In this TED Talk Ben Ambridge discusses and debunks popular myths about brain function and human psychology.
For decades we have been taught that too much stress is harmful to one’s health. However, psychologist Kelly McGonigal posits that, if viewed in a positive light, stress can not only be harmless, but even beneficial.
While there is no miracle cure for Alzheimer’s dementia, researchers have discovered that our daily diet has an immense impact on improving the cognitive function of Alzheimer’s patients as well as determining whether or not we develop the disease later on in life. Medical experts believe that a diet low in fats and rich in antioxidant foods such as blueberries and grapes (particularly grape seeds and grape seed extract) can significantly minimize the likelihood of age-associated cognitive decline even if there is a history of dementia in the family. Surely this is fantastic news for persons who have seen their loved ones severely limited by this terrible disease!
America has come a long way in terms of how its citizens view smoking cigarettes. Indeed, there was a time in the 1950s when medical doctors would appear on television endorsing a particular brand of “smokes.” But new laws in the 1990s restricted the use of cigarettes in many locations and thus the culture began to change. States had so much success curbing smoking that the World Health Organization now lists the U.S. below many other nations, such as England and Australia, in prevalence of overall tobacco consumption. Continue reading
In this video Michael Stevens looks at possible reasons for human boredom. He explains that boredom occurs when we are disinterested in the outside world and the inner world of our thoughts — in essence, we are bored when we are left alone with ourselves. Does this mean that human existence itself is “off” or somehow “incomplete?” Or is human existence so absolutely awesome that it’s sometimes difficult for us to find activities that can measure up to our high expectations? One thing we do know, is that boredom certainly isn’t boring!
- The Surprising Benefits of Being Bored (greatist.com)
Neuroscientist Russell Foster describes sleep as “the single most important behavioral experience that we have.” He describes how our perception of sleep has changed over the course of human history — from that of an appreciated necessity in the 16th century to “a criminal waste of time” by the start of the 20th century. Dr. Foster describes the importance of sleep in memory consolidation and problem solving, and highlights the link between sleep deprivation and setbacks such as poor judgement, drug/alcohol consumption, weight gain, mental illness and even cancer.