Is Your Reality an Illusion?

Since the dawn of humankind, we've believed that we've been immersed in a continuous flow of consciousness. But that was merely an illusion our brains created according to cognitive neuroscientists at the Swiss National Science Foundation.  Their paper, published earlier this month, is titled "Time Slices," and theorizes that consciousness works much like a movie reel--we rapidly perceive myriad discrete images and our brains splice them together to create what we perceive as consciousness. Because visual processing takes only a few milliseconds,…

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Is Your Brain Over the Hill by 30?

Cognitive aging is widely misunderstood. It is true that many cognitive capabilities begin to decline in one's twenties, foremost among them fluid intelligence (the ability to solve novel problems). However, new studies are emphasizing that this is only half of the intelligence equation. The other half--crystallized intelligence--continues to improve all the way into one's seventies. And what's more, new theories are being advanced that fluid intelligence, once thought to be static and genetic, can be amplified through focused…

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Dumb and Grumpy: The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

This blog often discusses cognitive enhancers, such as mental mojo, but one of the single most devastating cognitive detractors is sleep deprivation. Increasingly, neuroscientific studies are showing that sleep deprivation is cognitive kryptonite. For starters, it blunts the brain's ability to be positive. According to findings of two related studies published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, less sleep makes the brain more sensitive to negative stimuli, and less sensitive to positive ones. This is why, as many new parents will…

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The Five Best Brain-Boosting Rituals

Your brain is your engine of success. Research suggests that adopting the five following rituals will keep it finely tuned into your golden years. Savor the little victories: your brain doesn't know the difference between little ones and big ones, but perceived progress is an enormous driver of positive behaviors and neurochemistry. Consider a morning routine that ends with an accomplishment (working out, writing a blog entry, etc.) to get your victory in the bag at the…

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Like Water: The Wisdom of Bruce Lee

Two years before his death, at the age of 31, American martial arts icon Bruce Lee had an epiphany. Already a successful actor and filmmaker, Lee had accomplished much, but he wanted more. Self-consciousness over goals left unaccomplished consumed him. Sensing this inner struggle, Lee's sensei, Yip Man, said: "Preserve yourself by following the natural bends of things and don't interfere. Remember to never assert yourself against nature...never be in frontal opposition to any problems, but control it…

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Ingredient Spotlight: L-Tyrosine, Creativity Booster

This Science Saturday spotlights one of the actives in Mental Mojo's proprietary cognition complex:  L-Tyrosine.  A study authored by the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition in September of 2014 reports that L-Tyrosine promotes convergent creative thinking--the type of deep thinking drawn from long periods of concentration (as opposed to divergent thinking, most commonly utilized during "brainstorming").  Researchers hypothesize that L-Tyrosine catalyzes creative thinking by boosting levels of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that is believed to drive creativity and many other aspects…

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