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.

Summary of “How to Get Excited About Topics That Bore You”

For me, graduating from high school was thrilling in that I would never have to touch a math or science book again.
As I’ve discovered from both personal experience and research, it is possible to learn to like – even to grow to love – subject areas that look boring or that you once loathed.
The first step in building passion for a subject you don’t like is to identify a reason to learn it.
Most people need to go back and forth between focused and diffuse modes in order to learn a topic.
Only years later, after the army helped me form a motivational mental contrast, did I persist long enough at individual problems to discover that I could indeed learn math and science.
Build a collection of neural “Chunks.” When we’re learning something new that doesn’t come naturally to us, we often skim instead of internalizing.
Each day of focused learning, followed by an evening’s sleep, strengthens your new neural patterns, which are “Chunks” of learning.
Like me, you’ll be surprised at what you can find yourself learning to love.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Way to Plan If You’re Bad at Planning”

Learning how to plan – especially if you’re new to organizing your time – can be a frustrating experience.
As a time management coach, I’ve seen some incredibly intelligent people struggle to plan.
Just as we tend to recognize that skills like creativity, analysis, or writing can come much easier to some than to others, ease with planning is something that we’re either born with or we’re not.
If you find planning extremely difficult, you likely don’t have natural brain dominance in the back-left part of your brain.
One interesting phenomenon I’ve observed with people whose natural brain strength is not in planning is that they tend to fall into all-or-nothing thinking.
Or if they can’t plan every day, they shouldn’t plan at all.
If you know people who excel in planning or have organization skills, ask for their advice and insight.
One of the definitions of resilience is “The ability to spring back into shape.” When you find yourself getting frustrated in the process of planning, have self-compassion when you make mistakes, refocus when you get distracted, and adjust your plan when new issues crop up.

The orginal article.

Summary of “MITP on Nautilus: The Paradox of the Elephant Brain”

Equating larger brain size with greater cognitive capabilities presupposes that all brains are made the same way, starting with a similar relationship between brain size and number of neurons.
Once we had recognized that primate and rodent brains are made differently, with different numbers of neurons for their size, we had predicted that the African elephant brain might have as few as 3 billion neurons in the cerebral cortex and 21 billion neurons in the cerebellum, compared to our 16 billion and 69 billion, despite its much larger size-if it was built like a rodent brain.
On the other hand, if it was built like a primate brain, then the African elephant brain might have a whopping 62 billion neurons in the cerebral cortex and 159 billion neurons in the cerebellum.
If the human brain still had many more neurons than the much larger African elephant brain, then that would support my hypothesis that the simplest explanation for the remarkable cognitive abilities of the human species is the remarkable number of its brain neurons, equaled by none other, regardless of the size of the brain.
Because these two structures together accounted for the vast majority of all neurons in the brain, cognitive capabilities should correlate equally well with the number of neurons in the whole brain, in the cerebral cortex, and in the cerebellum.
The Winner Is. Lo and behold, the African elephant brain had more neurons than the human brain.
No, the human brain does not have more neurons than the much larger elephant brain-but the human cerebral cortex has nearly three times as many neurons as the over twice as large cerebral cortex of the elephant.
The superior cognitive capabilities of the human brain over the elephant brain can simply-and only-be attributed to the remarkably large number of neurons in its cerebral cortex.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The neuroscience of motivation-and how it can change your life”

The type of motivation in different situations can help you excel.
Internal motivation is the type that can effect your being tired or sick, etc.
Motivation: It’s all in your head. Motivation is more than just willpower.
Vanderbilt University conducted a study where scientists mapped the brains of both “Go-getters” and “Slackers.” The study showed that those who were “Willing to work hard for rewards had higher dopamine levels. The dopamine was in the striatum and PFC, which are both linked to motivation and reward.”
Our motivation levels are related to our perceived difficulty of a task and the perceived rewards that come from completing that task.
“If the perceived difficulty of a task suddenly increases during a period of low motivation, our motivation level will then drop even further.” This will eventually lead to “a downward spiral in motivational level unless we do something to override this.”
How can you achieve high motivation that for those tedious or repetitive tasks?
Using the science of motivation to improve employee motivation.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Cookies and Meth Have in Common”

Neuroscientists have found that food and recreational drugs have a common target in the “Reward circuit” of the brain, and that the brains of humans and other animals who are stressed undergo biological changes that can make them more susceptible to addiction.
All rewards – sex, food, money and drugs – cause a release of dopamine, which conveys a sense of pleasure and tells the brain something like: “This is an important experience. Don’t forget it!” The reward circuit evolved to help us survive by driving us to locate food or sex in our environment.
Today, the more D2 receptors you have, the higher your natural level of stimulation and pleasure – and the less likely you are to seek out recreational drugs or comfort food to compensate.
Food, like drugs, stimulates the brain’s reward circuit.
No matter how stressed you are, you obviously won’t become a drug addict unless you’re exposed to drugs.
The processed food industry has transformed our food into a quasi-drug, while the drug industry has synthesized ever more powerful drugs that have been diverted for recreational use.
Dr. Volkow says that she and her colleagues are now “Testing how the brain responds to subliminal messages” about food and drugs.
Although it’s far easier said than done, just limiting exposure to high-calorie foods and recreational drugs would naturally reset our brains to find pleasure in healthier foods and life without drugs.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Pay attention: Practice can make your brain better at focusing”

