Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Why Is Dancing So Good for Your Brain?

Eat, a favourite hobby.

Why Is Dancing So Good for Your Brain?
Dancers maximize cognitive function and muscle memory through practice.
Christopher Bergland

Dancing improves brain function on a variety of levels.
Two recent studies show how different types of practice allow dancers to achieve
peak performance by blending cerebral and cognitive thought processes with muscle memory 
and ‘proprioception’ held in the cerebellum. Through regular aerobic training that incorporates some type of dance at least once a week anyone can maximize his or her brain function.
When was the last time you went out dancing? I make a habit of going to my local dance club
called the Atlantic House at least once a week. I have been dancing to DJ David LaSalle’s music
in the same spot in front of a huge speaker since 1988. Some of my friends make fun of me
for ‘chasing butterflies’ and acting like a fool on the dance floor. I don’t care.
I know that dancing and spontaneously trying to spin like Michael Jackson is good for my brain.
While researching this blog, I pulled up some old footage of Michael Jackson spinning.
He was an incredible dancer. Please take a minute to watch Michael Jackson dance here.
In this video you can see how practicing a dance move like ‘spinning’ from childhood reshapes the cerebellum (down brain) and allows a dancer to create superfluidity
and not get dizzy while rotating quickly.

Professional dancers don’t get dizzy. Why?
Do you feel dizzy sometimes when you stand up?
 Does a fear of falling prevent you from exploring the world more?
If you are prone to dizziness, a new study has found that dancing may help improve your balance and make you less dizzy. In September 2013, researchers from Imperial College London
reported on specific differences in the brain structure of ballet dancers that may help them
avoid feeling dizzy when they perform pirouettes. You don't have to train to become a professional ballet dancer to benefit from some type of dancing.
The article is titled, “The Neuroanatomical Correlates of Training-Related Perceptuo-Reflex Uncoupling in Dancers.” The research suggests that years of training can enable dancers
to suppress signals from the balance organs in the inner ear linked to the cerebellum.
The findings, published in the journal Cerebral Cortex,
could help to improve treatment for patients with chronic dizziness.
Around one in four people experience this condition at some time in their lives.
In a previous Psychology Today blog titled “Fear of Falling Creates a Downward Spiral”
I talk about the risk of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) due to a fear of falling and impaired balance. Taking time throughout your life to improve the function of your cerebellum through
aerobic activity and some type of dance is a fun and effective way to avoid the perils of dizziness.
For this study the researchers at Imperial College London recruited 29 female ballet dancers and,
as a comparison group, 20 female rowers whose age and fitness levels matched the dancers. Interestingly, most rhythmic aerobic exercise is going to be a bi-pedal motion or very linear
—like rowing. It is interesting to note the benefits to proprioception and balance
based in the cerebellum that is enhanced through dance.
The study volunteers were spun around in a chair in a dark room. They were asked to turn a handle in time with how quickly they felt like they were still spinning after they had stopped.
The researchers also measured eye reflexes triggered by input from the vestibular organs.
Later, they examined the participants' brain structure with MRI scans.
Normally, the feeling of dizziness stems from the vestibular organs in the inner ear.
These fluid-filled chambers sense rotation of the head through tiny hairs that sense
the fluid moving. After turning around rapidly, the fluid continues to move,
which can make you feel like you're still spinning.
In dancers, both the eye reflexes and their perception of spinning lasted a shorter time
than in the rowers. Sensory input evokes low-order reflexes of the cerebellum
and higher-order perceptual responses of the cerebrum.
Vestibular stimulation elicits vestibular-ocular reflex (VOR) and self-motion perception
 (e.g., vertigo) whose response durations are normally equal.
I have a section in my book, The Athlete’s Way, which explores the connection to VOR
and muscle memory during REM sleep that I will write about more in a future blog.
On Page 54 I say, “It became clear to me that creating a dreamlike default state of flow
through sport is linked to VOR, too. It is really like REM in reverse. This is my original hypothesis.
My father thinks it makes sense, but other scientists have yet to explore this theory.” The new research from London this month offers exciting new connections to VOR and peak performance.
Dr. Barry Seemungal, from the Department of Medicine at Imperial, said: "Dizziness,
which is the feeling that we are moving when in fact we are still, is a common problem.
I see a lot of patients who have suffered from dizziness for a long time.
Ballet dancers seem to be able to train themselves not to get dizzy,
so we wondered whether we could use the same principles to help our patients."
The brain scans revealed differences between the groups in two parts of the brain:
an area in the cerebellum where sensory input from the vestibular organs is processed
and in the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for the perception of dizziness.
"It's not useful for a ballet dancer to feel dizzy or off balance. Their brains adapt over years
of training to suppress that input. Consequently, the signal going to the brain areas responsible
for perception of dizziness in the cerebral cortex is reduced, making dancers resistant
to feeling dizzy. If we can target that same brain area or monitor it in patients
with chronic dizziness, we can begin to understand how to treat them better."
This shows that the sensation of spinning is separate from the reflexes that make your eyes
move back and forth," Dr. Seemungal said. "In many clinics, it's common to only measure
the reflexes, meaning that when these tests come back normal the patient is told that t
here is nothing wrong. But that's only half the story. You need to look at tests
that assess both reflex and sensation." In summary, dancers display vestibular perceptuo-reflex dissociation with the neuronatomical correlate localized to the vestibular cerebellum.

