I’m excited to announce that my brand new book Soft-Wired is now out and available in paperback or Kindle format. This book was a labor of love, and it took me many years and many iterations to say exactly what I wanted, how I wanted to say it. The result is a book that covers […]
If you’re old enough, you may remember a time, maybe back in your childhood, when someone measured your intelligence and assigned a number to it. I suspect that you have been either proud of that “IQ,” or perhaps a little bit chagrined about it, from that day to this. The general belief back then was that intelligence was a genetic endowment, along with eye color or a propensity for baldness.
We now know this is simply not true. Your brain — every brain — is a work in progress. It is “plastic.” From the day we’re born to the day we die, it continuously revises and remodels, improving or slowly declining, as a function of how we use it. If a brain is exercised properly, anyone can grow intelligence, at any age, and potentially by a lot. Or you can just let your brain idle — and watch it slowly, inexorably, go to seed like a sedentary body.
I woke up in a cheerful mood this morning because yesterday the results of a scientific study were published and they once again demonstrated that very strong benefits can be achieved through only 10 hours of Posit Science brain training. The cognitive benefits were not just seen in the tasks themselves, but in measures of […]
What is your earliest memory? A frightening fall down the stairs? Blowing out candles on your third birthday? Or perhaps it is a trip to the hospital to visit a newborn sibling? Whatever the content, it is probably short and rather hazy. Adult recollections of infancy and early childhood are typically fragmentary. We forget so […]
I remember my mother’s vegetable garden when I was a child, corn plants tall like skyscrapers. I remember when I fell out of a tree and everyone from the neighbor’s barbecue rushed over to see if I’d broken a bone. Remember, remember… the verb itself is poetic, connotating the essence of experience. The notion of […]
Learn how current researchers are developing insights about the components of working memory, and what this might mean for our understanding of how we think and learn. “Four-Nine-Seven, Oh-Two-Five-Four. Got it?” “Sure. See you later!” As soon as I hung up the phone, I realized that I had no paper or pen. As I rifled […]
When twenty-seven year old Henry M. entered the hospital in 1953 for radical brain surgery that was supposed to cure his epilepsy, he was hopeful that the procedure would change his life for the better. Instead, it trapped him in a mental time warp where TV is always a new invention and Truman is forever […]
For many people, the word “neuroscientist” conjures up the images of men in white coats dispassionately conducting research in a lab. Sue Halpern, on the other hand, took a much different approach to learning about the brain. The author of Can’t Remember What I Forgot: The Good News from the Frontlines of Memory Research, Halpern […]
Scan the vitamin aisle in your local supermarket and you’ll find plenty of products promising to improve brain function. With names like “Memory Complex,” “Neuro Optimizer,” “Brain Elevate,” and “Sharp Thought,” they tout the remarkable powers of compounds from phospholipids and omega-3 fatty acids to acetyl-L-carnitine, citicoline, and Gingko biloba. Manufacturers claim these supplements will […]
Everyday life can be filled with stressful situations. Giving a presentation at work, taking an important test, going on a first date-even thinking about the last time you felt “stressed out” can make you sweat a little and bring back the physical sensations that often go along with stress: muscle tension, a headache, an upset […]