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4 Exercises To Sharpen Your Brain
Think of your brain as a muscle: It gets stronger with exercise. Your everyday mental tasks are like walking, but how about a real workout? Try these simple exercises to boost your brain power and clear away the fog of forgetfulness.
1. Use your non-dominant hand
Tackling new tasks improves brain capacity in younger people and has a restorative effect on mental faculties that are declining. Boost your brain power right now by performing everyday activities with your non-dominant hand. If you're right-handed, use your left hand to eat, drink, comb your hair, and brush your teeth. Try writing your name with your non-dominant hand or put your mouse pad on the other side of the keyboard.
Aluminum And Alzheimers Disease
Large amounts of aluminum are usually found in the brain of a patient with Alzheimer's. This has led others to think that the disease is caused by using aluminum cooking pots and pans or ingesting oral antacids or antiperspirants containing aluminum.
It's a nice thought but one with no scientific basis. Professor Luigi Amaducci of the Department of Neurologic & Psychiatric Sciences at the University Of Florence said other patients with Alzheimer's don't have aluminum plaques in the brain which rules out this metal as the cause of the disease.
"There has been some concern in recent years that dietary aluminum may lead to Alzheimer's disease or senile dementia in older people. This concern arises from the fact that greater levels of aluminum are found in brain tissue of people dying from Alzheimer's disease than in brain tissue from people dying from other causes," according to Dr. Myron Winick, director of the Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in The Columbia Encyclopedia of Nutrition.
Be A Brain Scientist
"To think is to practice brain chemistry." - Deepak Chopra
Have you ever heard someone say, "Well, I'm no brain scientist¦"? Quite recently I had lunch with a friend while he was on a break from work. When he ordered a beer I raised my eyebrows in mock astonishment. He replied "It's not like I'm performing brain surgery later."
But we are all brain scientists. Our thoughts really do affect our brain chemistry. And we can be like surgeons in our ability to carefully excise negative thoughts from our gray matter.
Our patterns of thought are simply habits, but they are grounded in rich neural circuitry. Like deer in the woods, our thoughts form paths that will most likely be retread unless we consciously set out to find a new way. The first step to that new way is to be aware that thoughts can either be unconscious or conscious.
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Top 21 Books On Brain Health Fitness And Training Neuroplasticity And NeurogenesisGiven the growing media coverage of brain fitness and brain training, we have produced this compilation of the Top 21 Books that help understand these trends, the research behind them, and the implications for all of us.
For your easy browsing, we have categorized them into seven groups:
1) Fascinating books on neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to rewire itself through experience):
- Train Your mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves - by Sharon Begley.
- The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science - by Norman Doidge.
- The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind - by Elkhonon Goldberg).
- The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger As Your Brain Grows Older - by Elkhonon Goldberg.
2) User-friendly scientific books on the brain:
- Best of the Brain from Scientific American: Mind, Matter, and Tomorrow's Brain by Floyd E. Bloom.
- A User's Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain - by John J. Ratey.
- In Search of memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind - by Eric Kandel.
- Mapping the Mind - by Rita Carter.
- Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind - by V. S. Ramachandran.
- Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide To Stress, Stress Related Diseases, and Coping - by Robert M. Sapolsky.
3) On how to apply all this to education and learning:
- Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nurture Your Child's Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy Emotions from Birth Through Adolescence - by Marian Diamond and Janet Hopson.
- The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning - by James Zull.
- Enriching the Brain: How to Maximize Every Learner's Potential - by Eric Jensen.
4) On how to apply cognitive and positive psychology to solve other real-world problems:
- Thanks: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier - by Robert Emmons.
- The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person - by Judith Beck.
- Enhancing Trader Performance: Proven Strategies From the Cutting Edge of Trading Psychology - by Brett Steenbarger.
5) With a health/medical angle: