Saturday, October 24, 2015

Shifting from Star Performer to Star Manager

You've always been a high achiever—top of your class, captain of your sports teams, star performer at work. Now, you're going to be managing a team of high-performers in a division of your company that everyone's buzzing about. You're confident that you can navigate this new challenge with characteristic success.

You're pumped. You set clear goals for yourself and targets for the division. You're well aware that you'll need to rely on your emotional intelligence skills to understand and work through your new team's dynamics. You're focused on achieving your goals and getting results… but before long, you've got problems. Your team doesn't seem to be on board with your plan and they're not delivering. Worse, they seem to be shutting you out. In desperation, you go to a few trusted mentors who tell you:

"You've inherited the cream of the crop. I'm not sure they even really need a manager, they're that good and that motivated."

"These are our stars. You noticed, I'm sure, that you're the third new manager appointed in the past two years?"

Click to read




Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Gene Signature Could be Used to Predict Alzheimer’s Onset Years in Advance [feedly]

A 'gene signature' that could be used to predict the onset of diseases, such as Alzheimer's, years in advance has been developed in research published in the open access journal Genome Biology.

The study aimed to define a set of genes associated with 'healthy ageing' in 65 year olds. Such a molecular profile could be useful for distinguishing people at earlier risk of age-related diseases. This could improve upon the use of chronological age and complement traditional indicators of disease, such as blood pressure.

Lead author James Timmons, from King's College London, UK, said: "We use birth year, or chronological age, to judge everything from insurance premiums to whether you get a medical procedure or not. Most people accept that all 60 year olds are not the same, but there has been no reliable test for underlying 'biological age'.


http://neurosciencenews.com/alzheimers-gene-signature-aging-2583/


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cancelling Intended Actions Appears to Weaken Memory

A new study by Duke University researchers suggests that this type of scenario makes a person less likely to remember what halted the action — for example, the make and model of the car in the blind spot.

People and non-human primates excel at "response inhibition." Our sophisticated brains allow us to cancel an action even when it's something engrained, like driving on the right side of the road. Although it's not easy, we can override this inclination when we drive in foreign countries with left-hand traffic.

The new results, published Aug. 26 in the Journal of Neuroscience, lend insight into how the ability to inhibit an action — a fundamental aspect of everyday life — affects other important brain functions such as attention and memory. The findings may eventually inform the treatment of disorders characterized by difficulty inhibiting actions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and addiction.


http://neurosciencenews.com/response-inhibition-memory-neuroscience-2511/


Monday, August 24, 2015

Happiness Isn’t the Absence of Negative Feelings

Happiness feels intolerably elusive for many of us. Like fog, you can see it from afar, dense and full of shape. But upon approach, its particles loosen and suddenly it becomes out of reach, even though it's all around you.

We put so much emphasis on the pursuit of happiness, but if you stop and think about it, to pursue is to chase something without a guarantee of ever catching it.

Up until about six years ago, I was fervently and ineffectively chasing happiness. My husband, Jim, and I were living in San Jose, California, with our two-year-old son and a second baby on the way. On paper, our life appeared rosy. Still, I couldn't seem to find the joy. I always felt so guilty about my sadness. My problems were embarrassingly "first world."

Then in September 2009, my world tilted. Jim fell severely ill. He was diagnosed withSwine Flu (H1N1) and West Nile (NOS), then Guillain-BarrĂ© Syndrome (GBS), due to his compromised immune system.


https://hbr.org/2015/08/happiness-isnt-the-absence-of-negative-feelings


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Temporal Cortex Region Allows Dogs to Process Faces

Dogs have a specialized region in their brains for processing faces, a new study finds. PeerJ is publishing the research, which provides the first evidence for a face-selective region in the temporal cortex of dogs.

"Our findings show that dogs have an innate way to process faces in their brains, a quality that has previously only been well-documented in humans and other primates," says Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist at Emory University and the senior author of the study.

Having neural machinery dedicated to face processing suggests that this ability is hard-wired through cognitive evolution, Berns says, and may help explain dogs' extreme sensitivity to human social cues.

Click to read

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Helping The Introverted And Talented Child

Tom Clynes has written an extraordinary "adventure, a coming-of-age narrative of one kid's remarkable (and often comic) journey into the subatomic world." The Boy Who Played With Fusion explores Taylor Wilson's brilliant mind and personality, remarkable parents, and the science behind nuclear fusion and gifted education to provide the reader with a literary ride that investigates what it takes to develop an intellectual star.

Clynes is a gifted storyteller, so it is wonderful to see his talents applied to help explore some important questions about developing intellectual talent. In this interview, we explore a handful of questions: How can parents best bring out their child's gifts? How can we help the gifted child who is more introverted? How can we spur a renaissance in gifted education? How can we persuade the public to care about helping our most talented kids reach their full potential?

