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5 Surprising, Science-Backed Ways To Get Smarter Today

5 Surprising, Science-Backed Ways To Get Smarter Today | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it

Your intelligence isn't fixed it's fluid. Here's a handful of ways to improve your brain flow. This fluidity comes from all sorts of things: the way we think about ourselves, the expertise we develop, the people we surround ourselves with. In short, the way we live our lives shapes our minds, in some seriously mysterious ways.


Via Sandeep Gautam
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Don't set limits for yourself. Be smarter today!

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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, October 21, 2013 11:17 AM

being smart is a choice!!

David Hain's curator insight, October 21, 2013 12:14 PM

If so, I choose to get smarter!

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A new use for Google Glass: Helping children with autism understand emotion

A new use for Google Glass: Helping children with autism understand emotion | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it

One in 68 children in the U.S. has autism spectrum disorder and it is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Early intervention and behavioral therapy are key, but the number of therapists is not keeping up with the increase in diagnosis, so many parents are waiting months for much needed help for their children. This is what motivated a team at Stanford University to create a therapy device for children with autism that could be used at home.

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The technology, called the Autism Glass Project, uses facial recognition software and runs on Google Glass. It can read facial expressions and gives the user cues as to what emotion they are seeing.

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What Happens to Your Partner When You Get Hooked on Your Vibrator

What Happens to Your Partner When You Get Hooked on Your Vibrator | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
For every great innovation in sex, there’s a backlash to follow. Now on the list are sex toys for women. Because somewhere down the line, the fact that vibrators can make women have orgasms turned into a fear that only vibrators can make women have orgasms. Of course, for some women, that’s exactly the case.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Many women depend on the intensity of their vibrators to orgasm. Is that a bad thing?

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What can a sea-lion teach us about musicality?

What can a sea-lion teach us about musicality? | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it

Following investigations that have shown that chimps, bonobos, parrots and budgerigars have similar capabilities - a study of a head-bobbing Californian sea lion called Ronan has provided data that may aid scientists in their quest to understand the biological roots of musicality.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Ronan the sea lion can keep the beat better than any other animal.

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What Happens in the Brains of Blind People Who Do Math

What Happens in the Brains of Blind People Who Do Math | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
The brain, neuroscientists have long known, has a pretty remarkable ability to rewire and adapt itself on the fly — one of the most notable things about it is its plasticity. But just because researchers know that it has this capability doesn’t mean they’ve come anywhere close to fully understanding it. That’s why a new recent study that involved blind people doing math is so fascinating.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

In blind people, brain neuro-plasticity occurs automatically when the brain realizes that the visual cortex is not being used for processing visual stimuli, and thus rewires itself in order to help with other tasks.

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Language learning boosts brain plasticity and ability to code new information

Language learning boosts brain plasticity and ability to code new information | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
In a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers from the Higher School of Economics (HSE), in Moscow, Russia, and the University of Helsinki, in Finland, describe how they used EEG (electroencephalography) to probe the brain mechanisms involved in language learning in human volunteers.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

By studying brain electrical activity of volunteers, researchers have found that language acquisition enhances brain plasticity and capacity for learning. Early language learning plays a significant role in the rapid formation of memory circuits for coding new information.

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How Your Cellphone Is Like a Teddy Bear

How Your Cellphone Is Like a Teddy Bear | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
Do you ever wonder if you’re too dependent on your cellphone? Are you distraught when you misplace it? New research suggests how attachment style affects our cellphone behavior.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

If you’ve become unable to get through your day without not just holding your phone, but checking your social network feed, it may be time to question whether you can find fulfillment in your connections with others in a real rather than virtual space.

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Emotions mapped in the human brain

Emotions mapped in the human brain | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it

By applying an algorithm to functional magnetic resonance imaging, scientists have been able to see emotions at work in the human brain.

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Research team provides proof of concept that emotional states can be identified from brain scans.

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A Landmark Study Has Found Self-Control to be One of the Most Important Predictors of Success

A Landmark Study Has Found Self-Control to be One of the Most Important Predictors of Success | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
The need for self-control can feel like a tease at times and a bit of a pity, but its influence is spectacularly powerful. A landmark study conducted over three decades has found that the level of self-control children have as five-year olds, is one of the greatest predictors of their health, wealth and success as adults. Knowing how to increase self-control in children can help them on a path that sees them thrive.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Children with poor self-control are more likely to face a number of negative outcomes as adults, such as having multiple health problems, developing addictions to multiple substances, engaging in criminal conduct, and earning a relatively low income.

