Summary of “How long to do cardio exercise to get benefits”

Aerobic exercise, or “Cardio,” might be the closest thing to a miracle drug that we have.
“Aerobic exercise … has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress,” the authors of an article in the Harvard Medical School blog “Mind and Mood” wrote.
Aa recent paper looked at the exercise habits of hundreds of breast cancer survivors who were experiencing symptoms like “Chemo brain,” which involves memory loss and trouble focusing.
The researchers found that as little as 30 minutes of an aerobic exercise like walking was linked with significantly better performance on cognitive quizzes.
A study in the British Medical Journal found that in adults over 50, the best results for the brain appeared to come from a routine that combined aerobic exercises with resistance training and lasted at least 45 minutes.
Researchers still aren’t sure why this type of exercise appears to provide a boost to the brain, but some studies suggest it has to do with increased blood flow, which provides our minds with fresh energy and oxygen.
One recent study in older women who displayed potential symptoms of dementia also found that aerobic exercise was linked with an increase in the size of the hippocampus, a brain area involved in learning and memory.
Joe Northey, the lead author of the British study and an exercise scientist at the University of Canberra, said his research suggests that anyone in good health over age 50 should do 45 minutes to an hour of aerobic exercise “On as many days of the week as feasible.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Scientist Who Studied Einstein’s Brain Learned That These 5 Factors Make You Smarter”

In 1985, American scientist Marian Diamond studied the brain of Albert Einstein and found an answer.
We’re used to talking about neurons when referring to the brain, but we also have what are called glial cells.
In Greek, glia means “Glue.” Glial cells were given their name because we thought they did little more than just hold the brain together.
Einstein’s brain did not contain more neurons overall than the average person’s.
We have always assumed that a synapse, the point where two brain cells join to carry information, is made up of two brain cells.
A synapse is made of two brain cells – and an astrocyte.
One astrocyte can be in contact with two million synapses, coordinating their activity and plasticity across vast realms of the human brain – and contributing to our intelligence.
During her career as a professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, Diamond concluded that five factors were crucial for healthy astrocytes – and for the human brain to thrive at any age: a good diet, exercise, challenge, novelty – and love.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Learning to Learn: You, Too, Can Rewire Your Brain”

Dr. Oakley is not the only person teaching students how to use tools drawn from neuroscience to enhance learning.
Many of her online students are 25 to 44 years old, likely to be facing career changes in an unforgiving economy and seeking better ways to climb new learning curves.
Sitting in the Oakleys’ comfortable living room, with its solid Mission furniture and mementos of their world travels, Dr. Oakley said she believes that just about anyone can train himself to learn.
Dr. Oakley recounts her journey in both of her best-selling books: “A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science” and, out this past spring, “Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential.” The new book is about learning new skills, with a focus on career switchers.
Dr. Oakley is already planning her next book, another guide to learning how to learn but aimed at 10- to 13-year-olds.
“We don’t have learning clubs. I just think that teaching kids how to learn is one of the greatest things we can possibly do.”
Four Techniques to Help You LearnFOCUS/DON’T The brain has two modes of thinking that Dr. Oakley simplifies as “Focused,” in which learners concentrate on the material, and “Diffuse,” a neural resting state in which consolidation occurs – that is, the new information can settle into the brain.
Dr. Oakley teaches that even thinking about doing things we dislike activates the pain centers of the brain.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What’s Wrong with Emotional Intelligence”

To teach emotional intelligence in a modern fashion, we need to acknowledge this variation and make sure your brain is well-equipped to make sense of it automatically.
Books and articles on emotional intelligence claim that your brain has an inner core that you inherited from reptiles, wrapped in a wild, emotional layer that you inherited from mammals, all enrobed in-and controlled by-a logical layer that is uniquely human.
To improve our understanding of emotional intelligence, we must discard the idea of the brain as a battlefield.
A reasonable, science-backed way to define and practice emotional intelligence comes from a modern, neuroscientific view of brain function called construction: the observation that your brain creates all thoughts, emotions, and perceptions, automatically and on the fly, as needed.
Emotional intelligence requires a brain that can use prediction to manufacture a large, flexible array of different emotions.
The more emotions that you know, the more finely your brain can construct emotional meaning automatically from other people’s actions.
How do you enable your brain to create a wider variety of emotions and improve your emotional intelligence? One approach is to learn new emotion words.
Two decades ago, when Emotional Intelligence hit the bestseller list, scientists didn’t know about the predicting brain, or that the words you hear affect how your brain is wired, and emotional granularity was only newly discovered.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Best exercise for your brain and body”

A wealth of recent research, including a new study published this month, suggests that any type of exercise that raises your heart rate and gets you moving and sweating for a sustained period of time – known as aerobic exercise – has a significant, overwhelmingly beneficial impact on the brain.
At the end of a week, people who’d done aerobic exercise every day were not only significantly less tired than those who did little to no exercise, but also did significantly better on the app’s quizzes.
“The message for cancer patients and survivors is, get active!” said Diane Ehlers, the lead author on the study and a professor of exercise psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, in a statement.
Still, the evidence that aerobic workouts have a wide range of potential beneficial impacts on the brain – from reducing the symptoms of depression to strengthening connections in parts of the brain linked with memory – is robust and growing.
If you’re over 50, a study in the British Medical Journal suggests the best results come from combining aerobic and resistance exercise, which could include anything from high-intensity interval training, like the 7-minute workout, to dynamic flow yoga, which intersperses strength-building poses like planks and push-ups with heart-pumping dance-like moves.
Researchers still aren’t sure why this type of exercise appears to provide a boost to the brain, but studies suggest it has to do with increased blood flow, which provides our minds with fresh energy and oxygen.
One recent study in older women who displayed potential symptoms of dementia found that aerobic exercise was linked with an increase in the size of the hippocampus, a brain area involved in learning and memory.
Joe Northey, the lead author of the British study and an exercise scientist at the University of Canberra, said his research suggests that anyone in good health over age 50 should do 45 minutes to an hour of aerobic exercise “On as many days of the week as feasible.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Your Brain Is Like the Cosmic Web”

