Brain plasticity and criminal behavior; part 1

On March 24th, I posted a blog entry in which I made an audacious promise. I promised to review why and how, from a brain plasticity perspective, we Americans are so good at creating criminals, in sharp contrast with most other modern world cultures. I cited the specific comparative example of Japan, where the rates…

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…

Living longer (if you’re a rat). Part 2

In a yesterday’s blog, we discussed a study that provided powerful evidence that losing your driver’s license shortens your life. For individuals that were roughly matched for their physical health and brain health going into that study, an astounding 4-6X as many individuals who had given up driving had departed from this mortal coil, in…

Brain health and driving

In a January 30th article in the Journal of Gerontology, a very distinguished University of South Florida team led by Dr. Jerri Edwards reported rather astonishing findings on the value of retaining your driving license at an older age. Their approach was to match a large population of individuals using a variety of general health…