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Sunday, September 19, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
As people age, brain function slowly declines. Aside from improving physical fitness and overall health, exercise may also help improve brain function in older adults, researchers report.
In a study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, researchers evaluated brain function by performing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans on 70 sedentary (but otherwise healthy) adults who were 60-80 years old. The participants were randomly divided into an aerobic walking group or a non-aerobic control group, which performed toning, stretching and strengthening exercises. Each exercise session lasted 40 minutes and was performed three times weekly for one year. The MRI scans of the older individuals were again taken after six months and one year, and compared to MRI scans of 32 healthy younger individuals (age 18-35).
No beneficial effects were observed in the aerobic group after six months of exercise. However, after one year, several improvements in brain function were noted in the aerobic exercise group.
Earlier studies suggested that impaired function in a brain circuit called the default mode network (DMN) may be a sign of aging or neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer's. The DMN is active when a person is at a state of wakeful rest, such as daydreaming. In the present study, researchers found that DMN activity significantly improved in the aerobics group compared to the control group. The subjects in the aerobic group also experienced significant improvements in another brain network, the frontal parietal network, which is important for complex tasks.
By the end of the study, participants in the aerobics group experienced significant improvements in cognition, including memory and attention, compared to the control group.
While the results are promising, additional research is warranted in this area.
For more information about aerobic and non-aerobic exercise, please visit Natural Standard'sSports Medicine database.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
The findings are published in the September 2010 issue of Circulation.
The study examined data on 61,332 people from 44 countries who had been diagnosed with heart disease, stroke, or peripheral arterial disease -- or who had cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking or obesity.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Babies whose mothers are attentive and caring tend to grow into happy, well-adjusted children. But the psychological benefits of having a doting mother may extend well beyond childhood, a new study suggests.According to the study, which followed nearly 500 infants into their 30s, babies who receive above-average levels of affection and attention from their mothers are less likely than other babies to grow up to be emotionally distressed, anxious, or hostile adults..
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Have you always had a problem achieving your goals? Do you feel like you have read every "How to" goal book ever written, but yet, you still fail at your goals?
Perhaps the problem is not you, but your goals. Do you know what you really, really want out of life?
We tend to want so much out of life. We feel like we will die if we don't get the new car, but a few weeks after getting the new car and the "newness" wears off, we realize the car no longer makes us happy. This happens because the car was not what we really, really wanted in the first place. We simply thought the car was what we wanted.
In fact, as researchers are discovering, the psychology of risk involves far more than a simple "death wish." Studies now indicate that the inclination to take high risks may be hard-wired into the brain, intimately linked to arousal and pleasure mechanisms, and may offer such a thrill that it functions like an addiction. The tendency probably affects one in five people, mostly young males, and declines with age. It may ensure our survival, even spur our evolution as individuals and as a species. Risk taking probably bestowed a crucial evolutionary advantage, inciting the fighting and foraging of the hunter-gatherer.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
When you feel genuine hope, care and compassion, your heart is sending harmonious and coherent signals to the brain/ mind, replacing feelings of separation with a sense of connection. The heart and brain are aligned and in sync. The higher cortical functions are enhanced, facilitating objective, sober assessment and intuitive perception. You perceive more wholeness, and solutions to problems are more apparent.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The human mind can shift rapidly between tasks, on the order of a few hundred milliseconds. Recent research has uncovered supertaskers, the 2.5 percent of the population who are better than everyone else at texting and driving. But the average mind prefers something closer to a second or two between changes in input. The faster this shift, the less sense we can make of the information....
Thursday, April 22, 2010
In America and much of western culture, our infatuation with materialism comes from the opportunity to have such. Being a minimalist pre-cable/satellite television was not just a fad. It was a way of life. People were these things called ACTIVE and ENERGETIC. Once television became such a monumental part of our lives, we began being consumed by this sedentary form of life that co-existed with unhealthy and unfit lives.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Through the LHC, we hope to finally prove the existence of the Higgs boson, which is the only particle yet to be observed by the Standard Model. There is a hypothetical, ever-present quantum field that is supposedly responsible for giving particles their masses; this field would answer the basic question of why particles have the masses they do or why they have any mass at all. According to CERN, "The answer may be the so-called Higgs mechanism. According to the theory of the Higgs mechanism, the whole of space is filled with a 'Higgs field,' and by interacting with this field, particles acquire their masses. Particles that interact intensely with the Higgs field are heavy, while those that have feeble interactions are light. The Higgs field has at least one new particle associated with it, the Higgs boson. If such a particle exists, experiments at the LHC will be able to detect it."
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
How to integrate Open source Java Technologies to Build Social Capital to achieve United Nations Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs) will be the theme of the Java World Congress to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 26-28 Nov this year. Humans are social animals. From time immemorial history is replete with a plethora of examples of how humans interacted with family, small groups, society , country and the world at large to transact his business. While these social contacts are salutary to building health networks, others have used them to build tension, conflict and anxiety in our dealings. While interacting with a global village we observe how the multi-faceted technology and communication expansions have brought us very close to each other redefining the old boundaries.
If we go deeper into social capital we observe that Social capital is an instantiated informal norm that promotes cooperation between two or more individuals. The norms that constitute social capital can range from a norm of reciprocity between two friends, all the way up to complex and elaborately articulated doctrines like Christianity or Confucianism. They must be instantiated in an actual human relationship: the norm of reciprocity exists in potentia in my dealings with all people, but is actualized only in my dealings with my friends. By this definition, trust, networks, civil society, and the like which have been associated with social capital are all epiphenominal, arising as a result of social capital but not constituting social capital itself.
Not just any set of instantiated norms constitutes social capital; they must lead to cooperation in groups and therefore are related to traditional virtues like honesty, the keeping of commitments, reliable performance of duties, reciprocity, and the like. A norm like the one described by Edward Banfield as characterizing southern Italy, which enjoins individuals to trust members of their immediate nuclear family but to take advantage of everyone else, is clearly not the basis of social capital outside the family