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'Super agers' offer clue to keeping a sharp memory

'Super agers' offer clue to keeping a sharp memory | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
Memory loss is not an inevitable part of ageing, say US scientists who are studying a unique group of adults in their 60s and 70s with minds as sharp as people in their 20s.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

A unique group of "super agers" perform just as well on memory tests as "youngsters" a third of their age. Brain scans appear to reveal why. Regions involved with learning and retaining new information show no sign of typical age-related shrinkage. What's more, memory test scores correlate with brain size - those who perform best in the tests also have greater thickness in various key brain regions.

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Nearly half of British women cannot identify the vagina

Nearly half of British women cannot identify the vagina | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
Nearly half of British women cannot identify the vagina, according to new statistics from a cancer charity that reveals alarmingly poor knowledge among women of their gynaecological anatomy.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Amateurs!

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New report calls for systemwide reorientation to account for health care and support of both elders and family caregivers

New report calls for systemwide reorientation to account for health care and support of both elders and family caregivers | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
The demand for family caregivers for adults who are 65 or older is increasing significantly, and family caregivers need more recognition, information, and support to fulfill their responsibilities and maintain their own health, financial security, and well-being, says a new report.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Informal caregivers are at increased risk for adverse effects in virtually every aspect of their lives -- from their health and quality of life to their relationships and economic security. If the needs of the caregivers are not addressed, society is compromising the well-being of elders. Supporting family caregivers should be an integral part of a nation's collective responsibility for caring for its older adult population.

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'We need human interaction': meet the LA man who walks people for a living

'We need human interaction': meet the LA man who walks people for a living | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
As the digital age makes people more lonely, Chuck McCarthy created a service to stroll with strangers – but the job is more people whisperer than walker
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Chuck McCarthy walks humans for $7 per mile around the streets and parks of Los Angeles, pioneering an alternative to dog walking that requires no leash, just an ability to walk, talk and, above all, listen. He fields hundreds of emails from the lonely, the curious and the adventurous, all seeking a stranger’s ambulatory company. The high demand for his service has recently resulted in the recruiting of five other walkers to serve different parts of LA.

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Training the brain to combat stress

Training the brain to combat stress | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it

While there are ways to train the brain to manage stress and other emotional responses, such techniques do not work for everyone and are not always highly accessible. Now, a new study reveals the development of a new tool that could bring self-regulation of brain activity to a much wider audience.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

New imaging method - which measures the amygdala's electrical activity - can teach people to modify their amygdala activity by reducing the auditory feedback signal that correlates with it, thereby effectively self-regulating emotional responses in the brain.

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The Legendary Self-Lacing Shoes Have Finally Become a Reality

The Legendary Self-Lacing Shoes Have Finally Become a Reality | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it

Shoe technology is a little noticed field of development, but it brings in a lot of cash. Just ask Nike or Adidas. Dedicated customers will line up for each new shoe offering, and athletes follow shoe trends on the belief that they can help boost performance. Nike is just about ready to release the granddaddy of futuristic shoe concepts. Think pretty much Marty McFly’s power-laces from Back to the Future: Part II. The company has just announced that its self-lacing shoes will be available soon.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Nike has just announced that its self-tying shoes, the HyperAdapt 1.0, will hit the stores by November this year. The bedrock of the shoe is the lacing motor, which allows the shoe to be as tight or as loose as the wearer "sees fit".

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Sitting for long periods of time is the cause of 4 percent of deaths worldwide

Sitting for long periods of time is the cause of 4 percent of deaths worldwide | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it

Each year people go into September with a number of resolutions. Exercising and not spending so much time on the couch tend to be some of these good intentions. 31% of the worldwide population does not meet the current recommendations for physical activity according to several studies published in 2012 by the journal 'Lancet'.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

A new study, conducted in 54 countries around the world, declares that 3.8% of all deaths are due to the fact that society spends more than three hours a day sitting down.

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Fitness trackers may not help people keep weight off long-term

Fitness trackers may not help people keep weight off long-term | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
Activity trackers, while helpful for some people to meet their fitness goals, don’t work in all scenarios, and researchers are still trying to figure out who they do work for and what kind of feedback motivates good habits.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Among overweight and obese adults who have lost weight, those using a fitness tracker appear to gain back more weight than those without.

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New Study Finds Meditation Creates A Distinct Network Of Genes (Anti-Aging) & Improves Cellular Health

New Study Finds  Meditation Creates A Distinct Network Of Genes (Anti-Aging) & Improves Cellular Health | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
Science is now catching up to the knowledge outlined in the Vedas, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and other ancient texts. For approximately 5,000 years people have been practicing meditation, proving the positive impact it can have on the body and mind. Science has now accepted that meditation can have powerful effects on human health, as more research is exposing these mind-blowing benefits. Some experienced meditators have even been referred to as “superhumans” because of how their practice has affected them (check out our article here). A study recently published in Translational Psychiatry proved just how beneficial meditation can be for human health, as the molecular signature of meditators was found to be significantly different from those who don’t meditate on a regular basis.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Researchers identify a “meditation effect,” whereby regular meditators are found to have a distinct network of genes with cellular functions that appear to be associated with anti-aging.

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MIT's New Radio Can Detect Your Emotions Using Wireless Signals

MIT's New Radio Can Detect Your Emotions Using Wireless Signals | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
Determining a person’s emotions based solely on their facial expressions isn’t always easy, nor are the conclusions drawn always accurate. However, new technology coming from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) can measure even the subtlest changes in breathing and heart rhythm, allowing the researchers to detect whether a person is happy, sad, excited, or angry.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

A team of researchers have developed a device that can detect basic human emotions using wireless technology. it analyzes small variations in heartbeat intervals to determine whether a person is happy, sad, excited, or angry, and can do so with 87% accuracy.

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Does This Headline Look Blue To You? Then It Might Also Feel Like A Triangle.

Does This Headline Look Blue To You? Then It Might Also Feel Like A Triangle. | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it

A painter who hears noise in colors. A musician who sees sounds in shapes. People who taste words. These are just some examples of what it’s like to have synesthesia ― a condition where input received via one sense triggers a response from another sense, causing people to experience reduced boundaries between vision, hearing and other types of perception. Now, a study published Sept. 15 in the European Journal of Neuroscience suggests that simply having one type of synesthesia ― for example, seeing colors in letters of the alphabet ― is enough to blur the lines between other senses as well.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Research shows that synesthesia may extend in more directions than we thought.

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Virtual Reality May Help You Control Your Dreams

Virtual Reality May Help You Control Your Dreams | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it

Research has found that gamers report a greater sense of control in their dreams than non-gamers, as well as more awareness that they are dreaming—what researchers term “lucidity.” This suggested that spending time in a fictional, controllable world might teach gamers to view dream worlds through the same lens.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Research suggests people dream more lucidly after they’ve immersed themselves in virtual worlds.

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This is a 3D model of a clitoris – and the start of a sexual revolution

This is a 3D model of a clitoris – and the start of a sexual revolution | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it

This month, pupils across France will be able to use the first full-size anatomical model of a clitoris in their sex education classes. Considering all the technological, medical and scientific achievements humans have made, this seems to have taken a long time. The distribution of this model has been possible due to 3D printing technology; but even three-dimensional MRI scans, which previously produced the most accurate representations of the clitoris, only became available in 2009. But it was worth the wait. The truth is, you might struggle to gain pleasure from a tool you don’t even know you have. In 2016, women finally know without speculation what the whole of their sexual organ looks like; and for many it won’t be quite what they imagined.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

It looks like a tulip emoji, but this anatomically accurate clitoris will aid education and debunk myths that have repressed women’s sexuality for centuries.

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Harnessing the amazing work of the 40 trillion chemists in your gut microbiome

Harnessing the amazing work of the 40 trillion chemists in your gut microbiome | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
Deep in your gut, 40 trillion chemists are hard at work helping you digest your lunch, making essential vitamins and nutrients you can’t produce on your own, protecting you from disease, and more. These talented creatures are bacteria, fungi, and other single-celled organisms.
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

There are more microbes on Earth than stars in the visible universe. That means they can carry out chemical reactions on a scale that can alter the planet. Life on Earth looks the way it does today thanks to a breakthrough in microbial chemistry — whose byproduct was oxygen — that occurred 3 billion years ago.

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Meditation and Exercise Reduce Depression Symptoms 40%

Meditation and Exercise Reduce Depression Symptoms 40% | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
A combination of exercise and meditation done twice a week over two months may reduce depression symptoms by 40 percent, according to a new study published open-access this month in Translational Psychiatry. Following the eight-week intervention, the student participants that had previously been diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) reported significantly less symptoms and ruminative thoughts and students without any such diagnoses also showed remarkable improvements.
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Combining exercise and meditation reduces depression by 40% in two months.

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How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat

How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it

The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry. “They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the JAMA Internal Medicine paper.

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The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show.

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Humans use similar sounds for common words in more than 6,000 languages

Humans use similar sounds for common words in more than 6,000 languages | Psychology and Health | Scoop.it
The findings suggest that humans speak a kind of 'universal language', perhaps influenced by biology, and go against a long-standing principle of modern linguistics – essentially, that there is no link between the sounds and the meaning of words.
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A first-of-its-kind study looking at more than 6,000 languages has found that people from around the world tend to use the similar sounds to signify common objects and ideas, with associations much stronger than we would expect by chance.

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