Video: Michael Merzenich in Conversation with the Dalai Lama

Of all the neuroscientists in the world, who had the honor of sharing the stage with the Dalai Lama last week? Our co-founder and chief scientist, Dr. Michael Merzenich, was chosen for a very special on-stage discussion with His Holiness that took place this past weekend week at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. The symposium, titled “Neuroplasticity and Healing,” centered on the topic…

10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Beat Stress

Feeling stressed? We have 10 ideas for you to help lessen it right now, with explanations and links to scientific research backing up these surefire stress busters. Which ones work for you?   Take a Hike: A study recently found that taking short walks in nature can help lower stress and improve well-being and cognitive health. Knit…

Trying Too Hard Can Actually Impede Second Language Learning

A recent study from MIT found that trying too hard can actually make it more difficult to learn a second language. The researchers found that adults who try to learn a new language may have cognitive skills and strategies that are too developed, and can impede second language learning. In fact, the harder the adults in the study…

New Eye Test Can Detect Early Alzheimer’s

I wrote recently about some things that can increase or decrease amyloid beta protein in the body, and how the protein plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease. Now, scientists are working on an eye test that scans for amyloid beta deposits in the retina as a way to detect early Alzheimer’s. The research is still in its early…

How Can Brain Plasticity Improve Your Marathon Time?

I recently read a great article in Runners’ World called The Running Machine Myth. It is a must-read for anyone who is interested in how your brain plasticity processes can shape and affect your physical training goals, and how you can approach training to best apply your brain’s natural ability to grow and change. The world class…

Musical Training for ADHD? New Study Says Yes

A recent study has found that both people with musical training show better executive functioning in the brain as compared to non-musicians. Based on this finding, the scientists involved in the study have suggested that musical training for ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) may be an effective, non-invasive therapy for the disorder. “Executive functioning” is generally…

Knitting May Alleviate Depression and Anxiety, Make You Happier

A new study from Britain has found that knitting may offer some benefits for the brain. The results are very early, but more studies are underway and scientists hope to find further evidence that knitting and other craft activities can help alleviate depression and anxiety and increase happiness. There is a growing body of evidence that…

Why Does Brain Speed Matter, and What Can I Do to Improve It?

I just saw an article in Scientific American about why brain speed is important, how it decays as we age, and what the effects are on daily life over time. But this is nothing new: we have been talking about brain speed for years! Some highlights from the article include: “Studies suggest that the speed of information processing…