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Posts Tagged "meditation"

Beautiful Minds

In Defense of Working Memory Training

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One minute we’re being told that brain training makes you smarter, and the next minute we’re told it’s all bogus. Confused? I don’t blame you. The research literature on brain training is confusing and even sometimes contradictory. This is the way of science. I believe, however, that there is hope in making sense of things if the field and the [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Yahrzeit – Reflections on Dan Markingson’s Legacy

Angel of Grief

This research ethics series uses the story of Dan Markingson’s participation in a clinical trial of anti-psychotic drugs at the University of Minnesota, his suicide 2004 while participating on the study, and subsequent events as a case study in which to explore various aspects of clinical trial conduct. In previous posts, I’ve looked at issues [...]

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Observations

Taking a Closer Look at How Meditation Improves Our Brains [Video]

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The practice of meditation can sharpen our attention, strengthen memory and improve other mental abilities. In our latest Instant Egghead video, Scientific American editor Ferris Jabr examines the changes in brain structure behind some of these benefits. More to explore (via Ferris Jabr): Does mindfulness training improve cognitive abilities? A systematic review of neuropsychological findings. [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Who Needs Stimulants for ADHD?

Ritalin. Courtesy of en:User:Sponge via Wikimedia Commons.

In 1970, 150,000 U.S. children were taking stimulant medications. By 2007, that number had risen to 2.7 million, according to pediatrician Sanford Newmark of the University of California, San Francisco. In the video embedded in this post, titled “Do 2.5 Million Kids Really Need Ritalin?” Newmark analyzes the reasons behind the rise in prescriptions, which [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Teen Builds Gateway to the Brain for Girls

Girls run on a brain maze

The Synapse Project “encourages young women to enter the field of neuroscience through information and mentorship,” according to its website. This endeavor, an amalgam of outlets for kids, information for teens and career advice for young women, turns out to be the brainchild of … a child, one keenly interested in the brain. Sixteen-year-old Grace [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Learn to Live in the Now [Video]

Being mindful means being acutely aware of what is happening now—rather than drifting into the past or musing about the future—without emotionally reacting to these ongoing events. Maintaining a focus on the present is associated with a variety of improvements to physical and mental health. Practicing mindfulness can also enhance key aspects of intellect—in particular, [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Social and Emotional Learning Empowers Children

Editor’s note: The below is a response to a critique of MindUP, a social and emotional learning program pioneered by actor Goldie Hawn. I have covered this program in other blogs (see list below) and in a feature in Scientific American Mind (visit “Schools Add Workouts for Attention, Grit and Emotional Control”). I hope this [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

How Social and Emotional Learning Could Harm Our Kids

Editor’s note: The following is a critique of a social and emotional learning program called MindUP that I have covered in other blogs (see list below) and in a feature in Scientific American Mind (visit “Schools Add Workouts for Attention, Grit and Emotional Control”).  Please also read a response to this critique, posted separately, from [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

The Education of Character: Teaching Control with a Cotton Ball [Video]

We think of school as a place where children learn new skills and knowledge. Young people come to class more or less ready to learn, their aptitude and readiness determined by genetics and environment. They are motivated or apathetic. They are attentive or distractible. They are social or shy, anxious or calm. Teachers accept these [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Educating Character and Other Lessons from Scientific American MIND

Teacher and children breathing

I am happy to be breaking my silence of recent weeks with a preview of the September/October issue of Scientific American Mind. As the summer begins its slow resignation and people anticipate the start of school, our pages revive the ongoing societal debate about the best way to teach our kids. This issue of Mind [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Success in 7 Short Steps

girl writing in journal

People who succeed in their jobs and in life are typically blessed with a special blend of four qualities: efficacy (self-confidence), resilience, hope and optimism. This mental confection, which scientists call psychological capital, reflects our capacity to overcome obstacles and push ourselves to pursue our ambitions. Not surprisingly, having lots of it is linked to [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Goldie Hawn Plunges into Brain Science

Goldie Hawn in 1989 at 61st Academy Awards. Photo by Alan Light via Wikimedia Commons.

ASPEN. When I arrived at the Aspen Meadows Resort for the Second Annual Aspen Brain Forum last Thursday evening, Goldie Hawn was getting out of a vehicle near the entrance. I knew she was about to give the keynote address, but I was startled to practically run into the actress. A grandmother now, Hawn looked [...]

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Talking back

Is Mindfulness Good for Everything? Maybe Not for Learning to Ride a Bike

Searching the keyword “mindfulness” on Google News turns up more than 9,000 results posted over the last few weeks. The vast majority of headlines arrive in your browser resonating with  hyperbolic overtones: “Pioneering Lee School uses mindfulness for pupils to beat stress and boost exams” “How to Manage Your 40,000 Thoughts A Day and Keep [...]

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