Practicing paying attention can boost performance on a new task, and change the way the brain processes information, a new study says.
“The brain is still figuring out ways to make itself better.” There’s a long-standing debate about how exactly paying attention helps us learn.
The question is: which part of this attention equation is more important for learning, and how is it affected by practice? To find out, researchers led by Sirawaj Itthipuripat at the University of California, San Diego, subjected 12 research participants to the least entertaining computer game in the world, while measuring their brain activity.
The researchers suspect that this more automatic phase is the result of the brain fine-tuning what exactly it needs to pay attention to, basically switching over to a process that’s more like muting the volume on the rest of the orchestra.
For some of the sessions, the students were told where the contrast-boosted circle might appear, and to pay attention to that spot.
Turns out, the students got much better at picking out the correct, contrast-boosted circle after two or three days of training when they knew which part of the screen to pay attention to.
Then as the task becomes more natural, another mechanism takes over that refines the pattern of brain activity that drives the task, cutting down on the neural background noise.
“The brain is still figuring out ways to make itself better.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Are you forgetful? That’s just your brain erasing useless memories”

Most of us think “Perfect” memory means never forgetting, but maybe forgetting actually helps us navigate a world that is random and ever-changing.
We have yet to find the limits of what the human brain can store, and there’s more than enough room, so to speak, for us to remember everything.
Still, the brain actually spends energy making us forget, by generating new neurons that “Overwrite” the old ones, or by weakening the connections between neurons.
Forgetting old information can also keep us from generalizing too much from one piece of information.
Our brains tend to forget memories of things that happened more quickly than general knowledge.
“The brain’s principle is to forget everything except those instances that were highly salient,” says Richards.
Traumatic events like assault, for example, stick with us because the brain wants us to remember, and avoid, things that will help us survive.
Ultimately, says Richards, we often assume that memory is a good thing, but “At the end of the day, our brains only do things if it was good for our survival from an evolutionary perspective.” And in the case of memory, he adds, our brains probably have been shaped by evolution to only remember that stuff that is pertinent to our survival.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Life-Changing Habit of Journaling (Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Many More Great Minds”

Ever wondered why history’s great minds including Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Andy Warhol, Leonardo Da Vinci, Marcus Aurelius, Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, George Bernard Shaw and Maya Angelou would spend so much of their precious time writing things that will never be seen by another soul?
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.”
You don’t have to spend your whole morning writing, but the only rule is to write continuously.
As part of your morning and post-work journaling sessions, be sure to write about everything you are grateful for.
“Writing in a journal each day, with a structured, strategic process allows you to direct your focus to what you did accomplish, what you’re grateful for, and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day, feel good about any forward progress you made, and use a heightened level of clarity to accelerate your results,” says Hal Elrod, author of “The Miracle Morning”.
“Writing accesses you’re the left hemisphere of the brain, which is analytical and rational,” says Maud Purcell, a psychotherapist and journaling expert.
“While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to do what it does best, i.e. create, intuit and feel. In this way, writing removes mental blocks and allows us to use more of our brainpower to better understand ourselves and the world around us.”
Journaling is not a commonplace habit, it is a keystone habit.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Neuroscience Tells Us How to Hack Our Brains for Success”

While these traits definitely play a role, the real secret to success comes down to science, particularly advancements in neuroscience, and how you can condition your brain to achieve your dreams and goals.
The neuroscience of success can get complicated, but it’s really about how your brain functions in three different areas: reticular activating system, the release of dopamine and your memory.
As Mark Lukens, founding partner of Method3, wrote recently, “When we succeed at something, our brains release chemical rewards, the most important of which is the neurotransmitter dopamine, a chemical best known for the role it plays in addiction and drug use.” Dopamine, despite this negative association, “Is a natural part of how our brains function, producing the sensation of pleasure whenever you taste coffee or chocolate, or when you achieve a big win.”
Because of this, it makes sense that “Dopamine is strongly connected to motivation, driving us to repeat the behaviors that create that rush, even when we aren’t experiencing it.” However, the dopamine response is short-term, but since our brains remember how awesome it was before, we strive to seek it out over and over again.
Neuroscientists who have studied the way that the brain retrieves memories can also determine success.
To weaken bad memories, bring that memory back and then let it get smaller and dimmer, like you’re watching a small black-and-white TV fade out.
According to neuroscientist Michael Merzenich, it takes just 30 hours of training based on specific neuroscience techniques to improve your memory and cognition, speech patterns and reading comprehension.
According to Robert Sapolsky, a neuroendocrinology professor at Stanford University, “Stress can not only be stopped, but reversed once the source, psychological or physical, is removed or sufficiently reduced.” In other words, the physical environment around us plays a very important role in the health of our brains.

The orginal article.