Taking a nap sharpens your brain, suggests new science

A new study finds that naps bring cognitive benefits.

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  • Researchers find that daytime naps help your brain deal with unconscious information.
  • A short sleep can improve brain processing speed.
  • Scientists looked at how subjects performed on tasks they were not consciously aware of.
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Playing Super Mario 64 Increases Brain Health in Adults

For older adults, playing video games isn't just a way for older adults to keep in touch with the younger generation — it might be also be a way to stay in touch with memory itself.

The perennially awesome Mario and the antagonist Bowser, about to duel.

For older adults, playing video games isn't just a way to stay in touch with the younger generation — it might also be a way to stay in touch with perception itself.

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How We Breathe Affects Our Thoughts and Emotions, Northwestern Researchers Find

Inhaling through the nose activates the regions of the brain associated with memory and emotion. 

 

Man with a lot on his mind. Getty Images.

Focusing on one’s breathing has been a preoccupation of Eastern philosophy for centuries and in some cases, millennia. It is considered a means to attain inner peace and illumination. Yogis and Zen masters alike have traditionally begun their teachings having students focus on their breathing. It seems that science has finally caught up. A new study published in the journal Neuroscience outlines the interrelationship between breathing and cogitation.

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Researchers Discover Why It’s Hard to Maintain Eye Contact During Conversation

The average amount of eye contact adults make is 30-60% per conversation, 60-70% if they feel invested. 

 

Photo by Pascal Rondeau/Getty Images.

In many countries and regions of the world, take East Asia for instance, looking someone in the eye is considered rude. If that person is above you on the social hierarchy, say a professor, parent, or boss, doing so can be considered defiant. In the West however, maintaining eye contact is a sign of respect and earnestness. Avoiding eye contact is thought to be for a reason, such as you are lying, anxious, socially awkward, guilty, or untrustworthy. Sometimes it even telegraphs boredom with the topic of discussion.  

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