Better Hit the Brain Gym

Discoveries about neuroplasticity--the brain's ability to rewire itself throughout life by creating neural connections in response to mental activity--has led to the new brain centers, which "promise to keep older minds sharp with computer, walnuts and green tea."

The Wall Street Journal weekend edition discussed a new trend among senior citizens -- brain gyms. But can computer games and green tea really ward off dimentia?


Discoveries about neuroplasticity--the brain's ability to rewire itself throughout life by creating neural connections in response to mental activity--as well as Americans' growing fear of age-related dimentia, has led to the new brain centers, which "promise to keep older minds sharp with computer, walnuts and green tea."

According to the Journal, "Sparks of Genius, in Boca Raton, is a Florida start-up drawing older adults with "scientific-based brain-fitness workouts." In southern California, a dozen "Nifty after Fifty" fitness clubs are combining traditional exercise with time in front of computer screens, claiming that mental calisthenics work best after physical exercise. Canyon Ranch, a Tucson, Ariz.-based spa operator, has added a series of "Memory & More" programs at its Lenox, Mass., resort, which include classes in brain nutrition, genetic workups, and cognitive training."

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
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Lama Rod Owens – the price of the ticket to freedom

An ordained Lama in a Tibetan Buddhist lineage, Lama Rod grew up a queer, black male within the black Christian church in the American south. Navigating all of these intersecting, evolving identities has led him to a life's work based on compassion for self and others.

Think Again Podcasts
  • "What I'm interested in is deep, systematic change. What I understand now is that real change doesn't happen until change on the inside begins to happen."
  • "Masculinity is not inherently toxic. Patriarchy is toxic. We have to let that energy go so we can stop forcing other people to do emotional labor for us."
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For most of history, humans got smarter. That's now reversing.

We were gaining three IQ points per decade for many, many years. Now, that's going backward. Could this explain some of our choices lately?

The Flynn effect appears to be in retrograde. (Credit: Shutterstock/Big Think)
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There's a new study out of Norway that indicates our—well, technically, their—IQs are shrinking, to the tune of about seven IQ points per generation.

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Lateral thinking: The reason you’ve heard of Nintendo and Marvel

Here's why generalists triumph over specialists in the new era of innovation.

Videos
  • Since the explosion of the knowledge economy in the 1990s, generalist inventors have been making larger and more important contributions than specialists.
  • One theory is that the rise of rapid communication technologies allowed the information created by specialists to be rapidly disseminated, meaning generalists can combine information across disciplines to invent something new.
  • Here, David Epstein explains how Nintendo's Game Boy was a case of "lateral thinking with withered technology." He also relays the findings of a fascinating study that found the common factor of success among comic book authors.
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