Summary of “Four steps to a younger, smarter brain”

Brain health is key to successful ageing, and it involves several mental functions including memory, reasoning and planning.
As we age, brain cells that normally fight off infection and repair tissue begin to attack healthy brain cells.
It’s always easier to protect a healthy brain than to try to repair damage once it is extensive.
Exercise produces proteins that stimulate brain cells to sprout branches and communicate more effectively.
Exercise will make your brain bigger, and a bigger brain is a better brain.
Playing games, socialising and travelling activate brain cells, and a university education is associated with a lower dementia risk.
Meditation even rewires the brain and improves measures of chromosomes’ telomere length, which predicts longer life expectancy.
Several studies have suggested that alcohol and caffeine in moderation lead to better brain health.

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Summary of “A pioneering scientist explains ‘deep learning'”

Sejnowski, a pioneer in the study of learning algorithms, is the author of The Deep Learning Revolution.
Within machine learning are neural networks inspired by the brain, and then deep learning.
Deep learning algorithms have a particular architecture with many layers that flow through the network.
Deep learning is one part of machine learning and machine learning is one part of AI. What can deep learning do that other programs can’t?
There, Geoff Hinton and two of his graduate students showed you could take a very large dataset called ImageNet, with 10,000 categories and 10 million images, and reduce the classification error by 20 percent using deep learning.
The inspiration for deep learning really comes from neuroscience.
There’s an algorithm there called temporal differences, developed back in the ’80s by Richard Sutton, that, when coupled with deep learning, is capable of very sophisticated plays that no human has ever seen before.
As we learn more and more about how the brain works, that’s going to reflect back in AI. But at the same time, they’re actually creating a whole theory of learning that can be applied to understanding the brain and allowing us to analyze the thousands of neurons and how their activities are coming out.

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Summary of “How Exercise Might “Clean” the Alzheimer’s Brain”

New research shows that physical exercise can “Clean up” the hostile environments in the brains of Alzheimer’s mice, allowing new nerve cells in the hippocampus, the brain structure involved in memory and learning, to enable cognitive improvements, such as learning and memory.
These findings imply that pharmacological agents that enrich the hippocampal environment to boost cell growth and survival might be effective to recuperate brain health and function in human Alzheimer’s disease patients.
The brain of an individual with Alzheimer’s disease is a harsh place filled with buildups of harmful nerve cell junk-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles-and dramatic loss of nerve cells and connections that occur with severe cognitive decline, such as memory loss.
At the same time, there have been traces of evidence for exercise playing a preventative role in Alzheimer’s disease, but exactly how this occurs and how to take advantage of it therapeutically has remained elusive.
Explored whether exercise-induced effects and hippocampal nerve cell growth could be utilized for therapeutic purposes in Alzheimer’s disease to restore brain function.
The researchers found that exercised animals from a mouse model of Alzheimer’s had greatly enhanced memory compared to sedentary ones due to improved adult hippocampal neurogenesis and a rise in amounts of a specific molecule that promotes brain cell growth called BDNF. Importantly, they could recover brain function, specifically memory, in mice with Alzheimer’s disease but without exercise by increasing hippocampal cell growth and BDNF levels using a combination of genetic-injecting a virus-and pharmacological means.
On the contrary, we may be looking at a new and improved fundamental theory for Alzheimer’s disease based on promoting a healthier brain environment and adult hippocampal neurogenesis.
Before translating these findings into human patients, there remains significant research to establish that a medication or drug could mimic the effects of exercise-exercise mimetics-by “Cleaning up” the brain with BDNF and stimulating neurogenesis to combat Alzheimer’s disease.

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Summary of “Food for thought: the smart way to better brain health”

In the long term, this affects every one of us, because food affects not just our moods and thoughts but also the way we age.
The good news is that we have learned so much about what every one of us can do to optimise our brain health day to day.
These effects are particularly evident by looking at brain scans of people on different diets.
In terms of the food that helps, there is no single miracle food or supplement that will keep us young, healthy and bright-eyed with a perfect memory.
The brain is so sensitive to dehydration that even a minimal loss of water can cause symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, confusion and brain shrinkage.
Purified water, fizzy water – all these beverages were stripped of the precious nutrients and natural electrolytes the brain needs to stay hydrated and work efficiently.
The brain needs more than something wet; it needs the essential nutrients that real water carries with it.
Pour over the mixed salad. Lisa Mosconi is the author of Brain Food: How to Eat Smart and Sharpen Your Mind, published by Penguin Life at £14.99.