Visualizing Movements can Improve Muscle Memory
A July 2013 article titled, “The Cognitive Benefits of Movement Reduction:
Evidence From Dance Marking” found that dancers can improve the ability to do complex moves
by walking through them slowly and encoding the movement with a cue through ‘marking’. Researcher Edward Warburton, a former professional ballet dancer,
and colleagues were interested in exploring the "thinking behind the doing of dance."
The findings, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association
for Psychological Science, suggest that marking may alleviate the conflict
between the cognitive and physical aspects of dance practice — allowing dancers to memorize and repeat steps more fluidly. This creates what I call “superfluidity," which is the highest tier of ‘flow.’
Expert ballet dancers seem to glide effortlessly across the stage, but learning the steps
is both physically and mentally demanding. New research suggests that dance marking
—loosely practicing a routine by "going through the motions"—may improve the quality of dance performance by reducing the mental strain needed to perfect the movements. 
"It is widely assumed that the purpose of marking is to conserve energy," explains Warburton, professor of dance at the University of California, Santa Cruz. "But elite-level dance
is not only physically demanding, it's cognitively demanding as well. Learning and rehearsing
a dance piece requires concentration on many aspects of the desired performance."
Marking essentially involves a run-through of the dance routine,
but with a focus on the routine itself, rather than making the perfect movements.
"When marking, the dancer often does not leave the floor, and may even substitute hand gestures for movements," Warburton explains. "One common example is using a finger rotation
to represent a turn while not actually turning the whole body."
To investigate how marking influences performance, the researchers asked a group
of talented dance students to learn two routines: they were asked to practice one routine
at performance speed and to practice the other one by marking. 
Across many of the different techniques and steps, the dancers were judged more highly
on the routine that they had practiced with marking—their movements on the marked routine appeared to be more seamless, their sequences more fluid.
Conclusion: Synchronizing the Cerebrum and Cerebellum Creates Superfluidity
The researchers conclude that practicing at performance speed didn't allow the dancers
to memorize and consolidate the steps as a sequence, thus encumbering their performance.
This type of visualization and marking could be used to maximize performance
across many fields and areas of life.
"By reducing the demands on complex control of the body, marking may reduce
the multi-layered cognitive load used when learning choreography," Warburton explains.
 "Marking could be strategically used by teachers and choreographers to enhance memory
and integration of multiple aspects of a piece precisely at those times when dancers
are working to master the most demanding material," says Warburton.
It's unclear whether these performance improvements would be seen for other types of dance, Warburton cautions, but it is possible that this area of research could extend to other kinds
of activities, perhaps even language acquisition. He said, "Smaller scale movement systems
with low energetic costs such as speech, sign language, and gestures
may likewise accrue cognitive benefits, as might be the case in learning new multisyllabic vocabulary or working on one's accent in a foreign language."

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201310/why-is-dancing-so-good-your-brain

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I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
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To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

How Neuroscience Can Help You Get Smarter

Duke of Argyle's tea plant arching over the sunset.

How Neuroscience Can Help You Get Smarter
What you read about your brain affects how you use it.
Joseph Dumit Ph.D

