Brain Training and Its Critics

When I was in college, I took a lot of science courses. Really, a lot — maybe even too many. And mostly what they taught me was how scientists believed the world worked — right then, as of the early 1990’s. Luckily for me, my college roommate took a somewhat broader curriculum, and much to my benefit, we talked…

Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms Could Be Mistaken for PTSD

A few studies in recent years are showing possible signs that soldiers who have had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by battlefield explosions are mistakenly diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In fact, what might be happening is that the soldiers’ pituitary glands have been damaged by the blast–which has led them to…

A Criticism Of Brain Training – And An Answer To It

An interesting paper came across my radar week – “Placebo effects in cognitive training” published in PNAS (with a paywall, unfortunately). In this paper, the authors investigate the effect that people’s expectations might have on the results of brain-training experiments. Every research study needs to recruit people to participate, and a common way is to…

Dr. Michael Merzenich Wins the 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience

Posit Science’s very own Dr. Michael Merzenich has been awarded the 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience for his work in discovering adult brain plasticity and applying its principles to improve the human condition! The Kavli Prize––a partnership between The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Kavli Foundation, and The Norwegian Ministry of Education and…

Keep Your Brain Sharp by Staying Busy

According to a new study that looked at cognition levels of adults aged 50–89 with a busy lifestyle, the busier you are the greater your cognition is likely to be. While excessive busyness can create stress—which is known to have negative ramifications such as narrowed attention, impaired working memory, and interference with knowledge acquisition—the authors…

FTC Takes Action on Brain Training

There are quite a few brain-training programs around, and it can take an expert to figure out which ones actually work. Unfortunately, too many programs have little or no science backing up their claims to improve brain function. BrainHQ is different: people with deep knowledge of the brain designed our exercises, and a wealth of…

Cycling May Increase Brain’s Density and Connectivity

We often talk about the benefits of different physical exercise on the brain, but here’s a new one that’s being studied: cycling. A recent study from the Netherlands found that people who used an exercise bike for 6 months saw an increased density and connectivity in their brain’s white matter. The finding was seen in both people with…