Hans Selye: The Discovery of Stress

stressG.A.S. Spells Stress
As with so many wondrous discoveries of science and medicine, it was by chance that Hungarian-born Hans Selye (1907-1982) stumbled upon the idea of the General Adaptation Syndrome (G.A.S.), which he first wrote about in the British journal Nature in the summer of 1936. The G.A.S., alternately known as the stress syndrome, is what Selye came to call the process under which the body confronts "stress" (what he first called "noxious agents").

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How You Can Make Your Brain Smarter Every Day

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.

Large Study Underway To Test Posit Science Exercises in People with Schizophrenia

We are excited to share this video news report about a schizophrenia study we have been working on for the past few years. The e-CAeSAR Study is being conducted in partnership with the Schizophrenia Trials Network at ten top-tier research centers nationwide. The trial tests a unique online cognitive training program (called “PACR”) designed for […]

Study: Brain Training Shows Significant, Lasting Gains in Cognitive Function

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 […]

Gone But Not Forgotten? The Mystery Behind Infant Memories

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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 […]

Myths About the Brain: 10 percent and Counting

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Do we really use only a small portion of our brain? If the answer to this question is yes, then knowing how to access the “unused” part of our brain should unleash untapped mental powers and allow us perform at top efficiency. Let’s examine the issue and attempt to get at the truth behind the […]

The Strange Tale of Phineas Gage

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Phineas Gage began the day of September 13, 1848 as a man remarkable only to those who knew him personally. He worked as the foreman of a railway construction gang in Vermont, where his group was preparing the bed for the Rutland and Burlington Rail Road. At just twenty-six years old, Gage was already a […]

Hans Selye: The Discovery of Stress

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G.A.S. Spells Stress As with so many wondrous discoveries of science and medicine, it was by chance that Hungarian-born Hans Selye (1907-1982) stumbled upon the idea of the General Adaptation Syndrome (G.A.S.), which he first wrote about in the British journal Nature in the summer of 1936. The G.A.S., alternately known as the stress syndrome, […]

Decision-making is Still a Work in Progress for Teenagers

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Recent studies of brain development in teenagers may finally give parents the scientific authority to say “No you’re not!” in answer to the common adolescent complaint, “But I’m old enough to make my own decisions!” That authority comes from brain imaging studies that reveal some surprising features of the adolescent brain. Deborah Yurgelun-Todd and colleagues […]