Click to read
 

 




Saturday, May 23, 2015

Oxytocin, Alcohol Seem to Work on Brain in Similar Ways

The so-called "love hormone" oxytocin affects human behavior in much the same way as alcohol does, British researchers report.

Oxytocin is a hormone involved in mother-child bonding, social interactions and romance.

Previous research has shown that oxytocin boosts socially positive behaviors such as generosity, empathy and altruism, and makes people more willing to trust others, the researchers said.

The research team at the University of Birmingham analyzed existing research about oxytocin and alcohol and "were struck by the incredible similarities between the two compounds," researcher Ian Mitchell, from the School of Psychology, said in a university news release.

 
 



Sunday, May 3, 2015

Researchers Discover Brain Regions Responsible for Jumping to Conclusions

Most of the time, we learn only gradually, incrementally building connections between actions or events and outcomes. But there are exceptions–every once in a while, something happens and we immediately learn to associate that stimulus with a result. For example, maybe you have had bad service at a store once and sworn that you will never shop there again.

This type of one-shot learning is more than handy when it comes to survival–think, of an animal quickly learning to avoid a type of poisonous berry. In that case, jumping to the conclusion that the fruit was to blame for a bout of illness might help the animal steer clear of the same danger in the future. On the other hand, quickly drawing connections despite a lack of evidence can also lead to misattributions and superstitions; for example, you might blame a new food you tried for an illness when in fact it was harmless, or you might begin to believe that if you do not eat your usual meal, you will get sick.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Vitamin E deficiency could damage brain

The study, conducted by researchers at Oregon State University and published in the Journal of Lipid Research, involved examining zebrafish fed a diet deficient in vitamin E throughout their lives.

Zebrafish deficient in vitamin E were found to have around 30% lower levels of DHA-PC, a component of the cellular membrane of brain cells (neurons). Previous research suggests that low levels of DHA-PC in humans are associated with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Click to read



Monday, March 30, 2015

16 ways to motivate anyone

Siblings punch each other. It is a moral imperative to determine that day's victor. As welts begin to form, as bruises begin to darken, as blood drenches the carpet, at some point, parents must intervene. How do you motivate a child to act more kindly to their biological roommate?

Employees will perform exceptionally. And when they do, how will you reward them as a sign of appreciation? How can you reward them in a way that sustains their momentum?

The majority of books on leadership, parenting, and psychology divide motivation into two types: extrinsic and intrinsic. This is a simple bullet point that offers a lot of mileage. We can consider the content of goals and the reasons for pursuing goals. For instance, your goals might be driven by "extrinsic" goal content (financial success, appearing attractive to others, being known or admired by many people) or "intrinsic" goal content (being fulfilled and having a very meaningful life, having close and caring relationships with others).  In several studies, scientists have shown that people who prioritize intrinsic over extrinsic goal content experience greater well-being.



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Intrusive Thoughts: When Having a Great Imagination Seems Like a Curse

At any given time I can bring to mind a fatal accident. Something violent and tragic is upon me, and it's going to happen any second.

Riding in the car — a vehicle will suddenly crash into the back of us and send us careening off the freeway. Walking the dog — a larger animal will come out of nowhere and eviscerate my pet. Blowing out the candles on my birthday cake — a gas line will explode. Sitting in front of an open window — someone will reach inside and hit me over the head.

I don't know what came first, my anxiety or my vivid imagination. Certain unthinkable things have happened that seem to substantiate my anxiety. It has gotten worse since I put my home back together after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the same year my brother suffered the onset of schizophrenia. The following year my parents divorced, the recession left me unemployed, and my brother relapsed into active psychosis.


 
 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

High Levels of Formaldehyde in E-Cigarette Vapor

Researchers found that e-cigarettes operated at high voltages produce vapor with large amounts of formaldehyde-containing chemical compounds.

This could pose a risk to users who increase the voltage on their e-cigarette to increase the delivery of vaporized nicotine, said study co-author James Pankow, a professor of chemistry and civil and environmental engineering at Portland State University in Oregon.

"We've found there is a hidden form of formaldehyde in e-cigarette vapor that has not typically been measured. It's a chemical that contains formaldehyde in it, and that formaldehyde can be released after inhalation," Pankow said. "People shouldn't assume these e-cigarettes are completely safe."

The findings appear in a letter published Jan. 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Health experts have long known that formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals are present in cigarette smoke. Initially, e-cigarettes were hoped to be without such dangers because they lack fire to cause combustion and release toxic chemicals, a Portland State news release said.

Click to read