Good Deeds are Catching: Altruism and the Social Brain

I’ve been thinking a lot about altruism ever since the horrible devastation in Haiti. In the aftermath, the world contributed millions of dollars of aid. From the US alone, $220 million was raised in the first week. The first week! And this at a time when our national unemployment rate was in double-digits. While pondering…

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Get out your hand weights… Strength Training and Cognitive Improvement in Women

In the United States, about 20% of seniors who suffer a hip fracture will die within a year. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, PhD, has been investigating the impact of women’s weight training for helping seniors decrease the rate of fractures out of her laboratory at the Center for Hip Health and Mobility, Vancouver General Hospital. Now she…

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From Physiology to Structure…and More: What a Brain!

The brain’s plasticity is revolutionary but its evolutionary history is pretty remarkable, too. What’s amazing is that the brain has been evolving since our earliest predecessor, “Tool Maker” first appeared on the planet. But it’s only recently (during these last few minutes of our evolutionary past when neuroscience has been able to take us inside…

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Marble Therapy?

I played with marbles as a kid. Did you? Now I’m wondering if those little round stones can have an impact on memory and emotions. According to a new study published in Cognition, simple motor functioning like playing with marbles may trigger memories. Daniel Casasanto, PhD (Donders Center for Brain, Cognition, & Behavior, Nijmegen, New…

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A Pain-Resistant Patch? Sign Me Up

I know that most people are not lovers of physical pain. If someone invented a patch to keep the wearer from feeling pain, this inventor would become an instant billionaire. But it appears that there already is something better than a patch: Zen meditation. In an earlier study, Montreal University researchers from the lab of…

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Your Teenager’s Brain IS Different

Many of us look back at our teenage years and realize that while often turbulent, these years laid the groundwork for who we are today. We learned incredible amounts of information, not just in terms of academics but also in terms of who we were as individuals. But why were these years so turbulent? At…

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