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Summary of “The Pentagon’s Plans to Program Soldiers’ Brains”

What lies beyond bionics? Sanchez described his work as trying to “Understand the neural code,” which would involve putting “Very fine microwire electrodes”-the diameter of a human hair-“Into the brain.” When we do that, he said, we would be able to “Listen in to the music of the brain” and “Listen in to what somebody’s motor intent might be” and get a glimpse of “Your goals and your rewards” and then “Start to understand how the brain encodes behavior.”
The Restoring Active Memory program develops neuroprosthetics-tiny electronic components implanted in brain tissue-that aim to alter memory formation so as to counteract traumatic brain injury.
“School in its most fundamental form is a technology that we have developed as a society to help our brains to do more,” he said.
“In a different way, neurotechnology uses other tools and techniques to help our brains be the best that they can be.” One technique was described in a 2013 paper, a study involving researchers at Wake Forest University, the University of Southern California, and the University of Kentucky.
Event in 2015-meaning that researchers took the neural-firing patterns encoding the memory of how to perform the more complex task, recorded from the brains of the more educated rats, and transferred those patterns into the brains of the less educated rats-“And that stupid animal got it. They were able to execute that full thing.” Ling summarized: “For this rat, we reduced the learning period from eight weeks down to seconds.”
Some people like to think about the brain as if it were a computer, Weber explained, “Where information goes from A to B to C, like everything is very modular. And certainly there is clear modular organization in the brain. But it’s not nearly as sharp as it is in a computer. All information is everywhere all the time, right? It’s so widely distributed that achieving that level of integration with the brain is far out of reach right now.”
Neuroscientists understand the brain’s relationship with the vagus nerve more clearly than they understand the intricacies of memory formation and recall among neurons within the brain.
“If a brain can control a robot that looks like a hand,” Ling said, “Why can’t it control a robot that looks like a snake? Why can’t that brain control a robot that looks like a big mass of Jell-O, able to get around corners and up and down and through things? I mean, somebody will find an application for that. They couldn’t do it now, because they can’t become that glob, right? But in my world, with their brain now having a direct interface with that glob, that glob is the embodiment of them. So now they’re basically the glob, and they can go do everything a glob can do.”

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Summary of “Best Brain Game To Stave Off Alzheimer’s Could Be Your Job”

Best Brain Game To Stave Off Alzheimer’s Could Be Your Job : Shots – Health News Alzheimer’s prevention specialist Jessica Langbaum says that like most working people she gets plenty of mental exercise without playing crossword puzzles or brain games.
As a specialist in Alzheimer’s prevention, Jessica Langbaum knows that exercising her mental muscles can help keep her brain sharp.
The brain training programs used in research studies are more promising and much more demanding.
“They’re hard,” says Langbaum, who tried them herself while she was part of a groundbreaking study on the effects of brain training.
“They keep your brain working at the same level longer, compared to people who did not receive those same cognitive training interventions.”
It remains unclear whether brain training can also prevent or delay Alzheimer’s.
More recent research suggests that social interaction may be a better form of mental exercise than brain training.
Between her family, her two kids, her colleagues at work, and her friends, she says, the social areas of her brain get a vigorous daily workout.

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Summary of “The Incredible Scientists Who Are Solving the Brain”

