Good Food, Good Cognition

A study that looked at biomarkers in the blood to correlate vitamins and brain function found very clear links between nutrition and brain health, says Alice Walton at the Atlantic. 

What's the Latest Development?


A new study links good nutrition with good cognitive performance, presenting exciting new evidence that cognitive decline could be slowed in old age by simply altering one's diet. By looking at biomarkers in the blood of the study's 104 participants, researchers sought an objective measure of health before beginning cognitive tests. "People who had higher levels of B family vitamins, as well as vitamins C, D, and E had higher scores on cognitive tests than people with lower levels," reported researchers.  

What's the Big Idea?

Obviously there are other determiners of cognitive function than nutrition. What's unique about this study is that scientists were able to determine how large a role nutrition plays in thinking and memory: "They found that nutrient biomarkers accounted for 17 percent of the variation in the tests of thinking and memory function. Other variables, like age, education, and having high blood pressure accounted for more: 46 percent. But for brain volume, the role of nutrition was larger, accounting for 37 percent of the variation."

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

The 4 types of thinking talents: Analytic, procedural, relational and innovative

Understanding thinking talents in yourself and others can build strong teams and help avoid burnout.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to collaborate within a team and identify "thinking talent" surpluses – and shortages.
  • Angie McArthur teaches intelligent collaboration for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Herodotus’ mystery vessel turns out to have been real

Archeologists had been doubtful since no such ship had ever been found.

(Christoph Gerigk/Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation)
Surprising Science
  • In 450 BCE, Greek historian Herodotus described a barge that's never been found.
  • When the ancient port of Thonis-Heracleion was discovered, some 70 sunken ships were found resting in its waters.
  • One boat, Ship 17, uncannily matches the Herodotus' description.
Keep reading Show less

Horseshoe crabs are drained for their blue blood. That practice will soon be over.

The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.

Credit: Business Insider (video)
Surprising Science
  • Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
  • This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
  • Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
Keep reading Show less

Jordan Peterson on Joe Rogan: The gender paradox and the importance of competition

The Canadian professor has been on the Joe Rogan Experience six times. There's a lot of material to discuss.

Personal Growth
  • Jordan Peterson has constantly been in the headlines for his ideas on gender over the last three years.
  • While on Joe Rogan's podcast, he explains his thoughts on the gender differences in society.
  • On another episode, Peterson discusses the development of character through competition.
Keep reading Show less