Sleep is Your Superpower

Sleep is Your Superpower

We’re sorry: video playback cannot be initialized on your browser at this time. Load this talk on ted.com Let me start with the brain and the functions of learning and memory, because what we’ve discovered over the past 10 or so years is that you need sleep after learning to essentially hit the save button on those new memories so that you don’t forget. But recently, we discovered that you also need sleep before learning to actually prepare your brain, almost like a dry sponge ready to initially soak up new information. And without sleep, the memory circuits of the brain essentially become waterlogged, as it were, and you can’t absorb new memories. So let me show you the data. Here in this study, we decided to test the hypothesis that pulling the all-nighter was a good idea. So we took a group of individuals and we assigned them to one of two experimental groups: a sleep group and a sleep deprivation group. Now the sleep group, they’re going to get a full eight hours of slumber, but the deprivation group, we’re going to keep them awake in the laboratory, under full supervision. There’s no naps or caffeine, by the way, so it’s miserable for everyone involved. And then the next day, we’re going to place those participants inside an MRI scanner and we’re going to have them try and learn a whole list of new facts as we’re taking snapshots of brain activity. And then we’re going to test them to see how effective that learning has been. And that’s what you’re looking at here on the vertical axis. And when you put those two groups head to head, what you find is a quite significant, 40-percent deficit in the ability of the brain to make new memories […]

Boot camp for your brain: Want to be happier, feel younger AND stave off dementia? Then try a leading neurosurgeon’s brilliantly simple workouts for your little grey cells

Boot camp for your brain: Want to be happier, feel younger AND stave off dementia? Then try a leading neurosurgeon's brilliantly simple workouts for your little grey cells

Less than 20 years ago, people thought that running or going regularly to the gym was for fitness freaks. But step outside your front door today and you can barely move for joggers and cyclists, while it’s entirely normal to be a member of a gym. In short, most people understand that their physical wellbeing is largely down to themselves, and that it can be vastly improved if only they choose to do so. But what most don’t realise is that exactly the same is true of their brain fitness, too. Just as our bodies age, so do our brains — with consequences that range from the irritating, such as forgetting why we came into a room, to the terrifying, such as dementia. However, just as with our physical health, there are a range of options available to us to improve our brain health. In fact, the single most important discovery neuroscientists have made since I first became a brain surgeon 15 years ago is that your brain’s health is largely within your own control. The brain has a remarkable ability to heal itself. We already know, for example, that every brain can make a comeback following a devastating illness or injury. Neurosurgeons like myself witness the living proof in patients who’ve experienced strokes, injuries or brain cancer yet who manage to make incredible recoveries. Neuro gym: The pecking order When you’re trying to remember things, use the lesson of the pecking pigeons (see main article) and intentionally practise area-restricted searches. Diligently scour your brain, first for categories and then for items in each category. This easy exercise takes less than five minutes — all you need is a piece of paper and a pencil. Set a timer for two minutes then write down the names of as many […]

Best BJJ Recovery Supplements

Best BJJ Recovery Supplements

As much as they call it the gentle art – BJJ is a tough game. Two athletes battle it out with brain and brawn with the sole intention of dominating the other. It’s all about knowledge, timing, and physical prowess. Your top flight competitors aren’t regular Joe’s who hit the sports hall two or three times a week. No. They’re ripped, muscle-bound, and in peak physical fitness – nothing short of an elite athlete. To sustain their hard training and fighting these men and women need to have their nutrition on lockdown. Their supplement game must be faultless too. BJJ players and competitors take supplements to bulletproof their diet plans. Sometimes things go a-miss, or certain vitamins and minerals are hard to get naturally. Not only that, but certain legal supplements are proven to give their users an edge over their competition. In this article, we’ll look at the four most important supplements for BJJ. Our focus will be to build muscle, strip fat, and maintain a strong, lean body. Not only that, but we’ll also look at how to sharpen the mind and prime it ready for action. Let’s get to it. -If you want to skip.and see our tried and tested best BJJ recovery supplement, scroll down!- Recovery Supplement 1 – CBD Now more than every, athletes are turning to CBD as their go-to supplement. Numerous studies have shown it to be a valuable asset to athletes, due to both it’s mental and physical soothing qualities. CBD is a cannabinoid taken directly from the cannabis plant. However, unlike THC, it has no psychoactive effect, meaning users can experience it’s many pros without feeling a “high”. This is why it’s a real favorite among hard working athletes and recreational jiu jitsu players alike. One of the greatest assets […]