With a few exceptions, when the brain’s primary information-processing cells die, they’re dead. So today, when a doctor encounters a neurodegenerative disease or a brain injury, the strategies are limited: one, do your best to keep the rest of the neurons alive; and two, encourage the brain to work around any sections that are damaged.
Within fifteen minutes, the marble has been received at the Allen Institute for Brain Science-founded by eccentric Microsoft cofounder and Seattle-based philanthropist Paul Allen-where it will become a permanent part of the first-ever cellular map of the human brain.
Over the years, the Allen Institute has used mice and the brains of cadavers to create atlases of where various genes are expressed in the brain.
Looking at it, you can see a future in which the cell census, combined with an interactive mapping tool like this, could lead to the kinds of science-fiction tools curing brain diseases will require-cellular surgery, remapping the cortex, even rewiring a damaged brain using Götz’s astrocyte-neurons.
These could, in turn, help the Allen Institute decode more complex strategies the brain uses to process information, forming a feedback loop of computational progress that either ends in an exhaustive characterization of human intelligence and the end of brain disease ….Or the rise of sentient death machines, depending.
While the neuroscience community painstakingly researches treatments that may be able to physically repair brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases, most current therapy encourages the brain to rewire itself after it has been damaged, which can be remarkably effective.
In contrast to many other neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s disease shows up in the brain as two misfolded proteins, which makes it one of the more complicated diseases to fight, at least on a molecular level.
The only way to find out is for someone like Fitzpatrick to map misfolded tau from brains of people who’ve succumbed to various brain diseases and find out if they are different on a molecular level.

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Summary of “Scientists Have Connected The Brains of 3 People, Enabling Them to Share Thoughts”

Neuroscientists have successfully hooked up a three-way brain connection to allow three people share their thoughts – and in this case, play a Tetris-style game.
The researchers behind the new system have dubbed it BrainNet, and say it could eventually be used to connect many different minds together, even across the web.
Apart from opening up strange new methods of communication, BrainNet could actually teach us more about how the human brain functions on a deeper level.
“We present BrainNet which, to our knowledge, is the first multi-person non-invasive direct brain-to-brain interface for collaborative problem solving,” write the researchers.
In the experiment set up by the scientists, two ‘senders’ were connected to EEG electrodes and asked to play a Tetris-style game involving falling blocks.
Receivers were able to detect which of the senders was most reliable based on brain communications alone, which the researchers say shows promise for developing systems that deal with more real world scenarios where human unreliability would be a factor.
The same group of researchers has previously been able to link up two brains successfully, getting participants to play a game of 20 questions against each other.
“Our results raise the possibility of future brain-to-brain interfaces that enable cooperative problem solving by humans using a ‘social network’ of connected brains,” writes the team.

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Summary of “Understanding Reality: What Hallucinations Reveal”

In a 2017 study, nonclinical voice hearers were far better at recognizing the presence of a voice in sine-wave speech than their non-voice-hearing counterparts.
Corlett says, builds the case that auditory hallucinations are linked to the processes of expectation and prediction.
How the deaf brain rewires itself to ‘hear’ touch and sight.
For some people, hallucinations can be more persistent and disturbing.
It’s too early to say how much the causes of auditory hallucinations and other kinds might overlap, Fernyhough says.
The research has focused on auditory hallucinations.
Eleanor Longden, a mental-health researcher and advocate, has publicly recounted how her own auditory hallucinations have shifted between neutral and distressing at different points in her life.
“A better understanding of how they occur and how they can be managed could alleviate a great deal of mental distress.”

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Summary of “30 Days to a Smarter Brain”

Everyone wants a better, and smarter brain to process information faster and have better memory recall.
In 30 days or less, you can adopt some of these habits to boost your brain power, improve your mental clarity and build a better brain.
“When you’re learning something new, and your brain is feeling like it wants to take a nap, that’s when you know you’re doing things that are growing your brain neurologically, not just maintaining it,” says Dr. Jennifer Jones, a psychologist, and expert in the science of success.
Michael Merzenich, a pioneer of plasticity research, and author of Soft-wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life says that going beyond the familiar is essential to brain health.
Your brain needs you to read every dayReading heightens brain connectivity.
The reading brain can be likened to the real-time collaborative effort of a symphony orchestra, with various parts of the brain working together, like sections of instruments, to maximize our ability to decode the written text in front of us.
Judy Willis MD, a neurologist, and former classroom teacher explains, “The practice of writing can enhance the brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information it promotes the brain’s attentive focus boosts long-term memory, illuminates patterns, gives the brain time for reflection, and when well-guided, is a source of conceptual development and stimulus of the brain’s highest cognition.
“Don’t sit stillSitting still all day, every day is dangerous.Love it or hate it, physical activity can have potent effects on your brain and mood.The brain is often described as being”like a muscle”.

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