Electrical Circuits Encode Your Reality
Help us bring Lumosity informative, educational panels to South by Southwest 2015. Voting ends this Friday, September 5th, so click on the link before to learn more about panels like, Nerd Alert: Making Science Fun and Cool, and vote today!
See all our SXSW panels here: http://bit.ly/1lAPgpF
Google Beautiful Design Collection gets updated: Spotify, Lumosity and 10 others
(via Google Beautiful Design Collection gets updated: Spotify, Lumosity and 10 others)
We hit an unbelievable milestone in August: Lumosity members have played two billion games! Thanks to everyone who took the time to challenge their brain and have fun at the same time.
While chronic stress can damage your cognitive and physical health, these seven studies show how short-term or moderate stress can actually be healthy for your mind and body.
1. Lowers your risk of premature death — if you have the right attitude. A 2013 study found that participants who reported that they were under a lot of stress but didn’t feel that it affected their health had a lower risk for premature death than both those who perceived their stress as a health hazard, and those who felt barely any stress at all!
2. Boosts production of neurons that improve performance. In an animal study, putting mice under mild stress caused the release of stress hormones, which spurred the growth of new neurons. Two weeks later those new neurons appeared to improve the mice’s performance on learning tests.
3. Strengthens your immune system. Short bursts of stress cause the release of hormones which send a message to immune cells to go from a resting to a ready state — even before a wound or infection.
4. Makes you friendlier. In a 2012 study, participants were either put in a stressful or control situation and afterwards paired up to play a series of games. During game play, those who had recently been in the stressful situation showed more prosocial behaviors, like trust and sharing, than the control group.
5. Improves your ability to learn. After spending 60 seconds with their hands in a bucket of ice (a stressful condition), men performed better on learning tests than an unstressed group.
6. Improves your memory. Researchers found that the brains of rats put under a moderate amount of stress showed an increase in the neurotransmitter glutamine, which is known to improve working memory. In tests four hours later and one day later the stressed rats made fewer mistakes navigating a maze.
7. Gets you in touch with your instincts. A study required people to give a presentation, give a five minute interview and count backwards by 13 in front of a group of judges. The more stressed out participants reported being, the better they performed on a task where they had to ignore details and trust their instincts.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/1nz3h7u
What’s more likely to help you achieve a goal or do better at work: encouragement or criticism? According to current neuroscience research, the answer should always be encouragement. Criticism can trigger negative emotions like fear, anger, and stress, which trigger the amygdala to override the brain’s executive control center, the prefrontal cortex. The amygdala narrows our focus to deal with the perceived crisis created by the criticism, making it harder to think clearly or creatively and to take in new information. Conversely, the positive emotions that result from encouragement create heightened activity in the prefrontal cortex, boosting cognitive flexibility, creative thinking, and information processing. Are you more likely to skip the criticism in favor of encouragement after reading this post? Share this post with friends and let us know in the comments.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/1cWXMoV
One in five U.S. adults shows signs of chronic sleep deprivation, and a shortage of sleep has been linked to health problems as different as diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies have found some interesting connections between illness and what is happening in our brains as we snooze. (via Disease and sleep: Recent studies find new links - The Washington Post)
Love may lie not in your heart but in your brain. Using fMRI scans, researchers have shown how the early stages of romantic love activate the dopamine-releasing striatum, which is part of your brain’s pleasure center. This flood of dopamine creates a rush that can make new love feel like addiction. But falling in love also activates the insula, a brain region associated with motivation to acquire reward, which gives meaning to life-sustaining activities like eating and sleeping. It’s the insula that’s responsible for creating the bonds of long-lasting love. Share this post with friends and tell us who you love best in the comments.
Read more about the neurobiology of love:http://huff.to/15nkWpb
Exercise can stimulate the growth of new neurons — but until recently, scientists didn’t understand how. Now new research shows that neuronal growth results from an exercise-triggered chain reaction that produces a protein called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). BDNF stimulates the growth of new brain cells and can even stop the destruction of existing brain cells — which is particularly beneficial to your hippocampus, a brain area linked to learning and memory. Are you surprised to hear that physical exercise can help build your brain in addition to your muscles? Share this post with friends and let us know in the comments.
Read more about neurogenesis and exercise here: http://onforb.es/1h6IRxg
Food-Mood Connection: How You Eat Can Amp Up Or Tamp Down Stress