November 16, 2014 |
Chances are good you won't finish this article - at least not before you check your e-mail, send a text, or follow a tweet. As technological distractions beep and ping their way into our consciousness, plenty of evidence shows that multitasking can pump up anxiety levels, increase errors, reduce attention spans, and affect working memory. According to a study by Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, the typical office worker gets only 11 minutes between each interruption, and it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after a distraction.
November 2, 2014 |
One woman has devoted her career to understanding the brain of an animal that measures just 1 millimeter in length. Another explores the brains of creatures with billions of neurons, whose ability with languages sets them apart from all other living things. The two will have the chance for a pretty interesting conversation in April. Cornelia Bargmann, who studies the brain of a type of roundworm, and Elissa Newport, a prominent expert on how humans learn language, are among nine new winners of awards from the Franklin Institute, given each year to recognize achievement in the sciences and engineering.
October 24, 2014 |
Is she dead or isn't she? Jahi McMath, 13, was declared brain-dead in December after her heart temporarily stopped during a tonsillectomy in Oakland, Calif. The tragedy drew national attention when the girl's mother, Nailah Winkfield, persuaded a judge in January to allow her to remove the body from the hospital, still on life support. The mother brought the girl to New Jersey, where the law allows a family to refuse to remove life support from brain-dead patients for religious reasons.
August 28, 2014
I ALWAYS suspected that regular physical fitness plays a role in the health of the brain. And now, a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience strongly suggests that kids who are more active and physically fit do better in school. According to the study, "Aerobic fitness plays an important role in the brain health of children, especially in terms of brain structure and brain function. . . . These fitness-related differences in brain health are often coupled with performance differences, such that higher-fit children have been shown to outperform their lower-fit peers on tasks of cognitive control and memory as well as scholastic achievement tests in classroom.
August 4, 2014 |
By feline standards, Zeb was a social cat. He spent much of his time in the kitchen, where he could mingle with his owners and the other family pets. But two years ago, his behavior started to change. His owners, Ricki and Ed Johnson of Schwenksville, would often find him hiding in a box. He became lethargic and seemed to have difficulty eating. The 9-year-old domestic shorthair started defecating in an indoor potted plant and urinating in a closet - not unusual for some cats, perhaps, but Zeb had always been fastidious.
July 25, 2014 |
IN "CADDYSHACK," Carl Spackler famously reports that the Dalai Lama has promised him "total consciousness. " In Luc Besson's "Lucy," we finally get a look at it, and it comes, agreeably, in the form of Scarlett Johansson. She plays a random bystander who gets Shanghai'd (or in this case, Tapei'd) by Asian mobsters into being a mule for a new mind-expanding party drug. The drug leaks into her bloodstream, she gets a hyperdose, and soon her mind is expanding its capacity exponentially, leading her to consult a theorist (Morgan Freeman)
July 24, 2014
A NEW STUDY has delivered compelling evidence that diet, exercise and other prescription-free interventions are the best way to ward off Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's is perhaps the most dreadful of modern diseases: It steals your mind, your personality and your very soul. And once you have it, there is no turning back. On a personal note, I have seen firsthand the slow, devastating effects of this awful disease on a loved one, as well as the family members. So, my ears really perked up when I heard about the groundbreaking study that was presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference.
July 20, 2014
A story Friday about victims of lightning strikes said Michael Utley reported that he was brain-dead after being struck in 2000. Brain dead, however, is by definition an irreversible condition.
July 18, 2014 |
An Alzheimer's disease expert at Drexel University is testing an unusual approach to the disease: giving the brain what may be a more efficient source of energy. In people with Alzheimer's and other dementias, the brain loses its ability to properly metabolize glucose early in the course of disease, said Carol Lippa. This is critical because the brain needs a lot of fuel. "The brain uses, like, 30 percent of your oxygen," she said. "Your brain is really active metabolically, so it needs a really good supply of energy.
July 3, 2014 |
I AM A baseball fan. I love all aspects of the game: the fact that it's your companion for the entire summer and hopefully well into the fall, the idea that every at-bat creates its own set of circumstances that can turn the tide of a game in a heartbeat, the fact that not every season can be a repeat of the Phillies' magical 2008 season, but that every season can be enjoyed for the ride it gives you. I cherish baseball. I have delighted in the opportunity to spend special time with my son every summer for the past 16 years as we travel to a new ballpark, just the two of us. We have journeyed to 14 different parks, and Cooperstown, N.Y. This year we're trekking to Atlanta.