One of the holy grail of neuroscience research is a brain experiment that shows us
how to live better and teaches us how to think better. From the Bell Curve to PET scans,
we hope that studies of our neurology and psychology will guide us in designing our society too.           Using the latest findings about the brain to raise your child is the latest prize in this search.
One of the most fascinating articles in neuroscience I've read recently was "The Secret to Raising Smart Kids", by Carol Dweck. This article discusses a set of research projects by Dweck and others
on how different views of intelligence held by children affect their school performance.
Those kids with a "fixed mindset" think that intelligence is innate and those kids with a
"growth mindset" think that you intelligence is something you improve through working hard.
What Dweck found is that kids with the fixed mindset gave up when they encountered
really hard problems, apparently because they imagined they had hit their plateau;
if they were really talented, then the problems would have been easy.
Growth-oriented kids, however, treat difficult problems as opportunities to improve
 their intelligence. Not surprisingly, growth-oriented kids continue to improve in school.
Here's the kicker: you can change a child's mindset by having them read neuroscience,
but choose it carefully! Dweck did an experiment where she gave one group of kids
regular instruction and another group instruction plus an article about how neurons
continue to grow throughout life and can be encouraged to grow through effort. Those kids
who read this article tended to adopt the growth mindset, and do better than the other kids.
This is neurosci-therapy, akin to bibliotherapy where psychologists have clients read books
to improve their outlook. Our faith in neuroscience gives these findings the ability
to change our minds (and maybe our brains).
Dweck has been researching and promoting this outlook for years.
Dweck has a book, Mindset, and may or may not be finishing a software program (called Brainology)     that takes this idea further, allowing kids to play with a simulated brain
and watch neurons grow, further cementing a growth mindset.
Most of the discussion online about Dweck's work is concerned with the robustness
of her findings and whether she is careful enough to distinguish intelligence from schoolwork. 
Many psychologists think that intelligence is one of the most innate and fixed parts of our minds,       based upon many of their tests which show that it doesn't change much as you age.
But perhaps their project is a bit circular in that the very act of giving someone a
"test of their intelligence" encourages them to adopt a fixed mindset! Feel free to delve into Dweck's work and the intelligence debates if you want to form a proper opinion about them.
Which brings us the kicker to the kicker. We may wish that neuroscientists could run an experiment which would settle once and for all whether intelligence can be improved or not. But to do that
we'd have to figure out what we really want intelligence to mean, especially for our kids.
And that turns out to be precisely the problem. Both fixed and growth perspectives
have good points, but they disagree on what is worth measuring and for what reasons.
And each article you read reinforces one notion or the other. This is a scientific deadlock, and Dweck is suggesting a radical view: choose the neuroscience you read to fit the society you want to live in.
The real lesson for me here is that every bit of neuroscience you read potentially pushes you
to adopt a particular mindset. Not just about intelligence and performance, but society, relationships, addiction, sexuality, aggression, etc. We need to pay close attention to
this neuroscience-feedback. And this isn't all that different from choosing to watch CNN or FoxNews or IndyMedia -- where they each show facts, but which facts they show
and how they are framed, helps to reinforce a particular view of the world.
Ihttps://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/promiscuous-facts/200804/how-neuroscience-can-help-you-get-smarter 
I didn't expect it to be such a short circuit in neuroscience.
But I do know what I'm going to teach my son about his brain.

Turbo Charged Reading: Read more>>>Read fast>>>Remember more>>>Years later
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You can TCR software and engineering manuals for spontaneously recall – or pass that exam.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube  
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube

Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com     gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life
www.ourbusinessminds.blogspot.com   development, growth, management. www.mreenhunthappyartaccidents.blogspot.com        just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

This Ancient Greek Technique Can Actually Double Your Memory, Say Scientists

Crainbill.

This Ancient Greek Technique Can Actually Double Your Memory, Say Scientists
Sherlock Holmes’ ‘Mind Palace’ is real, and it actually works.
Thomas Tamblyn

Trying to remember things can be difficult, we’re only human after all.
Well what if we told you that there was an ancient technique
that could effectively double your memory.
Researchers from Radboud University have found scientific proof
that by creating a fictional place in your mind and then ‘storing’ your memories inside it
you can massively increase your ability to remember.
If that technique sounds familiar than you’ve probably seen it being used in
the hugely successful TV show Sherlock. The detective uses his ‘Mind Palace’
to help piece together clues and remember facts with almost photographic precision.
Well it turns out that not only is a ‘Mind Palace’ a real thing,
but with enough training anyone can create their own.
After just 40 days of daily 30-minute training sessions, the researchers found
that individuals who had typical memory skills and no previous training
could effectively double the amount of words they could remember.
From remembering an average of just 26 words out of a possible 72
the researchers found that individuals could now remember on average 62.
“After training we see massively increased performance on memory tests,” says first author
Martin Dresler, assistant professor of cognitive neuroscience at Radboud University Medical Center.      “Not only can you induce a behavioral change,
the training also induces similar brain connectivity patterns as those seen in memory athletes.”
What makes this research so fascinating though is that it seemingly proves
that having an incredible memory isn’t necessarily tied to you as an individual.
People aren’t born memory athletes; they have entirely similar brains to us
but like all athletes they train incredibly hard.
The idea of location or image-based memory isn’t new; in fact it can be traced back to
the Ancient Greeks where the original idea is credited to the Greek poet Simonides of Ceos.
It’s also a well-documented memory technique used by world-class memory athletes
and as a recognised form of memory training.
What was missing of course was the hard-scientific evidence to back it up.

