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25-Cent Creativity Booster

Want to boost your creativity by investing a quarter or so? Buy a lightbulb. Not the fancy LED, halogen, or compact fluorescent variety – just the old-fashioned, cheap incandescent kind that come in four-packs for a buck or so. Skeptical? Read on… […]

By |July 23rd, 2010|

The Brain That Changes Itself

Book Review: The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge

For centuries, the human brain was considered largely immutable after childhood. We were told that we had all the […]

By |May 3rd, 2010|

A Better Brain in Four Days

We’d all like to think better, but few of us have the time or desire to, say, spend years in a Tibetan monastery learning to meditate. Past studies have shown that such extended training can indeed improve cognitive functioning. Remarkable new research shows that just four days of meditating for 20 minutes per day produced significant benefits as measured by a battery of tests of cognition. […]

By |April 28th, 2010|

Use Your Cell Phone, Save Your Brain

Neuromarketing readers know I sometimes venture into the non-marketing area of brain fitness, and I couldn’t resist passing along this bit of research on cell phone use. For years, we’ve been hearing alarming claims that cell phone use causes brain cancer, though no reputable study has established such a link. Now, a study from the University of South Florida shows that cell phone radiation may be GOOD for you. […]

By |April 13th, 2010|

Brain Fitness: Skip the Sudoku, Be a Volunteer

Just-published research in the Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences shows that volunteering and similar social activities are helpful in staving off mental decline in later years, and can actually improve cognition.

By |December 22nd, 2009|

Sugar as Brain Food

This isn’t great news for dieters, but sometimes sugar can be a good thing. Roy Baumeister, a psychologist at Florida State University, had subjects perform a mentally taxing task – watching a video while being careful to ignore random words scrolling across the bottom of the screen. (Apparently, it takes quite a bit of concentration to NOT look at the scrolling words.) Then, the subjects were given a drink of lemonade and asked to perform another cognitively demanding task, choose an apartment based on descriptions of various options.

The catch was that some subjects drank lemonade made with real sugar, and others had lemonade made with Splenda, a sugar substitute without nutritional value. The performance differences on the apartment task were surprising. […]

By |October 29th, 2009|

Talking Back Makes Kids Smart

Once again, I’m going to depart from marketing for one post for another neuroparenting topic. This time, it’s about kids “talking back” to their parents and how that interaction can actually enhance cognitive development. […]

By |October 23rd, 2009|

Sit Straight, Build Confidence

We know that making ourselves smile or frown can actually influence our mood, and now it seems that the posture we assume can affect our confidence in our own thoughts. A study by Richard Petty, who apparently is not the NASCAR driver but rather a professor at Ohio State University, demostrated the effects of sitting up straight: […]

By |October 12th, 2009|

How To Praise Your Child

I don’t often get into neuro-parenting here, but I thought this particular research finding was interesting enough to single out. (I mentioned it in my Managing by Mistakes post last week, too.)

The short story is that a lot of what parents and teachers think about praising children and building self-esteem is dead wrong. Well-intended ego boosting can actually cause the child to perform more poorly in school. First, if you habitually praise your kids, you aren’t alone: […]

By |September 11th, 2009|

Training Your Brain to Multitask

It’s Monday, your inbox is full of unanswered emails, you desk is piled high with paper, and you’ve got a couple of important project deadlines looming. There’s one bright spot: although past research has indicated that people’s ability to multitask, i.e., perform several tasks at once, is very limited, a new study shows one can improve multitasking ability with training. First, the bad news: […]

By |August 24th, 2009|