“For skills to improve, we must update an existing memory with new information,” the researchers conclude. If you practice the exact same thing the exact same way every time, you’re not layering much new knowledge over what you already know.
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Most animals have smooth brains. The brains of humans (and a handful of animals we consider pretty intelligent – dolphins, chimps, elephants, pigs) start out smooth in the early days of gestation and get more and more wrinkled through infancy.
A wrinkled brain makes sense - folding means you can have a really big cortex but the different parts of the brain won’t be as far apart. But how do brains become wrinkled? Is it programmed somehow - does some genetic code determine the pattern of folds?
A new study from Harvard says no - its just simple physics. They created a 3D model of a smooth fetal brain and coated it with an elastomer gel “cortex.” When they immersed this brain in a special solution, the gel swelled, mimicking brain growth.
Lo and behold, the brain began to buckle, creating folds similar to size, shape and location of a real brain.
1. No Breakfast – People who don’t eat breakfast have lower blood sugar levels. This can lead to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain (and to underperformance in terms of thinking, processing , retrieval and memory skills).
2. Overreacting – This can flood the brain with chemical which interferes with clear thinking, logical analysis and memory.
3. Smoking – This can cause a shrinkage in the brain, and possibly lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
4. High Sugar Consumption – Consuming too much sugar interferes with the absorption of proteins and nutrients. These are essential for healthy brain development.
5. Air Pollution – The brain is the largest oxygen consumer in our body. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain. Again, this can reduce and interfere with the brain’s healthy functioning.
6. Sleep Deprivation – Sleep allows our brain to rest and rejuvenate itself. Long term sleep deprivation accelerates the death of brain cells. It interferes with putting down new memory traces, effective problem solving and memory retention.
7. Exercising your Brain in Times of Illness – Working or studying during times of sickness can lead to a ineffective thinking, poor processing, and to poor memory and retention.
8. Lack of Stimulation – Thinking is the best way to train our brain. Lack of stimulation can prevent new neural pathways from forming. It can also prevent us from reaching our potential in terms of creative thinking and analytical thinking.
It’s called a stent-electrode recording array, and it has been used for the last few years for neurological conditions, according to a paper
by University of Melbourne researchers. But a 39-person team from 16 of
the university’s departments think it could be used to make people walk
again. But wait it gets even better.
The cryogenically preserved
brain belonged to a rabbit, and using an innovative technique called
Aldehyde-stabilized cryopreservation (ASC), researchers were able to
return the animal’s brain to near-perfect condition.
“Using a combination of
ultrafast chemical fixation and cryogenic storage, it is the first
demonstration that near perfect, long-term structural preservation of
an intact mammalian brain is achievable,” the Brain Preservation
Foundation wrote in a news release.
Their study was recently published in the journal Cryobiology.
Researchers successfully froze a rabbit’s brain, preserving its all of
its synapses, cell membranes, and intracellular structures for the first
time. (Photo : Wikimedia Commons )
Regrets, you’ve had a few. If you’re human, that Frank Sinatra line more than likely resonates. But now, scientists believe they’ve found a way to wipe clean your slate.
PBS’ NOVA explored this possibility in its latest documentary, Memory Hackers.
The doc cites decades worth of scientific discoveries that explore how
the human brain makes, stores and recalls memories. And the next
frontier: Memory manipulation.