmon on a cracker or something.)...more

What the heck is "attribute amnesia"? (HINT: You probably have it a lot!)

Today is one of those days that I've convinced myself I'm a horrible mother.First, my 7-year-old son tried to eat a lollipop as we were getting in the car for the drive to school. Then, when we got to school he informed me that he had forgotten his coat. It is 19 degrees out. He had a sweatshirt on--and a winter hat--so I told him "too bad." I didn't have time to go home. (Don't bother calling child services. The school is probably already dialing their number.) [In my defense, they probably won't have outdoor recess anyway.]...more

New study find exercise improves the brain in women 18-30

There's been a lot of talk about how exercise helps  kids' brains and older adults' brains, but until recently, there wasn't a lot about "young adults" (18-30).A new study from the University of Otago in New Zealand finally took on the task of studying this group - in particular, women between 18 and 30.The researchers discovered that those who exercised regularly had more oxygen available in the front lobe of the brain and did better on difficult tasks (compared to their peers who exercised less).In this case, "regular exercise" means at least 5x/week....more

National Puzzle Day: Which brain skills do puzzles help?

January 29, 2015 is National Puzzle Day and by celebrating the day, you may be helping your child's cognitive skills (e.g., visual processing, logic & reasoning, processing speed, attention, memory and auditory processing)....more

The best learning time for infants? Just before a nap

Researchers studied how sleep affected learning and memory skills for 216 infants (6-12 months). They went to each baby's house twice within 4-24 hours. The first time, they showed the babies hwo to remove and play with a mitten that was on a hand puppet.The second time, they watched to see if the babies would remember how it works: removing and playing with the mitten.They found that the babies who had a 30-minute nap within 4 hours of learning the mitten task had better memory recall than the babies who hadn't napped. ...more

Train your brain to keep your resolutions!

If you've struggled to keep your New Year's resolutions in the past, perhaps it's time to try a new approach. I ran across this article about making your resolutions stick in 2015 and it had some good tips. ...more

Scientists discover potential to restore memories lost due to early Alzheimer's

It what may be considered a major breakthrough, some researchers at UCLA have found that they could restore lost memories in snails by triggering the regrowth of synapses. (Snails are oddly similar to humans in their cellular and molecular functions). Although most researchers believe that long-term memories are stored in the synapses, this new research indicates that the memories may actually be stored in the neurons. That's because they were able to bring back those lost memories when new synapses were created....more