Christof Koch, a leading researcher on consciousness and the human brain, has famously called the brain “The most complex object in the known universe.” It’s not hard to see why this might be true.
The first results from our comparison are truly surprising: Not only are the complexities of the brain and cosmic web actually similar, but so are their structures.
If the cosmic web is at least as complex as any of its constituent parts, we might naively conclude that it must be at least as complex as the brain.
The eye immediately grasps some similarity between images of the cosmic web and the brain.
For the complex networks of the cosmic web and of the human brain, on the other hand, the observed behavior is not fractal, which can be interpreted as evidence of the emergence of scale-dependent, self-organized structures.
Estimating the complexity of the human brain is much more difficult, because global simulations of the brain remain an unmet challenge.
Based on the latest analysis of the connectivity of the brain network, independent studies have concluded that the total memory capacity of the adult human brain should be around 2.5 petabytes, not far from the 1-10 petabyte range estimated for the cosmic web!
It is truly a remarkable fact that the cosmic web is more similar to the human brain than it is to the interior of a galaxy; or that the neuronal network is more similar to the cosmic web than it is to the interior of a neuronal body.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What not to do in a disaster”

After the crash, Larson also had the quick thinking and grit to claw himself to safety before the fire spread. Surprisingly, plenty of other people in deadly scenarios don’t act fast enough to save their own lives.
Though news reports tend to focus on miraculous survival, if people escape with their lives it’s often despite their actions – not because of them.
“Survival training isn’t so much about training people what to do – you’re mostly training them not to do certain things that they would normally think to do,” says John Leach, a psychologist at the University of Portsmouth who survived the King’s Cross fire disaster in 1987.
Footage of the Japanese earthquake in 2011 showed people risking their lives while rushing to save bottles of alcohol from smashing in a supermarket.
Though no chemical weapons were used, more than a thousand people were injured.
The vast majority – more than 800 people – had occurred in the absence of any danger.
Because people are used to looking for their seatbelts around their hips, in an emergency that’s the only place they look.
“The number of people who have been killed going back to get their wallet from their house, or checking if they’ve left the oven on” says James Goff, a specialist in disaster and emergency management at the University of Hawaii.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How stress works in the human body, to make or break us”

How does all of this stress ‘get under our skin’? What does it do to our brains and our bodies? What can we do about it? And is stress so multifaceted and pervasive that we could have trouble controlling it at all?
Our collaboration, continued under the auspices of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, has shown that stress acts on the body and brain, profoundly influencing health and disease.
As opposed to motherhood and musicianship, toxic stress can increase anxiety by causing neurons in the amygdala, a brain region controlling anxiety and aggression, to become larger.
We now understand that epigenetics is the means by which stress acts on the body, the genome, and the brain.
The hippocampus has since become a gateway into learning how sex hormones, metabolic hormones and stress hormones enter the brain, bind to receptors and act epigenetically to positively regulate structure and affect our behaviour.
Thanks to genetically programmed sex differences in our brains, men and women respond differently to stress.
Adverse early life experience involving poverty, abuse and neglect affects how genes are expressed, and determines how well brain regions such as the hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex develop and function during childhood into young adulthood.
The brain is continually changing with experience, which creates memories and alters brain architecture via mechanisms that are facilitated in part by circulating sex, stress and metabolic hormones and chemicals produced by the immune system.

The orginal article.

Summary of “An Ancient Cure for Alzheimer’s?”

Dr. Trumble found something startling when he looked into the Tsimane data: Many of those with a copy of the gene seemed to perform better on the cognitive tests.
Dr. Trumble then looked at the data on the cognitive health of all the Tsimane volunteers who had tested positive for parasites.
“Humans co-evolved with a number of different parasites, but today, in our sedentary city life, we’ve removed those parasites from the mix,” Dr. Trumble said.
Dr. Geula believes that in cases like this, some actor in the brain – call it the opposite of Alzheimer’s – is protecting neurons from damage.
“That’s absolutely in line with what we found. For our ancestors, an ApoE4 gene could have been beneficial,” Dr. Liddelow said, in part because it would have helped the astrocytes go on the attack.
Of course, Dr. Trumble – who still spends months each year sleeping in a tent, eating wild meat and drinking river water – is no ordinary American.
Still, Dr. Trumble and the rest of the research team will need to gather more data before they can answer even the most basic questions: What is the rate of dementia in the Tsimane population? Are certain parasites more beneficial to the brain while others are harmful? And which humans are the most likely to receive a cognitive benefit from infection?
If the Tsimane do hold the keys to a cure, Dr. Trumble and his colleagues have no time to waste.

The orginal article.

Summary of “5 Ways to Rewire Your Brain to Be Positive”

All it takes is a little training and focus, and you can rewire your brain toward the positive.
Retrain your brain to flip negatives into positives.
Even after years of subconsciously focusing on the negative, it is possible to retrain your brain to perceive and focus on the positive.
The next step is to retrain your brain to see positive patterns.
Recognize that your mind will want to slip back into old patterns, and remind yourself that you’re reconditioning yourself to have positive thoughts and take positive actions.
Once you develop the habit of pivoting toward the positive, your brain will become predisposed to doing so.4.
Use those positive feelings to channel your thinking into a positive pattern.
You are teaching your brain to sense when you are slipping into negativity and take action toward the positive.

The orginal article.