So how does it work?
The technique is actually remarkably simple.
In essence it’s based around the principle of creating a ‘place’ inside your head
that you can then travel around.
Within that space you then store the information that you want to specifically remember,
such as numbers, words or places.
Once the test subjects had mastered the technique
the researchers found that it didn’t require much more training to maintain the same level of ability.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/this-ancient-greek-technique-can-actually-double-your-memory-say-scientists_uk_58c11521e4b054a0ea6806b9

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You can TCR music, poetry or self development material for internal knowing.
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I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
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Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com          gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life
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To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Friday, 4 August 2017

Everyone Is Talented In Their Own Way: The 9 Types Of Intelligence You Should Know

Bejewelled iris.

Everyone Is Talented In Their Own Way: The 9 Types Of Intelligence You Should Know
Lim Kairen

We always think of intelligence as one entity.
We think that scientists and academics are brainy and “intelligent” people.
But if we put them in a bank, they may be at a loss for words when speaking to customers.
And what about the misconceptions about people engaged in less intelligible jobs
such as waiting tables or telemarketing who are deemed “unintelligent? Try giving these people
an empty canvas and watch them create a masterpiece for you with just a pencil.
The point is, our perception of intelligence is skewed.
Everything that seems out of our reach is automatically deemed as intelligent
however on the contrary, according to psychologist, Howard Gardner, everyone is blessed
with multiple types intelligence. See the infographic below to have a better understanding.

The Science Behind 9 Types Of Intelligence
The 9 types of intelligence as theorized by Gardner in his book called Frames of Mind:
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences is a great tool to find your individual strengths and weaknesses.         And the scientific concept behind it is simple.
Gardner’s view on intelligence states that there are 9 abilities
that simply make us the intelligent beings that we are today
and these 9 are musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical,
 bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic and existential.

Different Types Of Intelligence To Empower Learners
By learning the theory behind Gardner’s studies, we get to know ourselves a little bit better.               However, Gardner emphasised that by understanding our strengths,
it shouldn’t limit us through labelling ourselves to a specific intelligence. 
Instead, it should empower us to recognise our weaknesses as well as to improve them.

Understand Your Own Intelligence
Simply by  taking the test  based on the 9 types of intelligence,
you’ll be able to have a basic understanding of which intelligence you are strong at.
Take note that you should be providing your most honest answer
in order for the results to be more accurate.

Everyone Is Unique
So here below are my results that reaffirm that embarking on a writing career is a great choice
for me because I’m linguistically intelligent. It also indicates that I’m typically good at reading, writing, telling stories and memorizing words as according to Gardner.
However, apart from letting me know about my strengths, it would also mean that
I’ve much work to do in other departments such as logic, interpersonal skills
and maybe on my visual ability to visualize better with my mind’s eye.
So why not give this test a try
and maybe it’ll just change the way you perceive your own unique intelligence forever.
http://www.lifehack.org/485552/temporary-headline-9-types-intelligence?ref=in_content_bottom


M'reen's results.
Your intrapersonal intelligence dominates your brain. You are extremely self-aware and reflective. You have a strong moral compass and passionate opinions on what you believe is right or wrong. 
You constantly contemplate life on a deeper level and take pride in expressing yourself
through creative processes.
This means that you also have very high levels of linguistic and existentialist intelligence.
You see life through a more intense lens than many people and this allows you to create
meaningful relationships in your personal and professional life.

Naïs Flament’s take on this result:  Interpersonal (People Smart)
Your most dominant intelligence type is interpersonal, or in other words... you are people smart! 
You pick incredibly well on social clues and you are fascinated to learn about new people
and cultures. Your strongest fields of study are in history, anthropology and psychology
- areas which study the human condition and social processes.
You also have strengths with your linguistic and existential intelligence. 
You are curious to read and learn about new things and you spend time pondering life
and trying to answer deep and meaningful questions.

Turbo Charged Reading: Read more>>>Read fast>>>Remember more>>>Years later
Contact M’reen at: read@turbochargedreading.com

You can TCR specialist and language dictionaries that are spontaneously accessed.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube  
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube

Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:
www.innermindworking.blogspot.com   gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life
 www.ourbusinessminds.blogspot.com   development, growth, management. www.mreenhunthappyartaccidents.blogspot.com        just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”