10 Reasons to Eat More Blueberries + My Favorite Healthy Blueberry Smoothie Recipe!

10 Reasons to Eat More Blueberries + My Favorite Healthy Blueberry Smoothie Recipe!

Blueberries are packed with brain-boosting antioxidants that we all know of, but there are many more reasons to eat them every single day! Here are 10 reasons to eat more blueberries that you might not know, plus my favorite healthy blueberry smoothie recipe! Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits and always have been. I grew up eating them in sweet desserts, which isn’t the method I recommend today! I now enjoy them in many ways, from smoothies to oatmeal to healthy fruit-based desserts and so much more. In fact, I eat at least some form of them every single day! From antioxidant-rich wild blueberries to larger, cultivated blueberries, these fruits come in several different forms and are all worth including in your diet. Most of you probably know that blueberries contain antioxidants that have been shown to improve brain health, but there are more reasons to eat blueberries that you might not know. Check those out below, plus see my favorite healthy blueberry smoothie recipe! 10 Reasons to Eat More Blueberries 1. Blueberries have been shown to support digestive health due to their fiber and protective antioxidants. They contain 4 grams of fiber per cup and are low in sugars which support a healthy digestive system and gut flora we all need to be healthy. Their antioxidants have even been shown to prevent certain types of digestive cancers when eaten in an overall healthy diet. 2. Blueberries’ dark blue and purple colors indicate that they contain a class of antioxidants known as anthocyanins. While you might have heard about these antioxidants supporting brain health, you might not know that they also support healthy skin making them important for natural beauty. Anthocyanins help prevent skin from premature aging and can reduce signs of aging thanks to the way they […]

Vitamins to boost your immune system when you’re stressed

Vitamins to boost your immune system when you’re stressed

( Natural News ) Stress, in small doses, can improve focus and help people become energetic and alert . Too much of it, however, can hinder productivity and performance. While stress is a natural reaction to short-lived situations that require adjustment or response, it can become dangerous when it interferes with daily life. In fact, chronic stress affects both physical and mental health and is linked to high blood pressure (hypertension), asthma, ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, and back pain. (Related: Calm your anxiety and stress with these 10 natural herbs .) Chronic stress also makes people prone to disease and illnesses. During stressful situations, the brain signals the endocrine system to release stress hormones, such as cortisol. While these hormones help a person deal with an emergency, it can also dampen the immune system and prevent white blood cells from fighting infection. To manage stress, some people choose to smoke or drink excessively, but these habits may do more harm than good. Fortunately, getting a full night’s sleep, exercise, meditation, and a diet full of vitamins can be effective in alleviating the symptoms of stress . Vitamins to boost your immunity Vitamins are a readily available way for a person to boost his immune system. These are found in many food sources, which means that it’s easy for a person to meet his required daily intake. Vitamin C Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an essential micronutrient that promotes growth and repair of muscle and tissue . It is a powerful antioxidant that fights harmful molecules called free radicals. Taking vitamin C can decrease the duration and severity of a cold or flu. In a study published in the journal Cochrane Database of Systematic Review , researchers found that an effective dose of 1 to 2 grams is […]

What we learned from creating one of the world’s most popular MOOCs

Abstract Learning How to Learn (LHTL) is currently one of the world’s most popular massive open online course (MOOC), with nearly 2.5 million registered learners in its first 4 years. Here, we “reverse engineer” the design of the course’s videos to show how creative application of well-known principles of multimedia learning in an MOOC context appear to have fueled the course’s popularity. Gaps in knowledge of multimedia learning are also noted. There have been some 50 years of experience researching effective classroom teaching, but less there have been only 5 years since MOOCs became widespread. The success of LHTL may provide further insight into the importance of the principles of multimedia learning, and how those principles might be practically implemented to improve MOOC making and the general design of instructional videos. Introduction Massive open online courses (MOOCs) burst on the scene in 2011 with a major article in the New York Times . 1 The large numbers that enrolled, coupled with the unprecedented reach through the internet, piqued the world’s attention. Just as the internet disrupted the domains of knowledge, commerce, and social networks, it appeared that the world of education was about to change. Almost overnight, new companies were founded to develop and freely distribute lectures online by some of the best educators in the world. These are available on demand anyplace and anytime that there is an internet connection. The latest data available, as of the end of 2018, indicates there are 11,400 extant MOOCs, servicing 101 million learners. 2 Background about the MOOC Learning How to Learn Although many of the most popular MOOCs today involve practical skills such as computer programming or marketing, a few self-help-type courses, such as Yale’s The Science of Well-Being and our own Learning How to Learn (LHTL) make the top […]

Scientists improve rat’s short memory by prolonging brain signals

Scientists improve rat's short memory by prolonging brain signals

ARTEM MARFIN/ADOBE STOCK Scientists from the New York University found a way that can improve short-term memory in rats, and the findings may lend a clue to the treatment of memory disorders in humans. The study published on Thursday in the journal Science showed that brain cells fired longer when an animal was learning about a new place, and with those signals artificially lengthened, the animal was found to be better at remembering things, Xinhua News Agency reported. "Our study is the first in our field that made artificial changes to intrinsic neuronal firing patterns in the brain region called the hippocampus that increased the ability to learn," said Gyorgy Buzsaki, a neuroscientist at New York University School of Medicine, who led the study. In the experiments, the researchers alternated the sugary water between the left and right arms of a maze each time when a rat was placed in it, so the rat had to recall which way it had gone on the previous attempt and chose the opposite the next time. The researchers recorded the firing of cells in the hippocampus as a rat performed the memory task in the maze. The cell firing can be reflected by sharp wave ripples captured by a technology called Electroencephalography (EEG) to record brain activity with electrodes. They found that the sharp wave ripples were longer by tens of milliseconds when the rat was placed in a new place instead of a familiar one. Then, they engineered hippocampal cells to include light-sensitive channels, thus adding more working neurons to the naturally occurring sequence of sharp wave ripples. The rats with extended ripples were found to be 10 to 15 percent better at finding a sugary reward than rats without the manipulation, according to the study. The researchers found that extended […]

