In a Crisis, Pessimism Is Natural but Realism Is Crucial

It is important to recognize our pessimistic predispositions, so we may overcome them. When you read the news, make sure that in addition to reading about the latest COVID-19 death count, you also ingest the latest technological, medical and scientific breakthroughs that will bring the pandemic to an end.

With the COVID-19 lockdown upon us, anxiety and depression are on the rise. It would be irresponsible to downplay the risks that coronavirus poses to America’s health and economy. But excessive pessimism is also in no one’s interest. Problems and their purported solutions must be evaluated coolly and dispassionately. Facts, logic, reason and science, not emotions, must guide us in this time of troubles.

Unfortunately, some of our most basic impulses evolved at a time when the world was very different from our own. Our modern skulls house a stone age mind,” note Leda Cosmides and John Tooby from the University of California, Santa Barbara. The mind can be decidedly harmful in helping us address today’s problems, including those of anxiety and depression.

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How metacognition, thinking about thinking, can help improve your life

Metacognition, thinking about how you think, has been shown to help students improve their grades. Stanford University researchers published a new study that outlines a 15-minute thinking hack that led to an average improvement of one third of a letter grade for the participants.

The research stems from the insight that while many resources are provided by educational institutions, students don’t always know how to use them effectively. Patricia Chen, a postdoctoral research fellow who led the study, hypothesized that if students were made more self-reflective about how they approach their studies and the available resources, they could do better.

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Exercise improves memory, boosts blood flow to brain


Scientists have collected plenty of evidence linking exercise to brain health, with some research suggesting fitness may even improve memory. But what happens during exercise to trigger these benefits? New UT Southwestern research that mapped brain changes after one year of aerobic workouts has uncovered a potentially critical process: Exercise boosts blood flow into two key regions of the brain associated with memory. Notably, the study showed this blood flow can help even older people with memory issues improve cognition, a finding that scientists say could guide future Alzheimer’s disease research.

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Enquanto o exercício de baixa intensidade aciona as redes cerebrais associadas ao controle cognitivo e ao processamento da atenção, o exercício de alta intensidade ativa primariamente as redes envolvidas no processamento emocional. É a conclusão de um estudo recente publicado no periódico Brain Plasticity.

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Neuroscience Reveals: Gratitude Literally Rewires Your Brain to be Happier

When you say “thank you”, do you really mean it or is it just politeness to which you give little attention? Neuroscientists have found that if you really feel it when you say it, you’ll be happier and healthier. The regular practice of expressing gratitude is not a New Age fad; it’s a facet of the human condition that reaps true benefits to those who mean it.

Psychologists Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis and Dr. Michael McCullough of the University of Miami published a study in 2015 that looked at the physical outcomes of practicing gratitude. One third of the subjects in the study were asked to keep a daily journal of things that happened during the week for which they were grateful. Another third was asked to write down daily irritations or events that had displeased them. The last third of the group was asked to write down daily situations and events with no emphasis on either positive or negative emotional attachment. At the end of the 10-week study, each group was asked to record how they felt physically and generally about life.

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Menor exposição a telas de computadores, celulares e televisão durante as atividades de lazer relacionada com melhor cognição entre as crianças






Crianças que passam menos de duas horas por dia fazendo atividades de lazer diante de telas de computador, tablet ou celular, como acessar mídias sociais na internet e assistir televisão, e que conseguem dormir o suficiente e praticar mais atividades físicas, têm melhor cognição do que as crianças que passam mais tempo em atividades diante das telas, que dormem menos e praticam menos atividades físicas, sugere nova pesquisa.

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by Edward Campbell

A substantial extract from a fascinating account of communicating with animals that was originally an Institute for Cultural Research Lecture in 1970. The complete monograph is available for download at

… A European animal trainer, a very remarkable little man called Hans Brick, was fascinated by legends of lions trained to retrieve game in the chase. He trained his own lion Habibi to shoot a dart from a spring gun, then to seek it out, retrieve it and bring it back and drop it at his feet. I have watched this perhaps fifty times.

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