Happy 100th Birthday to the Crossword Puzzle

It’s time to say happy birthday to our beloved crossword puzzle! The first one was published 100 years ago. In this short video about the crossword’s centennial, Mo Rocca interviews New York Times puzzle writer Will Shortz and Dan Feyer, four-time champion of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and the best solver in the country. […]

Study: Brain Training Shows Significant, Lasting Gains in Cognitive Function

I woke up in a cheerful mood this morning because yesterday the results of a scientific study were published and they once again demonstrated that very strong benefits can be achieved through only 10 hours of Posit Science brain training. The cognitive benefits were not just seen in the tasks themselves, but in measures of […]

Hans Selye: The Discovery of Stress

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G.A.S. Spells Stress As with so many wondrous discoveries of science and medicine, it was by chance that Hungarian-born Hans Selye (1907-1982) stumbled upon the idea of the General Adaptation Syndrome (G.A.S.), which he first wrote about in the British journal Nature in the summer of 1936. The G.A.S., alternately known as the stress syndrome, […]

Can Dietary Supplements Boost Brain Power?

Scan the vitamin aisle in your local supermarket and you’ll find plenty of products promising to improve brain function. With names like “Memory Complex,” “Neuro Optimizer,” “Brain Elevate,” and “Sharp Thought,” they tout the remarkable powers of compounds from phospholipids and omega-3 fatty acids to acetyl-L-carnitine, citicoline, and Gingko biloba. Manufacturers claim these supplements will […]

Growing Brains Meet Growing TV Lineups: The Effects of TV on Cognition

Forget baseball, it turns out that watching TV is America’s true national pastime. According to the 2007 findings of the American Time Use Survey, recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American men and women spend about half of their free time watching television. And, although this particular survey only included adults, more and […]

Fear Conditioning: How the Brain Learns about Danger

In the 1970s, researchers Paul Ekman, Wallace Friesen and Carroll Izard became interested in whether emotions differ across cultures, so they showed photographs of emotional expressions to people around the world to determine if a smile means the same thing in San Francisco as it does in Samoa. They found that everyone recognized an upturned […]

Children Controlling Their Own Brainwaves: A New Treatment for ADD?

Imagine a boy sitting in front of a computer screen, controlling what appears on the monitor with only his brainwaves. His hands don’t move; he makes no sound. But as he watches the screen, his brain learns to regulate itself in response to visual feedback from the computer. With practice, in about 20 one-hour sessions, […]

Brain Injuries: High School Athletes At Risk

How Concerned About Brain Injury Should We Be? In high school stadiums across the country, a certain contagious frenzy is generated by the playing of a high school band and the shouting of cheerleaders as the home team takes the field. High school athletics, with their clashes between cross-town rivals, have long been a favorite […]