New dance class at PC begins June 17

New dance class at PC begins June 17

Do you want to feel great on the dance floor? Porterville College summer session has the class for learning to dance while gaining health benefits. No dance partner is necessary to enroll. Dance instructor Luis Aguilar is now teaching “Contemporary Ballroom and Line Dancing” through the Continuing Education Department at Porterville College, Monday evenings from 6-8 p.m. in the Student Center Conference Room located inside the PC Cafeteria. Aguilar makes dancing fun and encourages students every step of the way. He explains, “This class is great for beginners, people with both left feet. We will learn simple to complex line dancing as a form of aerobic exercise with breaks of basic ballroom like Salsa, Cha-Cha, Bachata, West and East Coast Swing, Waltz, and Night Club Two Step.” Dancing has been a lifelong hobby for Aguilar. He won a swing dance contest in college and was hooked. In 2000, Luis trained at the Sheryl Burke Studio, of “Dancing with the Stars” fame, in the Bay Area. He received a broad variety of instruction and encountered many expert dancers. As a professional civil engineer, dancing is the perfect hobby for Aguilar, which he feels we all need for health and longevity. “I joined Luis’ dance group eight months ago,” shares new dancer Carla Chancellor, “and I have developed better balance, learned many dances, and gained new friends, while laughing and losing two pants sizes along the way.” Aguilar states, “Dancing provides many health benefits: cardio vascular stamina, greater brain and memory function, better balance, stronger muscles and bones, along with endorphins and mood boosting social interaction.” Many recent medical studies and articles support dance as part of a healthy life style. When a new career position brought Aguilar to Porterville, he found no forum for his dance hobby. Friends in his […]

Scientists improve working memory by extending brain signals

Scientists improve working memory by extending brain signals

A study led by researchers at the New York University School of Medicine has discovered that short term memory can be improved by artificially extending neuronal signals called sharp wave ripples. The discovery holds potential implications in the future treatment of memory disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers focused on short-term memory Sebastian Kaulitzki | Shutterstock The study focused on working memory, which is responsible for retaining temporary information to be used to accomplish a task, for instance, remembering routes and directions around a new place to be used later in the day, or recalling numbers to write down a phone number. The team discovered that by lengthening sharp wave ripples (oscillatory patterns local to the hippocampus and surrounding areas of the brain that are involved in memory consolidation) in rats, they were 10 to 15 percent better able to remember the way through a maze to find a sugar water treat. Sharp wave ripples are created when nerve cells send electrical impulses to organize memories. As the study explains, “Sharp wave ripples (SPW-Rs) in the hippocampus are considered a key mechanism for memory consolidation and action planning.” During the experiment, the route of the maze researchers devised for the rats changed so that rats had to use the opposite route to the route they had previously taken to obtain the reward. To accomplish this, rats had to employ their short-term memory to remember not to repeat the same route in order to find the sugar water. The researchers used multisite electrophysiological recordings with optogenic activation of hippocampal pyramidal neurons, and artificially lengthened the sharp wave ripples to assess how it affected the rats’ short-term memory performance. To extend the sharp wave ripples, hippocampal cells were engineered to include light-sensitive channels. By shining light through small glass fibers successfully […]

Leading neurosurgeon’s simple workouts for your little grey cells

Leading neurosurgeon's simple workouts for your little grey cells

Less than 20 years ago, people thought that running or going regularly to the gym was for fitness freaks. But step outside your front door today and you can barely move for joggers and cyclists, while it’s entirely normal to be a member of a gym. In short, most people understand that their physical wellbeing is largely down to themselves, and that it can be vastly improved if only they choose to do so. But what most don’t realise is that exactly the same is true of their brain fitness, too. Just as our bodies age, so do our brains — with consequences that range from the irritating, such as forgetting why we came into a room, to the terrifying, such as dementia. However, just as with our physical health, there are a range of options available to us to improve our brain health. In fact, the single most important discovery neuroscientists have made since I first became a brain surgeon 15 years ago is that your brain’s health is largely within your own control. The brain has a remarkable ability to heal itself. We already know, for example, that every brain can make a comeback following a devastating illness or injury. Neurosurgeons like myself witness the living proof in patients who’ve experienced strokes, injuries or brain cancer yet who manage to make incredible recoveries. Neuro gym: The pecking order When you’re trying to remember things, use the lesson of the pecking pigeons (see main article) and intentionally practise area-restricted searches. Diligently scour your brain, first for categories and then for items in each category. This easy exercise takes less than five minutes — all you need is a piece of paper and a pencil. Set a timer for two minutes then write down the names of as many […]