The Brain

Have you ever noticed that some people have all the talent in the world to become super star athletes but don't succeed because of their lack of determination or training and knowledge but other less talented athletes do succeed because of their persistence, determination, discipline, training, and knowledge.

The same is true for the brain. The brain is plastic and you can literally "upgrade" your brain. The Brain can change positively or negatively or in other words for the better or worse

I remember when in school many years ago we use to say "it's the people with a good memory that get good grades and not really the most intelligent people". Learning to learn, to memorize is an important part of getting good grades and success.

Memory Champion use to have a bad memory
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRXWzQ2oczM

Medical professionals have know for a long time that stroke victims brain "re-wires" its self with therapy. Your thoughts can also change your brain.

When you learn new information and new skills your brain changes. Learning to learn is very important and not every one learns the same way. Some styles are better than others for different people. For example some people need to see the whole picture in order to start absorbing the information properly while others need more of a step by step approach. It's important that you work on your learning skills and identify what works best for you quickly in order to make it as efficient, easy, and enjoyable as possible.

Learning a new musical instrument like the piano and a variety of different songs work the memory but also many other important parts of the brain. Many studies have shown that music works and exercises more then just the memory, it also exercises parts of the brain used for mathematics, spatial intelligence, pattern recognition, and much more.

A study conducted in the US showed that the group of applicants most likely to be admitted to medical school is made up of music majors and that music majors scored highest on reading tests. It also showed that after three years of piano instruction students pattern recognition and mental representation scores improved significantly. Music participants received more academic honors and awards than non-music students. One study showed that the IQ effect got a boost when children around the age of six years old received piano and voice lessons. Another study showed that high school music students scored higher on SATs in both verbal and math than their peers who did not study music. A study conducted on seniors showed that those who played the piano or a musical instrument and engaged in social activities maintain their cognitive abilities longer.

Learning new skills, new subjects, new games, and playing a variety of games, improving your skill level and intensity, pushing yourself and your comfort zone to learn things that are not familiar to you and that are different will all help to enhance your brain. More examples of skills you can learn are learning a new sport or a new dance, a new language, more vocabulary, and a new musical instrument.

You can also improve or train your logical thinking, creativity, strategic and analysis thinking, problem and puzzle solving skills, pattern recognition and detection, power of deduction, categorizing and comparing skills.

The brain changes or can be changed. Other example are the cab drivers, see the above video, who's brain memory areas have increased in size and in another study people who had been sleep deprived brain MRI was similar to that of a psychotic person. Psychological disorders, like depression, can also be induced.

Multiple Intelligence Theory

Linguistic intelligence

Logical and Mathematical intelligence

Musical intelligence

Bodily Kinesthetic intelligence

Spatial intelligence
Interpersonal intelligence

Naturalistic intelligence

Einstein Intelligence Factors Theory - Patterns of Reasoning and Idea Creation
One of the things that may have contributed to or enhanced Einstein's intelligence was his exposure to many new ideas and concepts while he worked in a patent office.

Classical Conditioning Video - Ivan Pavlov
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhqumfpxuzI

TED Talks

Miguel Nicolelis: A monkey that controls a robot with its thoughts. No, really.
http://www.ted.com/talks/miguel_nicolelis_a_monkey_that_controls_a_robot_with_its_thoughts_no_really.html
"Can we use our brains to directly control machines -- without requiring a body as the middleman? Miguel Nicolelis talks through an astonishing experiment, in which a clever monkey in the US learns to control a monkey avatar, and then a robot arm in Japan, purely with its thoughts. The research has big implications for quadraplegic people -- and maybe for all of us. (Filmed at TEDMED 2012.)"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY5J40dg62k

Walk Again Project
http://walkagainproject.org/
"Over the past decade, neuroscientists at the Duke University Center for Neuroengineering (DUCN) have developed the field of brain-machine interface (BMI) into one of the most exciting—and promising—areas of basic and applied research in modern neuroscience. By creating a way to link living brain tissue to a variety of artificial tools, BMIs have made it possible for non-human primates to use the electrical activity produced by hundreds of neurons, located in multiple regions of their brains, to directly control the movements of a variety of robotic devices, including prosthetic arms and legs."

Tan Le: A headset that reads your brainwaves
http://www.ted.com/talks/tan_le_a_headset_that_reads_your_brainwaves.html
Tan Le's astonishing new computer interface reads its user's brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects, and even physical electronics, with mere thoughts (and a little concentration). She demos the headset, and talks about its far-reaching applications. Tan Le is the founder & CEO of Emotiv Lifescience, a bioinformatics company that's working on identifying biomarkers for mental and other neurological conditions using electroencephalography (EEG).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs2GDSYYCoA

Jane McGonigal, Secret of Handshakes, Oxytocin Hormone
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWsToNYWj7Y

The Effects of Music on the Brain
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUT9UTVrwp8

Today msnbc.com: Mind Games - Tricks to Boost Your Memory - Psychologist Belisa Vranich

Education Finland has best education system in the world
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0__9s3A2pcA

Education Teaching Tips
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpX9tfNUToQ

PBS | NOVA FULL EPISODES

How Smart Can We Get?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/how-smart-can-we-get.html
See inside Einstein's brain, learn how to boost your memory, meet people who became savants after an injury, and more.

How Does the Brain Work?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/how-does-the-brain-work.html
Investigate the psychology of magic tricks, magnetic wands that treat depression, artificial intelligence, and more.

How Smart Are Animals?
http://video.pbs.org/video/1777525840
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/how-smart-are-animals.html
Dogs, dolphins, parrots, and even octopuses (mere mollusks!) may be smarter than you think.

Dolphin Reading Test
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/dolphin-reading.html
The ability to read is not just limited to humans. The trainers at Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences in Honduras have trained their dolphins to read two-dimensional symbols as commands. In this video, watch as the pupil, a dolphin named Cedana, puts her reading skills to the test.

Smart Marine Mammals
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/smart-marine-mammals.html
Scientists studying the behavior and intelligence of seals, sea lions, and other captive marine mammals at the University of California's Long Marine Lab say that these animals are challenging long-held assumptions about what makes humans different from other animals. Correspondent Ziya Tong discovers just what the researchers mean after she meets some of their gregarious pinniped students.

Spineless Smarts
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/spineless-smarts.html
Gazing inquisitively through its "W"-shaped pupils as its suckered arms hang down from its face, the cuttlefish might seem alien to us, but it could tell us more about ourselves than we realize. For nearly 20 years, marine biologist and animal behaviorist Jean Boal, an associate professor at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, has been studying cuttlefish and other cephalopods—a class of molluscs that also includes octopuses and squids. Her research focuses on finding out what these animals know and why they have evolved such large and complex brains compared to other invertebrates. In this interview, Boal explains her work with cuttlefish and what these intelligent invertebrates could tell us about human learning abilities.

What Is Intelligence?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/what-is-intelligence.html
Intelligence is an elusive concept. When one of NOVA's producers asked roboticist Rodney Brooks "What is intelligence?," he half-jokingly shot back "What color is jealousy?" But Brooks nonetheless offered his take on how we might recognize meaningful artificial intelligence. And other experts—Steven Pinker, Nicholas Humphrey, and Seth Shostak—shared their insights about human intelligence as well as the search for intelligence beyond Earth. Listen in.

Cell Phones
If you are concerned that cell phone microwave emissions may cause cancer you should consider purchasing a Bluetooth device. A bluetooth device is about 100 times less powerful then the microwave emissions from a cell phone. A few inches away from your body do also make a difference. Another habit that you should consider is to wear the Bluetooth device only when driving or taking a call.

ARTICLES

The Brain and Nutrition

Choline: Food for Thought

The Role of Choline in Our Bodies and Brains

"Choline serves various functions in our bodies – in the structure of cell membranes, protecting our livers from accumulating fat, as the precursor molecule for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and more. Because of rapid development in fetuses and infants, we have a great need for choline in our early lives. Human milk has high levels of choline."

"Choline started to get the interest of nutrition researchers when it was found that fetal rats whose mothers didn't get enough choline in their diets had less brain development and poorer memories after birth than those whose mothers ate adequate amounts of the nutrient. Over the past few years, there has been a rush of research, and there are now hints that choline may be essential not only for the brain development of fetuses and infants, but may help prevent memory loss associated with aging (although attempts to reverse cognitive decline have been disappointing)."

Folate - Folate Rich Foods

Child Nutrition Basics

"Folate is an important vitamin, which most parents are aware of because of the association of low folate levels with premature babies and birth defects. These defects of the brain or spinal cord are the major defects associated with inadequate folate intake."

Nutritional Healing fourth edition p.234.
"Some theories suggest that brain development may have been interrupted in the early fetal stages in people who become autistic."

Some believe or have suggested that there maybe a link between nutrition and autism or down syndrome.

General population stress levels have also been higher due to economic conditions during this increase of autism. Stress can cause micromineral deficiencies and a number of different illness that could affect developing fetuses.

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Movie Scenes (sci-fi)

Pacific Rim - Official Main Trailer [HD]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5guMumPFBag
"Two pilots, our minds, our memories connected, man and machine become one."

Vitamin B Complex (The Brain Vitamin)

- Is important for proper brain function.
- Important for skin, liver, nerves, eyes, mouth, and hair.
- Important for muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Absorption of vitamin B decreases as we age.
- Important part of Glutathione production.

The vitamin B complex is involved in energy production and acts as coenzyme helping enzymes react chemically with other subsistence’s. Deficiencies of vitamin B complex and B12 have been linked to the wrong diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

- Enhances cognitive activity, learning capacity, and brain function.
- Enhances energy, growth, and normal appetite.
- Enhances blood circulation and formation.
- Helps in the production of hydrochloric acid for the digestive system and the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
- Needed for good muscle tone of the intestines, stomach, and heart.
- Sources include brown rice, wheat germ, whole grains, oatmeal, legumes, peanuts, egg yolks, liver, broccoli, brussel sprouts, asparagus, kelp, watercress, plums, raisins, alfalfa, burdock root, cayenne, sage, chamomile, parsley, and peppermint.

Deficiency symptoms have been linked to;

- A nervous system disease called Beriberi.
- Nervousness, fatigue, edema, irritability, forgetfulness, poor coordination, and loss of appetite.
- Severe weight loss.
- Constipation and gastrointestinal disturbances.
- Enlarged liver, heart changes, and labored breathing.
- Muscle atrophy, weak and sore muscles, numbness of the hands and feet, tingling sensations, pain and sensitivity, and general weakness.

Vitamin B1 (Benfotiamine)

- A fat-soluble form of the water-soluble vitamin B1.
- Lasts longer in the body with potential better therapeutic benefits than B1 (Thiamine).
- May be more effective in controlling damage from diabetes because it is a better activator of the enzyme transketolase.
- Transketolase helps in keeping glucose-derived compounds out of blood vessels and nerve cells.
- Sources include garlic, onions, shallots, and leeks.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

- Needed for the immune system.
- Needed for the formation of red blood cells and oxygenation.
- Important for the skin, hair, and nails.
- Important in the prevention and treatment of cataracts.
- Helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
- Helps the absorption of iron and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).
- Helps the metabolism of the amino acid tryptophan which is converted to Niacin.
- Enhances the mucous membranes of the digestive tract.

Deficiency symptoms have been linked to;

- Insomnia, dizziness, and slowed mental response.
- Skin lesions, dermatitis, and light sensitivity.
- Cracks and sores at the corner of the mouth.
- Inflammation of the mouth and tongue.
- A group of symptoms referred to as ariboflavinosis.
- Poor digestion, hair loss, and retarded growth.
- Can damage a developing fetus.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome may improve from B2 and B6.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin, Nicotinic Acid, Niacinamide)

- A memory enhancer.
- Has shown to be helpful for schizophrenia and other mental diseases.
- Helps the nervous system.
- Helps in the production of hydrochloric acid for the digestive system.
- Involved in the secretion of bile and stomach fluids.
- Helps the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
- Niacin (nicotinic acid) lowers cholesterol.
- Involved in the synthesis of sex hormones.
- Needed for good circulation and healthy skin.

Deficiency symptoms have been linked to;

- Depression, dementia, dizziness, headaches, and insomnia.
- Fatigue, low blood sugar, muscular weakness, limb pain, and loss of appetite.
- A disease called Pellagra.
- Indigestion and diarrhea.
- Canker sores and skin eruptions.
- Halitosis.
- Inflammation.

Caution, high doses of Niacin can damage the liver and raise blood sugar levels.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

- Involved in the production of neurotransmitters.
- May fight depression anxiety.
- Needed by all cells in the body.
- Known as the anti-stress vitamin.
- Needed for the production of the adrenal hormone and functioning of the adrenal gland.
- Needed for the immune system.
- An essential element of coenzyme A.
- Enhances stamina and prevents anemia.
- Needed for the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Helps the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Deficiency symptoms have been linked to;

- Fatigue, nausea, headache, and tingling in the hands.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

- Needed for normal brain function and by the nervous system.
- Prevents memory loss.
- Needed for the synthesis of the nucleic acids RNA and DNA.
- Enhances red blood cell formation.
- Helps the immune system and plays a role in cancer prevention and immunity.
- Helps the treatment of allergies and asthma.
- Helps maintain sodium and potassium balance.
- Helps in the prevention of arteriosclerosis.
- Prevents the formation of toxic chemicals called homocysteine which attacks the heart and allows the deposition of cholesterol around the heart muscle.
- A diuretic that can reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
- It may be useful in preventing calcium oxalate kidney stones.
- Helps in the production of hydrochloric acid for the digestive system and the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
- Helps the treatment of arthritis.
- Helps the absorption or B12.

Deficiency symptoms have been linked to;

- Fatigue.
- Anemia and anorexia.
- Depression, hyperirritability, learning difficulties, impaired memory, memory loss, and hearing problems.
- Headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, numbness, and tingling sensations.
- Impaired wound healing, stunted growth, hair loss, and carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and conjunctivitis.
- Flaky skin, oily facial skin, and acne.
- Cracks and sores on the mouth and lips, sore tongue, and inflammation of the mouth and gums.

Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)

- Is linked to the production of acetylcholine a neurotransmitter that assists memory and learning.
- Has been shown to reverse the symptoms of rare neurological diseases.
- Protects against neurological deterioration as we age.
- Prevents nerve damage and protects nerve ends.
- Important for protein synthesis needed for cardiovascular function and health.
- The most chemically complex of all the vitamins.
- Is the general name for a group of essential biological compounds known as cobalamins.
- The most effective form is methylcobalamin and the most common form is cyanocobalamin.
- Methylcobalamin is active in the growth and protection of the nervous system.
- Studies suggest that Methylcobalamin could increase the synthesis of certain proteins that help regenerate nerves.
- Methylcobalamin may prevent help Parkinson’s disease and slow its progression.
- Methylcobalamin is essential for converting homocysteine into methionine used to build protein needed for cardiovascular function.
- Uncoverted homocysteine may increase clotting factors which can result in the buildup of plaque and eventually lead to heart disease and stroke.
- Helps folic acid regulate the formation of red blood cells.
- Helps the utilization of iron and needed to prevent anemia.
- Helps the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
- Helps in cell formation, cellular longevity, fertility, and sleeping patterns.

Deficiency symptoms have been linked to;

- Chronic fatigue.
- Pernicious anemia.
- Depression, irritability, nervousness, moodiness, dizziness, drowsiness, memory loss, neurological damage, hallucinations, ringing in the ears, and headaches.
- Bone loss, spinal cord degeneration, and abnormal gait.
- Constipation and digestive disorders.
- Palpitations, labored breathing, enlargement of the liver, inflammation of the tongue, and eye disorders.

Vegetarians should remember that they require vitamin B12 and that B12 is found in animal tissues. The body can store up to 5 years worth of B12.

Biotin

- Helps cell formation and growth.
- Helps relieve muscle pain.
- Promotes healthy sweat glands, nerve tissue, and bone marrow.
- Helps the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
- Needed for health, hair, and skin and may prevent hair loss in some men.

Deficiency symptoms have been linked to;

- Can cause anemia, high blood sugar, inflammation, muscular pain, depression, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, hair loss, and soreness of the tongue.

Choline

- Research indicates that choline plays an important role in cardiovascular health, reproduction, and fetal development.
- Needed for the proper transmission of nerve impulses from the brain through the central nervous system.
- Helps for disorders of the nervous system such as Parkinson’s disease and tardive dyskinesia.
- May help prevent and treat arteriosclerosis.
- Needed for the gall bladder regulation, liver function, and lecithin formation.
- Helps hormone production.
- Helps in fat and cholesterol metabolism.
- Minimizes excess fat in the liver.
- Maybe needed for the metabolism of homocysteine.

Deficiency symptoms have been linked to;

- Brain function, cognitive ability, and memory can be impaired.
- May result in stunted growth, cardiac symptoms, high blood pressure, liver impairment, fatty buildup in the liver, Inability to digest fat, Gastric ulcers, and kidney impairment.

Folate

- Considered a brain food.
- Helps to regulate embryonic and fetal nerve cell formation, which is vital for normal development.
- Studies indicate that folate supplemenst in early pregnancy may prevent the majority of neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly.
- Functions as a coenzyme in DNA and RNA synthesis.
- Important for healthy cell division and replication.
- Needed for the formation and function of white blood cells.
- Needed for energy production.
- Involved in protein metabolism.
- May be the most important nutrient in regulating homocysteine levels.
- High levels of homocycsteine have been found to be associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis.
- The body needs an adequate supply of folate, B6, and B12 to convert homocysteine into non-harmful amino acids.
- Studies have shown higher levels of homocysteine when folate, B6, and B12 are low.
- The decline in stroke related deaths are attributed to the decline in serum homocysteine levels.
- May help depression and anxiety.
- May help the treatment of uterine cervical dysplasia.

Deficiency symptoms have been linked to;

- Birth defects, growth impairment, memory problems, paranoia, insomnia, anemia, apathy, fatigue, digestive disturbance, graying hair, labored breathing, weakness, and sore red tongue,

Cooking or microwaving vegetables destroys folate.

Inositol

- Important for the metabolism of fat and cholesterol.
- Reduces cholesterol levels.
- Helps prevent hardening of the arteries.
- Helps remove fats from the liver.
- Important for hair.
- Has a calming effect.
- Important in the formation of lecithin.

Deficiency symptoms have been linked to;

- Can lead to arteriosclerosis, high blood cholesterol, skin eruptions, constipation, hair loss, compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, irritability, and mood swings.

Caffeine may cause a shortage of inositol.

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