Brain plasticity origins of PTSD

John Woo, a fellow University of California professor and self-identified neurological expert on methods of interrogating prisoners argued that recommended methods of interviewing prisoners (like ‘water-boarding’, sustaining a detainee in an agonizing posture for extended periods of time, or long bouts of sleep deprivation) were acceptable, because experience with former prisoners of war have shown…

Genetics explanations for neurological & psychiatric illness

There is an interesting set of commentaries in the current issue of The New England Journal of Medicine in which scientists reflect on why genetic screening strategies have had such limited value, for explaining the risks of onset of the great human diseases and disorders. There has been a longstanding presumption (most strongly held by…

Seeing fast-moving things at an older age

Dr. John Andersen recently visited our research group from his laboratory at the University of California at Riverside, to help us understand important studies conducted in his laboratory documenting some aspects of change in the visual perceptual abilities of older individuals. He and his colleagues have conducted a number of important and provocative studies that…

Alarming increase of Bipolar Disorder in Babies

The headline read “98% of Babies Manic-Depressive” The news article was headlined New York: “A new study published in The Journal of Pediatric Medicine found that a shocking 98% of all infants suffer from bipolar disorder. ‘The majority of our subjects, regardless of size, sex, or race, exhibited extreme mood swings, often crying one minute…

Brain Plasticity and Culture

In a recent book “Brain and Culture” (MIT Press), Dr. Bruce Wexler, a Yale psychiatrist, considers some of the many implications of brain plasticity research for cultural progressions. One special point of his book is the way that our brains specialize, through our plasticity mechanisms, to create a model of the culture (our world) into…

Brain plasticity and the law

My wife Diane and I just returned from a working visit to Japan (I was an instructor in a “Spring Symposium” in Kyoto, attended by top Japanese neuroscience doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows). On this trip, we took an extra day to stay overnight in a Buddhist monastery on Mount Koyosan, a sacred site deep…

Moderate drinking and longevity

I have earlier described evidence from a large British study that identified a positive impact of the moderate consumption of alcohol on longevity — in their case, apparently adding about 1.5 years to a lifespan. Now, from my own university comes another large, careful study that supports this conclusion, while doing a little better job…

Brain Awareness Week

Remind yourself this week that you have a brain. It`s officially Brain Awareness Week, which is an acknowledgment that many of our citizens NEED reminding! And as you are pondering your brain’s mysteries, you might also reflect on its health (which equates with the health of YOU). You are, after all, its custodian–the party responsible…

The IMPACT study; a gold-standard trial that shows that Posit Science’s ‘Brain Fitness Program’ works as advertised.

A controlled scientific study (Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training; the IMPACT Study) conducted in 487 healthy adults over the age of 65 has recorded substantial improvements in cognitive abilities resulting from training with Posit Science’s Brain Fitness Program. The study, now published online and appearing in print in the April issue of…