"Begun in 1938, the Grant Study of Adult Development charted the physical and emotional health of over 200 men, starting with their undergraduate days. The now-classic ‘Adaptation to Life’ reported on the men’s lives up to age 55 and helped us understand adult maturation. Now George Vaillant follows the men into their nineties, documenting for the first time what it is like to flourish far beyond conventional retirement. Reporting on all aspects of male life, including relationships, politics and religion, coping strategies, and alcohol use (its abuse being by far the greatest disruptor of health and happiness for the study’s subjects), ‘Triumphs of Experience’ shares a number of surprising findings. For example, the people who do well in old age did not necessarily do so well in midlife, and vice versa. While the study confirms that recovery from a lousy childhood is possible, memories of a happy childhood are a lifelong source of strength. Marriages bring much more contentment after age 70, and physical aging after 80 is determined less by heredity than by habits formed prior to age 50. The credit for growing old with grace and vitality, it seems, goes more to ourselves than to our stellar genetic makeup."
Wisdom is the ability to make sound judgments and choices based on experience. It’s a virtue according to every great philosophical and religious tradition, from Aristotle to Confucius and Christianity to Judaism, Islam to Buddhism, and Taoism to Hinduism. According to the book From Smart to Wise, wisdom distinguishes great leaders from the rest of the pack. So what does it take to cultivate wisdom?
"Behaviour can be affected by events in previous generations which have been passed on through a form of genetic memory, animal studies suggest.
Experiments showed that a traumatic event could affect the DNA in sperm and alter the brains and behaviour of subsequent generations.
A Nature Neuroscience study shows mice trained to avoid a smell passed their aversion on to their "grandchildren".
Experts said the results were important for phobia and anxiety research.
Prof Marcus Pembrey, from University College London, said the findings were "highly relevant to phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders" and provided "compelling evidence" that a form of memory could be passed between generations..."
Imagine that you're floating away and viewing a stressful situation as a detached, outside observer, above the scene. From this larger viewpoint, ask yourself whether the situation is worth worrying about.
What drives our powerful need for social interaction? And what makes being alone difficult? These are just a couple of the questions that Matthew Lieberman, a social neurologist from the University of California, explores in his newest book, Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect. Through his research, Lieberman has identified compelling evidence demonstrating the neuroscience behind our human interactions -- with broad implications for how we live our lives. For example, we now know that the connection between physical and social pain is very real -- in that, they are both processed through the same neural pathways. From an evolutionary standpoint, this begs the question -- that perhaps our social connections are more than just a mere luxury, that perhaps they are, in face, a necessity. Our brains are continuously working, and in order to better respond to our environment. This is what our brains were wired for: reaching out to and interacting with others, writes Lieberman. This article shares more.
The psychology of the 'winter blues' and 'retail therapy' Lawrence Journal World Seasonal affective disorder or “winter blues” is scientifically explained as a winter depression caused by little exposure to sunlight, said Steve Ilardi, clinical...
When you eat something loaded with sugar, your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice. This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine -- an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more. in this TED-Ed video Nicole Avena explains why sweets and treats should be enjoyed in moderation.
With evidence growing that meditation can have beneficial health effects, scientists have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body.
A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of meditation.
After eight hours of practice, meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.
"After eight hours of practice, meditators showed altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation."
A new study shows that having lots of friends is linked with greater connectivity between certain brain areas.
Being a social butterfly just might change your brain: In people with a large network of friends and excellent social skills, certain brain regions are bigger and better connected than in people with fewer friends, a new study finds.
Scientists still don't understand how the brain manages human behavior in increasingly complex social situations, or what parts of the brain are linked to deviant social behavior associated with conditions like autism and schizophrenia.
In the study, some brain areas were enlarged and better connected in people with larger social networks. In humans, these areas were the temporal parietal junction, the anterior cingulate cortex and the rostral prefrontal cortex, which are part of a network involved in "mentalization" — the ability to attribute mental states, thoughts and beliefs to another.